Stanley, Falkland Islands

Mar 06, 2018 - National Geographic Orion


We spent the night at anchor outside the harbour at Stanley before making our way to the dock and up alongside in the morning. Typically, forceful winds were blowing hard down the length of the harbour, but the overall warmth and dryness along with the fact that we did not need to use Zodiacs caused this to be of little concern.

Following breakfast, a number of options were available for people to explore the aspects of the area that most fascinated them. Some opted to go on the Mt. William hike. Less about the hiking itself, this outing explored the site of the final British assault in the retaking of the islands during the 1982 conflict. Then there was Long Island farm, which was reached by a bus journey that cuts through the vast bleakness of the Falklands’ landscape. This working farm is a typical example of how a living is made in “camp,” or the areas outside of Stanley. Sheep farming has long been a major industry in the islands (a sheep is even featured on their crest). At the farm, a demonstration of shearing, which is a competitive sport here, and turf cutting brought the landscape to life.

A number of us opted to head out to Gypsy Cove, a scenic stretch of cliffs and white beaches that would almost look tropical if not for their healthy penguin population. Almost everyone though, at some point, was curious enough to want to explore the town of Stanley itself. This small colonial capital seems almost like a metropolis compared to anywhere we have been in weeks. Despite being an outpost in the more remote parts of the South Atlantic, it still maintains an undeniably British feel in its culture and appearance, such as in its red phone boxes and idiosyncratic pubs. It is a taste of our return to civilization in the coming days. But, we are not there yet.

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About the Author

Peter Wilson

Naturalist

Peter comes from the town of Cobh, County Cork, on the south coast of Ireland. He is both a working archaeologist and a naturalist.  Growing up and living next to the sea, he developed a fascination with whales and dolphins, along with birds and the broader natural world. Ever varied in his interests, he studied English at University College Cork and went on to complete a master’s degree in Old English. 

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