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Puerto Madryn south

Written on: Tuesday January 22nd, 2008

So it was finally time to leave Puerto Madryn and the terrible campsite we had stayed at for a week or so. A fine grey dust filled the air all the time, it got everywhere no matter how I tried to avoid it. You woke up in the morning with the taste of it in your mouth and if you clenched your teeth you could feel it everywhere. Why didn't we move? Well once u unpack the bike and set up the tent that is where u stay. There´s no moving! We did really like this town. The night before we headed off we went out to get a steak dinner, we felt we achieved a good bit in this town. We found a restaurant on our way into town that had really good quality dance music playing, the sign of a good resturant no doubt. So we ate there, food as good as its music and cocktails as good as its food. On the way home I noticed a Club-Disco open so we went in there for a bit longer.. The next morning I had some last minute things to organise and my hungover head made them all the tougher to achieve. Peadar was packed up and he left town a few hours before me. We were only heading about 150ks south to the Penguin colony of Punta Tombo, I said Id meet him there. Once off the main rd I made my way down the dirt rd to the reserve, at this stage Peadar had been waiting there for a few hours. I walked down the path towards the beach where all the penguins come ashore. This is the largest Magellanic Penguin breeding colony in the world. There are up to half a million of them here. The most of one creature I can remember seeing in one place ever. I took an unprecedented amount of photos here. Peadar's hopes that I could get down to the beach and back in 45 minutes were not to be as I managed to take over a hundred photos in the hour and a half I was there. They are great creatures, they really make you smile and laugh as you watch them waddle along. They are absolutely everywhere as far as the eye can see, babies and adults, sleeping, squeaking and plodding about. The warp speed that they move at as they cut through the waves is really astonishing. I though we might camp here but there were no facilities or petrol, which was probably gonna be an issue as I hadn´t topped up since I left Puerto Madryn but I did have my new 3.9 litre jerrycan full.
So we left the reserve and when we got back to the main rd it was starting to get dark. We were going to look for somewhere out of view of the road to camp, not easy with this barren flat terrain surrounding us on all sides. But hey presto an abandoned quarry by the side of the road. Perfect! We set up the tents just a few metres from the road but were completely hidden from view . After we did a short recce of the area we checked our reserve food; soup, potatoes, onion, etc... real student type food! We had trouble getting the camp stoves working, a short while later we took some petrol from Peadars tank, but the stove still wouldn't start. We gathered what little wood there was around us and got a fire going, soon we were enjoying a quality campo soup flavoured with every spice from the foodbag and of course hunger to sweeten the deal.
The next morning there were a lot of figures and calculations going through my head. I had emptied the jerrycan into my tank and we had 77ks to go or something like that. It was going to be close, real close. Peadar had filled up after me yesterday so could go further but he hadn't filled up his brand new jerrycan. I wasn't sure if we were going to make it to the next station. Miles faded away behind us and Peadar pulled in to switch to reserve with just under 30 miles to go (reserve typically about 20miles). I knew he wasn't going to make it but he kept saying he would, "It´ll be grand" and such.. 23 miles into his reserve with about 4 miles to go Peadar came spluttering to a stop. "TOLD YOU SO" ; ) I went on, filled up my fuel and brought Peadar's jerrycan back to him. Now!.. remember the gas stove last night, If we hadn't put fuel into that we probably could have both made it but what harm, just another small delay. At the petrol station we met 20 Japanese bikers heading north, they were accompanied by a support vehicle and there was some guy in charge of the group shouting orders. I started talking to one of them, he seemed quiet old for overland biking but he was full of life and told me about their annual tours to different parts of the globe. Each year he said a few have to go home with injuries and this year they were carrying two bikes in a truck from riders that had fallen. What a really nice guy, smiles of happiness and goodwill beaming from his face. The Japs are great!