Sorry for the delay in writing about the rest of the ports of call on this cruise. We had our young grandchildren come stay with us and for any of you who have young grandchildren, you can probably guess that I went to bed right after they did. Fun times, great memories coupled with exhaustion.
Puerto Madryn was the other port we weren’t sure what to do. We had just taken a wonderful tour to see the penguins in the Falkland Islands which included a two hour drive to the penguins and then another two hour drive back. Many of the tours that were offered in Puerto Madryn, also entailed about a two hour journey. to and from the site. We planned nothing and was going to wait and see. We really didn’t want to have another four hour journey day. Remember, I said we planned nothing but as you know the best laid plans of mice and men go awry and so did mine.
The two excursions that I had been thinking about was Punto Tombo and Peninsula Valdes. On one hand I wanted to see all the wildlife that was available for viewing during this cruise and in my mind, if we were not able to make it to the Falklands then this would be the next spot. On the other hand, it would mean two long days.
With a friend cancelling out of her Peninsula Valdes excursion, I decided at the last minute (as we walked off the gangplank) that I would take her spot. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site and I find that I’m drawn to them. Since they have that designation they must be worthwhile. The mainly barren peninsula covers almost 900,000 acres of “headlands, salt water lakes, depressions and rocky cliffs jutting 30 miles into the Atlantic” (Princess excursion description). Blogger Hubby decided he would stay in port, take a walk around the beach and just explore on his own.
Friends and I were looking for the tour guides from the company that this excursion was booked with as they were holding the blue balloons – a very good visual for us finding them as the dock is quite congested. We all got into a mini bus and out the city we went. We passed desolate looking areas with very few homes. Very little in the way of services here. It reminded me of a desert area with some brush vegetation. We did spot a few guanaco herds that to me reminded me of alpacas though I think I read somewhere that they are in the camel family. We did stop in a Visitor Center and looked around at the exhibits that they had and purchased a few items in their small gift shop.
This was probably, for me, the most disappointing excursion that I had taken on this cruise. To be fair, I think any of the excursions would have been a disappointment after the penguin experience we had in the Falkland Islands. I found that the few penguins we saw, perhaps four, were behind a divider, which is not a problem. The other wildlife was so far away I had to use a zoom lens to try to see them. That was what was disappointing. The scenery along the coast was beautiful with bluffs that we looked down to the Atlantic Ocean. There was one area where we had a boardwalk but again, the animals were quite a distance away.
As you look through some of these photos that I took, you’ll see how high the bluffs are and where the wildlife is around the shore. In one spot, there were a lot of young sea lions and a few adults around a little tidal pool. We jokingly thought it was a sea lion day care center and the pups were learning how to swim in this tidal pool.
After our time here we had some time left over and we went to the little seaside town on Puerto Piramides to use the restroom, buy some ice cream or just stretch our legs. There really wasn’t much to see or do. Probably a 10-15 minute stop, if at all, would have been plenty. Following the stop we drove back to town.
By this time the wind was picking up somewhat and we weren’t surprised to hear that we wouldn’t be leaving on time. Even though our ship was tied up, the way the wind and water were moving, we kept hitting the dock. Eventually we left 7 hours later. With the late departure, we would have a later arrival in Montevideo, our next port of call.