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The hardy migrants

Tuesday, October 15th 2013

We wanted to see some penguins while we were in Patagonia, but we were there at a bad time of year. All of the magellanic penguins come here for the summer, and it was just barely out of winter now. No trips were going to Isla Magdalena, the largest penguin colony in the area, but we found a trip going to Seno Otway and went there to see if we could see some.

It was a wild and windy day at Seno Otway. We walked out to the beach where the penguins come in and go out to sea, and we found just a handful of penguins there. 5 or 6 of them were testing the waters, bracing themselves for a day out in the ocean. We watched them for a while and then wandered inland to their colony. Again, just a handful of penguins were here, scattered across the grass. They reminded me of people who arrive at Glastonbury three days before the festival starts, nicking all the best camping spots. But I also thought that these were the coolest penguins. While thousands of their comrades were still lazing about on Uruguayan beaches, these ones were the hard core, the pioneers. No easy life in the sun for them. Patagonia had called them, and they had come.

We walked back to the beach. The penguins had gone out for the day and it was empty. We headed back to Punta Arenas.

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