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Steve & Loz’s Travel Diary

Monday, 13 Aug 2007

Location: Península Valdés, Argentina

MapPuerto Madryn - my first ever glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean and the jumping off point for seeing the whales off nearby Península Valdés, and let me tell you, they did not disappoint!

We jumped on board the standard tourist effort which took in other sights and sounds of the peninsula (a lone elephant seal, seal lion colony, wild guanacos), but it was the huge population of southern right whales that stole the show. We didn't have to venture too far offshore before we were literally surrounded by a pod of these amazing 16 metre giants. They migrate annually to the food-rich waters just off the east coast of Argentina to mate and give birth. An estimated 500 whales were cruising around the peninsula during the time we were there. Thanks to deft maneuvering by our captain and genuine curiosity on the part of the whales, at times they were in an arms length of the boat. It was one of those times you wish you had the SCUBA gear on board to jump right in with them - an unforgettable wildlife experience.

It is such a shame to think these beautiful creatures are hunted, slaughtered and are becoming endangered all in the name of 'science'. But I can't be too mad at the Japanese considering "Mysterious Cities of Gold" was the whole reason I came to this continent in the first place.

Speaking of that - Mendoza, here we come! (Far and away my best lead-in yet...)