We wanted to just chill somewhere for a week over the Christmas period because fuck trying to work out logistics in the midst of a Catholic country preparing for the birthday of their dead lord, and we figured a tourist town like Puerto Madryn would do it. There’s shit to should we desire to do shit. But we also rented a whole one bedroom flat that we found on Booking.com and it was glorious.
Balcony, comfy sofa, big-arse TV with Netflix, an actual dining room table that we could eat at and pretend we’re fancy, fantastic kitchen and a comfortable bedroom. No AC but it turned out that despite the sweaty 30° days, the nights were cool enough not to need that sort of shenanigans. It was the perfect place to hole up in semi-hibernation for a week.
We hired a car and buggered off to the Valdes Peninsula one day but apart from that we ate and drank and binged Wednesday on Netflix and Upload on Amazon and basically tried to not spend too much money. Apparently three bottle of fizzy wine is an acceptable use of funds though. In our defence all the wine was buy two get one free and it’s probably terrible luck to refuse such a deal this close to Christmas. What would Jesus think?
Shopping here in Argentina is a whole experience though, I’ve never experienced supermarket queues like it. To be fair we shop at Aldi back home where they hurl your groceries in the vague direction of your trolley and you have to pack on the shelf at the back whilst sobbing, but the length of time shit takes here is another level. It’s not uncommon for people to be halfway through getting their shit scanned when they realise they want something else so they wander off to get it and, get this, nobody glares or even tuts! What manner of dystopian hell hole is this? They casually pack their stuff, then they think about paying. We still do the thing where we hurriedly shove food into a bag with one hand whilst wrangling our wallets with the other because if we think for a second we’ve held up the queue we won’t sleep properly for three days.
We headed down to the beach on Christmas day to sip mimosas in the sun so we could take photos and post them on Facebook. When you hail from a country north of the Tropic of Cancer and spend Christmas anywhere even remotely warm it’s the actual law to be utterly fucking insufferable. Hey, I don’t make the rules. We were the only ones drinking booze though, everyone else around us sipped on their mate whilst we poured our bucks fizz into our chops as tradition demanded.
We went for a walk on Boxing Day, our last day, along the whole thing and it was absolutely packed. Everyone was kitted out with deckchairs, cool boxes, umbrellas and, of course, their mate. People had drawn out various pitches in the sand for football or this game we saw loads of involving chucking a wooden disk at a smaller wooden disk. Google tells me it’s the Argentine form of tejo. Last time I played tejo was in Colombia. It definitely wasn’t on a beach and it involved gunpowder and heavy metal weights. I wasn’t very good at the Colombian version and I doubt I’d be any good at the Argentine version but the latter would pose less risk to surrounding light fittings.
I really like Puerto Madryn though. I love the beach, Tarrant isn’t as keen on account of the piles of seaweed littering the beach as the tide heads out actually very, very far. It creeps her out to the point she actually screeches if it touches her. So anyway. That’s the festive season over and done with. All we need to do now is get as far south as we can before we need a boat, get through New Year relatively intact, then all being well (and please keep everything crossed for us) off we fuck to the frozen south to bother some penguins for a bit.
Jump to “Useful shit to know…”
Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina
Stayed at: Coiron, Puerto Madryn
Useful shit to know…
- We travelled to Puerto Madryn with Andesmar. It cost AR$12800 each.
- We left Buenos Aires from Retiro which is vast with cafés, kiosks and the platforms downstairs and the ticket desks upstairs.
- You’ll need to know which bus company you want to travel with when you buy your ticket as they have their own desks.
- I use Busbud and Rome2Rio to find out which companies serve my destination then I buy in person with cash.
- If I think a bus will sell out or if we absolutely must be on a certain bus then I won’t leave it to chance and I’ll book online with Busbud.
- You need your passport details to purchase tickets, and you’ll need to show your actual passport to board the bus.
- When you buy your ticket you’ll be given a range of platforms that your bus might go to. For example, 50 to 66. You just sort of wait in the middle.
- When your bus is around the corner (and remember, it might not be on time) there’ll be an announcement in Spanish and your bus will be added to the many screens by the platforms with the exact platform number.