The Valdes Peninsula

The time had come to visit the world famous Valdes Peninsula and do some wildlife spotting! We had a car, and we had two days. It’s a lot bigger than we imagined – the main places to visit are out on the coast and so even staying inside the park in Puerto Pirámides, we were looking at a 150km loop on the first day, and a 200km loop on second day. AND – the roads are all gravel with a 60kmh speed limit – so as the designated ‘Gravel Road’ driver, I would have my work cut out (if you can call driving around a national park looking for animals ‘work’… yeah I guess not…)

We had stopped at the visitor centre and the ‘Island of birds’ on the way in, and to be honest, the ‘Island of birds’ was not so exciting – as even with binoculars it was too far away to really see anything in detail.

Island of the Brids – very far away.

Driving around was actually nice and relaxing – hardly any cars or tour buses – YES – and that’s because it was Christmas Day – MERRY CHRISTMAS US! We got very quiet roads and animals for Christmas 🙂 🙂

The gravel roads were mostly in very good condition.

The peninsula is pretty much flat, dry, scrubby farmland, so not much in the way of amazing scenery – but although it’s famous mostly for its marine life – especially killer whales – there is a fair bit of other wildlife around the area.

Now I know that you are all thinking….’DID THEY SEE A KILLER WHALE? DID THEY?’

Well, we arrived at the main place where they hang out, and we found this sign:

The last Killer Whale sighting was 4 days previously…. they are still around!

We timed our visit to arrive at high tide – as this is when the Orcas are able to come into the lagoon and be spotted. We had been there around an hour, and then suddenly, out of nowhere….

… an armadillo appeared…. OK so that’s pretty good – but unfortunately there were no Orca sightings for us 🙁 🙁 🙁  Yeah, most people don’t see one – in fact I have never met anyone who saw one.. (but then again, I don’t actually ask everyone do I?)

We actually saw a lot of animals on our first day driving around, and not very many at all on the second day of driving around – so it felt like we really did get a Christmas present of animals 🙂

On our second day of driving around we discovered some scenery in the form of the ‘Salina Chica’ – which although called ‘Chica’ (Small) is HUGE (But smaller than the Salina Grande, also on the peninsula) It’s a salt lake – and in summer it drys out, and you can walk on it! EXCITING HEY?!

It’s on the tourist map, but the road/track to get there doesn’t look too appealing to drive down in a rental car. After our usual discussion of – ‘Is that track definitely OK for a 2 wheel drive car’ – we went for it. CC was sceptical, and seemed to have her eyes closed for some of the way… 🙂 But it was worth it – it was great down there – and we went for a walk on the big salt lake – trying not to get wet feet in the bits that had not dried out, and not to lose sight of the shore in case we got lost.

The Salt Lake.
PB bravely leads the way out on to the Salt Lake.
The Salt Lake was pink and white.
Close up of the Salt Lake – there is a lot of salt here. CC wondered if the farmer could set up a Salt Shop.
CC stands on the Salt Lake – she likes the pink bits.

After the Salt Lake it was back to the normal roads again. There was no wildlife on the Salt Lake but we saw plenty elsewhere on the peninsula – watch this space…

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