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Patagonia North to South
Written by sophie et jeremy   
Friday, 12 January 2018

Everyone knows it : there's a lot of wind in Patagonia. Indeed, you must be prepared before arriving there, but living it is so much different ! And that's at least one entertainment in Patagonia, because it looks falt and monotonous : no trees, no mountains, no lakes, only pampa and few oil rigs. Fortunately, there are also thousands of wild guanacos, nandus (ostriches), seals and penguins !

wind wind

As soon as Sophie's mother arrive, we can fix the car with the parts she's bringing. Then, we start driving south across Patagonia along the Atlantic coast : 1800 km on the road #3 up to Ushuaia, the city of the end of the world.

ruta 3 ruta 3 moutons ruta 3 moutons ruta 3

Our first stop is at Cabo do bahias, a nature reserve for magelanic penguins. They are the same than in Vades, but they are many more. We can see them close, nesting, hatching eggs, walking around, dozing at the sun, going to the beach to fish or to play in the waves. We still can't sea orcas, but few dolphins, and still a lot of guanaocos and nandus.

penguin 1 penguin 1 monte leon monte leon

Cabo do bahias 1 Cabo do bahias 1 Cabo do bahias 2 Cabo do bahias 2

Cabo do bahias 3 Cabo do bahias 3 Cabo do bahias 4 Cabo do bahias 4

After, few hundred kilometers, we visit a thousand-years-old petrified forest. There were once araucaria trees some millions years ago, slowly turned into stone after a volcanic eruption. They still keep the shape and look of wood, but they are now all mineral, impressive! And the whole valley is gorgeous.

petrified forest petrified forest

In Puerto san Julian, we visit a replica of Magellan's boat. The first feeling is the small size of this boat, they definitively must have be unconscious to sail across the oceans on so small and weirdly shaped boats. Actually, over the 5 boats of the fleet, only one came back home. We later drive on a small track along the shore. At the bottom of the cliffs, some seals swim in the turquoise water, and many locals enjoy a barbecue during this sunny sunday.

Magellanes Magellanes flamant flamant

camino costaneria 1 camino costaneria 1 camino costaneria 2 camino costaneria 2

Still going south, we visit 2 more "pinguinerias". The more interesting was at Cabo virgines, the south eastern corner of the continent. More than 60.000 couples nest here for the season. We are lucky, most of the eggs have hatched and we can see the new born fed by their parents because their new feathers are not waterproof yet. There’s a lot of traffic here, hundreds of penguins come and go to the beach. We spend some time looking and laughing at them, walking with their clumsy style. On the minus side, as the area is petrol rich, the colony is surrounded by oil and gas plants, and the road was one of the worst.

gallegos 1 gallegos 1

gallegos 2 gallegos 2 gallegos 3 gallegos 3

The next day we cross the Chilean border, they are still tiresome with fresh food, and take some vegetables from us.

Soon after we take the ferry across the famous Magellan's strait to the Tierra del fuego. There are, as usual, very strong winds and currents.

 

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