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    • Day77

      A taste of Wales in Patagonia

      January 8 in Argentina ⋅ ☁️ 38 °C

      "For a taste of Wales in Patagonia, head 17km west of Trelew to Gaiman" - so steht es in unserem Lonely Planet. Hört sich gut an, das machen wir.

      Auf dem Weg dorthin legen wir einen kurzen Stop bei den Trelew Letters ein. Ungewöhnlich heiß heute. Letters stehen übrigens in absolut jedem und noch so kleinen Dorf, in Trelew jedoch gibt es noch mehr zu sehen. Seit ein paar Jahren steht hier eine lebensechte Rekonstruktion des größten Dinosaurier der Welt, dessen fossilen Überreste vor etwa 10 Jahren hier in der Gegend gefunden wurden. Er soll über 40m lang, 20m groß und 70t schwer gewesen sein. Absolut faszinierend.

      Der Himmel verdunkelt sich, also fahren wir schnell weiter. Gerade in Gaiman angekommen, bricht ein heftiger Regenschauer über uns herein. Die Straßen werden in wenigen Minuten zu Bächen, Bäume, Straßenlaternen und Strommasten stürzen um.
      Wir suchen Zuflucht in einem alten, fast 300m langen Eisenbahntunnel, der 1914 erbaut wurde und durch den die erste Eisenbahnlinie im argentinischen Patagonien verkehrte. Heute eine touristische Attraktion. Wir laufen etwa 100m hinein, plötzlich Stromausfall. Es ist stockfinster. Wir flüchten blitzschnell zurück in unser kleines rollendes Zuhause und warten bis das Schlimmste vorüber ist. So schnell waren wir aus keinem Tunnel je wieder draußen.

      Wir erholen uns bei einer Tasse Schwarztee, ganz klassisch mit einem Schuss Milch und Kuchen in einem Casa de Té Galés. Lecker! Ein Glück haben wir zusammen nur eine Platte für eine Person bestellt. Die walisischen Wurzeln spiegeln sich teilweiße auch in der Architektur wieder.

      Am Montag fahren wir nochmal zurück nach Trelew - der bisher vermülltesten Stadt, die wir hier in Argentinien gesehen haben. Seit über einer Woche versuchen wir nämlich vergeblich die verrosteten Schrauben unseres Luftfilters zu lösen. Lucas, der nicht nur gastlich ist sondern dem auch das Geschäft Electromecánica San Juan gehört, hatte uns Hilfe angeboten. Endlich können wir unseren Luftfilter tauschen. Doch damit nicht genug. Anschließend klappert er mit uns die halbe Stadt ab, damit wir uns gleich wieder einen passenden Ersatzfilter zulegen können - gar nicht so einfach. Nach zwei Stunden fahren wir mit voller Tupperschüssel (Reste des patagonischen Lamms) wieder vom Hof.
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    • Day36

      Trelew and Gaiman

      March 26, 2017 in Argentina ⋅ 🌙 32 °C

      With a sad heart we packed our bags and left our little haven in Puerto Madryn towards Trelew. Also a Welsh settlement with a smattering of welsh on its signs. After playing the usual game of "for godsake give me some money" with 6 ATMs and 4 different banks we had a bite to eat before hunting some dinasours.

      Over the years more and more dinasour bones have been found in patagonia, and Trelew has its research centre and museum. Here we got to touch a real dinasour femur, and see the most recent bones found, of the yet un-named dinasour. The biggest ever found in the world, its femur was 2m tall and it weighed a whopping 42 tonnes.

      We carried on to Gaiman where the Welsh was more obvious. Arriving at Ty Gwyn having been Whatsapping Camilla, the grandaughter of the owner for advice the last few days, they kindly let us leave our big packs there for the afternoon so that we could explore the town. Before we set off we had an amazing tea service there (I've missed tea!), with over eight different cakes. It felt like we were in an old grannies house with oak dressers and tea cossies.
      We had a lovely chat with Sonia before leaving them to prepare for a local wedding that evening.

      We found the first house built in Gaiman and had a lovely tour round the heritage museum meeting Fabio who spoke perfect Welsh, and wished James well with his learning. We popped down to Capel Bethel to see it set up for the wedding, and could hear some welsh music from within. Dressed in shorts and jeans and being eaten alive by mosquitos (I counted 10 leeching on me at the same time!) we turned back, and failing to find an open restaraunt (we still aren't used to the late meal times here) we had a 2nd tea service by the lovely Anna.

      Now came the tricky bit. I had booked a night bus from Gaiman to Esquel but where the bus picked us up was a mystery. Maelor didn't know, the ticket office in Puerto Madryn didn't know, luckily Sonia and Anna gave us a notion of a corner to stand in. A few minutes before the bus a friendly spanish couple stopped their car and ushered us to the correct area. Watching lightening dance across the sky while waiting, the bus thankfully turned up just before the skies opened in earnest.

      The bus was a nightmare, with the indoor temperature being a roasting 30 we both had a fitfull nights sleep. Esquel on a Sunday is a quiet peaceful place surrounded by low lying mountains. Sunning ourself in the plaza for a while, we spent the day relaxing before heading to Barioloche.
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      Ian Murray

      Protect yourselves from mossies as you head further north. Dx

      Ian Murray

      Braf cael te bach. Dx

    • Day110

      Everything Welsh

      March 17, 2016 in Argentina ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      The area we are in is renowned for its Welsh connections, and i find it really strange how that Argentinians here actually celebrate the fact that many nationalitys immigrated here. We walk the 1 blocks to the nearest bus station and while we are here we decide to buy our ticket out of here. We go through the whole process only to find the card machine is not working. There is only one cash point in the terminal, so i get in the long queue of people that are in the same position as me. Finally after 3/4s of an hour its my turn, and when i try to use the machine it tells me that i have exceeded my daily limit. I try both cards but to no avail and leave the cash point empty handed. I return to the ticket kiosk and she tells us that if we go to the kiosk at the end of the station they accept cards (why didnt she say that in the first place). Finally an hour and a half later we have are ticket booked for rio galleous and we are able to board the bus to Trelew .
      The journey takes about an hour and the town itself is quite pretty. We have read in lonely planet that there is not a lot here but we have a little woander around and visit the museum of art and the couple of parks that are all very similar wherever you go, statues benches and little fountains. Back at the bus station we attept to buy our bus ticket to Gaiman, but for some reason we need a bus card? Bus card aquired and tickets booked and we are finally on the bus to Gaiman. No one tells us we are here but everybody seems to be getting off the bus(there is no terminal) so we follow the sheep. It is like an old western town here and the main point of interest is the Welsh tea rooms. There are big signs with arrows guiding the way, but after half an hour we are walking down a dirt track that doesnt feel right. We all laugh because as we are walking here tumbleweed is literally blowing down the gravel street and we joke that its like something out of a hitchcock movie. Another 15 min walk and there is still no sign of the tea house but we have come this far and as i have always saiyou earn your rewards and i think we will be pleasntly surprised. We seem to have aquired a dog from somewhere and out here they literally follow you. We walk ast aplace that is stocked high with wooden logs and the only life here is when 2 dogs come out barking and snarling, to say i nearly died would be an understatement but we kee calm and just carry on walking. There are moments in the trip that we actually think to ourselves WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE but within a few more minutes it becomes apparent. The sight that meets us is beautiful, like an old english garden with fountains a little brook running alongside and The Welsh Tea House. Princess Diana visited here in 1995 and they really like to shout about this. The tea room is adorned with pictures and The chair that she sat on. I go to the toilet and sit on both of them, she must have gone to the loo here so lets just say we have sat on the same throne. The afternoon tea is brought out and our eyes nearly o out of our head. Its like afternoon tea at the Ritz , the cakes are all homemade and the tea is just like home to a point where i have 5 cups. There are ham and cheese sandwichs with the crusts cut off , homemade bread and homemade damson jam and cakes ranging from apple pie like gran used to make, lemon cake welsh cake christmas cake and dulce de leiche meringues. Truly scrumtious . With full bellys we decide to get a taxi back to the bus and arrive home at 8 with our doggy bag tucked tightly under my arm. We share our remaining goodies with Maty and Marie who both agree they are the best cakes they have eaten. We sit chatting till late in the evening and head to bed.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Gaimán, Gaiman

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