Puerto Madryn – penguins and whales

Written by Nadine Zangerle on . Posted in Argentina

We seemed to get used to the long bus trips and around 2pm we arrived in Puerto Madryn. Due to high season we ran from one hostel to another until we checked in a good one. Anna and Jenny found a close by hotel with private room and in the evening we booked together a tour for the next day. Punta Tombo and the Penguins were our goal.

In Punta Tombo is the biggest penguin-colony outside of Antarctica. 500 000 little Magellan Penguins nesting up to 1 km inland, laying two eggs per pair. They work as a team, while one partner is watching the nest the other one goes hunting for fish.

The next day we waited with 20 other tourists for our tour and when they called out Punta Tombo we four were the only one to step up. The rest were on the way to the Peninsula Valdes to see the whales and seals. With Fabian, our tour guide, we hopped in his Opel Zafira and enjoyed the private tour.

In Rawson we made a stop for the dolphin tour which Jenny had booked. Since we had seen so many dolphins already we saved the money for other trips. After 1 ½ hours she came back with a big smile and totally excited. She had not only seen dolphins but also whales. That was a great start for the day and we were happy for her. So let’s see the funny, little penguins.

And so it came that we wondered around 500 000 of those sweet animals, waddling to the shore with flat bellies and coming back with big bellies full of fish. Every time those Happy Feet take the exactly same route and when people got in theirs way they just stopped and waited until you gave the penguin some space. Michael couldn’t stop to take pictures and he already got concerned about the sorting of the pics. That’s the downdraft of the technical development with SD Cards.

After this fantastic experience we decided to drive to the El Doradillo beach from where you can see the whales playing in high tide. And just 15 m off shore we observed totally stunned 8 big beautiful creators. Two mothers with theirs calves where especially curious and we just asked ourselves who is observing whom.

This was a wonder of our world and exactly why this makes our trip so special!

The next day we had to say goodbye to Anna and Jenny whom we had been traveling together for nearly 3 weeks. We had a great time together and it was a strange feeling since we felt a bit like the four Musketeers. It is very rare that you can travel so long without further complication in a group.

Since the two were addicted to coffee - and we made sometimes fun of our coffee junkies - we had a last coffee together before we headed ours ways. Our next stop should be Salta, all the way up in the north of Argentina. Another long bus ride of 33 hours lay ahead of us. Let’s do it!

Accommodation: El Gualicho Hostel & Tours, Marcos A. Zar 474, Puerto Madryn,

Price: $ ARG 150 p.p., 4 bed dorm, shared bathroom, incl. breakfast

Comment: big, well organized hostel with tour agencies and cozy community room, garden with

Tour Operator: Southern Freedom – Turismo: Fabian Geor (English & Portuguese) –
http://southernfreedom.wordpress.comThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Ushuaia – the end of the World

Written by Nadine Zangerle on . Posted in Argentina

Here we are, the four of us with all our luggage, and looking for a place to stay. Even in low season it was not easy to find a hostel. Since the girls wanted to have a private room with bathroom they were looking a bit longer but finally came back to our hostel. Michael and I booked the four bed dorm since we were mostly lucky to have it to ourselves. Most people want to pay as little as possible and book them into the big dorm

For the next day we booked a boat tour around the Beagle Channel. In the morning we finished another report for our website to stay up-to-date and Michael transferred money to Ushuaia. Let’s see if it works as smooth as in Mendoza.

The boat was small so we enjoyed the trip with a few people, mainly Italians. Ushuaia, surrounded by the mountains, looked quite nice but the great part about the trip where the small islands with sea lions, cormorants and sea birds. We got really close so we didn’t really need the big lens. We still used it to see every single feather and hair.

Well you can imagine that we took plenty of pictures and the last evening we went out to eat the famous king crab. The three of us – Anna stayed in the hostel since she is vegetarian – enjoyed the fish better but at least we tried the crab.

In the afternoon we had tried to get our money - without success. The bank had a number system to confirm people and since Passports have a letter-number-combination they couldn’t confirm Michael. Means we had to get money from the ATM and have to try in Puerto Madryn again. With the money transfer we receive one third more than at the ATM.

Waiting for the money transfer half of the day we couldn’t go to the Tierra del Fuego National Park. That was a bummer but nothing to do about it. At 5 in the morning we jumped back in the bus to drive to Puerto Mandryn, to see whales and penguins. Let’s do the stamping marathon again with a 33 hours trip ahead of us.

Accommodation: Torre al Sur Hostel, Gobernador Paz 855, Ushuaia

Price: $ ARG 155 p.P., 4 bed dorm, shared bathroom, incl. breakfast

Comment: new and small hostel, really cozy chill out area. Could have more bathrooms (2 bathrooms
                 for each gender)


The trip to Ushuaia

Written by Nadine Zangerle on . Posted in Argentina

Here we are, back in El Calafate to buy our bus tickets into the South. Unfortunately the bus to Rio Gallegos - the connection station for Ushuaia - only leaves at 3 am. The four of us decided to get a 4 bed dorm to snooze a bit and close to the bus station we were lucky and found a good deal.

At 2:30 am we headed back to the bus station to get our first of 4 buses. The temperature outside and inside was only 4 degreas so we had a hard time to fall asleep concentrating on the cold. For sure this time I left my sleeping bag in the big backpack and it was happily traveling in the luggage compartment while I was freezing. 

I was hoping to crawl into the heater system and I was so desperate that I was willing to sleep in Michaels stinking shoes if I would fit into them. Michael took off the seat covers and put it over his knees. We were happy when we arrived in Rio Gallegos early morning to change buses.

And so we continued down to Tierra del Fuego and ended up in a record of speed stamping. Exit stamp in Argentina, entry stamp in Chile, taking the ferry, than exit stamp of Chile and entry stamp for Argentina again. The border controll had some hard time to find space in Michaels Passport but he just doesn´t want to start his new one. Trying to convince the officers they already stamped on pages which are not for the Visa Stamps. Well, he has the goal to fit all the stamps from South America in this Passport. Good luck with this!

Lately my language programm in my brain seems to have a malfunction. The Modul German, English and Spanish seem to mix randomly what is definitely a result of the lack of sleep we are getting in those long bus rides. So we babble happily and hope that our system will reboot some time.

Finally we arrived the End of the World after wearying 27 hours bus ride. Ushuaia is located in a bay, in the north towering the mountains. It´s the southernmost city in the world. So let´s find a hostel before we explore the town.