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Most of the Peninsula Valdes is parkland or privately owned, and many of the beaches are off limits unless you are on some sort of tour – this is strictly enforced. All roads are gravel so driving is quite slow. We had to leave early this morning to drive up to the north end of the peninsula. We visted a private ranch that has a huge Magellan penguin rookery on their property.

On our way we also had to Dodge the wildlife. There are herds of Guanaco everywhere as well as sheep, martineta and the occasional armadillo. The result was a bit of a stressful drive.

The road sign.
The reality – the guanaco tend to be a bit unpredictable when scared by cars on the road. They usually ran away from us, but occasionally they headed right toward us!
Guanaco are related to camels and are the wild ancestors of the domesticated llama.
The guanaco hang out in small family groups with one dominant male or as much larger bachelor herds.
Martineta – doesn’t like to fly and loves to run across the road. Not a good combo. We’re pretty sure our rental car has ABS because of this bird.

We did arrive safely at the Estancia San Lorenzo (only a little bit late) for our tour. The estancia is a traditional Patagonian sheep ranch, raising Australian merino sheep.

Waiting to be sheared.
I’m next!
Pen of pre sheared sheep waiting their turn.
Post-shearing the sheep are surprisingly skinny, wrinkled and a bit wretched looking!
The Shearing Shed is also the restaurant!
Merino wool ready for us to use as travel clothes!
Lunch roasting on an open flame.
Oh so yummy roasted lamb
Local beer is good too.

The nature reserve boasts a colony of more than 600,000 Magellan penguins. It is largest colony in the world. We ended up with a private tour with Nadia as no one else was booked for this morning. The penguins were everywhere!

Each bonded couple produces two eggs per breeding year.
Penguins ‘sneeze’ to expel extra salt from swimming in the ocean.
It’s weird but cute.
They nest in burrows. Holes dug into the limestone or under acacia bushes both work.
Such a cute waddle.
A sea lion looking for penguin for lunch
Obligatory tourist selfie sign.

Tomorrow we tour a different part of the peninsula in search of more exciting wildlife.

One comment on “Argentina Day 4 – Valdés Peninsula

  1. grace shaw says:

    Kris WHO gets your blogs…so I don’t send them to people who already get them. Love, Mom

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