Had a long 17hr overnight bus journey to Puerto Madryn, but the buses in Argentina are no ordinary busses. We had a plasma screen tv, fully reclining leather seats, blankets, pillows, air-con, an even steak and mash for dinner.... oh and spanish bingo. It was amazing. (and i thought id be hitching rides on cattle trucks! - give it time)
We arrived in Puerto Madryn at lunchtime, a nice small town by the beach. This town is the main base for visiting the Peninsula Valdes national park, which is exactly why we were here. We had been told that there was very little to do in this small town in the evenings, but having met a nice American guy at our hostel, we decided to pop out for a quiet drink. We ended up having one of the most bizaar nights yet. When we arrived at the bar, it was all decorated with red drapes and hearts and stuff. Loads of people were sat around tables - `Speed dating night, we thought.` Then we realised we were surrounded by just guys - `perhaps it was gay speed dating?`Then one of the guys was dressed in a bra and loads of make up.....stag night? Next on came the scantilly clad dancers and put on a bit of a show. Then a guy got on the mike and started introducing act after act. The dancing was amazing and ranged from Tango, to hip-hop, to pole dancing.... to Stripping. Time to leave! We had a hillarious night, still not quite sure if we were meant to be there!
We worked out the cheapest way to visit the peninsular would be to hire a car. We hooked up with 2 other girls from our hostel and set out for an overnighter. We managed to fluke a lovely 4 bed appartment to spend the night, dumped our stuff and headed off to catch a boat to do some whale watching. We were so lucky. Several whales surrounded our boat with their babies. I say babies - they still weighed 7 tonnes! They were incredible and so massive. I couldnt believe anything that big could actually be alive. We watched then in awe, lifting their huge tails and spouting water. Later we drove to a penguin colony. It was great to see them in their natural habitat and we got so close to them. We continued up the coast, along skiddy gravel paths to a seal colony. They make the most bizaar noises and absolutely stink, but are just so cute. We watched them for a while, with no-one else around. Also bumped into a giddy armadillo and a snake.
For the next couple of days the renounded patagonian wind blew in, restricting ur plans. Ive never experienced wind like it. I was nearly blown away, and all the sand and dust was whipped up, stinging your legs and getting in ur eyes. we could do nothing but stay indoors. On the last day Gem and I hired bikes and headed off to another seal colony. It was such hard work, we were cycling on gravel/sand. It was like cycling with flat tyres. When we got back we treated ourselves to some local ice cream . You basically buy a pot and get it filled with whatever flavours you want, delicious. Caught the bus at 6.30, for another 18hr journey, this time to Rio Gallegos. We`re heading right to the tip of South America, called Ushuaia, for christmas. Covering some 3000km from Buenos Aires.