Day 27…Cruise to South America…Another port of call…Puerto Madryn…Four days and counting…

Abandoned seafaring boat on the beach in Puerto Madryn.

Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”

Scene of Ushuaia from our veranda.

In a mere four days, this 30-night cruise will end in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where we’ll stay for another 30 nights while we await the upcoming Antarctica cruise sailing on January 23rd from Ushuaia, Argentina.

Are we excited about the upcoming 30-nights in Buenos Aires?  Most certainly! If we were only traveling for a vacation/holiday for 30-nights and could spend a month in the vibrant city, we’d be thrilled.

This could have been a street in any beach town.

During this period, we’ll be able to accomplish a few objectives we have in mind to include:
1.  Visit a travel clinic to update our vaccinations and get a prescription for malaria pills (for Africa).
2.  Visit a dentist to have a problematic crown reseated, which is bothering me while eating.
3.  Purchase any last-minute supplies for the Antarctica cruise.
4.  Do laundry and dry cleaning for the cold weather Antarctica clothes we ended up wearing during the cold days of this cruise. (Thank goodness we had the warm clothes with us!)
5.  Purchase a second camera.

Statue at Puerto Madryn Beach.

In the interim, we have a challenge finding restaurants for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Buenos Aires. Either the restaurants are closed during the holiday season or charge as much as US $150 per person for either of the holiday night’s meals.

Our hotelier has been working on finding options available other than the US $300 per day required for each of these two meals. So far, he hasn’t been successful in locating some possibilities suitable for our needs.

Whale carving at the beach.

On top of it, Tom’s birthday is on the day the cruise ends on December 23rd, and we’ll have to find somewhere for dinner that night. Trying to find options online has been cumbersome and time-consuming with the slow Wi-Fi signal on this ship.

We’d recently given up trying to book dinner reservations for these three nights instead of taking our chances once we arrive in Buenos Aires.  In the worst case, we’ll have the included breakfasts at the hotel, which is available each day, and then find a market where we can buy something for the tiny refrigerator in our hotel room.

Typical apartment building in Puerto Madryn.

We aren’t particularly concerned. Somehow, it will all work out. If we have to have nuts and cheese for dinner, we’ll be fine. Although, it would be fun to spend all three evenings celebrating the three memorable occasions.
Yesterday, we toured the town of Puerto Madryn, Argentina. Here is some information about this coastal town from this site:

“Puerto Madryn (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpweɾto ˈmaðɾin]Welsh: Porth Madryn) is a city in the province of Chubut in Argentina, Patagonia. It is the capital of the Biedma Department and has about 93,995 inhabitants, according to the last census in 2010.
Puerto Madryn is protected by the Golfo Nuevo, which is formed by the Península Valdés and the Punta Ninfas. It is an important center for tourists visiting the natural attractions of the Península Valdés and the coast.
A new shopping mall in the city center has significantly helped tourism, making Puerto Madryn a more attractive place for international and domestic tourists visiting Patagonia. It is twinned with Nefyn, a small town on the Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales, due to its enduring link with Welsh culture since the Welsh settlement in Argentina. The first of a two-Test tour to Argentina by the Wales national rugby union team was played in 2006 in Puerto Madryn, a 27–25 win over Argentina. Puerto Madryn is home to two football clubs; Club Social y Atlético Guillermo Brown, who plays in Nacional B and Deportivo Madryn that currently play in Torneo Argentino B.
A basketball team, Deportivo Puerto Madryn, plays in the Liga Nacional de Básquetbol (LNB). Their home arena is known as the Deportivo Puerto Madryn Arena.

El Tehuelche Airport is located 10 km northwest of the city center. Commercial flights from Buenos AiresUshuaia, and other Argentinian cities are available. Most tourists fly into Trelew Airport as flights into Puerto Madryn are restricted due to environmental concerns.

The town was founded on 28 July 1865, when 150 Welsh immigrants arriving aboard the clipper Mimosa named the natural port Porth Madryn in honor of Sir Love Jones-Parry, whose estate in Wales was named “Madryn.” Conditions were difficult, and the settlers had to dig irrigation ditches for their first crops.

The settlement grew due to the building of the Central Chubut Railway by WelshSpanish, and Italian immigrants. This line, opened in 1889, linked the town to Trelew via the lower Chubut River valley.”

Pair of shipwrecked boats in the bay.

By noon, after uploading the day’s post, we made our way to the awaiting shuttle buses for the 25-minute ride into the city. Along the way, we spotted several shipwrecks on the otherwise pristine beaches, which we’ll share as soon as we’re able to upload photos.

After being dropped off in the center of town, we walked for a while, checking out the sights and sounds of the busy village, which included a lengthy and noisy parade of protestors over the government, followed up by several police officers and military personnel.

We always try to imagine what may have happened to such a boat long ago…

Considering our lack of interest in shopping and dining in restaurants, after a few hours, we decided to head back to the shuttle to return to the ship. The afternoon was wearing on, and we both hoped for a short rest before showering again and dressing for the 5:00 pm Captain’s Club happy hour in the Constellation Lounge.

By 7:15 pm, we were seated at a shared table in the Trellis Restaurant, where a lively conversation ensued among the like-minded group of eight. The time flew quickly, and suddenly it was 10:30 pm. An early night was in order, and by midnight we were both asleep.
Protesters were marching on the beach boulevard.

On Friday, we’ll begin packing, leaving our sealed bags outside our cabin door by Friday at 10:00 pm, where they’ll be transported to the port area in Buenos Aires. We’ll collect the bags upon arrival at the port in the morning.  

Generally, this process is relatively easy when the bags are stored in the numbered areas for which we’ll have tickets. Each cabin is assigned a disembarking number, and we can depart the ship when our number is called.  Numbers are assigned based on a few factors; requests and priority status based on Captain’s Club membership.  

A shipwreck ship was lying on the beach in Puerto Madryn.

We’ve requested a low number in this particular case, hoping to disembark the ship by 7:30 am or so.  We’ll take a taxi to our hotel in Palermo, expecting to check-in no later than 10:00 am. Most likely, all of this will work out well, leaving us plenty of time to work on dinner reservations for the upcoming three nights while many venues will still be open for business.

That’s it for today, folks. We hope you’re enjoying holiday festivities as we rapidly wind down to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Photo from one year ago today, December 19, 2016:

We visited the General Penguin Cemetery overlooking the Bass Straits in Tasmania with thoughts of those we’ve lost. For more photos, please click here.