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Published: November 13th 2016
Our last day on the South America continent was spent visiting museums, shops and restaurants around Ushuaia which is a pleasant enough city surrounded by beautiful mountains. In the early afternoon we pulled on our backpacks and walked down the hill to the dock where we began the customs process with our fellow (70) travel companions the vast majority of which were older than us.
As we boarded the MV Ushuaia we were greeted by crue members who delivered our luggage to our cabins and directed us to the common area (bar) where we received the good news that we had been upgraded to a larger ensuite cabin so we no longer need to share a bathroom.
We then returned to the deck to watch our home for the next three weeks pull into the Beagle Channel and begin a memorable journey. The first few days to the Falkland Islands would take a north easterly course with mild seas which was a godsend as the Southern Ocean is rough. We have people from perhaps six or seven countries on the boat most of whom are a little strange and/or pretentious but we would make several new friends by voyage
end which is always a bonus.
The expedition team began delivering lectures and briefs from day one and by the time we reached our first landing on West Point Island we were well and truly ready to venture a shore. The island is privately owned and contains a wonderful joint rookery of Black Browed Albatross and Short Crested Rockhopper Penguins, nobody knows why they rear their young together. We were able to get quite close and the site was smelly, loud and amazing. The Albatross were extremely clumsy when they attempted to land and the penguins looked sinister.
The next day we sailed to Carcass Island which is also privately owned, this Island has both Magellenic and Northern Gentoo Penguin colonies and we were lucky to see both species. After spending an hour or so watching the Gentoo's we were invited into the owners house for a variatable smorgasbord of cakes and cookies.
During the night the ship upped anchor and sailed to the capital Stanley which is located in the East Falklands. After breakfast we disembarked and walked several kilometres along the waterfront to the town centre passing the cemetery and the cathedral and it's whalebone
arch along the way. Stanley is a charming town of about three thousand people and is blessed with some lovely English architecture and museums one of which had an excellent display on the 1983 war with Argentina. After leaving the museum we spent the rest of the day wandering around town visiting all the pubs and a few gift shops as we made our way back to the ship.
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