Our adventure has definitely begun. Our road south has been via the main route 3, down the east coast of Argentina with many side diversions.
The car and our camping set up are awesome. Having our own vehicle is definitely paying off as we are able to get to places off the main tourist route. Camping is not only more comfortable for us but is saving us a lot of money, and is offsetting our fuel costs.
Our first stops along the coast closer to Buenos Aires were not so impressive. The beaches were crowded with Argentine holidaymakers, and the waters were very polluted.
Peninsula Valdes was our first main destination. It is a protected national park with colonies of sea lions, elephant seals and penguins. We got to see all of these animals, including many sea lion pups recently born and juvenile penguins.
Good karma also came our way, finally. We stopped randomly alongside the road to walk to the cliffs edge to look at the coastline. As we looked down on a sea lion colony, a pod of 6 Orca whales breached the surface. We had an amazing view of them as they headed down the coast, actively hunting sea lions as they went. Words cannot describe the elation we felt. Keira and I did let out several loud “whoo hoos”, and we did a victory dance.
Our next stop was Punta Tombo where we got to see the largest Magellan penguin colony in South America. We literally got to stand within 3-4 feet of penguins. The hills surrounding the coast as far as the eye could see were covered with penguin families and their nests. Keira has mastered a penguin call and can imitate a pretty good penguin waddle.
Heading down the coast on a dirt road, we came upon an old cluster of buildings at an Estancia (farm) at Cabo Raso (cape Raso). This chance stop turned out to be an incredible experience. Cabo Raso is literally in the middle of nowhere, in a moon shaped bay with a rocky beach. The town was once a thriving town of 300 people however it was abandoned many years ago. The buildings were in ruin when Elaine (the current manager) happened upon it. She fell in love with the place and got a grant from the government to restore it. Eight years ago she moved there with her 3 children and partner, living totally off the grid, using solar and wind power, slowly renovating the buildings, and starting to accommodate tourists to receive some income.
Our stay there was wonderful. We camped, and actually used an old bomb shelter as our kitchen and dining room. Mike helped out around the farm doing repairs, and was even offered room and board whenever he wants in return for his services! He was very tempted to stay. We developed such a respect for the family, their way of life and what they were trying to achieve. We were invited to a family feast, which was a slow roasted whole lamb (asado) cooked over an open fire. Mike was in heaven!! We were struck by how loving the family was and how passionate they were about everything they experienced.
Cabo Raso was also where we first met Corina and Kye, a German couple travelling in a Westfalia van.
We immediately hit it off and have been travelling with each other ever since.
Other destinations were a Petrified Forest with trees over 1 million years old and Monte Leon, a national park on the coast with spectacular coastline, and penguin, sea lion and cormorant colonies. All the way down the coast we have seen Guanacos (Llama like animals), Rheas / emu like birds, foxes and peregrine falcons. Mike actually got to eat Guanaco, tastes like a cross between goat meat and lamb. He has been trying to run one down ever since!!
The countryside south of Buenos Aires was very dry, with little vegetation and very flat terrain.
The roads were well paved on route 3, with smaller roads being dirt ranging from few potholes to many.
Keira has been taking everything in, seeking out new friends whenever she can. In the absence of other kids she makes grown ups play tag, princesses and wrestle with her, and they do!!! She is learning new Spanish words everyday and is more willing to use the language as time goes on. Her clothes are constantly dirty and my pockets are full of feathers, rocks and shells. The school of life is educating her well. Until next time, MMK
Just a place to keep our mates informed on where we are at, and what we are up to.