Where are we?

PENGUINS!! and later Petrified trees

Didn't expect to see penguins this early in our drive north!  We were near Monte León National Park when I read that there are penguins that nest in this area from September until April. So we decided to head over to see them. The 14km road to the viewing area was gravel - grrr.  Then once at the parking area we had to walk another 2.5kms.  As we got closer we could see some of the penguins close to the walking path. There are hundreds here! Most of course are on the beach below us, that we can't get to, to show the babies how to swim!  Penguins come here to nest in September and then lay their egg which hatches in November.  From then until April they stay in this area for the babies to grow and learn to swim. Then in April they head out to sea and travel north towards Brazil where they spend the summer and then return to the same nests in September to do it all over again.  They mate for life and meet at the nest, but if one doesn't return they find another mate. These are the Magellanic penguins, the smaller of the penguins.  They are at 17" tall and weigh only about 9 lbs. Their life expectancy is about 15 years.  They will swim 50 kms out to sea and dive 80m for find food to bring back for the baby


Look at these proud guys sticking out their chests 

Down at the beach the babies are taught to swim

Some nests were really close to the path, and they don't leave when people walk by

We could see the babies go out and swim a little and then get pushed back in by a wave





They blend in well but there are hundreds down there
A couple were resting under the viewing stand

As we drove further north we also saw that Halliburton and Weatherford are in Argentina, near the small town of Cerro Sombrero. Seems Halliburton works with a local company called ENAP.  Further down the highway we also saw a Schlumberger truck.





Stopped at Puerto San Julián to get laundry done. To bad we can't find a place again where we can do our own laundry. So much faster when we can do it. Here we dropped it off at 10 when the laundry opened and can pick up at 5. Originally he said 7:30 and I asked for it earlier. Of course it doesn't help that he closes from 1-4.  Anyways got it done again for another week and a half 😉 There isn't much to see in this small town so we just head over to an open area because Dwayne wants to check the back brakes. After checking he said they will be good for the rest of the trip. Let's hope our front shocks do to!  Since the replacement one are not heavy duty like the originals were.

We drive over to a bay just outside of the town hoping it will be quiet - meaning no barking dogs!  When we get there we see a couple of people fishing but they are gone by suppertime.  I even got to see some more flamingos that were in the water just across the water from us. I also see lots of huge clam shells in the cliff right behind where we are parked.  These must be really old because they are fossilized.  There are hundreds of them - amazing! 


layers upon layers of shells




You can see them all along the top ridge and down
When driving Dwayne always has to watch for guanacos because they like to be close to the road and they are constantly crossing

Our view while driving for the past few days - not a lot here! But it's fenced and cross fenced for sheep

This is a mara - a type of rabbit found here. But they have long legs but do hop when they take off

Funny watching them run - they are a lot bigger then a rabbit though - more the size of a small dog
Found this one on enet because the one I took was blurry
And lots of rheas on our way to the petrified trees
In the morning - after a really nice quiet night, we're back on the road for about an 3 hours before we turn off. We are on our way to see petrified trees but to get there we have to drive 50 kms on washboard gravel!! 😖 Anyways, when we finally get there an hour later we go into a small museum first where the ranger tells us a little about the area. Explaining that a few years ago - like 150 million years ago :) dinosaurs roamed this area and there were pine trees 100m tall, all this even before the Andean mountains were formed. Then once volcanos erupted the winds they created knocked the trees down. Ash in the air settled on the fallen trees. which then penetrated into the tree with rain it prevented the trees from decaying. Then they were covered by dirt etc by the wind. Thousands of years later the winds the whip thru the Patagonia area started to slowly uncover the petrified trees.  I remember finding small pieces of petrified wood as a kid when we lived in the valley in Edmonton. But nothing this big!! The ranger also told me that the shells I saw are about 40 million years old!!


Trees were 3 meters in diameter and 100 meters tall and could live to be 1000 years


Eggs from the rheas - same size as ostrich eggs

here is a petrified tree that must be 1000 years old, do you want to start counting the rings 😂

They were all huge trees


Close up of the tree - looks like nice dry wood you could just chop away, but it's all rock

The wind has only partially uncovered this tree


Looks like shavings, but all solid rock





Up at the viewpoint

Looks so much like real wood that has been chopped up 

I'm guessing that would have been where a branch would have come out
Little lizard trying to hide

a close up of the bark



It was windy up there, had to hang onto my hat, it already blew away once and Dwayne had to get it for me 😄
Beautiful sunset at the end of another day - let's hope it will be a quiet night :) 



2 comments:

  1. You2 R havin way 2 much fun..................!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! We are enjoying our travels :)

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