We had two days to spare in Punta Arenas before our flight away from Patagonia. We used them to visit the pinguins on Isla Magdalena (Sunday 12-Feb-2017). It was weekend, so the boat was extremely crowded and for a while it seemed they will not let us join without a reservation. However we squeezed in and soon after we were observing little water fountains of whale “exhausts” on the surface of the Strait of Magellan.
Isla Magdalena is a nature reserve and apart from the lighthouse, the guard of the colony and thousands of penguins it is deserted and is strictly forbidden for ships to dock here.
The island is rather small, but packed with penguins. According to estimates more than 120 000 Magellanic penguins live here in the time of nesting (September to March). The rest of the year the penguins are cruising the oceans. Out of interest, they’re monogamous and remain faithful to one partner all their lives. 🙂
They are very neat and skillful in the water, but rather funny on the firm ground. They are moving from side to side as if drunk, sometimes slipping and falling. Others are lying around their nests, some are fencing with their beaks.
They are very close – often they run across the trail stopping for a quick uninterested look at the tourist before carrying on…yeah they clerly indicate who is the king here… imagine poo and feathers from 120 000 penguins… 🙂
The last day in Patagonia we were just walking around in Punta Arenas, had a last Austral beer made with calafate and in the evening sat on a plane towards Santiago de Chile. Thus ending our Patagonian adventure. On the right hand side were amazing views of Fitz Roy and Perito Moreno glacier and the whole of Hielo Sur was amazing. We also had an entertainment in a form of a Swiss guy, who said he was a millionaire and travels around the world mainly in first class flights. He would never go on a long haul flight in a plane, where seat does not recline proper 180 degrees!