Falkland Islands – The First Week

Blogging is actually even harder than I thought it would be in the Falklands. I knew internet connection would be poor but it’s actually the amount of time I have (or don’t have to be precise) which is hindering my blogging. I would love to have put up a post every day but each one is so full and I go to bed so tired that I just don’t have the time or reserves of energy. Anyway, I’ve decided to blog properly when I get home but thought I would provide a couple (or so) of updates before I have to leave the islands.

Since arriving last Tuesday afternoon the days have been hectic and I have so far stayed in five different places; Darwin, Pebble Island, Carcass Island and Saunders Island. I’m now on Bleaker Island to the south east of the archipelago. Travelling has been interesting and exciting, with flights between places being on small, eight-seater Britton-Norman Islanders – the workhorse of the Falkland Island Government Air Service. These little planes give a very different perspective on the islands including just how big and rugged they are. I’ve also had a boat trip out to West Point Island which was very rough on the way out, making a few of the passengers just a little ill (not me of course!), but less so on the way back with the wind behind us and the waves actually overtaking the boat. We were joined and entertained by a couple of dolphins riding the bow wave.IMG_0598Each place I’ve stayed has provided something different, from the battlefields at Darwin and the memorials, war wreckage and old buildings at Pebble Island to the hill walking and elephant seals at Carcass Island and seabird cliffs, large sandy beaches and wind-formed rocky mountain tops of Saunders Island.

At each place, the wildlife has been spectacular but, so far, it is the outlying islands that have proven to be true natural havens with birdlife in abundance.  The mammals aren’t too bad either, with elephant seals, sea lions and Commerson’s dolphins all seen so far – and there may even be killer whales before I go home!

The weather so far has been well above expectations and certainly variable. With the exception of the last couple of days, the weather has been changeable in the extreme. On Carcass Island, I was taking shots of an almost tropical-like paradise one minute with snow coming down the next. On the same day, I was treated to near blizzard conditions but within a short period the sun came out burned it all off. Even the wind hasn’t been constantly strong and I’ve even experienced cloudless skies, which appear to be very rare in these parts.

The people I’ve met have made a real difference to my trip and everyone has a story to tell or an interest in asking about others. It’s certainly a small community down here with everyone knowing everyone else but there are also many people from overseas and I have already met Americans, Australians, Germans and Chileans.

That’s all for now!

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