Dec/Jan/Feb 1997/8                    111
From 50' North 6' West  
to 52' South 60' West
The Falkland Islands lie in the South Atlantic Ocean, 7,800 miles from Scilly and 600 miles from the Antarctic.  Home to spectacular wildlife including penguins, elephant seals and sea lions.  With a population similar to Scilly an opportunity to come to these islands seemed too good to miss so I took a change of scenery from Juliet's Garden to Pebble Island Hotel! 
Flying from Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, by RAF on a Tristar the 18 hour flight took us via Ascension for a one and a half hour fuel stop.  On arrival at Mount Pleasant Airport we had a lecture on the mines left during the war in 1982; on the bus ride to Stanley we passed numerous fenced off areas warning of minefields.
Mindblowing and spectacular are the thoughts that come to mind of our first few hours in the Falklands.  Stanley, the capital, is a very colourful place with all the red, yellow, blue and green painted corrugated roofs.  Giant Petrels glide over the harbour while the upland Geese and Meadowlarks (with their scarlet red breasts) populate the grassy fields.  Reminders of the war are still very evident.
The f light to Pebble Island in the 8 seater FIGAS Islander Plane (Falkland Islands Government Air Service) took about an hour.  We had to land at the tiny settlement of Hill Cove to drop off the vet who was about to castrate a horse!! We could imagine we were flying over Scilly in the Skybus plane but for the fact of the vastness of these islands - miles and miles of wilderness with sheep roaming and the odd house here and there.  The views are breathtaking!
Pebble is to be our home for the next 5 months.  An island 25 miles long with freshwater ponds, mountains, marshland and a fantastic 4 mile white sanded beach.  Apart from the hotel there are only 4 other people on the island along with horses, cows, pigs, penguins and 12,500 sheep!
Watch this space as the penguin hunt starts and we cross a time zone everyday!
Hello to everyone we know on Scilly - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Jacky Upson &
Martin Scott.
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