Gateway To Peninsula Valdéz
At the airport in Trelew, we rented a car and went straight north to Puerto Madryn, the small town at the entrance of the Peninsula, a 65 kilometers ride on a perfectly straight road crossing northern Patagonia. Here we got a first taste of what the landscape in this area of Patagonia is like: flat like a pancake with low growing bushes, extremely monotonous no matter which direction you go. Well, nobody comes here for the flora but for the whales, guanacos, sea lions, sea elephants, penguins and lots of other wildlife!
In Puerto Madryn a stop at the “Ecocentro” is a must. This museum explains the ecosystem in and around Peninsula Valdez, thus enabling the visitors to understand what they are about to see during the next two to three days. In the evening we went to Punta Loma, a few kilometers south of Puerto Madryn, to see a colony of rare sea lions. The “machos” or male sea lions have a long mane of hair, similar to a lion. They keep a harem of females that constantly need to be defended against rivals. It is quite a sight to see these huge, bulky animals compete with each other: a very noisy undertaking, with lots of shoving and threatening postures. And despite their weight they move quiet fast!