PUERTO MADRYN, ARGENTINA


Puerto Madryn is a city in the province of Chubut in Argentine Patagonia on the Golfo Nuevo (Nuevo Gulf, 650 miles (1,046 km) southwest of Buenos Aires). It is the capital of the Biedma Department (South America uses the term 'department' as opposed to 'county' or 'region') in Argentina, and has about 93,995 inhabitants according to the last census in 2010. The town was founded on 28 July 1865, when 150 Welsh immigrants arriving aboard the clipper Mimosa named the natural port Porth Madryn in honour of Sir Love Jones-Parry, whose estate in Wales was named "Madryn". The settlement grew as a result of the building of the Central Chubut Railway by Welsh, Spanish, and Italian immigrants. This line, opened in 1889, linked the town to Trelew via the lower Chubut River valley. It is an important centre for tourists visiting the natural attractions of the Peninsula Valdés, an important nature reserve  inhabited by marine mammals, such as sea lions, elephant seals and fur seals, and Southern right whales. The coast and a new shopping mall in the city centre have also helped tourism significantly, making Puerto Madryn a more attractive place for both international and domestic tourists.

We didn't have a tour planned as those offered had an activity level rated as 'Challenging' which would have been hard on all of us, especially Dina, and the walk into the city looked too daunting, so we opted to stay on board and relax for the day. But I did manage to take some pictures of the city shore line from our balcony.

The day was overcast with a temperature of around 25C/77F.

   

Dawn in the Atlantic

These pictures were actually taken the day before we reached Puerto Madryn, which was a sea day. I took these pictures from our balcony because a complete rainbow arc is considered somewhat rare. The other amazing thing about it is that if you look closely, you'll see a pale illumination around the arc, and the very faint colours of a second rainbow, especially in the picture on the right. It was actually a double rainbow which are considered very unusual. Unfortunately my camera couldn't capture it all in one, even at a wide angle setting, so I had to do the two ends separately.  
  

Our first view of the city as we approached the dock. The land beyond is primarily barren land with a climate that is considered to be a temperate desert zone, with an annual precipitation of between 150 and 200 mm, although some sheep farms operate in the area.
   
As we approached the dock we were joined by our escort, the pilot boat.
 

The ship has lined up with the dock and is ready to turn on the port (left) thrusters to sidle into the berth where the ship will tie up.
   
Puerto Madryn gives the impression of another big city, at least on the coast.
 

When the tide is out the water level is too low for large ships to dock close to shore, which explains the need for the long dock. If you look closely you'll see that the water does not go all the way to the sea wall. The people you see are not swimming, they are actually standing on wet sand near the water's edge.

 

And this is the daunting dock. You've heard of a long walk off a short pier, well this would be a very long walk down a long pier.

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