A Whale of a Time! (groan)

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
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159
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Trip End Dec 18, 2011


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Where I stayed
Peninsula Valdes camp ground

Flag of Argentina  , Chubut,
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

From Punta Tumbo we head north to the ecological reserve of Peninsula Valdez. It's a huge area that is the place to see sea life in Argentina. They get Right Whales, Killer Whales, Magellanic Penguins, Sealions, …… all within easy viewing around the coast or in boat trips from the main town of Puerto Madryn. Huge crowds arrive during the day to go out on large boats to see the whales so to avoid this we decided to camp in the town and book ourselves on a sunset boat tour on a small max 16 person boat for the next evening. This also meant we could spend the day driving around the peninsula seeing all the other wildlife as it is pretty big and takes a fair amount of time. This would be our last camp of the trip and the tent has turned out to be a great buy and definitely saved us money overall. We didn’t do camp cooking that night though and instead went for a really nice seafood dinner in one of the restaurants in town.

The next day on the drive around we saw more penguins, loads of fat lumps of sea lions but unfortunately no killer whales. In the right season, when the new pups are born, this is apparently a great spot to see killer whales beaching themselves to hunt them. The sea lions aren’t the most exciting to watch as they just laze about like big lumps of blubber most of the time but you can get pretty close from some of the viewing areas. We drove round the rest of the peninsula which was surprisingly large and headed back to town as quick as we could really looking forward to the whale watching.

We ended up being on a boat with only 7 people for the whale watching which was brilliant. We didn’t know what to expect after our whale watching in New Zealand when seeing the whales 3 times was a success but this turned out to be so different. From about 5 minutes in we could see the little black lumos everywhere. It was non-stop whale action. We saw mothers and babies, lots of classic tail shots, one of the mothers breaching out of the water in a really impressive way and loads of close encounters with the whales bumping off the side of the boat. We took loads of photos and videos and got nearly every type of shot you could hope for. The guide was really good explaining loads and the boat captain was very excited about me being Irish as one of his heroes is an Irish man who was a captain in the Argentinian navy during their independence wars. It was a really great experience and left everyone on the boat smiling from ear to ear all the way back.
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