Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fleeing to the North

Alright! Things have been going pretty excellently here! We have finally made ourselves some decent ground to the north, and are hanging out in a pretty little town called El Bolson. It is really hippie orientated, and on thursday and today there was a great big market selling all sorts of hand made things. Lot and lots of cutting boards made out of wood, knit hats that turn to a point and are so long they touch your bum (uber hippie) , and chocolate. Mmm, and to my great delight we have found some berries here! It was awesome... the strawberries were alright, and the raspberries were very good. I was happy to gorge myself and soothe my berry addiction.

This morning I was pulled from my tent by the voice of our neighbours, one of them doing an excellent Towlie impression. Clare, you know what happened next, which made this next part so much tastier. For breakfast we walked to the market and ate a really delcious waffle, with blackberries, strawberries and rasberries, topped with whipped cream and icing sugar. So damn good, and something that you rarely find down here. In the guide book it says that the fair sells ´lots of cheap health food` but all it really sold were hamburgers, fries, meat sandwiches and snitzel sandwiches... very healthy indeed, a slice of tomato laid on grease. haha. We had checked out the market on Thursday when we arrove, so we decided to get a taxi out to a waterfall 10 km away from town, and spend a couple of hours hanging out there. It was really pretty there and we did some adventuring across the creek and around the waterfalls.

Going back bit farther, our time in Trelew was great. We managed to rent a car, even though there is only one company that rents to people younger than 25... ouch. So we coughed up a bit more dough and had our own car for the day, which was awesome. We got the car at 9 o'clock, and drove directly out to Punta Tombo. It was over 100 km out of town, some of it being gravol road, so it was a bit after 11 when we got there. We paid our entrance fee and were released onto a dusty path with a warning that it would take us 3 hours... what "it" exactly was we were still not sure of. What we were both expecting was this... walk for an hour or so down to the water, where we would see this giant penguin colony hanging out, walking around on the beach and swimming in the water, and if we were lucky they would walk up to the little wooden tourist fence that we would be hanging over and we would get a good close view. (It´s hilarious being on this side of the fence...we being the animals that they are trying to keep in). Here´s how it really went: Within 30 second of walking down the dusty path this little penguin was panting to the left of us, scaring the shit out of me really. It had it's mouth wide open and was panting into the sky, looking as if it were about to die from dehydration. My initial thought was that I was going to have to go over to the park ranger at the enterance and tell them that a poor penguin had wandered from the colony and was going to die out in the heat.... but as I looked around I realized what a tool I would have looked like if I had done that. All around us there were nests below the brush, and there were penguins dotted throughout the bushes, some sleeping, some walking around randomly, but most staying in the shade of the brush. I laughed to myself, thinking about the look on the rangers face when I explained to her about the penguin I saw with a look of distress on my face... so funny. As we walked on there became more and more of them, one of them walking along the board walk with us. It hissed at me... but most of them were really friendly and curious. They seemed to be molting, some of them having a crazy head of hair, looking like a mohawk or some other punky cut, and some of them just looking disheveled.

We got to see a whole lot of penguins that day! They were everywhere we looked. The best part was near the end of the park, where we made it to the edge of the ocean. There were two main overlookings, one of them you could see the penguins swimming in the water directly below, and man can they swim! For what flying they can't do in the air, they make up for it in the water... looking as if they were gracefully soaring through blue sky with such speed, not even flapping thier little wing stubs.... or whatever they are... flippers or such... Another really good view brought you down to a small bay with a couple hundred penguins on shore just muckng around and screaming at eachother randomly. There was also about 50 in the water, swimming around and fishing. It was really neat. There were so many penguins just hanging around that we both almost stepped on a couple, blending into the shade under thebush they are using as shelter.

After exploring Punta Tombo we jumped back into our Volkswagon Gol (no, that is not a typo... she's the Gol) and went to a small Welsh town closer to Trelew. It was pretty cool there, very small and quaint. We followed this big sign for a Welsh teahouse for ages, and it finally led us out of town and then down this dirt road...both of us wondering where we were going... until we arrove at this random castle like thing, with the big grounds all nicely kept. A stream flowed through the lawn, being trimmed at the time, and there was a big fountain in the middle of the path. There was also a giant pot of tea on the lawn, which was being painted when we left... random... When we got to the door there was this big ass sign informing us that Princess Diana had visited this teahouse some years ago. They were so proud! We went into the restaraunt where we were lead to a table, the same on as Princess Di I'm sure, and were told it was 45 pesos each for their spread. Kind of steep but we were into it. We looked so funny and out of place in this prim teahouse with the table cloths and pictures of princess Diana, and then me in my flannel and Orin sitting in the corner with his giant brown fro. Our waitress was about 70 years old, sweet as could be, and she returned shortly with a big pot of tea, full pink and purple hand knitted cozy. Along with tea we got 5 mini sandwiches, some white bread with a lot of butter, some jams and some scones. They were delicous. Then like 10 desert squares came after it, and we did our best to mow them all down... only later realizing that that is a bad idea in the first place. After leaving the crazy little welsh teahouse we went back to Trelew and promply picked up some veggies and other ingrediants for a good ol salad for dinner.

The bus ride to El Bolson wasn't that bad, as we had Cama seats, where there is somewhere to rest your legs, which seriously helps your comfort level when sleeping. We got in around 8 30 in the morning, and could see our breath. We walked too far for early morning Sage with backpack, and found a campsite. We set up our tent in the sun, and then fell into it for a nap. This turned out to be a terrible idea, as it is only cold when the sun is down here, and proceeded to spend the next couple hours in a sweating daze, half sleeping in our tent. We were exhausted from all of the early morning and random night travel. When we woke up we dragged our tent into the nearby forest, and things are much better now.

Well, that's how things are going... tommorrow we head to Barriloche, the big town about two hours north of here, and then up a little further to see a Volcano, and then back to Barriloche and across the border to Chile! I am looking forwards to the nice Chilean roads, but not the undecipherable language! And I am looking forwards to seeing my lovely friend the Pacific again!

Love to you all

1 comment:

  1. Hello my little penguin fans,

    Sounds like a great little adventure to the penguin colony. Are you able to actually touch them? I look forward to seeing the photos.

    The scene at the tea house reminds me of the TV show Survivors where the grubby contestants win a reward and get to go eat good food they haven't seen in weeks and then eat so much they feel sick.

    The fresh berries and waffles sound delicious and if I knew what a Towlie impression was, I would appreciate even more how good they were. I will have to ask Clare when I next see her.

    We still have snow here and have a $5 bet with the neighbours when the last square inch will melt.

    Dad says " I have nothing to say, my life is so boring in comparison, I just drive around in my new truck"

    Love you lots, mom and dad