Where We Be
|Port Stanley, Falkland Islands
|We got to see this mother penguin and chick up close -- what a treat!
|This stretch of beach on Yorke Bay near Gypsy Cove is starkly beautiful (and strictly off-limits to people because of the mines)
|British flags fly proudly here -- Falkland Islanders take their British citizenship seriously
|Cute chick flaps its wings after being holed up in its burrow for too long
Port Stanley is the southernmost capital in the
world and probably one of the smallest capitals,
too, with just 2,000 inhabitants. We discovered
today that it’s proudly British in its heritage and
traditions. British flags flutter everywhere, fish and
chips are the food of choice, the pound sterling is
the local currency, and people drive on the
“wrong” side of the road. It's a little outpost of
Great Britain on the far side of the world, and the
British fought a war with Argentina in 1982 to keep
it that way.
Robin and I entertained ourselves by taking a long
hike to Gypsy Cove, a photogenic and secluded
crescent of white sand 4½ miles from Stanley. The
weather was a cool 45 degrees so it felt like Maine.
We asked a local for directions and ended up
being offered a ride in his Range Rover, which
saved us an hour of hiking.
On reaching Gypsy Cove, we saw a colony of
Magellanic penguins all standing at “parade rest”
on the beach. Right near the trail we were excited
to discover a burrow with two Magellanic penguins
inside, one a mother and the other her chick.
Magellanic penguins make burrows for nests -- no
other type of penguin does this. The chick still had
vestiges of “baby fur” clinging to it.
|Mother and chick peer out from their burrow
|Back in the burrow for a little nap
|Magellanic penguins form a tight colony on this wide crescent of beach
|Magellanic penguins huddle on the beach, which is mined from the 1982 Falklands War -- but they are light enough not to set the mines off!
|Robin has the Celebrity Infinity clearly in her sights but thankfully decides to hold fire
|We walked past the wreck of the Lady Elizabeth in Whalebone Cove during our return hike
|The wreck of the Lady Elizabeth with a line of mountain bikers peddling by
|Inside the Lighthouse Cafe, a little bastion of British civilization, where we stopped for refreshments on our way back
|Christ Church Cathedral with its distinctive Whalebone Arch -- made from the jawbones of blue whales
|Our last stop before reboarding the ship was Government House, the home of the Governor on the island
|Looking back at Stanley after a mile of hiking to Gypsy Cove
|Bright-painted roofs in Stanley add a splash of color to this somewhat desolate outpost of civilization