18th Jun 2012 - 25th Jun 2012 - Last Big One
Day One hundred and Thirty-four (Argentina)
So the end of our luxury two days came to an end far too soon, and we were on the road again. The hotel chauffeur took us to the train station and charged us double that of a taxi. We tried to buy our train tickets but couldn't, later found out they weren't charging because the train had to run slower due to the derailment we saw as we approached the city. Walked across to the bus terminal to store our big bags and got the tube across the city to pick up Martin's dive computer (which had been serviced). Had lunch then back to the bus station to get the 19:15 sleeper bus to Puerto Madryn, 18hrs south for £85 each! Had a close call in the bus terminal with a couple trying to nick Martin's bag with all the valuables in (laptop, camera, passports). I was on my own whilst Martin went to buy snacks for the journey, the girl distracted me while the bloke behind swiped the bag and started walking off, fortunately Martin saw and snatched it back... lesson learnt, never take your eyes off your bag!
Turns out we didn't need the snacks as we were served a three course meal with wine on the bus, and again breakfast before arriving at 13:30. Found a really nice hostel in town, but the doubles were pricey so had to go in a 6 bed dorm. Our accommodation saving was then wiped out by our mixed grill lunch!
Staying in the dorm made us realise how old we're getting, as the girl in the bed next to us got in at 06:30 our alarm to get up went off at 07:00! We did a tour along the Peninsular Valdes, mainly watching the Southern Right Whales up close from the beach and boat as the mothers came to give birth between June-Sept. The long drive to the elephant seal colony wasn't really worth it as they just slept on the beach!
Thursday we did a dive in the bay, hoping our frost bite would be rewarded with playful sea lions or a whale, no such luck! After 30mins the cold was just too much. Really enjoyed it though, and the hot chocolate on the boat back in was lovely.
Friday we moved to Trelew, a welsh settlement, which this time of year is a bit of a ghost town. Got another 30mins bus to Gaiman for welsh afternoon tea, where Princess Di ate no less! Felt sick after countless cakes and tea, and didn't eat for the rest of the day. Saturday we went to the Paleontology museum, then went to the bus station to get our 16:15 bus...which was cancelled. So we were told we were moved to the 20:15 which arrived an hour late and with no seats together. We were fed and watered and later got to sit together to have a sleep. The Patagonian countryside is extremely bleak, so spent a lot of the time reading. Until we were just leaving Santa Cruz bus station and heard a loud bang from under the bus...the suspension broke. A boring 3hr wait for another bus to be sent, and we were on our way again. We eventually arrived in Rio Gallegos 12hrs later than we were expected. Got the tickets for the last bus to El Calafate and had tea of emphandas and beer. Through snowstorms we arrived at our destination at 01:00..33hrs after setting off!!! Got a taxi to our hotel, where we had to wake up the staff, then to bed!
Got up for brekkie this morning, then back to bed to catch up on sleep. Just about to venture out in the snow for some food.
|20th Jun 2012 Close whale!|
|23rd Jun 2012 Getting directions from the locals!|
Whale saying hello
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