Tag Archives: sand

Spring break! (Part 2)

Standard

Stop #3: Puerto Madryn/Punta Loma, Chubut (4h south of Las Grutas)
As previously mentioned, we began to hypothesize that the further south one travels, the landscape becomes more beautiful and the people more bizarre. This theory was infallibly proved in Madryn, where our campsite was a forty minute walk from any semblance of civilization (lugging groceries uphill through sand dunes is a character-building experience!) and by the time we got to town, everything was closed for a five-hour siesta in the middle of the day. In addition, the ocean smelt weird here!
However, Madryn will forever hold a irreplaceable place in my heart since it was in Madryn that we were picked up in a beat-up 4WD, with our backpacks wedged into some kayaks on its trailer, and drove to Punta Loma with José (a Madryn native) and five other Argentines. There, we paddled our kayaks into the vast blue ocean, only pausing when, after about an hour, we heard the incredible noise of a colony of lobos de marino – sea lions!

20111028-220203.jpg

20111028-220437.jpg

Kissing lobos! 🙂
20111028-220709.jpg

No zoom was used in the making of this picture!
20111028-220814.jpg

The huge macho (male lobo) surrounded by his harem (Apparently women’s lib has yet to come to loberías)
20111028-222322.jpg

When you’re in the middle of the ocean with a bunch of Argentines, what else do you do but stop and drink mate?
20111028-221230.jpg

Stop #4: Puerto Pirámides, Chubut (1.5hrs east of Madryn)
Just when we thought nature could astound us no more, we found ourselves in this hamlet of maybe 30 buildings, setting up our tent in the middle of a sand dune. We set out on a 5km hike with nothing but a single sign and the hesitant words of the campground guy to guide us. We spent at least half the hike wondering if we were going in the right direction (turns out we were!), but not even caring. From the top of a completely deserted plateau, with the ocean surrounding us on three sides, and the wind making it difficult to walk straight, we felt the sheer power of nature as I’ve never felt it before. And that was before arriving at our destination, where about a half dozen right whales frolicked in the ocean, so close we could actually make out the detail on their faces. It was a truly magnificent experience!

The view from the door of our tent:
20111028-223221.jpg

Hiking towards… somewhere
20111028-222723.jpg

20111028-222729.jpg

20111028-222742.jpg

Awe-inspiring: Right whales playing
20111028-223007.jpg

20111028-223018.jpg

Advertisements

Spring break! (Part 1)

Standard

Sand. As we travel along the coast, that is the one constant. Sand in our ears, in our shoes, sand coating our tent and our bags. The sand is constant, as is our awareness that the farther south you travel, the more beautiful and bizarre the world becomes.

It may seem a little premature to take a break from farming after only one farm, but that’s just how the schedule happened to fall into place, so without further ado, a quick look at Josh & Sara’s spring break:

Stop #1: Mar del Plata, Bs.As. (4hrs southeast of Buenos Aires)
I have never understood when people talk about cities actually having ‘character’. To me, a city is just a random mix of people that each have their own very unique character. Mardel, however, proved me wrong. The entire city oozes with genuine kindness and a relaxed joy that could only come from spending one’s entire life on a beautiful beach, such as these:

20111028-212400.jpg

20111028-211616.jpg

20111028-211725.jpg

Crazy dance party that we stumbled upon, complete with slightly inappropriate dance moves, a singing DJ, and a fleet of rollerbladers.
20111028-211351.jpg

Stop #2: Las Grutas, Río Negro (12h southwest of Mardel)
Originally planning to go to Viedma, we changed our next stop to Las Grutas solely on the recommendation of one of the guys in the community we were farming at, who had lived in Patagonia for years. When we first stepped off the bus, our first thought was that this guy was either crazy, or secretly hated us and was thrilled to have sent us to the most desolate, muddy town in all of Argentina.
Until we found the beach. Kilometers of untouched sand, crashing waves, ledges made of oyster shells, and caves carved into the cliffs by the sea. The town was still fairly desolate, but our quirky campsite right in the middle of main street and the spectacular, rugged beauty of the beach more than made up for the fact that there were only wild dogs to interact with (very friendly ones, though!)

20111028-213741.jpg

Carved tidal pools (only visible at low tide)
20111028-213339.jpg

Layers of beach appearing at low tide
20111028-213615.jpg

Sea-eroded caves
20111028-213414.jpg