March 18

We got to Puerto Madryn at about seven in the morning and headed over to Hostel Les Tounens, operated by a French Guy named Victor. This was probably the best hostel host we would have on the trip. Unfortunately, I can't say that Puerto Madryn and Peninsula Valdez were the greatest place on the trip.

We wandered around town by foot looking for breakfast. We ended up finding some little ham and cheese sandwiches at a Havana store. Then we rented a car at a steep rate (why so steep in these parts???) and headed off to Peninsula Valdez. The fee to enter the Peninsula was 100 pesos per person with an additional small fee for the car. This was something we had yet to experience in Argentina. The peninsula was a vast desert. I had never imagined going to see penguins in a place that resembles Baja, California. But indeed, this is where we saw the penguins.

Terry got sleepy from the boring landscapes (though at least there were lots of sheep, llama-like guanaco, and emus). So he let me drive on the boring dirt roads, since with my limited manual transmission experience he did all the other driving. We stopped for lunch in a town on the peninsula called Puerto PirĂ¡mides. The seafood was sadly not that great. But at least the water color on the beach was beautiful.

Then we headed to a couple of points on the peninsula where we indeed saw some Magellanic Penguins, sea lions, and a handful of elephant seals. There was also some interesting bird life, for the bird-viewer.

We headed back after a long day, and relaxed in a hostel room we had all to ourselves (so we did some clothes washing). We also went out to a nice restaurant and had a delicious parillada before returning and going to sleep.

March 19

We woke up after a great sleep in our private room, a room with plenty of plugs to also recharge my consumer electronic devices! We returned our car, strolled the town, and bought some lunch meats and cheese to prepare our own sandwiches. This was a nice change from going out to eat.

But time was up, and soon we were on another lengthy bus ride. This would be our last bus ride as we headed to Buenos Aires for our last few days of vacation. The bus ride showed some good movies, and then it was time for some zzz's.

Puerto Madryn