Río Gallegos, Argentina
51° 38' S 69° 13' W
Nov 28, 2003 19:16
Distance 280km

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Text written in: English

Rio Gallegos

Thank God the bus was on time, because at 06:20 it was not really warm so to say. What a time to get up. The residencial did not even serve breakfast that early but I had arranged a take away mini breakfast the evening before. At least something to eat on the 4.5 hour trip to Rio Gallegos. The sleepy people on the bus that came from Comodor Rivadavia were surprised to see a tourist getting on the bus in this desolate town. Well, so was I. I managed to get a couple of hours more sleep on the very much reclining seats of the Don Otto bus. Excellent. Around 11:15 we arrived at the extremely small bus terminal which was more than full of people. I could hardly enter the tiny station. It was the first time the bus station was too far out of town to walk into town. I decided to take the luxury of a taxi after I noticed that the bus that was supposed to come past every 15 minutes did not come at all. Residencial Laguna Azul was good value for 19 pesos.

Rio Gallegos was surprisingly big and quite nice, although every place is nice after Comodoro Rivadavia and Puerto San Julian in particular. The city of about 100.000 people had quite a few museums so I decided to do a museum run in the afternoon. Museo de los Pioneros is a very small free museum about the fisrt people who settled there in the 1800's. The young girl who was bored to death in the extremely warm museum was happy to tell me in excellent English who all the people were on the pictures. The house used to be the house of an Irish doctor and they even had the old fashioned doctors room with all the instruments. Quite nice to visit and see the old pictures of town and compare it with modern day Rio Gallegos, the southernmost city in Argentinean Patagonia.

The Museo de Arte Eduardo Minnicelli was also small and full of very modern art and quite nice. Good to pass another 15 minutes or so, especially because the museum is also for free. The Museo Regional Padre Manuel Jesus Molina also doesn't charge an entrance fee so all Dutch people will visit the place. The museum was big and contained a combination of geology, fauna, complete skeletons of dinosaurs, hands-on exhibits about physics and technology and also fascinating modern paintings, displays about the Tehuelche Indians who are the natives in this area and modern art.

Three museums in less than three hours is above my normal average so after having finished them I was happy to go out again. The city, famous for the winds, was sunny today and there were no winds at all! Strange but true, it was a very nice day here in Rio G. Big enough to have some decent shops I bought a nice thick nazi-green fleece and a warm beanie to keep my head warm on Antarctica and elsewhere. Not a bad town at all but not too much to do to keep you busy for much longer than an afternoon or so.

To fill up the afternoon the following day I walked back to the bus terminal and bought a bus ticket to Rio Turbio. Rio Turbio is near the border with Chile, about 6 hours exactly west from Rio Gallegos. From there it is another hour to Puerto Natales on the Pacific Coast in Chile, and that was the next destination I had in mind.

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Rio Gallegos