The fauna reserve of Cabo Blanco develops on a triple rocky promontory over the wide Argentine sea and is home to an important colony of two-haired sea lions.
Among the many attractions offered by Puerto Deseado, there is one that allows you to take a close look at a colony of sea lions that since 1937 have made up the Cabo Blanco intangible natural reserve.
To reach this peculiar destination, we crossed the wild Patagonian plateau for 90 kilometers along an almost desert route. First on asphalt and then on gravel, it offered us a spectacle that we will not forget: the presence of guanacos, rheas, and maras that crisscrossed each other animated the journey.
As we finally approached the shore, we could see a tall, elegant, red-brick, cone-shaped lighthouse. Then we had a panoramic view of the sea coast, with its beaches lapped by the waves and a characteristic salt perfume.
We arrive at that rocky space where since 1937 a massive species that chooses the place to develop their family life has been cared for. We made a small trek to get closer to the place where we would see the sea lions and cormorants in the first row.
Our photographic machines shot many times to try to capture some scenes with the classic poses of hands and feet in the form of open fins sunbathing on the stone.
Our guide informed us: “They are sea lions with one and two hairs and it is the largest colony on the coast. In the 18th and 19th centuries, they were hunted for leather and fat and almost became extinct. They feed on mussels, small fish, and baby octopuses”.
That promontory has been known since the time of Hernando de Magallanes as Cabo Blanco and there are thousands of stories of sailors and pirates that name it. The discovery of boleadoras, hooks, bone harpoons, and arrowheads shows that Aborigines also lived in the area.
Another short walk and we reached the lighthouse, which is nearly 100 years old and places its light at about 87 meters above sea level with a range of 14 nautical miles. We slowly climb its almost 100 steps to marvel at an extraordinary view of the small islands inhabited by countless fur seals, as they are also called.
Huge birds flew over our heads, the cormorants that also have their nests in the rocks. There is a gray, imperial and black neck.
Our eyes could not see the wide sea that stretched out behind a small mist that marked the sunset. We consult the lighthouse keeper, the person who takes care of the place, as an excuse not to leave.
He told us that it is common to see sea kayaking and that many connoisseurs of this activity choose this area between islets, for which it is necessary to be fit. There are also Eskimo roll practices, an original rescue method.
On the way back to Puerto Deseado, we entered a large area of salt flats, with different characteristics from what we had traveled up to that moment. At the beginning of the 20th century, they were used in the wool industry, since meat and leather were preserved with salt.
With the last reflections of the sun, we returned to the city and, despite the wildness of the landscape, we returned convinced that we had made an excursion that we would not forget and that we would talk about with our friends with enthusiasm.