Port Stanley, February 28/19

Definitely a smoother ride in on the tender. Picked up in 4 x4 driven by Amy who helps to operate her family’s farm (43,000 acres.. 8000 sheep,100 head of cattle) to where we are going. The topography is low rise… totally devoid of trees, barren….. lots and lots of rock… all glacial. Along the route…. in a caravan of 6 vehicle, there was a boot graveyard…. boots left by people that are leaving the islands for good.

The boot graveyard… for those that leave the islands

That grey is chunks of granite rock.

Amy and Petra’s family’s farm…Port Louis

There are miles and miles of nothingness. The total area of the Falklands is 4700 square miles actually….. much bigger than we expected.

At the first stop near Seal Bay, we saw a colony of rock hopper penguins…all juveniles… adults are out to sea. They were all living together with a huge number of imperial cormorants. So so cute with their yellow “eyebrows” and red eyes. Brrrr …..it’s friggin’ freezing!!

Young rock hoppers

Rock hopper penguin…. isn’t it cute!

Cormorant

The very desperately needed toilet!

Next was Magellanic penguins…. they have stripe or bib .. live in holes in ground. They look very similar to the ones we saw last year in South Africa… but bigger. And Gentoo penguins. They apparently are the fastest swimmers of the all the penguins….. have orange beaks and feet.

Magellanic Penguins

Moulting!

Gentoos

Driving through the lake ….. to lunch on the beach

Next there were a couple of King Penguins. It was like they’d done this many times before…. just patiently posed for us all. They are so majestic and “proper”. Beautiful.!

Upland Geese

King Penguins…. aren’t they gorgeous!

The only vegetation that you see in this barren land is Diddledee.. a ground shrub somewhat like heather but with little red berries…. also a little green scrub that has tiny white flowers and not much else.

We drove through a lake to get to our lunch on the beach. The drivers had done this many times before … did some donuts showing off but I think all of us were shocked when we started into it.

We didn’t see much livestock…. some sheep, one small herd of cattle, some geese…. nothing else (besides the penguins). There are no predators….. nothing!

On way back it was 5C plus wind which probably brought it down below freezing.

It was totally terrific to see all these penguins but omg….. such an extremely long ride there and back… maybe 2.5-3 hours in either direction. Too too long…… with a whole lot of nothingness! I think we all agreed that we would NEVER want to live here.

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