Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

First Day on The Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands minefields

Well the Argentinean President hasn't persuaded Chile to stop any flights to the Falkland Islands yet, so we decided to go ahead with our visit as planned and hope that we can get back later.  

We flew in on the one weekly flight from Punta Arenas in Chile  to the Mount Pleasant airport on the military base.  The flight was full and according to regular travellers, much busier than usual.

Penguin News on Prince William
From the amount of large camera equipment that we saw, it looks like most of the extra visitors are journalists and cameramen here to cover Prince William's tour of duty.  There is certainly an air of excitement about the place even though they have said he will not be making any ceremonial visits; as we were waiting for the bus to leave the airport we heard a helicopter overhead and there was a buzz of speculation about whether it might be him flying it.

Falklands road to Stanley

We were booked onto the bus transfer into Stanley, which took about an hour driving through mostly deserted countryside.

We did however see plenty of warning signs that indicate the minefields that were left over from the 1982 conflict.

Falkland Islands minefields

The guide books and visitors information assure us that all of the minefields are marked, so it is safe to walk around as long as you avoid the marked areas.

We arrived in Stanley and could immediately see what a tiny place it is.  Our hotel - yes we actually have a proper hotel here - is nicely in the middle of town and our room has a view across the bay.  Having booked ourselves in for dinner, we set off for one of the nearby pubs to get an idea of what the place is like.

Cat in the Victory Bar

Walking into The Victory was just like walking into a traditional British pub.  The room was a bit on the dark and dingy side, with four dart boards, a pool table and a few fruit machines.  The bar had all the drinks and mixers that you would usually find in a British pub, with only two exceptions; they had a bottle of Chilean Pisco, and they don't have beer on draft.  Presumably the breweries don't deliver quite that far!  They even had walkers crisps.

One obvious regular was a British Blue cat which was very friendly.  It sat next to us and was enjoying the attention until suddenly it got up, ran over to the bar and jumped onto an empty bar stool next to a couple of guys.  We quickly realised that the reason for the sudden move was that it had heard them open a packet of crisps.  It watched every crisp go from the packet to the mouth and was clearly disappointed not to get any.  When we bought some crisps later it was as much as we could do to stop the cat from helping itself.

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