Elephant Seals, Southern Sea Lions and Orca´s ???
25.02.2007 - 26.02.2007 25 °C
We set off early to cross the Peninsula from Peurto Piramides. The road soon turned into a dirt track and since it was my first time on the tracks I obeyed the speed limits and trundled along at 60kph.
Roy, Steph and I had planned the route so that we´d end up in Puerto Norte at the North of the peninsula for about 2pm and headed directly there so that we´d miss most of the tourists... that was the plan anyway!
We arrived and the were greeted by a fairly tame Patagonian Fox (Which is very rare) and some even tamer Armadillo´s. Some photos were taken and we then set ourselves at the top of the cliff in the public viewing spot for the patient wait to see if the Orca´s would turn up!
The Sea Lions were interesting enough on their own and with Roy´s Lemon Tea, the frolicking of the sea lion pups and the posturing of the Male sea lions, the hours flew by.
Unfortunately, High tide came and went with not a whiff or Orca!
We checked in the Guarda Faunica office (which is right by the viewing spot) and apparently there had been about 12 Orca spotted two days earlier... so, seeing that it was getting close to the "Sea Lion Pup Chomping" time of year (End of Jan, Feb and early March) we thought we should be in luck!
We left about 5pm, miffed, but undaunted and trundled back via the Penguin colony just south of Puerto Norte. These little Guys were entertaining (if a bit smelly) and since you were virtually on top of the wee buggers... some quality shots were had! We then trundled back to Puerto Piramides for tea.
The next day we decided to hit the Peninsula from the South Upwards. Once again... the plan was to try and avoid the hordes of touristicos being ferried along the peninsula.
We arrived at Punta Delgada to find that the gate was shut and the notices stating that we were unable to enter the public viewing spot. Luckily Roy spotted some local guys, and found out that the public viewing area was just the other side of the gates and you were perfectly entitled to open the gate and drive the five minutes down to the public viewing spot.
This we did, although we did mutter on about how the hotel was taking a liberty by placing the gate literally on the road side of the public entry point! Obviously trying to be overtly exclusive... i.e. if you´re not in the hotel... you can´t get in!
The views from Punta Delgada were nice, however, you were quite a way up from the Elephant seals. However, this didn´t stop you from seeing how big the buggers were!
The ones we could see were Immature males and then were roughly about 2 tonnes and about 3 metres long. A full grown male can grow up to 6 tonnes and about 6 metres long !!! These things are massive (I might be a bit wrong with the numbers here but you get my drift!)
We then headed up to Caleta Valdes, which was North and about half way to Punta Norte. Here we were greeted by the masses of touristicos and their buses. We had a quick look at the sea lions, some Lemon Tea (kindly provided by Roy Again) and a sandwich and then headed up to Punto Norte for a second days´vigil!
Not a sausage !
However, the Armadillos and the Sea Lion pups did their best to entertain us in the meantime!
Feckin Nature I tell you !
Homeward bound and by now the speeds in the car were up to about 80kph and I´d started to overtake other cars.... although I know it´s not big or clever... it´s a hire car... what dýa expect