EAST SIDE ARGENTINA - PUERTO MADRYN

Trip Start Dec 03, 2008
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15
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Trip End Oct 14, 2009


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Flag of Argentina  , Patagonia,
Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wow, so we got a little behind, sorry.  Enjoy!!!

We are now in Puerto Madryn and it's a great coastal beach town in the Patagonia. We are only a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and a beautiful beach. We are technically in the desert, but doesn't really seem like it. It's very laid back here and not much going on...prefect for us for a few days.

The hostel we are staying at is great in a lot of ways. It has a big kitchen we are making great meals in. Last night Brian grilled up some Argentinean steak! Also, there is a nice garden area with a hammock and lounge chairs to relax in and chill out. Our rooms are a little different story. The first night we had to stay in a room with a bunk bed. Yippee. At first, neither of us wanted the top bunk, but when it came down to it...we both did. Anyway, I let Brian have it as I figured what goes up, must come down.  The room was only as wide as the bed (6 feet) and poor Brian couldn't even stretch out in at straight line (and I just barely could). But we really did like the room I guess, it opened up right out into the garden.

The next night we moved into a double room. Just a little bigger but we both could fully stretch out on a very comfortable bed and we are on the second floor with a great view of the garden and moon. We had hopes of going to the beach today but this morning it has been raining - I guess that's a good thing - so I can update this blog!

When we first walked down to the beach, we were surprised at how big and empty it was. It was at high noon and the tide was out. When we returned later in the day around 5pm, the tide had come in and there was only a few 100 feet of beach and there wasn't one empty spot on the sand. All the locals arrive about 3pm and stay until around 8pm.

There are all sorts of wildlife in this area too. Just outside of town is Peninsula Valdes with a penguin colony of over 1,000,000, multiple sea lion colonies, as well as dolphins and whales. We are going to try and get out to see some but it is a bit restrictive and expensive to get close access since they are heavily protected, plus we are hoping to come across some in New Zealand. Yesterday we walked out to the EcoCenter that had all sorts of information about the local Patagonian coastal wildlife. Pretty interesting stuff.

Today we went back to the beach (again, not much to do in the area). The tide was out when we got there and put our stuff close to the water so we could keep a good eye on it. After just 5 minutes I looked back and noticed the water had already reached our stuff. We ended up having to take turns every 10 minutes to move our stuff higher up on the beach. Once when I was on my way back into the water this little baby (maybe 1 year) who was playing in the sand stood up and started screaming. His parents were no where to be found. He was upset because the water was literally up to his waist as he was playing. I felt so sorry for him. Another lady spotted me and we both took him and all his parent's belongings and his toys and moved them a little ways up the beach. As I was doing this I saw them coming in from the water. Way to keep an eye on your child! When we got back we cooked up a huge meal and saw the biggest moon of 2009 (according to Yahoo.com). It was beautiful.

We've had the hardest time at the grocery store here. To get beer you have to pay a bottle deposit - which was fine, but when we went back (with plenty of empty bottles - from Brian) to get our money on our way to the bus station, they said we only had a store credit and we had to buy something. Again, no problem, we needed some water. After waiting in line for 20 minutes (I would say this is the average wait time in even the fastest grocery line), I got to the register and they said the credit only works for buying more beer. Great...it's just a never-ending cycle. So, it's official, every town we have been to in Argentina has different deposit rules about buying beer. At least back in Iowa it's a consistent refundable .05 deposit. Brian has just started drinking more wine so we don't have to mess with it.

While I was inside dealing with the deposits, Brian may have seen one of the coolest things ever. When he was standing outside he said a car drove by with a large black dog standing on the roof...barking!!! (think Micheal J Fox in Teen Wolf).  He said it just was standing still on top of this moving car looking from side to side, barking. Wish we had a picture of that one.

Pollards, you'll be happy to know that I believe Snuggles's (Devil Cat) cousin must live down here. The other night we were in our room with the door open when we heard this absolutely terrible screaming cat. It must have been on the first floor tin roof. The sound was awful. I got up just in time to shut the door as I saw one of the cats run by. I'm fairly confident it would have ran into our room and scratched my eyes out. So tell Snuggies, his cousin says hi.

All in all, this was a pretty good town for some R & R, but we're ready to get going again.  Next we are heading north to Viedma (ultimately to Buenos Aires). We are really looking forward to the 18th when Brian's mom, Susan, is coming to visit us in Buenos Aires for a week!!! It will be so nice to have another woman to talk to (and who speaks English)!!!
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