Puerto Madryn and Gaiman
03112011 Puerto Madryn
First things first as we successfully hit the beach and then borrowing a cradle from the club pull the dinghy up the beach to the club compound.
We try to connect to the internet at the yacht club without success, while we watch the antics of the yard staff as they recover a couple of yachts in cradles run into the sea and then hauled up the beach on a drag wire.
Club Restaurant Hauling a boat
So it’s off to town to find the tourist information centre and an internet café,passing the. Malvinas war memorial on the way.
At the TI we get information on buses so can visit Trelew and Gaimin both welsh settlements though the later is noted for its welsh teashops.
Thomas goes of to do some banking and get a haircut, Peter in search of some waterproof trousers, and Lars and I find a nearby restaurant where we take lunch and do the internet.
Falkland war memorial The long walk
After lunch we decide to go and look at the monument and museum at the original landing site of the first welsh settlers.
Regretably they’d decided to land at the far end of the modern town, and after a three kilometre walk we finally get there.
Museum Landing site
There is a very nice little museum flying the welsh colonial flag which consists of a blue strip top and bottom and a somewhat Chinese
style dragon on the white central portion. Below the museum is a nice bar with outside decking overlooking the beach landing side and the caves they originally lived in.
For Shan to translate
Needless to say we took full advantage of the facilities offered to regain our strength before ordering a taxi.
Our taxi had a puncture half way back, so our poor legs are forced back into action.
We all meet back at the club and Peter advises he has a new contact and is staying ashore. The dinghy launched (No without some effort as the tide has now gone out)
we return to the yacht for a night of Mexican train, the thought of repeating the performance required to launch and recover the dinghy outweighing any promise of dinner ashore.
As dinner is just being prepared there is a plaintive phone call from Peter, the date went pearshaped when he got confused as to which girl
he was talking too and consequently would now like to be rescued from the shoreline.
Lars does the decent thing and on their return there is much discussion but very little sympathy for Peters plight which give cause for
much amusement amongst the geriatrics or could it be the “been their done that” brigade.
04112011 The Grand Tour
Lars managed to remove the Deckwash pump unit yesterday which has corroded so badly its had been forced of it’s mounting plate misaligning
the pump and motor and shredding the rubber coupling in the process.
The “Corpse” is put in the dinghy along with our rucksacks loaded with cameras, computers and jackets and we head for shore.
At the club and while the pump is clean up Thomas disappears in search of a new coupling or the means to make one.
High noon and finally we head for the bus station for the first leg of the trip to Trelew 80 kilometres.
Over the road is the old train station complete with train all that’s left of the defunct system that ran to Gaiman
Our bus travels on a long straight highway flanked by a new carriageway being built alongside and through a low featureless scrubland.
There is little to break the monotony except when we pass a massive shanty town or stop to let people off.
Some fall asleep despite the blaring radio playing Britpop, Beatles etc with some demented female DJ and even more maddening jingles blaring away
We purchase tickets to Gaiman and after a short wait we continue our trip and as we drive out of town the houses get smaller and the shanties appear,
as for the most part despite the glitz of the Casino and modern office blocks there is still a lot of poverty and low wages here.
The man in the ticket booth advises us to take the number 7 as goes via the scenic route, and so we do.
It starts to get much greener with lots of Eucalyptus trees and as we arrive in the small town there are giant willows and exotic flowering trees lining the street.
The reason becomes obvious when we find the river and the reason for both these and all the other towns further down the line, water.
There are welsh flags and signs in Spanish and welsh outside the numerous tearooms and restaurants.
Having done our tour of the town we still haven’t found a bar open enter a tearoom in desperation. No Beer here, but we do find the local lady who
speaks welsh, learnt at the adult classes held in the town and two nice welsh girls one from Cardiff and one from Swansea on a three week holiday whizzing around the country side.
We leave disappointed (Thomas manages to sneak out a cake one of the girls gave him) and continue our search only to find that all pub as are shut until 5pm
villages done come any more authentically welsh than that. So Its back to the teashop and mine hostess takes pity and says she will go out and buy some beers but we’ll have to drink in the back room.
Tearooms and garden
Overwhelmed by her offer we decide to opt for tea! Much to Thomas’s delight as he’s really into all these homemade cakes on offer. The walls are decorated with love spoons and welsh tea towels while outside the garden is full of scented roses and flowers. In fact the whole town is very green and roses abound.
Repleat we head for the bus and the return trip to Trelew. On arrival we seek out the “Touring Club Hotel” bar recommended by the guide. Well nearly,
Peters navigation skills need honing as we end of at the wrong end of town thought at least we find a bar open.
Fortified we redirect. The hotel built around 1850 and therefore and one of the earliest substantial buildings in the town.
It has an enormously long bar behind which are stacked one of the largest selection of whiskies you’ve ever seen. We Wi-Fi and take a beer while we wait for the bus.
Outside in the park they have a very creative fountain firing water from the outer rim to the centre, kids are running inside it having a good time trying unsuccessfully to duck under the jets.
Lewis of Trelew
Back to base and we dine at the seafood restaurant at the club, a fabulous choice on the menu and we start with King Crab, clams or mussels followed
by clams au gratin or a cod type fish with a shrimp a garlic sauce. Peter has been forgiven for his indiscretion and has left us to meet his date.
We return to base uneventfully, though launching the dinghy is always a bit traumatic.
Bob the blog