Falling for the Falklands

I fell in love this summer. It was unplanned, unexpected and it happened so fast. Sadly, after less than a week it was over but it has changed my life. I have fallen in love with the Falklands. 

King Penguins - Volunteer Point

King Penguins - Volunteer Point

As there is only one flight a week from the Falklands I had a few days in Stanley after photographing onboard Argos Georgia in the South Atlantic. I spent the first day ashore wandering around Stanley which is the main town for the Falkland Islands. It was a cruise ship day (3 in total) so I didn’t stay in town long. Once they all left, I ventured back out with my camera. While there is nothing photographically skilled about these photos, I was keen to capture the feel of Stanley as it is a beautiful little port town. I also visited the Dock Yard museum and while I didn’t take any photos, I really enjoyed it. Well worth the £5 to learn all about Falklands. It is a must do. I’ve left a few more Stanley town photos right at the bottom of the blog in case anyone is interested (or you can bear with me past ALL the penguins - 4 different species in fact!).

Christ Church Cathedral and whale bone arch - Stanley

Christ Church Cathedral and whale bone arch - Stanley

Ross Road - Stanley

Ross Road - Stanley

Dock Yard Museum

Dock Yard Museum

The perfect place for a pint

The perfect place for a pint

Urban horses and squid jiggers (the boats in the background) will always now remind me of the Falklands

Urban horses and squid jiggers (the boats in the background) will always now remind me of the Falklands

My next activity was to visit the Rock Hopper penguins on Murrell Farm. Adrian and Lisa run tours out over the farmland to the stunning cliffs where you will find several penguin colonies. The journey over land is in a Land Rover Defender and the route is OFF ROAD. There is no way to fully describe the peat bogs, troughs, rocks and puddles, but a lot of time was spent in 1st gear. It was so much fun and totally safe, making it worth the £40 tour cost on its own. We arrived at the colony and I was the only person there. I wandered around the almost fledged, and almost moulting Rock Hoppers, I chased the Caracaras, stalked the geese and tested the weather proofing of my camera in the rain - this is the Falklands after all.

Rock Hopper Penguin

Rock Hopper Penguin

Views from Murrell Farm

Views from Murrell Farm

Another Rock Hopper

Another Rock Hopper

Female Upland Goose

Female Upland Goose

Wet Rock Hopper on a rainy day

Wet Rock Hopper on a rainy day

No Ubers here!

No Ubers here!

Tamzin Henderson Falkland Islands N.jpg

Returning to town I captured a few photos of birds I have never seen before and then enjoyed a ploughman’s lunch at the Waterfront Cafe. 

 

Dolphin gull

Dolphin gull

Brown-Hooded gull

Brown-Hooded gull

On my last full day in the Falklands I braved the cruise crowd again and headed out to Volunteer Point. Due to Adrian and Lisa’s good management we arrived just as everyone was leaving which meant I had the entire place to myself. Volunteer Point is a breeding ground for King, Magellanic and Gentoo penguins. There is the most beautiful sandy beach where you can watch the penguins come ashore and waddle their way up to the colonies. The ride out to Volunteer Pt is another off-road experience. I can’t emphasise this enough. By off road, I mean no road. It is so much fun in the Land Rover but it is neither fast or smooth. If you speak nicely to your guide when booking you’re tour you can stay hours at Volunteer Point to enjoy the changing light, and routine of these gorgeous birds. I could have spent weeks here. The first photo is the bake safe at Johnson Harbour, keep some change spare and buy some baking from the local kids, such a treat.

The Bake Safe

The Bake Safe

Still not an Uber

Still not an Uber

My first glimpse of the stunning beach and King Penguins

My first glimpse of the stunning beach and King Penguins

King Penguin checking on the egg

King Penguin checking on the egg

Gentoo and windswept sand

Gentoo and windswept sand

King Penguin family

King Penguin family

Curious Gentoo Penguin

Curious Gentoo Penguin

Magellanic penguins looking a little like meercats

Magellanic penguins looking a little like meercats

All the Kings

All the Kings

Baby Gentoo looking for his mum

Baby Gentoo looking for his mum

A parade of penguins

A parade of penguins

Snugs!

Snugs!

A Magellanic penguin among the wild flowers

A Magellanic penguin among the wild flowers

My brief time in the Falklands came to an end as I flew via LATAM back to NZ. I absolutely love this place, and I will be back to explore the outer islands. 

Police Station

Police Station

Government house

Government house

Waterfront houses

Waterfront houses

Magellanic Penguin saying goodbye

Magellanic Penguin saying goodbye