A 17 Hour Drive to Puerto Madryn

After our final week in Buenos Aires, we packed up our truck, piled in and trundled off towards home. It was 6.30am when we finally hit the road, and after many bumps, trucks, turns, and tolls along the way, we finally rolled into our home in Puerto Madryn at 11.30pm. Seventeen hours of journey along the road, although not all of it was driving.

Yenny and Maca on the wall at the beach of Las Grutas.

It was sometime around 8.30am that we rolled into a small town looking for breakfast. Nothing moved fast in this town, not even the traffic lights. Bicycles meanded at a tottering pace in front of us in the middle of the road, people scuffled slowly across the road blissfully unaware of all approaching traffic. Even the bicycles stopped and waited patiently at the traffic lights, with not another vehicle in sight. It was as though time did not exist. Needless to say, that our breakfast was very relaxing once we adjusted to the fact that it was going to take a long time to be served.

Our road-trip crew. (L to R: Me, Carol, Maca, and Yenny).

We ate lunch at a big service station at sometime around 3pm when we needed to refuel. Before this nobody felt very hungry. As usual, each meal was accompanied by a large cup of coffee, just the juice to keep me going. The only driver, I had been exhausted all week, so grabbed an early night last night to try and recover for today. It worked well, but the coffee was also helping to ensure that I remained alert for the entire journey. That too was working well.

So after some coffee, a meal, and various chocolates which of course were purely to help the coffee in its effects, we refuelled and hit the road once again. Each tank of fuel costs us $120 pesos and takes us about 400 kms. Not a great economy, but where we live the cost is subsidised by the petroleum companies in our state and costs us considerably less.

Carol standing on the cliff watching the fishermen.

Las Grutas
In planning the journey, we had thought about stopping at various places for the night and enjoying the local beaches. That was until we discovered that the local beaches did not exist where we had friends who could host us for the night. So instead we planned to stop in Viedma and enjoy the beaches nearby, but once again a missed turn along the route meant that we were a long way from Viedma, and the sun was starting to quickly run out.

Finally at the beach at Las Grutas.

Looking at the map once again, we saw that the next beach that we would pass by was at a place called Las Grutas. This is very close to Puerto Madryn (about 2hrs) but is also a very popular place. Having never visited here, and hoping that the late setting southern sun would hold out long enough, we pointed our noses towards Las Grutas with the hope that we would arrive in time to see something. We did.

We arrived just as the sun was setting. So heading to the beach, we sat down in a small kiosk and enjoyed icecreams and watched the beautiful views of the setting sun. It was a perfect way to end the daylight hours.

Our vantage point to watch the final moments of the sun.

Arriving Home
Finally, with the sun set but still with a lot of twilight, we headed home. Another two hours on the road and one state crossing and we are entering into Puerto Madryn. Over the city are fireworks which we can see from our vantage point as we descend from the plains of the highway to the coastal township we call home.

It was 11.30pm exactly when we finally made it through the doors, and although my three companions for the journey had been able to sleep along the way, I was exhausted. Bed had never felt so great. Even better though, was that here there are hardly any mosquitoes, no humidity, and no heat. Sleep came very easily indeed.

Sunset over the beach of Las Grutas.