Luckily right before I arranged my trip down to Chile, I also contemplated how the heck to get back up north. It had taken me several weeks to work my way down to this point in Patagonia now the trick was to find a way back up. Since busing it all the way up will no doubt take at least 3 days straight. I decided to fly part of the way. I went to LADE, which is an Argentinean company operating in Patagonia and has flights up to Buenos Aires.
It was fairly difficult to find anything up to B.A. everything was fully booked. So right there standing in front of the attendant I decided to make a pitstop on the Northern Patagonian region (on the Atlantic coast this time). I knew that the national park outside of Puerto Madryn had the biggest Penguin colony outside of Antartica. Flights to P. Madryn and nearby Trelew were fully booked as well but I managed to find a flight to Comodoro Riv. (4 hours South of Trelew). Since my options were limited I bought the ticket right there and then and went next door a bus booking company and purchased a bus ticket for the rest of the journey up to Trelew.
The day of my flight, it was pure madness. Areolineas Argentina (which isn’t even an Argentinean company, from Spain) was on strike and numerous delays. So you can imagine the matchbox of an airport in the small town of El Calafate and lots and lots of angry tourists. I was thankful I wasn’t traveling with them. Especially since they charge 3 times as much as LADE and apparently provide worse service on top of that. But due to their incompetence, all other airlines suffered as well. Here I was thinking I was on top of things. For the first time ever in this trip I had pre-purchased a bus ticket before arriving to that city. My trip thus far has been planned city by city. It was kinda ironic, the first time I plan ahead, something like this happens. I thought I had a lot of wiggle room to get to the airport in Comodoro to the bus terminal to get to Trelew. But the delays continued. Luckily we made it out and bargained with a cab driver at the airport to shoot straight for the terminal. THANKFULLY, I made exactly 3 mins before the bus was set to leave.
I arrived in Trelew around 10pm and headed for a small hotel I had quickly looked up. Honestly it was the worst place I stayed at and the most expensive. But since it was late and close to the terminal I paid without much argument. I was very thankful I took a shower at night as there was no water in bathroom in the morning. Angry as I was I packed up my things, paid and left find an internet cafe to update the parentals and wait for the bus to see the penguins at Punta Tombo.
Finally with some decent internet connection I was able to add more updates and upload photos yesterday. I got a bit carried away and completely lost track of time. Realizing I had only a few minutes to get to the terminal to go to Punta Tombo, I packed my things in a haste and like an idiot forgot my camera at the internet cafe!!!! I was extremely depressed throughout the ride and the excursion to see the little waddling critters. Unfortunately no pics for this one.
One thing i must say, penguins smell, no they outright stink! and are fairly snappy. A man got pecked by one. On the way back we stopped in the small village of Gaiman for a little bit of Whales in Argentina. This city and surrounding region was settled by Welsh settlers. We stopped in a Welsh tea house and were stuffed with unlimited tea and Welsh desserts. Returning back I made what seemed to be a lost endeavour to find my camera. I was thinking for sure someone had stolen it by now. I was extremely surprised when I returned to the internet cafe to find that someone found the camera near the computer and gave it to the shop attendant. I was so relieved!
From there I went straight to the main bus terminal to find a way up to B.A. I asked around the various companies and luckily there was a service leaving 30 mins from when I came to inquire. I bought the ticket and boarded the bus immediately.
17 hours later, I arrived here in B.A. and to be honest I really wish I was back south in Patagonia. I don’t think I can stand B.A. for too long. Don’t get me wrong it is a great city but after the surreal experience with Patagonia´s natural wonders, I don’t think the buildings and roads of BA can suffice or even come close.
the london crew said:
walahi ya hobbi it sounds incredible!! i love you descriptions and the pictures. this is really a trip of a life time.we are doing good. i decided to take a page out of your sponteniaty book and bought a flight to cairo to meet mama and manar for a week of fun adventures with ooncle mohamed. its going to be totaly nutters!!love,m