23 Jan 2018

Boring Roads, Amazing Wild Life

7 days on and we have finally found a camp site that feels like a camp site rather than a refugee camp. The weather has continued to be hot, but now we have done 1800 miles the temperature has dropped a little and is cooler at night, when the wind blows it can be quite cool and in the last hour it has clouded over and is getting quite cold, I might have to put trousers on!

As we entered Patagonia the farm land gave way to grassland and that soon changed to scrub, it is very flat and the roads are dead straight for miles, so very boring driving, but we do get the odd armadillo scurrying across the road and there are quite a few Rhea (small ostrich) and Guanaco (similar to a Llama) grazing along the side of the road. The difference is that if you stop the Guanaco will just stand and look at you and wander slowly away if you get too close. The Rhea will set off at speeds of up to 30mph as soon as you slow down. There is a YouTube video of a Rhea chasing a cyclist and his mate filming it from behind, hilarious!

Patagonia is an area where a lot of dinosaur remains have been found (and are still being found) and there is a museum in Trelew with an amazing number of dinosaur skeletons from the size of a dog to the size of a church, after the museum we stayed in a run down camp site in what is supposed to be a Welsh village a few miles off route at Gaiman, but other than a few welsh flags dotted about it was pretty much the same as anywhere else and nobody speaks welsh or English.

We have now visited 2 wildlife parks, Reserva faunistica Peninsular Valdes and Punta Tombo, with Trelew and the Dinasaur Museum in between. We have around 1,000 miles still to go to get to Ushuaia at the bottom and a few more wild life parks to visit on the way, so prepare for lots moe Peguinos.

At last I can add to my collection of road signs
And no sooner had we seen the sign and Guanaco (Patagonian Llama) appeared.

Our first Magellanic Penguin

Elephant Seals, taken from quite a distance on full zoom so unfortunately not so clear. These are females as the males are 100's of miles out to sea fishing at this time of year and the males grow to 5 times the size of the females with more pronounced trunks.

A penguin on the cliff looking down at others on the beach, makes you wonder why they bother to waddle up a cliff,

Mother with 2 chicks pestering her for food, but she is doing her best to ignore them. Almost as big as she is they will soon lose their baby feathers and set off to sea to fish in a couple of weeks.

This little hairy armadillo was skittering about the car park looking for dropped food, not a bit scared of people

Sea Lions, the male (with the mane) with his harem of between 4 and 15 females

Sea Lions as far as the eye can see

This life size model is at the entrance of Trelew, its enormous, you can just see someone stood in front of it front legs

A dog size dinosaur in the museum

Camping in the Fire Station camp site at Gaidon, most of it was overgrown, but we managed to find a nice shady corner

A Rhea from the rear, we saw loads, but this was the nearest I could get with the camera, must try harder.

This was at the strart of the walk ways around the park

and no sooner had we seen the sign but one obligingly walked across in front of us
Makes it more difficult when they walk down the walk way

Especially when they stop to have a look round
Penguins everywhere

This one was really strutting his stuff

Penguins on the rocks

Penguins for miles around

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