Trip Start Jun 13, 2006
177Trip End Jun 12, 2007
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Our plan was to head to the wildlife paradise of the Península Valdés during our stay so we spent our first day booking a tour, walking along the beach and generally soaking up the super strong sun-rays (remember CFCs and the hole in the ozone well the rays coming through the hole are pointed at this area!)
Our trip to the peninsula was fun and brought back Galapagos memories. On the journey to our first stop we saw guanacos (southern cousins to vacuñas, llamas and alpacas), rheas and an owl but other than that the landscape was incredibly flat, desolate and a little uninspiring (sorry). The first stop was to the north of the peninsula to see a sea lion colony. Unlike the Galapagos you could walk among the animals here but to be quite honest that was a bit of a relief. Here they have South American Sea Lions which were a lot bigger than the California Sea Lions on the Galapagos and there seemed to be a far higher proportion of the scary males. The number of sea lions generally was quite high as there seemed to be hundreds crammed onto a relatively small area of land, all growling (they also have a kind mane so we could see why they are called lions), fighting and, oddly, baaing! In the area around the colony we also managed to see an armadillo (quite hairy) and a fox.
The next stop was my highlight, a Magellan penguin colony. They are so cute and fairly undisturbed by the tourists gawking at them. The feathers of the young were in the process of changing to their adult plumage, which meant they still couldn't go in the water so they were just standing around waiting to be fed. In fact none of them were really doing much so we could get some great photos.
The final stop of the day was the only town on the peninsula, Puerto Pirámides. We had the option (at extra cost of course) to go on a boat trip and go snorkling but as it was a bit overcast and cold we opted against it and instead hung around on the beach and played hop-scotch. There trip was really good, that said had we not been to the Galapagos it probably would have been even better.