Monday, 4 April 2011

Running in Puerto Madryn

Puerto Madryn, on the East coast of Argentina, was the site of the first Welsh landing on the South American continent, in 1865.  There are many Welsh influences still visible in the area.  The town is named after the Welsh town where the first settlers came from.

The beach isn't the most picturesque in the world, but it is long and flat, with hard packed sand which makes for a great running surface.  Its soft underfoot, without too much give - ideal conditions for my Zem Gear shoes.  I ran with an ex-army guy who knew of Vibram Five Fingers and didn't just laugh them off.  Attitudes to minimalist running shoes are improving all the time.

I stayed at the ACA campsite, just out of town, so picked an out and back run, about 4km each way along the beach as far as the pier in town.  There is a small Welsh museum adjacent to the campsite.  The sunrise over the Golfo Nuevo there the next morning was stunning.

Sunrise in Puerto Madryn


Puerto Madryn is the gateway to the Peninsula Valdes, home to armadillos, guanacos and patagonian hares, all visible in abundance, and the odd rhea, along with the more usual sheep and cows.  The surrounding beaches are home to magellan penguins, elephant seals and sealions and I was lucky enough to see orcas out at sea.

Show me the way to Armadillo

Magellan penguin

Shoreline


Unfortunately the Peninsula is not suitable for running because it is a nature reserve and visitors are restricted to staying in their vehicles, except at selected points along the coast.  This is in order to protect the wildlife from human interaction.  Valdes is stunning and remote, not to be missed.

Peninsula Valdes entrance ticket

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