Just west of El Condor, maybe 15-20 miles along on the eastern coast of Argentina, is a small village, Loberia (which is also the word for sea lion colony). Another 2 miles past that lies Punta Bermeja where there is a small museum perched on the cliffs and a large sea lion colony on the beach below.
On the ride out we see lots of the burrowing parrots, usually in pairs, perched on power lines and wiggling back and forth to balance on the wires in the wind.
It’s a small museum, and we are the only people in the parking lot for a few minutes, but then some Argentinians arrive to ask about the condition of the road ahead toward San Antonio and then stay for a peek at the colony.
I’m really impressed with the displays. There’s a whale skeleton, a sea lion skeleton, a penguin skeleton, and many stuffed birds and small animals, all representative of the animals we might see here today. Orcas come here too, to feed, but the water is murky today and we don’t see any.
The museum loans out binoculars to use on the viewing platform on the top of the sea cliffs, just a 30-40 meter walk away. We carry a pair with us and go out to the breezy deck.
I can hear them before I can see them….they sound just like a heard of sheep with nearly grown “lambs” bleating towards their moms as they emerge from the surf and try to find their resting spot on the beach.
The pups are born in November, and spend time waiting on land for their moms who go out to the sea to eat. The pups don’t usually start entering the water until about February, and by now (late March) they are going out to the shallow waters on their own.
I could spend hours listening to and watching the movement below. Moms wallow in the shade or sun, depending on their mood, and the pups waddle in over the rocky shore to their mothers side. Waves roll in and then recede. Birds silently drift by overhead being carried on the breeze. It’s relaxing and almost meditational.
After a half hour or so we head back to El Condor and then retrace our steps to Viedma. And then on to Bahia Blanca…we are low on Argentinian money and need to find an ATM or better yet, a place to exchange some Chileno pesos.
And on the way…..we stop to peer over the edge of the cliffs and watch the burrowing parrots one more time.