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Puerto Madryn

Smelly Sea Lions

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So Puerto Madryn is famous for whale watching mainly- but its not whale season at the moment, theyre all off somewhere else. We knew that though, we were passing en-route to El Calafate and El Chaltan, so thought it would be a good idea to stop off and see some of the wildlife thats here all year round. After settling down, and resting our aching limbs (after the hike in El Bolson) for a day or two, we booked a tour to Penninsula Valdes- a dusty desert sticking out of the coast. Apparently the sea bed is the flattest terrain in the world (it stays at 100m for miles and miles) or near enough, which is why the whales come here because they need flat shallow water to mate in or something like that. I think theres also loads of fish and plankton because the shallow water is good for photosynthesis. Which is why all the sea lions come here- to eat. And then the Orcas come to eat them. How interesting. So our tour took us along the desert in a bus where we spied some Guanacas, and Rheas, then stuck us on a boat to see some sea lions. It was pretty cool, although the sea lions stink cause the males just stay on land the whole time so they dont lose their females. There were loads of baby sea lions as well that were like a week old and they were pretty sweet.

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Then the boat took us to some place where we could snorkel in freezing cold water- there was nothing to see at all except a few crabs, but it was a bit of fun cause we had wet suits and flippers on and that.

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After the boat trip, we got back on a coach to Punta Norte, which is where the killer whales come up on the beach to eat all the sea lions in February. We didnt see any Orcas, but in the carpark we did see some friendly Armadillos, and some grumpy old sea lions having a fight.

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After that we were taken to a spot where some penguins were just chilling out on the cliffs which was pretty awesome because they were so funny. Not all of them were chilling though, I saw one man-penguin take a fancy to a lady penguin and mount her- which was also very amusing because they are quite clumsy and flap their little wings.

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Then we went to a spot where we could see elephant seals which was cool. They feed way out at sea though and are only on the beaches to molt their skin- so they were just vegging out to save energy. Saw one scratch his face though.

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So that was that, getting a bus to Rio Gallegos tonight where we need to change to get to El Calafate.

Posted by St Martins 05:06 Archived in Argentina

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