I must admit I have been looking forward to spending time with our new friend Martin and getting to see a different part of Argentina from a local, highly educated, well-traveled Patagonian’s eyes. On getting to the airport early we were ready to go through the normal paperwork dramas, but as we meet the PSA (TSA Argentina style); we are greeted with blank stares and negative responses. After a while an English speaking customs lady helped us through security, but only after we showed them an article in which our flight had been reported in the local Argentina news.

 A long wait, paperwork; the normal drill, I have almost got used to it now!! I wait for Chris to sort the flight plan out and collect the plane (only one is allowed to do this) while I am told to wait with the bags. Chris finally arrives looking flustered and moans about the delay, and the complications of leaving the airport etc., and “I think, really, did you believe after all this time it was going to be simple!” We pre-flight our plane and quickly load our bags as the wind has now picked up and it is raining. A man comes running out to tell us that despite THEM delaying us we cannot leave now as the weather is bad and we need to file a new IFR plan!! Very pissed off to be honest now, we return to the tower to get the weather update and they tell us to go now as the bad weather is building up for later, so we return to the flight planning office and wait, and wait until a lady strolls out to tells us it is raining and we need to wait for at least an hour. I ask why, as the increasing bad weather is not good, and later may ensure we encounter bad weather, and her colleagues says “this is the rule, the norm” We had previously planned to go to Viedma for fuel and onto Comodoro Rivadavia, but she stipulated that there was no gas, no security and the airport at Viedma was a no go zone and closed. She insisted that the only place for us to buy gas and land was Bahia Blanca.

Thank god for our friend Martin who had his finger on the pulse, and knew, informed, and alerted the fuel guy in Viedma that we were on our way. After an hour of flying in bright skies, the wind picked up and we began to be shaken like a cocktail in a blender for almost an hour. I was starting to think fuel or no fuel this is a stupid decision. I was also really fed up with being in the plane and going a little stir crazy, when the turbulence stopped the sky lite up, and Chris said we were landing very soon. On meeting the lovely PSA officer Vanessa, we completed basic paperwork, got refueled and continued on our original route to CR, with the weather turning hideous again. The winds were increasing every minute, and we were getting pounded in our little plane continuously. We both made the decision that although we wanted to get to Comodoro Rivadavia it was a no way decision, not a safe option. We determined that landing at our safety alternative airport which was best both psychologically and physically. We had both had enough of having our heads hit on the roof and our backsides pounded, and were now ready to stretch out, have a loo break and breathe fresh air. Trelew was going to be our night stop and unfortunately we were not going to make CR to meet our friend.
On heading to Trelew, we were pleasantly surprised, after the nasty weather and turbulence, and neither one of us had much time for taking pictures,but now we crossed the large Golfo San Matias at 1000ft where the air was smooth and calm, and the view was stunning. We flew over the coast line and water’s edge of Peninsula Valdes which is one of the world's most concentrated spots for marine wildlife. To our surprise not only did we encounter wonderful sculpted multi- layered rock cliffs, but at the foot of these amazing natural beauties were fur seals, elephant seals and sea lions. Once we headed inland we spotted herds of wild sheep and Guanacos who looked both surprised and puzzled by our presence in a plane soaring above them. What had started off as a flight of misery was now becoming a flight of total joy. On landing at Trelew, we refueled again (never passing a chance as some airport do not have fuel for our type of plane), and completed the usual paperwork. Chris got sandbags to hold down our plane due to gusting winds in the area, and we hopped in a taxi, ate an gorgeous meal and stayed in the best affordable hotel in town.  This a lovely place to rest for the night, and we are told somewhere out of town is a village which is a welsh speaking, with a wonderful Welsh choir that has amazing tea rooms!! We hope to visit this great place again on our return route.

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