April 03, 2011 GMT
Jean's big day out

After four days of progress north seeing nothing but flat pampas stretching from one horizon to the next, we finally reached the Welsh region of Patagonia at Trelew and decided to have a two night stop.

This meant that we had a chance to visit the largest penguin colony outside of Antarctica. Much to Jean's joy, although we are in the last 2 weeks of the fledgling season before they all migrate north to the sea off Brazil, there were still penguins to be seen.

Lots of penguins.

At the entrance as I was paying I heard Jean shout "look... penguins! "

I turned but all I could see were small bushes.

Both Jean and the park ranger stood next to me said "there, there, there , there ......."

The landscape was dotted with them.


Unlike our previous colony visit while in Punta Arenas where we saw 50 to 100 penguins, here there were tens of thousands.

The ranger made sure we understood that we had to stay on the path, keep a metre from the penguins and not to touch them, someone should have told the penguins all that.


They lolled about n the path, they walked across it and one pecked at me as we tried to cross a bridge that had been built to protect their walkway.


With all the wildlife we have seen on this trip living in their natural environments we both doubt that seeing creatures in a zoo will ever be the same again.

As we left the park we bumped into Cindy and Gert who we had last seen in Puerto Natales after spending 4 days with them on our boat trip to Puerto Natales.

A few minutes later on the dirt road out of the park we encountered Beto and Tracy who are also doing a long bike trip, who we last saw 2 months ago at Huacachina and the sand dunes in Peru.

Despite all taking very different routes, in different time frames, it never cease to amaze me how we keep meeting the same people.

Jean's big day out then continued with a side trip to a Welsh tea shop for a slap up "all you can eat" afternoon tea.


I think it is fair to say that she was a very happy bunny by the evening.


As I've already mentioned this part of Argentina is a flat and windy landscape, the wind was (and still is) blowing from the west causing us to ride with the bikes at an angle, much as if we are constantly turning left. At the end of each day we have stiff necks due to angle we have held our bodies.

At one point in the middle of nowhere I decided to stop and take some pictures so I could convey the emptiness.


While fumbling to get the camera out I dropped a glove, which immediately blew away. I quickly realised that I could not get off the bike as the wind was so strong it was starting to blow it over.

No matter how I tried to position the bike, it was never going to stand on its own. So there was only one thing for it - "lets go off road!". I had to ride across the pampas and stop next to the glove, stamp on it, and then show Jean just how flexible I was as I bent to pick it up while holding the bike upright.

It did mean I was in a good spot to get a picture of Jean though.


Argentina Pictures will be added here.

Posted by Bruce Porter at April 03, 2011 12:48 AM GMT

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