Thursday, 5 July 2012

Uneven Camber

[More tales from expats in the Falkland Islands.  Currently, we're 51 degrees south and around 0 degrees Centigrade!]
Meadowlark in snow
About once a month, my wife and I join a group of Ramblers for a leisurely walk in the area.  It's a good way to get to know who's who, and what they do.  And also to try routes we might not attempt on our own. (There seems to be a lot of fences and gates, many with signs saying "No Access", and it's only recently we  found out that many people just ignore these!)

View from front door during blizzard.

One Saturday night a couple of weeks ago, a raging blizzard dumped a few inches of snow on our doorstep, but in the morning all was calm and bright...once we'd removed the drifted snow from doors and windows.
Kitchen window with drifting snow.  Empty shell on window-ledge.

Entrance to our snow-cave.

The Pink Shop.  Meeting point.
It's snowing again today, and it reminded me that I hadn't yet posted photos from a walk in the snow about 3 weeks ago.  Been busy with Liberation Day celebrations and Midwinter Dip....see other blogs for details.
Dean Street and Deanos Bar
We met at 10am on Sunday in the centre of Stanley, and on this occasion, about 12 of us drove to the west end of the harbour, known as Moody Brook, which is where the final shots were fired when Stanley was liberated in 1982.   It was also where the forty Marines who were stationed on the Islands were based, and so the barracks there were the primary target of the Argentine invaders.  The barracks were destroyed by shelling during the War.
Cathedral and snow squall
10% gradient

Upland Geese in the garden
Only a couple of hills are gritted - this isn't one of them.
Road to Moody Brook.  Golf course on left....
The morning, as you can see, was bright and crisp, but very cold, so we were keen to get going. We were going to walk about 3 miles along the northern shore of the harbour to the former Naval refuelling depot known as Camber.
However, I have to say, the afternoon deteriorated and we returned along the same path into a gale with hailstones in our faces for about an hour.  This exfoliates the skin better than any expensive spa treatments, but didn't allow me to take many photos.   A very uneven walk!
Moody Brook.  Mount Tumbledown in distance
Two Sisters mountain.  45 Commando fought on these hills after "yomping" 60 miles from their landing beaches.
Nordic Walker, and wife.
Ramblers who wished they had Nordic Walking poles.
Nordic Walkers
The fuel depot used to store coal, and then fuel oil, for Royal Navy warships in the South Atlantic.  The Falklands have a strategic position and have seen the first naval engagements in both World Wars - The Battle of the Falklands in 1914, and the Battle of the River Plate in 1939.
Old pumping station
But the depot has long been superseded by a military facility at Mare Harbour, near the Mount Pleasant Complex (garrison and airport), about 40 miles south of Stanley.
Hebe Street is now a sledging hill.  "Chez nous" is top of photo, 2nd from left.
However, it was a very pleasant walk, to start with, and it afforded views across the harbour to Stanley.  "You can see our house from here!".  You could also see the children using the snow-covered hilly streets for the traditional sledging.
Just before the ice breaks...must have been all that home baking!
Before turning round into the gale, we had some hot drinks and sandwiches while sheltering in the lee of an abandoned container.  There's a few derelict storage tanks and sheds, and a private house, but having noticed the impact the sun has, I can see why everyone else chose to  live on the south side of the harbour.

We may not see the sun for long at this time of year, but it is all the more welcome for that.

Looking west along Stanley Harbour
Soon, we're off to see where Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid holed up, so it may be a few weeks till the next posting.  If there's anything you want to know about the Falklands, but were afraid to ask, please get in touch, and I'll try to answer.    If you would like to visit these unique islands, let me know if I can offer any advice.

"Dos cerveza, por favor".  Yep, that should do us......



  1. By Canadian standards you Winters are very mild and your snow does not stay very long. I have a weather widget for Stanley on my desktop so I daily know how warm your Winter's are. I am sure the dampness and wind make it all seem a lot colder. The snow does give the place both town and camp a little different look.

    We have been having record high temperatures here. 30-35C with humidity making it feel like 43C. I would prefer your weather.

  2. Probably more like somewhere north of Vancouver....

    Today, it was minus 5C at dawn and is now 28C. But I am in the Atacama desert! More later.....