This week has been a packed one! So here we go at attempting to give a good snapshot of all that has gone on.
Last weekend (3rd & 4th) we were lucky enough to have use of a work car from Chris’ job again. The Sunday was a day of stunning blue skies and wintry sunshine so as well as the shopping and general ‘jobs’ that needed doing we decided to hit the beach closest to town, Surf Bay. It’s about a 15minute drive from our house along the by-pass (which is a 40mph speed limit) so is very close. It was one of the first areas that was cleared of landmines and is a popular spot for a stroll. You can sometimes see dolphins playing in the surf but we were not lucky on this first trip. Sam was very pleased to be first out of the car and stumble immediately upon this skull, thereby claiming it as his find, which he thought was a whale skull (after seeing some in the museum the day before) but was more likely a seal skull.
The beach is absolutely stunning, completely white sand with deep blue seas and strolling along there is very calming. We also scrambled over the headland at one end of the bay to ‘escape’ a little more and found some very quiet rocks where the boys could throw stones into the water and Chris and I could watch numerous of the birds that have homes on the islands.
It was fairly idyllic.
Oh and some of my family maybe interested to know that it is near the airport – no not the international airport but the one for local FIGAS flights:
The week continued to the start of the school term for the boys (as mentioned in our previous post). They have had moments of struggle but have settled more as the week went on and were suitably shattered by the time Friday night came. We are very proud of how they have all done, especially Max and Jack who had big changes to face suddenly being some of the ‘new faces’ in class again. Sam managed to come out with the ‘Student of the Week’ certificate from his class and was proud as punch to stand at the front of his first ever assembly in order to collect it.
Sam (again!) completely lucked out due to his first two days at school being half days he managed to join a visit with their childcare provider which was only really intended for the pre-school children on Wednesday afternoon. It turned the rest of the family completely green with envy (although we all handled it with aplomb!) He was lucky enough to go to Gypsy Cove with two of the islands conservation vets to release a King penguin that had been nursed back to health. Yes, he was the first of all of us to see a penguin plus he got to feed it fish and set it free! Jealous, much!!!! (no photos of this yet)
On Wednesday all the boxes we shipped back in mid-July were delivered to the garage of the house.
Never has anyone been so pleased to receive a tea pot or Tupperware boxes. I mean truly it was sad how over the moon Chris and I were, never mind the boys to finally have books to choose from and more toys. We were hoping that Scout (the container ship with our Land Rover including our final boxes) would dock a day early on Wednesday after a good journey, however, high winds meant that we could see it sitting out in the bay but it could not enter the harbour to dock. Our excitement knew no bounds on Friday when we finally got the call to say the Rover could be collected, this meant we were reunited with truly sharp knives and a chopping board … much missed over the last few weeks here when trying to cook and prepare food. It also meant some freedom and the chance to escape Stanley (more of that in a mo).
The other new experience through the boys’ childcare this week was the chance for them to have a blast (at 25mph town speed limit) around the block in the managers new ATV buggy, much excitement all round especially from Jack who squealed and giggled the whole time. (No picture of Max as he had been before I arrived to collect them!)
So, to today. In our own Rover we decided to take off on the one government maintained road and make our first journey into camp (the term for all of the islands apart from Stanley). It was again a beautiful day so we filled the fuel tank (60 litres of diesel for the grand sum of £21) and headed off with the aim of hitting Goose Green about 58 miles away. On a poorly maintained gravel road with some serious pot holes to avoid and a 40mph speed limit it took us about 2 hours. There was some stunning scenery to take in and some off road tracks to other points of interest to look out for, for another day.
We had a picnic when we got there and then there was a rather sharp shower so rather than letting the boys out for a wander as planned we drove to find a different spot to stop the Rover only to be greeted by a road sign to one of the places that has most intrigued me here, Bodie Creek Bridge, purported to be the most southerly suspension bridge in the world and built solely for moving sheep across a creek.
We decided we would have to head that way. However, a very short way after the sign the track split into two leaving us uncertain as to which way to head and, having picked the better looking off road track, it swiftly curtailed into a not so good off road track. We decided that much as it is one of the things we have to see getting ourselves bogged (stuck) in an off road track on our very first outing was probably not sensible so we turned back. We did have a wander in Goose Green and then hit the road back to Stanley. A very pleasing day all round.
What will this next week bring?
PS also this week Chris experienced some Falklands confidential waste disposal, much to his enjoyment