Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Last Day in Ushuaia to Puerto Madryn

Hello from Puerto Madryn. Since we last wrote we spent our last day in Ushuaia going to the Presidio which is now a musuem. It was originally a Spanish fort, and later housed a prison. There is an entire wing devoted to some of the old ships with very accurate models and a great deal of old maps from the first explorers.

This guy was hanging out outside of the musuem.

Here we have a map of Patagonia.

This was one of my favorites, note the "island" of California.

As this building used to be a prison, there were several exhibits about famous prisoners, how they were treated, their crimes, etc. At the time there was only a small village in Ushuaia, and some of the prisoners' families would come and live nearby. One wing of the prison is left completely as it was originally, and it was quite cold inside.

This guy was convicted of poisoning and killing his family and trying to cover it up in order to inherit a lot of real estate.

There were very few escape attempts from this prison. Those who did manage to escape were often found dead nearby, or trying to steal food from local villagers. It is said that some escapees even voluntarily returned to the prison as conditions outside were too harsh. As you can see, the guards were very serious.

After visiting the musuem and prison, Sarah was a little spooked by the prison-iness of it all. We decided to calm down by eating some cordero fueguino, or Fuegian lamb. This is basically traditional lamb grilled over an open fire. We also had some smoked lamb prosciutto beforehand. All was quite delicious. Afterwards we picked up some snacks for the bus ride the next day from Sarah´s personal shop.

Saturday we woke up bright and early to catch a 5:00 AM bus from Ushuaia to Rio Gallegos. This was a relatively short 12 hour trip through some gorgeous countryside. It snowed during the first few hours of the trip, but that didn´t stop the driver from screaming around high mountain passes with nothing but snowy cliff face below. Upon arrival in Rio Gallegos, we bought a ticket on to Puerto Madryn and had about an hour to kill in the bus terminal. They were kind enough to provide free wi-fi in the bus terminal while we waited. We then got on the bus at 6:00 PM headed for Puerto Madryn. 18 hours later, at about noon, we arrived. After a combined 30 hours on buses, we decided to relax a little bit. Also it was a Sunday, so much of the city was closed. Monday we did our usual city wander to orient ourselves, and we also checked out a few travel agencies since there is a lot of wildlife to go see nearby. We compared prices at a few agencies to what our hostel was offering and decided to go with our hostel yesterday to Peninsula Valdez. This was an all day excursion and we saw all kinds of animals.
Penguins swimming.

A dead whale being eaten by other local wildlife.

Here is a whale waving at us.

Taking a breath of fresh air.

No whalewatching trip would be complete without this view.

A little whale mating party.

A curious penguin.

Elephant seals and sea lions.

A really neat green Patagonian lizard.

There is the possibility of seeing orcas and poisonous snakes, however we did not come across either of those. We eventually came home last night and decided to try our hand at cooking some Argentine beef. Not surprisingly it was extremely delicious. I don´t even know what cut it was, we basically just got whatever the guy before us had ordered from the butcher. Needless to say, we now understand why Argentina is so famous for its meat. Today we were planning to take a walk down the beach. Supposedly there is more wildlife about 4 km down the road, however it is looking pretty cloudy right now, so we may change our plans. Tomorrow we head to Cordoba as the adventure continues. Happy Halloween everybody!!

1 comment:

  1. On to the good weather. And coming closer to LA every day now! Love dad