Skip to content

A Surprise at Breakfast.

February 23, 2015

Near Camerones. 20.2.15.

The intention was to have the van serviced in Puerto Madryn with a mechanic that received a glowing report on a blog that has proven useful in the past. However the blogger had visited the said mechanic some six years ago, we found no sign of him at the coordinates given. Fortunately there was a Nissan agent some 60kms further on at Trelew, that, we thought would be our best option. I think it very important getting the van serviced regularly.

The said blogger had also given us details of a gas company who had adaptors to fill all foreign gas bottles. Although ours weren’t empty it was a good opportunity to top them up. However, the vibes weren’t the best when the young bloke behind the counter had a look at our Namibian bottles, slowly shook his head and suggested we get an adaptori from a shop a short distance away. The bloke there understood what we wanted but didn’t have the correct fittings and we were having trouble understanding what he suggested. No problems, a phone call to his brother who spoke good English from spending a few years in Johannesburg and we were on our way to this old gentleman in a little side street who seemed to have brass connectors for every adaptation under the sun. But even he took a good twenty minutes foraging amongst little slide-outs until he came up with the correct arrangement. So we left Puerto Madryn with an unserviced van but at least with full gas bottles

Trelew is the centre for the area Welsh immigrants settled in the 19th century. It is now a large city, to get the Welsh atmosphere you have to drive to a couple of the smaller villages up the Chubut Valley where the Welsh dragon still flies and and tea and Welsh cakes are served.

Getting the van booked in was no problem, it always means a couple of nights in a hotel which is a pleasant change. The Liberatador was not a flash hotel but I believe one of the better ones in town. The next morning at breakfast Joan said quietly ‘That man sitting down at the next table looks just like David Attenborough’ I looked around and said ‘It is David Attenborough!. Not often are you in the company of a world living treasure. We found out from one of his crew that they were in town to do a programme for the BBC on the titanasourus dinosaur that was unearthed last year. Chubut province is renowned for its dinosaur finds but titanasourus beats the lot. The find was news last year when first discovered. Measuring 42 metres in length and weiging 76 tonnes he is a monster. One of his femurs is already in the Museum of Paleontology in Trelew. That alone stands well over two metres tall. The museum will house the completed skeleton when he is finally removed from the ground. A worthy home as the museum already has an excellent display of the many fossils and dinosaurs found in Patagonia. Many of the dioramas have no glass frontage giving a better feel for the exhibits. The paleontologists workshop has a glass wall allowing visitors watch them work on some of the finds.

Once the van was back in our keeping with everything functioning top knotch we headed up the Chubut Valley to Gaiman and Dolovan, the two Welsh towns most people head to. Looking at the barren escarpment on both sides of the valley then taking in the greenness of the valley proper it is a credit to what the early settlers did. The canals in particular brought the essential water to many parts of the that area and is still important today as it was 150 years ago. We enjoyed a coffee and cakes at a bakery that had the Welsh Dragon flag flying alongside the Argentinian.

There is a paleontology park near Gaiman. It consists of a one and a half hour walk starting from 40 million years ago where they had displays of wasp’s nests and plant nodules up further to the 25 million year period when the land was submerged from the Atlantic to the Andes and the fossils on display were of dolphins and whales. Progressing further up the escarpment one reaches the 12 million year mark where marsupials were making a presence. It was all so simply done but more effective because of the simplicity. At the top of the escarpment was the modern day of course. The place was barren but quiet. We were alone apart from one familyFrom there it was a long drive on mostly gravel roads to where we are tonight; in an old sand quarry the walls of which protects us from the onshore wind, below us lies a small estuary leading into the bay. A large flock of American oyster catchers huddle on the rocky extremity close by while a dozen kelp gulls sit impassively facing into the warm wind, keeping watch over us

One Comment
  1. Ross & Cathy permalink

    Amazing stuff Gary & Joan. Just love reading your blogs. We have been watching a lot of David Attenborough lately and are pretty sure we saw him standing beside that huge femur in the museum on one of his recent shows. Good to see you are keeping us informed on the bird life too. Ross & Cathy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: