Tag Archives: Argentina

March of the Penguins

Click on a photo below and scroll through to see our day of penguins.

 

Three weeks ago, we arrived in Puerto Madryn, Argentina just in time to see the molting Magellanic penguins at Punta Tomba reserve on the Peninsula Valdez. It was strange that the day was so warm and the beaches so sunny.   After Tierra del Fuego, we expected to see penguins while wrapped in ten layers of warm clothing. But it was beach weather, and the penguins just wanted to play in the water and hang out in shady spots (They particularly like to gather under the footbridges.)   It was incredible to be able to see so many penguins.   These are the last weeks here, as they finish molting and ready themselves to head north and follow the anchovies to warmer water.

In addition to all the penguins, we got to see a Choique (Darwin’s Rea), an ostrich-like bird, as well as several Guanaco, who seem to like hanging at the preserve where they are far from hunters. We felt really lucky–it was a very special day, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.   Enjoy the pictures!

 

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The end of the world-Tierra del Fuego

We landed in Ushuaia, Argentina after cruising some amazing territory.

The highlight here was our trip to Tierra del Fuego National Park, after a drive through the Pipo River Valley. The park was created to protect the southern portion of sub-Antarctic forest. It rambles through the Andes and the region’s forests, rivers, lakes and peat bogs. We saw some gorgeous scenery, although the weather wasn’t great for bird-watching. But we did see an Andean Condor as well as crested ducks and brown pintails. We encountered quite a few of the endemic Fuegian red fox, too. The Pan American highway ends here–it begins in Alaska. I wonder how many have traveled its length through two continents? I’m not sure that will ever have a place on our bucket list—that’s a long road trip!

Here everything is the “southernmost” — the “fin del mundo” (end of the world) is definitely something locals brag about. We sent post cards from the southernmost post office at Lapataia Bay (actually postmark of “fin del mundo”) We passed through the southernmost settlements, saw the southernmost rugby and soccer fields, the southernmost golf course, and drank our southernmost glass of wine. It was pretty cold, this close to Antarctica, but not too bad, at least not after a New England winter.

And when we sailed away, we were rewarded with a beautiful rainbow over the water. Unforgettable.

After leaving Ushuaia, we rounded Cape Horn—the southern tip of South America. The weather wasn’t clear, but the winds were friendly enough for us to circle past twice—from east to west and then back around west to east–a very nice thing for the captain to do. Sadly, the photos don’t do it justice but you get the idea.

Click on any photo below and use the arrows to scroll through the slide show.