Posted by: travelrat | July 13, 2017

Falkland Islands: Penguins

Gentoo Penguin

Falkland Islands: 7th February 2017

When you visit the Falkland Islands, you must ‘do’ penguins. We’ve seen penguins in the wild before, but Little Penguins, in Australia, which, since they only come ashore at night, we weren’t allowed to photograph, as the flash damages their eyesight.

But, these were a different breed of penguin altogether: Gentoo and King Penguins, all huddled together with their chicks at a place called Bluff Cove. It’s not a place you can just drive up to; the minibus from Port Stanley drove us to a remote car park miles from anywhere … everywhere in the Falklands is miles from anywhere … and we transferred to a Land Rover, which took us on a bumpy ride across a barren, featureless plain …‘where we’re going, we don’t need roads’

DSC_0320

 I suppose if a road was to be made, more visitors would come, and the penguins would go elsewhere.

But, there they were, standing in a sort of disinterested huddle, just being penguins. They were surrounded by a ring of metal markers which the rangers in attendance told us not to go beyond. Nevertheless, we were able to still get quite close to the birds without alarming them.

Bluff Cove 1

Just over the dune were a couple of Portakabins containing a café, a gift shop and a small museum, showing, and, of course selling all things penguin. But, more importantly, distributing cakes and most welcome hot drinks, which were included in the tour price.

Bluff Cove 2

 

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