Puerto Madryn, Argentina.
Pochoclos, Garrapiñadas; Treats by the beach on the Atlantic coast of Patagonia, in the Welsh-Argentine town of Puerto Madryn, from where the boats leave for nearby Puerto Piramides, and the whale watching adventures.
The "Sea Dogs" are safe from surprise Orca atacks this time of year, fortunately for them, unfortunately for us. April is the time to see the Orcas in their majesty. I shall return to see them some day. For now the Right Whales provided much entertainment, as they rolled and played in the water, slapping the surface with their flippers, and diving with their tails in the air. One did a vertical breach, but I wasn't fast enough to catch him as he waved goodbye with an upward surge out of the depths.
While in Puerto Madryn, accommodation was provided by La Tosca Hostel - quite simply unbelievable value for money - and again, as is the norm here in Argentina, we were catered for by very friendly staff, who would bend over backwards to accommodate their guests. How good this hostel is cannot be overstated in all fairness, the rooms were beautiful high wooden ceilings arranged around a courtyard, and a great breakfast area where they served the home-made 'anti-nutritional' traditional Argentine cakes with coffee each morning, quince, dulce de leche, and sweet potato jam toppings, along with apple sponge.
The entire town engenders an atmosphere of mutual support around the tourism industry, and those that come for Whale watching expeditions. Great care is taken to mind the wildlife, and when we saw a sea-Lion tangled in fishing rope, one of the expedition team rang the coast guard wildlife specialist to notify them of the problem. Good on them.
La Tosca hostel courtyard, peaceful tranquil haven in the lovely town of Puerto Madryn.
San Guchito (Sandwich phonetically in Spanish) the Saint of Sandwiches smiled on us as we relaxed over Milanese sandwiches and fresh fruit drinks. Tastiest meal ever.
Look at his little angelic face. Nothing but pure goodness in this restaurant.
A meal fit for Royalty after a long day outside in the fresh sea air
The South American Copa played on San Guchito's TV. EVERYONE in the restaurant enjoyed the game between Brazil and Peru. The beautiful game topped off a lovely few hours in this great local eatery, before we headed home on the bus to Neuquén again.
Arriving back in Neuquén, we are again greeted with a blockade of protesting fruit farmers, who have stopped all private traffic from crossing the Rio Negro travelling east-west. An effective peacful demonstration at their dissatisfaction towards national policy on competitive commercial strategy. It means we walk to and from the bus station, rather than being dropped at the door. You've got to hand it to them. Here's to my brothers in their struggle: