The wildlife heaven
Trip Start Feb 23, 2008
26Trip End Apr 25, 2008
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It is amazing!! All together almost half a million animals live there, which means one literally walks among them! Left aligned photo tag:
They are everywhere, pecking each other (and occasionally the people :-P), singing their not so melodic (but very funny) song and enjoying the sun. Their nests are holes in the ground to which they are very loyal - although they live 6 months at the sea (yes, half a year in the water, not coming to the shore, if they aren't injured), they would come back to the same nests next year. The females come to the same male each year (or, better said to the same nest - hey, if you don't have a place, you can't have the chick ;-)) and after they mate, they would take care of the eggs together - each sitting on the eggs for 21-23 days, while the other is feeding at the sea. This means 3 weeks without water or food! The story repeats when the little penguins are born - both parents take care of them in shifts of 3 weeks. After the little ones get their waterproof feather, they all go to the sea for 6 months, chasing anchovies (their main source of food) all the way to the brazilian sea. Fascinating, isn't it?Left aligned photo tag:
On the way to Punta Tombo there is a little town called Rawson, where you can get a boat trip to see the Argentinian endemic dolphins, Toninas. Right aligned photo tag:
After an hour or saw we finally spotted them - they are really cute. They look like mini orcas, white and black, and very little compared to other dolphins. And very playful!
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Next day we headed to Peninsula Valdes. Right aligned photo tag:
April is low season for this place, as many animals start leaving in march to the open sea. However, it is the best time to see orcas. But you have to be lucky. And guess what: we got lucky!! Yes, we saw the orcas! Two of them! They are huge! Even though they were far away, their dorsal fin seemed giant! Fantastic! The orcas of Peninsula Valdes have a unique technique of hunting. They would throw themselves on the shore, catch a seal and then swim back into the water. Unfortunately (or not, as far as I'm concerned :-/), we didn't see the attack. But it was just as awsome to see them in the water.
Besides orcas, we saw elephant seals (and how cute they are!), sea lions (giant playful puppies), guanacos (argentinian lama, which walks around freely),Left aligned photo tag:
choique (an argentinian ostrich - as funny as running birds can be), armadillos (and how many of these funny looking creatures!) and even a fox. Right aligned photo tag:
It felt like heaven! Actually, Peninsula Valeds is heaven for animal loving people. We are so coming back! But next time in high season, when more animals are there (including the southern right whales!) and with a driver's licence. THis time we left it at home as we never rent cars when travelling. Here, this is a mistake. Tours are quite expensive, but they really offer only transportation and allow no flexibility. We learned our lesson.
Where I stayed