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Published: January 9th 2019
“We are more powerful than ever before…Worse still, humans seem to be more irresponsible than ever. Self-made gods with only the laws of physics to keep us company, we are accountable to no one.” Yuval Noah Harari
The quote ‘Like two bald men fighting over a comb’ has often been used to describe the 1982 conflict in the Falkland Islands.
The British prime minister at the time, Margaret Thatcher, very quickly took defensive action after the Argentines took occupation of the small island group in the southern extreme of the Atlantic Ocean.
Many lives were lost on both sides, and today the legacy survives in the memories of the locals and through the many the landmines that still lay hidden beneath the soil.
I had never ventured into the interior of either of the two main islands, but I got to go on bus excursion to see some of the battlefield sites outside of Stanley, the small-town capital of the British Overseas Territory.
The interior is fascinating! It’s very rugged and arid, with very simple geographic features, yet harsh terrain is in every direction. The vegetation is low-lying and diverse, yet birds are seemingly absent, compared to the crowded skies of the coast. Of course, there are sheep. The number of sheep per capita is rather astounding in these parts.
Although I cannot imagine the horrors
of an invasion, this short outing to the wilds of the East Falkland Island has shown me a glimpse of the tragedy that occurred here.
The smashed relics that lie scattered throughout the hills and fields tell a story - a story that the Falkland Islanders will not forget any time soon. The Albatross
We had a nice couple of days in the Falklands. On West Point Island I hiked over to the black-browed albatross colony to see the adults raising their newly-hatched chicks. I find peace when I’m with these birds. Their great wings, their majesty in the sky, on the troughs of the giant waves. Their is something mysterious and captivating about these birds - I don’t know what it is, but when they are by my side, I am tranquil and alone in my thoughts… The Armoured Vehicle
I chatted with a man who found an Argentine armoured vehicle in a marsh. It had been there for years, so he dragged it out and fixed it up. He was fond of his machine, he said it gave him great satisfaction by having all painted in its original military
colours. He said it makes him feel relaxed - a relic from the war that he has on display. I asked him if his vehicle had a name…
“The Albatross”, he replied.
I didn’t ask why he called it that, I figured there would be a deep, spiritual meaning that was likely none of my business…
I thanked him and walked away pondering our connection to the feathered forager… The Return to the Ship
Before going back to the ship, I stocked up on some British treats, such as Penguin biscuits, Galaxy chocolate and Ambrosia rice pudding. I also grabbed a Scotch egg to go…
Sometimes these childhood goodies are what I crave when I visit the store in Stanley.
With soaring wings.
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