Puerto Madryn Day 8
I can have eggs benedict every day! I had to walk past the “feeding frenzy” at the front part of the buffet dining room and there it was –tucked away in a corner – a cook who makes “made to order” poached egg delights. No, he cannot make Eggs Pagan and he does not have back bacon, but there is Hollandaise sauce and he will give me extra (like Pagan does)!
Today, we docked in an interesting part of the world — Puerto Madryn. This city was founded by 150 Welsh immigrants and it was named after the estate of the trip’s financier, Sir Thomas Duncombe Love Jones-Parry after his estate in northern Wales. The immigrants wanted a chance to keep their culture, language and traditions alive – yet I think they may have been shocked at the desolate landscape awaiting them here at in the heart of Patagonia. Welsh is still taught and spoken in this area and you can see from some of the very simple churches and original buildings that there is still a very strong Welsh influence. There was also a native tribe living in this area, the Tehuelche, who were described as being very tall (the men around 7 ft., and women around 6 ft.), with very long, straight hair.
Puerto Madryn is also a gateway to the Valdes Peninsula, home of large colony of sea elephants, Punta Tombo, where you can see one of the largest colonies of Magellan penguins (upwards to 2 million), and Punta Loma, home to a large colony of breeding sea lions and sea birds.
I took a tour that included Welsh Tea in the little Welsh community of Gaiman, and then it was on to see the colony of sea lions – with a few coromonts thrown in for good measure! These birds are also called Rock Shags in this area. The tea was fun – and I now have a Welsh apron to add to the collection! And I got LOTS of pictures of the sea lions and birds – I’m even getting great shots of birds flying! It takes patience, something I seem to be exploring on this trip.
The landscape is very harsh – small shrubs, little water, and sand. But there is diversity in this landscape and some amazing plants. The weather is also very changeable – with the wind shifting quickly to the south, with brings much colder air. Seems strange to say that the cold air comes from the south!
I guess I should warn my friend now — You don’t want to know how many pictures I’ve taken …
While waiting for dinner, I saw a small group of sea lions at the pier, including one that was trying to get on the ship! OK, I tried to bring my new beau home, but security stopped him from boarding. It is all very sad and I will miss him.
Dinner was nice, as usual – crab cakes, broccoli-cheese soup, stuffed quail with mushrooms and truffle, and soufflé with Grand Marnier sauce, a special dessert from our waiter. Afterwards, I went to the show. It was a magic show “Kyle Knight & Mistie in Knight Magic” (www.knightmagic.com). The show was a lot of fun and very interactive.
Back at my bar, I got an Espresso Martini – trust me this will NOT keep you awake – and met a couple from Monterey California who are on their honeymoon and who travel a lot.