Sunday, January 18, 2009

PORT STANLEY, FALKLAND ISLANDS

Day 13, Sat, Dec. 27Th, At port 8 AM - 4-PM

FALKLAND ISLANDS

With a population of 2,000 people, Port Stanley has the feel of a small English village, its small size and remoteness makes it unlike any other capital city in the world and claims to be crime free. Many vessels that struggled to sail around Cape Horn, were abandoned and still lie in the harbor. The island boast magnificent unpolluted coastlines.

The Captain, warned us that reaching the Falklands would be by Tender and it depended on sea conditions if we would make it to shore or not and if the Tenders would run. However, they did, and what a ride. It was VERY windy going over, the Tender bobbing and swaying back and forth in the large waves. I kept worrying about the person behind me becoming seasick, as they were leaning up against the back of my seat. The Tenders have canvas flaps that come down to become zippered doors to keep out the water, but many got soaked, either from water coming in underneath the flaps, or from the waves that swept right over the Tenders. I kind of enjoyed it!! Must be some sailor in me somewhere!


Below, is the front window of the Tender, which you can see in the above picture. The waves went right over that window. The little lad in front of me got his pants all wet with sea water!


The Falklands, as we approached looked wild and rough, a few hills, but the country side looked rocky and barren, which reminded me much of the Burran in Ireland. The town itself also reminded me of Ireland, however it's very British, and they wouldn't like me thinking those thoughts! The houses are neat and tidy with lovely pastel colours, and very neat yards. The people are very friendly and I really liked it here!

This was the first building you saw when getting off the jetty. The tourist help area was to the left. I went in and asked about going to Gypsy Cove to see the penguins. This is a tour not even mentioned on the ship and I learned about it from the Internet, on a site a lady gave to tourists. It's a hop on, hop off bus, and was suppose to be $10., but the price had gone up to $20, but still a bargain compared to the ship excursions. So on I hopped!!

This is Linda, our driver to Gypsy Cove. She's an outgoing, friendly person, who would answer any questions and went out of her way to stop so we could take a picture. Linda, works driving the tourists in what is their summer school holiday for the kids. When school is in and the tourist season is over, she works with handicapped children. A very nice person, who I hope comes into the site to say hello on the Comments!! Hey Linda!!

Looks like Ireland to me..all those rock walls!!

Laying in the east end of Stanley Harbour is Stanley's most imposing wreck. The "Lady Liz", as she is locally known, was launched in Sunderland (UK) in 1879 and in 1913 suffered damage while rounding Cape Horn. She limped into Stanley for repairs, but cost prevented any being carried out. After various moorings, in Stanley Harbour, a violent gale in 1936 forced the 'Lady Liz' into her current resting place.


Below, is a beach while on the way to Gypsy Cove. Linda told me that she used to swim there when she was younger and before the war between Argentina and England. Now, it's very unsafe with the land mine's still buried around the Island. The same war, we heard about when Prince Andrew served. Many sections are marked with DANGER signs. They have not swept for mines for awhile as too many people we're getting hurt. Apparently, as Linda told me, the Geneva convention is about to make sure they get them all removed. A beautiful place, and so unsafe to explore. War is sad!

Here we are at last!! An extremely windy place and just as beautiful!! I could hardly hold the camera still! I could have stayed here taking pictures all day, it's so rugged, and so beautiful! The penguins are so cute too!


Arn't they cute! They don't move much but when they do, it's such a cute waddle! Pretty hard to spot the King penguin on these small pictures. The beach and area where I was standing was breathtaking. More pictures tomorrow. It was SOOO windy!!

video

All you can hear is the wind!! Sorry for my very bad video!

The penguins here are called Magellanic or Jackass. The Magellanic penguin is the only burrowing species in the Falklands and the soft peaty soil at the cove is an ideal habitat for these birds. There are many burrows amid the patches of tussac and cinnamon grass on the slopes around the beach.

Magellanic penguins mate for life and use the same burrows year after year. These birds spend their summer months at Gypsy Cove (November) to lay eggs and rear their chicks. In the winter (March to October) they travel hundreds of miles north of the Islands in search of food. If you look closely, there is one King Penquin with a splotch of colour on his neck and much larger then the others. It's a fenced off area, as going down to the beach has land minds apparently. It's beautiful here!!

Tomorrow, I'll show you the rest of the Falklands, which I really loved.

However, last night, we went to Tom's sister's birthday, and we got into Oprah's famous pommegrante drinks and after...was it two, or did I have three....I ended up playing Guitar Hero, and singing at the top of my lungs into a microphone to "Roxanne!" Then up this morning to have breakfast with Martin and Joan. I'm a little too tired to finish the rest of the Falklands tonight. See you for more tomorrow.

How about some comments from readers!!!

2 comments:

  1. It was nice to see your photos of the Islands, I was there in 82, I was on the RFA Tidespring, I spent some time in the local hospital in port stanley, Which i believe has burnt down , Looking at your photos reminded me of my time there,
    Kind regards
    John Kerr
    jk8562@aol.com

    ReplyDelete

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Living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment! In love with a wonderful husband!! A Capreol Girl from 1959-1975, Belleville 1975-1985

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