Sunday March 3, 2013

We’ve been doing a bit of rock’n’roll today (and yesterday) as we sail up the coast of Argentina … skirting a grumpy storm, riding some sizable swells, and weaving around the decks and lounges like drunken sailors. But we’re still buzzing, and can’t stop talking about the FANTASTIC Friday we had in the Falkland Islands. The weather was as good as it gets at this South Atlantic outpost; the locals (mainly British) were thrilled to see us (after a summer of bad weather that kept most cruise ships away); and we Kiwis couldn’t believe our luck.

When Darwin arrived here on the Beagle in 1833 he declared “the whole landscape had an air of extreme desolation”. And as we headed ashore in Port Stanley aboard one of the ship’s lifeboats, we could see what Darwin meant.

Highlight #1 was an intro look-around-town in an old London double-decker bus – during which we learned some essential Island history (including the nasty 1982 war between Britain and the Falklands).

For lunch-on-our-own, Wayne and I chose the popular Victory Bar – where the novel menu includes items such as “Fish’n’Chips: locally-caught fish with freshly frozen imported chips” … and “Liver & Bacon: tenderly cooked liver from a pig, with bacon from another part of a pig, and some onions grown in soil and pig s–t, serviced with your choice of potato” … and “Chili Con Carne: mild, suitable for wimps and girlies”.

Highlight #2 saw us climbing into 4WD off-roaders and lurching out across peaty, rock-strewn farmland to a remote penguin colony where several thousand pairs of Gentoo penguins (with orange beaks and feet) nest beside a sandy, windswept beach. The adults were standing around or lying face-down, busy moulting, feathers blowing in all directions … while their fully-grown chicks were playing down on the beach and learning to surf.

We also spotted half a dozen King penguins (bigger, more colourful, with bright orange collars) … plus several still-fluffy chicks.

Words can’t describe how we felt as these plump, healthy, curious creatures strutted their stuff … fed their young … waddled over to get up-close-and-personal … and stood looking up at us from around our feet.

Unforgettable? For sure! And one of many experiences we’re gonna HAVE to rave about once we’re home.

Before leaving our penguin-friends and returning to Port Stanley (and the warm Veendam), we all enjoyed complimentary tea/coffee/hot-chocolate with home-made cakes and bikkies at the Sea Cabbage Cafe.

TOMORROW: We’ll be waking up in Montevideo (capital of Uruguay) where we’re to visit a recently-declared UNESCO World Heritage Site: Colonia del Sacramento. So don’t go away …

Yours bloggedly – JOHN & WAYNE

P.S. If you want to leave a message for someone in our group, just click on the little speech bubble at the top of this page, and add your ‘COMMENTS’! Make sure you say who it’s for and who it’s from – and keep it brief.

This entry was posted in 2013 South America by John Cooney. Bookmark the permalink.

About John Cooney

John Cooney and his wife Robyn have enjoyed more than their fair share of travel. They hesitate to call themselves ‘experts’ – but they’ve grabbed every chance that’s come their way to explore new countries, cultures and customs. They’ve had the privilege (both on their own and as the leaders of numerous successful group-tours) to sample many stunning destinations: Europe, the UK, Singapore, Vanuatu, the USA, Israel, Egypt, Africa, Dubai, China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. And their recent (and most pleasant) memories are of the places ancient-and-modern that border the Mediterranean. John and Robyn are at-home in airports, hotels, cruise ships, and the like … and they know how to make the most of a unique travel opportunity. Travel, they reckon, is an all-five-senses experience – a chance to see, feel, smell, hear and taste the world. And they’ve done it often enough to know for sure: sightseeing with a group of laid-back Kiwis is DOUBLE the fun – lots of laughs, great company, and memories that last forever!


  1. It is all amazing, and so much enjoyment for us “arm chair rockers” at home ! Keep up the great pictures and commentary. Hard to believe that there have not been some more “yellow rubber duckie awards”. Safe travel and blessings, David and Marilyn.

  2. I have asked you twice now not to send me these e-mails – I never asked you for information. I am not interested in pleasure trips. This is the third time.

  3. Bev and Clare:
    I like the pictures of the penguins, looks like you’re having fun!
    Last week on Saturday I had a lesson with our choreographer she helped me with my disco CSD.
    Both my camels are getting better and my double mapes is SOO close to full!
    The cha-cha is my favourite dance at the moment, I’ve added some arm movements too!
    Looking forward to seeing more pictures!
    Love Mercedes

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