Chris here for a (hopefully) slightly shorter update.
Having left Buenos Aires at 5am on Saturday morning we landed in Trelew for a transfer to Puerto Madryn, a sea-side town in Patagonia. We arrived at our hostel early and tired to a warm welcome from Gaston, the host. He even let us have a bite of breakfast while we waited for the rooms to be ready and then to go on a yacht that he had helped us to organise.
The day of sailing was brilliant! The transfer to and from the yacht via the tiny motorboat was an adventure in itself, sailing around all day was so peaceful and calm after the hustle and bustle of the city and came as a welcome change. We were treated to tea and pastries throughout the day as well as a chicken and rice broth with Merlot to wash it down with. The captain and his first mate were both friendly and funny and we managed to see some Southern Right Whales pretty close up and we also saw penguins, sea lions and flamingoes.
Spurred on by this first meeting with some sea life and encouraged by a recommendation from the guy at the hostel we decided to snorkel with Sea Lions on Sunday. We got into the 7mm wetsuits and waddled over to the beach ready for departure in a state of nervous excitement and embarrassment and walking two blocks in wetsuits. We took a boat out to the colony and then got into the water for a little bit of instruction, immediately followed by our “interaction” with the Sea Lions. This was amazing! The freezing cold water was certainly worth bearing to be able to see and touch (and get nibbled by) these beautiful creatures up close and in their habitat. An unexpected gem of a day.
Yesterday we finished off our sea life spotting with a trip to the local penguin reserve. This was a little surreal because all of the penguins were on land in their nests on the reserve which looked like the typical Patagonian desert scene – dry and dusty with scrub and brush. Not where I expected to see penguins. Again you were able to get up close and personal with the penguins and Justyna even managed to see a pair mating, which made her blush.
Today we moved on to Ushuaia, right on the Southern tip of Argentina, and we’ll update you on our adventures here soon!
Best wishes to everyone!