Viva Valdez!

Just realised that this earlier blog didn’t go, so here it is in a slightly modified version.

Well the Peninsular Valdez was an experience! On the map of Argentina it looks like a ‘bubble’ on the coastline, about half way down. In reality it is a hugh desert wilderness which took us two full days to explore and we only managed to see about half of it. On Wednesday we drove to Caleta Valdez, about 100k each way on dirt tracks, to visit the only mainland breeding colony of Elephant Seals in the world –  and boy are they big! We also stopped off at one of the Magellanic penguin colonies and saw a few good birds and animals en route.

On Thursday 4th, we travelled back to Puerto Madryn, birding en route, ready for our early flight down to Ushuaia at the extreme southern tip of Argentina. If the weather here is anything to go by I don’t expect it’s going to be too warm! We had a brisk walk down the pier tonight and were greatly entertained by a pair of Giant Southern Petrels which kept ‘buzzing’ us at close range.

Friday evening. We’ve now arrived safely in Ushuaia and are installed in our cozy Aldea Nevada cabanas, complete with roaring stove, overlooking the Beagle Channel. On a brief walk into town this afternoon we saw a number of Dolphin Gulls, the most exquisite larids in the world! (Martin, if you are reading this, observe and weep!)

If the weather holds tomorrow, currently forecasting sunny with a high of 9 deg c., we hope to get a car and go exploring further afield – may get to the local rubbish dump and sewage outflow, with any luck!

..and now for some of those long promised photos:

…Gosh, is that a Southern Right Whale off the starboard bow?

..sure was, and here I am again with my calf (just 1 ton at birth and only 5m long!)

A Kelp Gull in the company of a ‘must see’ Snowy Sheathbill!

Believe it or not this shot was taken from the shore!

This weeks ‘caption competition’ – Two Elephant seals in the act of love-making…suggestions on a post card please!

…’I’ll be glad when these bloody tourists have gone home’

An Argentinian ‘dog-rabbit’ – otherwise known as a Maras

A splendid male Sea lion

Jane and Trevor on the front at Puerto Madryn

A superb Southern Giant Petrel doing a ‘fly-past’ at Puerto Madryn pier.

..a lovely Dolphin Gull on the Ushuaia waterfront

..and here’s one for my boys, prior to their arrival in ariel view with Sugarloaf mountain in the foreground, Copacabana beach and statue of Christ the Redeemer in the background.

Until next time…

4 comments on “Viva Valdez!

  1. Jane says:

    Gosh, is it Saturday night again already?

  2. Alternatively…..should have gone to Specsavers!

  3. Bryan says:

    Great news and fantastic pics – thanks. You are so fortunate to be seeing all these wonderful things so keep the camera working for us all at Christmas. All our love…

  4. Joshua Williams says:

    Wow Rio looks incredible! Any pictures of sun kissed bottoms though??

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