Posted by: travelrat | June 25, 2017

Puerto Madryn

RIB ride; Puerto Madryn

Puerto Madryn: 5th February 2017

Puerto Madryn was first established in the late 19th Century, not by the Spanish or Portuguese, but by Welsh settlers. There are still considerable Welsh-speaking enclaves around here; it is said that, during the Falklands campaign, several Argentinian soldiers were captured, who spoke only Spanish and Welsh. There is a Welsh dragon on the province’s flag and I did wonder if I should greet anyone I met with a ‘Hola!’ or a ‘Bore da!’ … although most of the Welsh settlers moved inland.

I seem to remember there’s something about this in Richard Llewellyn’s book ‘Up, into the Singing Mountain’. There’s a memorial statue on the sea-front, showing a migrant woman poignantly turning her back on the sea, and looking inland.

Puerto Madryn

 However, language wouldn’t be a problem on this occasion, for the sea lions we went to see spoke neither Welsh nor Spanish. The RIB ride was advertised as a ‘Dolphin and Sea Lion Safari’ but although we didn’t see any dolphins … not too disappointing, for we saw some from the ship later … the mass of sea lions playing, fighting and just sunning themselves on the beach more than made up for it. And, there was the bonus of flocks of seagulls, terns and cormorants.

Sea Lions, Puerto Madryn

(You’ll see the sea lions next week … they really deserve a post to themselves, so I’ll do a slide show)

After the boat trip, we took a stroll along the seafront, but there really wasn’t much to see, for most places … apart, of course, from the souvenir shops … was closed, because it was Sunday. Even so, the souvenir shops had competition, in the shape of quite a few traders, who had set up their stalls, or even just laid their goods out on the pavement.

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