Thursday, February 23, 2012

Comodoro Rivadavia and Rada Tilly

C. Rivadavia is the largest town in Patagonia. It is a port town located on the Atlantic and Rada Tilly is a small beach community only about 10 km (6 miles) to the south. In Trelew, we had been told of a propane plant that would be able to fill the motorhome so that was first on our itinerary. Approaching any large town you always pass through a police checkpoint but very rarely stopped, however we have found them very friendly and knowledgeable about the area. This one was no different. Tom went inside to ask about the facility and was told it was about 6 kilometer from town and they verified that yes, the plant should be able to help us. Naturally, we got lost and stopped by the local fire station for further help. They set us on track again and said that SurGas was actually on route 3 just passed the main part of town on the left. Since it is in the direction of Rada Tilly where we will spend the night, we drove and looked but still could not see the place. As we got to the turnoff for the beach, we decide to find the campground and look for propane in the morning. As we also need to get a lubrication on the under carriage and have the tires rotated, balanced and aligned, we will stay in town for two nights. Rada Tilly is a pretty beach town and new. There was a beautiful sandy beach with a new sea wall and promenade built from stone and brick. Even the sand looked imported. There were plenty of brand new homes and many others under construction. Looking around we decide that at one time the small town was a run-down area and now is slowly becoming an upscale beach suburb for the more affluent of Rivadavia. The municipal campground is nestled against the cliffs on the north side of the beach and had plenty of signs including one which said “no animals”. Tom parked and went to the office. We have found that no pets just mean they don’t want dogs running free and bothering others and the same was the case here. Just keep him close to your RV and it will be ok. The campground is busy but has hot showers, electricity and water but although Wi-Fi was advertised we could not get it, not even at the office. No real explanation was given. Oh well. After we parked, 4 children ran up to us. We had first met them in Puerto Madryn and they recognized the motorhome. There were hugs and kisses all round with special hugs for Winston. Tom set up the grill for dinner. We had stopped at a market and had purchased Patagonian lamb for dinner. We were hungry and the lamb chops were very good. Winston got some to and then we took him down to the beach for a long run. The next morning after stopping for gas, we got additional directions. It was confirmed that the propane place was about 4 km going towards Rivadavia, on the right. We set off wondering how we could have missed the place. We drove slowly, got most of the way to town and still could not find it. We turned back and finally as we passed the one cross street to look for, we noticed it on the next block, tucked into a group of commercial buildings. We were in luck, there was a truck available and they could fill us. This was one of those places that you look and look for and once you find it you wonder how you could have missed it. From there we went to a lubrication shop we had seen and then onto the tire place, both we had noticed as we trolled up and down route 3 looking for propane. As they removed the tires for rotation, we got another surprise. We have dual tires on the rear and one of the inside tires had a puncture. It had to have been recent but there was a nail in it. They plugged the puncture and Tom had them put it on the outside rear so we could keep an eye on it. They also told us we were too wide for them to balance and align us, so we will wait and have those done in Ushuaia. After that it was back to the campground for dinner and to decide where we want to go next. There are two alternatives. After Fitz Roy (the town not the mountain) we could go to Puerto Desearto to another penguin colony. This is about a 250 km (160 mile) detour to the beach and back. The other is stay on route 3 and then take a gravel road to the Monumento Bosque Petrificado (a petrified forest reserve), which is a detour of about 100 km (60 mile) round trip. Or we could always stay on route 3 and keep going south. Tom has had his fill of penguins as he put it so we decide to go to the petrified forest and then south. When we woke up, it was raining but soon cleared up. We said good-bye with more hugs to the family from Chile and got a fairly early start for us, which means around 11 am!

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