Today we visited Puerto Madryn, Argentina. It is about half way between Buenos Aires and Cape Horn, in a sheltered gulf named Golfo Nuevo.
The land here is different from the fertile Pampas, agricultural land, of the north. Here in Patagonia, the land is more arrid and suitable for sheep ranching. During our short stay here we visited a sheep ranch and learned about sheering sheep. The endearing face above is the pet guanaco on Estacia San Guillermo. Guanacos are related to the llama and roam free in the wild desert like terraine.
The sheltered bay and steep cliffs provide an ideal breading place for the sea lions and rock shag birds. In spanish the seal lions ar called “lobos marinos” or sea wolves. Farther south, penguins walk up to a mile inland from the sea to dig shallow nests to raise their young. At this time of year, the young ones are losing their grey fluffy down, and will soon have feathers that will allow them to enter the water.
The city hosts a university renowned for its research in Marine Biology. An aluminum smelter located here processes bauxite ore shipped in from Australia, and Suriname. The large amounts of electric power needed in the process is brought from hundreds of miles away where it is generated in the Andes mountains. Since the building of the smelter, the towns population has continued to grow as tourism and support services expand.