Of Whales and Seals…. A Prologue

During our travels in South America so far, Jo and I had been following a ritual of sorts.

Whenever we arrive at a new destination, Jo would try to pack THAT VERY DAY with back to back activities, while I would persuade her against it by lying very still on the hostel bed.

And Puerto Madryn was no exception.

Arriving in town at 6am after an 11 hour cross-country bus-ride, Jo wanted to drop our bags at the hostel and immediately dash off to the Peninsula Valdes Nature Reserve for a full day ocean safari… so I made a very big deal about unpacking our bags and had a long coffee and conversation with the friendly hostel owner of La Tosca while Jo paced up and down the breakfast hall.

By the time we got around to asking about the ocean safaris, we found out that we’d missed the daily departures to Peninsula Valdes.

So, as you can see, when we departed the hostel to explore the town and the beach front area of Puerto Madryn, I was in technical prison terms, a “Dead Man Walking”.

Jo... doing a terrible job of pretending that she didn't want to kill me... I just realized me pointing the camera at her face and laughing loudly probably didn't help matters... sidenote: check out the very cool Argentinian wall of the hostel!

Jo… doing a terrible job of pretending that she didn’t want to kill me… I just realized me pointing the camera at her face and laughing loudly probably didn’t help my case… Sidenote: check out the very cool Argentinian wall of the hostel!

Thankfully, this lasted for all of the 10 minutes we took to walk to the beach front, because Jo saw (I shit you not) a whale jumping out of the water right in front of her.

Obviously, I was too slow to capture the "moment"

Obviously, I was too slow to capture the “moment”

Ok… not EXACTLY “in front of her”, but you get the idea… and this was followed immediately by a sighting of this…

For the pixel-y challenged, that's a swimming seal

For the pixel-y challenged, that’s a swimming seal

It was all very cool. At the very least, at that moment, it took a lot of heat away from me because who could stay angry when you have such cute creatures parading themselves in front of you, right?

Apparently I can…

You see… as we were walking up and down the pier for the 1000th time (I might be exaggerating the number a little here) that morning, I realized that we’d not had breakfast yet… in fact, the last meal we had was a sandwich the night before and it was fast approaching 2pm – the magical hour where all shop-owning Argentinians (especially the FOOD shop owning Argentinians) mysteriously disappear.

I tried to tell Jo about it, but I don’t think she heard me over the sound of her own hypersonic squealing when she saw things like this…

Yes... seals snuggling together for warmth under a pier is incredibly cute...

Yes… seals snuggling together for warmth under a pier is incredibly cute…

and this…

And that's ANOTHER whale... that we CANNOT eat...

And that’s ANOTHER whale…

That was the day I found out that Jo has the magical ability to eat cuteness… which I obviously don’t…

But that’s the thing about being with someone for more than 10 years. Eventually, Jo managed to tell from my subtle micro expressions that I might be a little hungry. Perhaps it was the way I twitched the corner of my eye ever so slightly, or maybe she saw the way I was crouched into a pathetic little ball on the floor. But more likely it was because when she asked me which Instagram filter she should use on her shot of a whale vomiting rainbows onto a baby seal, I calmly shouted,”GIMME FOOD, I NEED FOOD NOW!!!”

What can I say? A hungry man is an angry man.

But other than this little childish outburst, our detour to Puerto Madryn seems to be shaping into a pretty worthwhile expedition.

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