Falkland Islands Off The Beaten Path
My Colleague Debbie by Bodie Creek...
My Colleague Debbie by Bodie Creek...
Gentoo posing for me at Newhaven
Fossils from Green Patch
Bodie Creek Bridge
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The newest and smallest Gentoo colony
Newhaven is not a settlement, nobody lives there, it's not even a dot on the map because according to most Falkland Island maps it doesn't exist. Yet Newhaven has a newly built road (i.e. a dirt/gravel track) that reaches the sea at the Falklands Sound. So why build a road to nowhere? Because it was planned to build a ferry terminal from East to West Falkland here, however the money ran out and the terminal has not been built. There is a tiny colony of Gentoos here, they have not been here very long and they may yet decide to move on elsewhere. I went there in May 2004 and already the numbers of Penguins had halved, a colleague revisited the place a few weeks later and didn't see any penguins at all!Postscript: The long planned and awaited ferry terminal at Newhaven was finally put into operation late 2008 with a Ro-Ro service to Port Howard on West Falkland, as far as I am aware there...
The Bridge at Bodie Creek
I suppose the last place you would expect to find a suspension bridge is in the middle of nowhere in the Falkland Islands. Nevertheless there it stands quietly rusting approximately six miles out of the settlement of Goose Green. The bridge was manufactured in London and shipped out to the Falklands where it was assembled by the Falkland Islands Company workforce work completed in July 1925. The idea behind the bridge stemmed from the decision to centralise all the sheep from Darwin and Walker Creek in Goose Green and to get the Walker Creek sheep across a bridge needed to be built. The bridge remained in use up until 1997 when it was closed due to it becoming unsafe. It may or may not be the southernmost suspension bridge in the world, I do not know of any further South but if anyone knows of one then I will stand corrected. The bridge is infrequently visited by personnel based at MPA...
The Gypsy Cove Gun
Gypsy Cove is one of the most visited places in the Falklands so perhaps this shouldn't go in Off the Beaten Track? Except I got the feeling that people tended to overlook this war time relic in favour of obtaining their first sighting of a Penguin. Understandable I suppose but spare a thought for this rusting piece of ordnance that has stood guarding this position since the Second World War. It hadn't a hope of repelling a determined German invasion but it was placed here as a bit of reassurance for the locals. Built by Vickers in the UK it is one of a pair that defend the Port William harbour outside Stanley. On 8th December 1914 a German fleet was defeated in battle by the Royal Navy to the South East of the Falklands, the German ships closed within 10 miles of the Falkland coast line. Not wanting to let the Germans get that close again these guns were placed here at the start of...
Fossil hunting in Green Patch
As I have already explained virtually every place in the Falklands is off the beaten track. Some places such as Darwin will attract maybe as many as three Rover's full of people at a weekend .. by Falklands standards that's a crowd. Other places remain largely undiscovered, one such place is Green Patch on the Berkley Sound, East Falkland. The shoreline here is probably one of the best in the islands for fossils as they are littered everywhere. Interestingly the Falkland Islands rocks are very similar to some of those found in South Africa this is because approximately 400 million years ago the Falklands were joined to what is now South Africa along with South America, Australasia and Antarctica. This was the giant continent we call Gondwanaland. Some people believe that diamonds and/or gold may yet be discovered in the Falklands, after all South Africa has them so it follows that the...
EVERYWHERE here is off the beaten path!! (with the exception of Stanley that is). This is one such place, Walker Creek. Just turn left five miles out of Goose Green and carry on along the dirt track for an eternity until you can go no further .. that's Walker Creek!
A great way to join the Falkland way of life is to visit a farm during the sheep shearing season.Normally, they cut the sheep three times a year: the males, the females and the lamb, and any of these are a great way to watch the ancient skills of the islanders in full flower.These days, the conventional scissors are replaced by mechanical razors, however, it's still very much a manual job, carried out by some very hard-working men, assisted by some equally hard-working woman working as "rousies". These are the ones taking care of the "fleece" from the moment it has been cut of the sheep and until it ends up in a big back, sorted by fibre length and quality.
There isn't really any "beaten path" on the Falklands, so anywhere you go, you are very likely to be the only tourist.However, once a cruise ship arrives, stay away from Stanley downtown. These all-too-weaalthy tourists with lots of money and no time are a pest, but getting away is very easy - in particular if you swallow the pain and take a jump to West Falkland or any other, out-lying island.
Antarctica, the Final Frontier
ANTARCTICA - the 7th continent! One can't just describe Antarctica in a single tip. Not even an entire page on it is enough! So, instead of saying what I need to say here, I direct you to 225 tips of it on my Antarctica page. Hopefully you'll enjoy the virtual tour. It's something no one on earth will ever forget should they be lucky enough to embark on the journey of a lifetime!As Stephen Pyne says it so well in A Journey to Antarctica:To enter Greater Antarctica is to be drawn into a slow maelstrom of ice.Ice is the beginning of Antarctica & ice is its end.As one moves from perimeter to interior, the proportion of ice relentlessly increases.Ice creates more ice & ice defines ice.Everything else is suppressed...Earth - the fabled water planet is also an ice planet.
"Ushuaia - The End of the World, Beginning of Everything" it says on the seafront.It is probably Argentinian southernmost city.Scenic, resort-like & clean.Snowcapped peaks & relying on tourism, Ushuaia is pretty.Not an entirely off the beaten path as you have to get here & find the port to board all cruise ships. & I wouldn't be in Falklands if I didn't get to Ushuaia first!USHUAIA, ARGENTINA is a nice walkable city with friendly people. Well, most of them are on vacations or trying to sell you something ;-)Still, I like it. It's compact & it has lots of nice souvenir shops. If I had known it to be such a nice town, I'd have come a few days earlier & stocked up those winter clothing I need instead of getting them all the way from Canada!But anyhow, Ushuaia, or rather Argentina has been very affordable since the country started facing financial difficulties in the last 2 years or so. I...
Cape Horn, Chile
Cape Horn was discovered in 17th century by the Dutch. It was the Dutch East Indian Company which then held the monopoly to the sea route leading from Africa Sea to the Spice Islands.Cape Horn is now a national park but not many land here as the wind & high waves made the journey a very difficult one. We didn't since it was not on our itinerary but we got a fantastic view of it. We were very lucky on this trip! :-)
Top 2 Hotels in Falkland Islands
Reviews and photos of Falkland Islands off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Falkland Islands sightseeing.