11/2004 - Argentina 3rd part, the Valdes Peninsula and Punta Tombo
20-day trip to Argentina visiting Buenos Aires, the Parana Delta , Island of Martin Garcia , Delta del Tigre , Salta, Cafayate, San Salvador de Jujuy, Quebrada de Cafayate, Quebrada de Humahuaca, Purmamarca , Tilcara, Maimara , Iguazu Falls, Trelew , Puerto Madryn, Peninsula Valdes , Puerto Piramide , Caleta Valdes, Punta Delgado , Punta Tombo , Patagonia, Lake Argentino, El Calafate, Puerto Bandera, Glacier Spegazzini , Onelli , Bolados , Agassiz, Upsala and Perito Moreno Glacier, Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia , Baja Lapataia , Beagle Channel
At Trelew airport we were greeted by the guide Pino Salvagnini who is not only Italian but also Venetian ! He is the owner of the travel agency “ Patagonia Totale” and he only works with the Italians . We spoke in Venetian dialect , it seemed to be back home ….
He suggested us the restaurant ” Cantina El Nautico ” where we ate their best dish , the ” Cazuela de Mariscos” (seafood casserole). Do not miss it! The following day we started to visit the Valdes Peninsula . Pino arrived with his Jepp 4×4 5,000 cc. and began to cross the wide and endless dirt roads, a trip full of andrenaline shock because the jepp ” floated” on the dirt road at 140 kmh .
As a good Italian, Pino was wonderful in showing us everything at its best.
So, we got on a boat , the only adults in the middle of a class, for a whale watching ride in the sea.
We went on inside the Peninsula and met the numerous local wildlife: guanacos, partridges, rhea birds (similar to a small ostrich ), Patagonian hares (called Mara) .
There are many cows and horses, but the plain is mostly full of Merino sheep . We reached Salina Grande (Big Saline) and Salina Chica (Small Saline), so rich in salt to be white, at an elevation of 42 meters below sea level. In Caleta Valdes we enjoyed the beautiful landscape where numerous sea lions and elephant seals live. We continued to Punta Delgado returning then to Punta Piramide where we could admire the acrobatics of whales. We made another unexpected stop along the beach Doradiglio: whales were swimming at a short distance from the shore.
The next day we went to the Natural Reserve of Punta Tombo where half a million of Magellanic penguins live and have their dens even two kilometers inland. It’s a continuous coming and going towards the sea because, in every penguin couple, one stays brooding while the other goes to sea in search of food .
Before returning to Trelew, we stopped in Gaiman, a town of Welsh origins, and in the famous ” Ty Gwyn ” guest house we consumed a meal of homemade cakes and sandwiches with butter . In Trelew we visited the Paleontological Museum Egidio Feruglio (an Italian) where you can see several millions-year-old fossil findings. Among these, the Agnatos Fish , a fish in formation dating back to 490 million years ago.