Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Quad-Bike Country with Tears of the Clowns

Will Fay J, Tim Sexton and Donald the Birder please read today's comment Muchas Gracias!

Did a walk of the beach late yesterday afternoon and found one Olrog's Gull, a lot of Kelp Gulls, c2 Elegant Terns and a group of the Tern featured below. I'm sure I can see a very small yellow outer end to the bill, but in the field (on the beach) it looked nothing like Sandwich, suggestions please. In addition to that, I can only report that in my view and from what I have seen over my trip northwards along the Argentine coast that the whole thing is knackered. All the beaches along the full length have been taken over by every type of mechanisation you can think of, but quad-bikes are in epidemic proportions. There is no life on any of the fore-shores, the sand dunes are badly scarred with tyre ruts and in general there will never be (or maybe WANT to be) any recovery. Everything I found was dead, as can be seen, except a few birds and the ever present 'black beetles', even the flies have abandoned ship!

Do you recognise this Tern?

If so let me know please.

Large Jellyfish Sp (dead).

Fish Sp (also dead) When first seen it was upside down, and on seeing the 'barbel' thought it was

a common Atlantic Cod, but this way up I haven't got a clue!

One thing I am looking forward to on my return, is a 'Quiet' nights sleep, lovely as these people are, they easily qualify as some of the NOISIEST on the planet. I got turned in about 21-00 and thought to myself just how tranquil it was. Nodding off with no problem at all, it was 23-18 precisely when I was woken by a rendition of The Theme from Bonanza which was shaking the windows, unless that was Hoss Cartwright. This was followed by another unrecognisable song which got me out of the bunk to investigate. The street was thronged with people as the annual Mardi Gras got underway, with made Weymouth Carnival seem like a very subdued affair. The photographs below are a record of some of the stuff that passed right below my room - Bless 'Em!

One Snow White's enough girls!

Thought all those feathers wa another 'lifer'.

It could be.

and the music blared on.

The massed Tambourines of the Salvation Army Deserters

Everyone having a GREAT TIME!

The kids are alright.

If you can smell something strangely sweet while you read this Post, it's only me.

I opted for a slightly more expensive hotel , for these 4 days, as the springboard for my final journey to the Capital on Friday. Paying on average £20 a night, as last night, which didn't include breakfast but the Internet streached as far as the cabin. Here they want £32 for a room with bags of space, breakfast and as I've just found out dinner as well, but the Internet is confined the lobby, I can live with that. As for the smell, for the first time since leaving home I've dhobied my barnet with shampoo and then applied conditioner, I'll be getting drummed out of the Submariner's Old Comrades at this rate.

On the strength of yesterdays findings it was most definitely time to move on. I'd sussed the bus times to La Plata, and unless I wanted to wait until p.m. it would have to be 08-30 or 08-40, don't ask me why 2 so close together. I was there in plenty of time for the first bus, and just over 4 hours later we arrived at the town named the same as the famous river. However, our arrival was 'only just' as twice on the way there was need to stop for repair, while over the last 12Km we barely made 20 knots. On the face of it this place has lots of promise as the countryside all of the way was pristine and interesting. In the main rough grazing, the fields were once again full of cattle and on 2 occasions were were able to watch the Gauchos working, but unfortunately no boleadors (or boulas as we called them at sea) throwing. At intervals there were 'stock yards, crammed full of cattle probably at their last stomping ground before being hauled off to the shambles? This was also Canal Country, including Shipping Channels leading from the sea plus all manner of waterways and flood plains. Here, were stacks of Coscoroba, another Maguari Stork, small black Crakes in just about every drainage channel and a fine Roseate Spoonbill. Unfortunately, all of this was some way before we got to town. The coast looks, from the map, to be about 20Km away, so tomorrow will be given over to looking around the town, Thursday to the coast, and I was going to leave for Buenos Aries on Friday. That is before I met a whole squadron of (professional) Clowns who are here to pit there wits against other troupes in the annual Clown Festival. It wasn't long before I musseled my way into that, and got an invite to the event at 10-00 on Friday.