After having my fill of penguins – there being only so much you can take in of the same scene no matter how many different angles and ways you look at it (I had attempted to suck them into my memory banks. There was nothing more that could be achieved) I wandered off to take in the scenery. That was almost as magical. This was summer in the Falklands. You could tell that because we only needed one jumper and a single jacket and waterproof. We were assured by Jamie that this was an outstanding day. The sun was shining and it wasn’t too windy. As I peered over the desolate bay I wondered what it might be like on this desolate island in winter.
The bay was beautiful. The sea was blue and the sand was white. The light was soft and clear creating a spectacular pastel effect. It reminded me of the light out in the Orkneys. It had that same delicate quality.
I watched as the waves crashed in and the wind whipped the spray off them. There were two penguins standing on the beach studying the waves. I imagined them as a pair of friends discussing the weather. I had a walk around, took a few photos and soaked up the beauty.
It was time to head for the fabled sea-cabbage café and museum for a warming cup of tea and slice of home-made cake. The tea was as English as you could ge and the cake tasted as if it had been baked by a branch of the Women’s Institute.
I wandered round the museum and marvelled at the wool creation produced by the jovial proprietess.
It was time to head back to Port Stanley. That was an experience.
There were signs of this secluded colony participating in black magic rites. I imagine there is little else to do in those endless dark winter months but to do it so openly was remarkable. There was a bust of Margaret Thatcher on open display and they had even named the road after her. That is truly satanic.
We looked at the war memorial and looked at the names of the dead. They had fought and died for this place.
I looked across the strait towards the hillside where the various regiments had left their marks spelt out in rocks.
We walked past the church and post office with its bright red pillar box and telephone box. If it hadn’t been for the whalebone formation in front of the church it would all have been more English than England.
We went to the café for a hot mug of cocoa and then on to the pub festooned with union jacks and regimental colours. We climbed up the hill and looked down into the harbour. It was such a little settlement, such a quaint bit of Britishness on the edge of the Antarctic.
A fur seal greeted us on the jetty as we boarded the lifeboats.
As we turned and headed back to Argentina the sun was setting and the islands were encased in an orange glow.