A funny thing happened to us last Saturday in El Boson. Just after I´d finished the blog we went to find out the times of the bus to Puerto Madryn. In broken spanish we asked the lady the times of the buses the next morning and she relpied that the buses only go at 7pm or 8pm (it was 6.30pm). We chatted to ourselves and decided to buy a ticket for the 7pm bus that night. Jem bought it while I ran back to the hostel, told the owner and then packed. When the bus arrived I got on and Jem put the bags on. We then discovered that someone else had our seat numbers and on a closer look at the tickets realised that ours were for the following day!!!!! We then realised that we hadn´t explained to the lady that we wanted bus tickets for that night - Great, but we decided to go to a nicer hostel called Altos del Sur which has lovely cosy rooms, a nice brekkie and mountain views of The Andes. The only problem was that the hostel was a bit out of town and so we had a not so nice dinner of cup a soup, spagetti and horrible sausages purchased from the hostel.
The next day was spent chilling at the hostel and then we had a yummy pizza at Jauja Cafe in town before catching the 12 hr bus to Puerto Madryn.
In the port city of Puerto Madryn, which was founded by Welsh settlers in 1886, we stayed at La Tosca, double room 90 pesos/15 pounds, great lounge & delicious pastries for brekkie. We were here to go whale watching, especially since we didn´t do it in New Zealand, so we spent the first day checking out the town, researching whale tours & we walked down to the pier and saw whales in the distance which was amazing. We booked a tour and that night we went to an all you can eat Argentinian BBQ (6 pounds) which was great fun.
The next day we went on the tour to Peninsula Valdes, 100km away. First stop was a beach called El Doradillo where you can see the Southern Right Whales from the shoreline, a truly wonderul experience. From there we went to Puerto Piramides, which is basically one road and a beach, were we boarded a fairly small boat and set sail in search of whales. Seeing the whales blowing water, jumping, swimming under the boat was definitely a highlight of our trip. We also saw a couple of Magellanic Penguins, which is a South American penguin that usually migrates to Brasil around this time but these two had decided to stay - luckily for us! After the trip we had a hot chocolate at the local cafe & then got back on the bus to Punta Cantor were we saw a couple of Mummy elephant seals and their pups (the men stay out at sea to fatten up and join them at the end of July). On the way home we also saw a Chimango Caracara (bird of prey in flacon family), Maras (Patagonian hare) and Guanacos (Patagonian llama). Our last stop was a free information centre which told us everything about the peninsula and also displayed a southern right whale skeleton. All in all we had a very enjoyable day.
Yesterday lunchtime we got the 17hr bus to Buenos Aires. We decided to treat ourselves to a cama seat (bigger and comfier than the semi cama and only 5 pounds more) which also included red wine with each meal and lots of snacks - brilliant. To top it off we also watched three films in english (a rare thing on the buses) and had a nice nights sleep. We arrived in BA this morning and we´re staying at Millhouse which is the party hostel. we´re in a dorm with 2 other english girls which is cool and we´ve just seen our mate Rob who we met in Villa la Angostura which is brilliant.
We´ve had a walk to the trendy port of Puerto Madero with its fancy bars & restaurants and admired the elegant Puente de la Mujer (Bridge of the lady), been to the main square (Plaza de Mayo), looked round the neoclassical Metropolitan Cathedral and walked past the presidential palace, Casa Rosada (Pink House) and the famous lower left hand side, balcony where Evita stood in front of the crowds in the 1940s. I also had my first taste of mate - a popular traditional infusion made with leaves of the yerba plant. Once dry and processed, the leaves are put into a gourd called a mate (made of wood or other materials) & hot water is poured over it. the infusion is sipped through a bombilla (a filtered metal straw). We were walking through a little market on the side of the road and a young guy offered me some of his drink - how could I refuse - it basically tastes like green tea.
Anyway that´s enough mate for me, we´re off for a beer now so I´ll be in touch. Lots of love xxxxx