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Stauchy Blog » Blog Archive » Puerto Madryn, Feb 15-16, 2008 (JRS)

Puerto Madryn, Feb 15-16, 2008 (JRS)

Puerto Madryn is situated near the Valdez Penninsula, which is known for its diversity of ocean-based wildlife (whales, dolphins, sea-lions, penguins, etc).  We spent a day at the Valdez Penninsula and a day at Punta Tumbo, just south of there, which had a colony of over one million penguins (according to the park ranger).

081215s_pennvaldez-7.jpg  081216s_puntatumbo-12.jpg

After our 19-hour bus rider from B.A., we arrived at 0800 and immediatly set to work on finding a tour.  After a couple of hours in town (inconviniently lugging all of our stuff around with us), we settled in on renting a car, a cheaper and more flexible alternative to any of the tours that we saw.  We headed towards the Valdez Penninsula (after picking up some food for camp meals), about 80km from town.

In the park we were treated to a few relatively large penguin colonies (50 or more), a few large colonies of seals, and a large colony of seals and sea lions.  Our viewpoints were atop the steep hillsides of the penninsula, giving a nice overview of the colonies below.  At our last stop, we were hoping to get a glipse of Orca, which have actually been spotted coming up on to the shore to grab an unfortunate seal for dinner.  But, we were not so lucky.  Still it was a cool day of wildlife-viewing.

081215d_pennvaldez-3.jpg  081215d_pennvaldez-50.jpg  081215d_pennvaldez-68.jpg  081215s_pennvaldez-8.jpg

We spent the night on the Penninsula at Point Piramides in the municipal camp.  The next morning we drove down south (about 100km) to Punta Tumbo.  On the way, we stopped at Puerto Madryn to get some gas and get bus tickets to Bariloche for that night (the computer system at the ticket office was down, but Lynette was able to book them over the phone, impressivly enough, completely in Spanish!).  When we arrived at Punta Tumbo, we paid our park fees and took off down the path.  A few penguins were hanging out on the trail, so we snapped a few pics.  We crested over a hill and got a view of the beach, and holy crap-ton-o-penguinos batman!  There were crows upon crowds of black dots all along the coast.  Then, there were black dots coming up from the shore like ants.  It was absolutely incredible.

081216s_puntatumbo-16.jpg  081216d_puntatumbo-15.jpg  081216d_puntatumbo-23.jpg

We took the path down to the coast, posing and taking pictures of the penginus who seemed totally oblivious to our presence.  We sat on some rocks overlooking the mass of penguins below, some getting into and out of the water.


After about an hour we had to head back in order fill up the car, return it, get dinner and catch our bus at 930pm.

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