Friday, December 08, 2006

The Falkland Islands, Cape Horn, and Beagle Channel (Pt. I)

Nearing the wind swept coast of the Falkland Islands.

British pride on display!

14 June 1982

Falkland Islands War Memorial

We found the windswept Falkland Islands to be very pleasant and enjoyable, in a Scottish Highlands sort of way. It was fascinating to listen to the folk there talk about their experiences during the (still quite recent) Falkland Islands War. (We think the Argentines have a different name for this skirmish, but we haven't investigated their interpretation of events, save to note a gov't building signboard in Ushuaia proclaiming that the "Islas Malvinas" [their name for the Falklands] is and shall be Argentine!) We hear the islanders might be mixed in their national loyalties, but everyone prefers to be earning their pay in British pounds, and not Argentine pesos...

It is intriguing to read about the continued hard feelings between the Brits and Argentinians over the 1982 war. Our guide books suggest bringing this topic up very gently, if at all, with Argentines. If you're British, it is suggested that you avoid the topic at all -- especially, it would seem, in bars.

Rounding the Cape!

Cape Horn's treacherous "meeting of the oceans" was the site of hundreds of ship wrecks before the Panama Canal rendered this route between the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans unnecessary for the majority of vessels. A monument scupture of a stylized albatross stands near the Coast Guard station & visitor center, erected in memory of the many seafarers who perished in these waters.

The Beagle Channel

This rainbow greeted us as we cruised the Beagle Channel (named after the ship carrying Charles Darwin) today, December 8. Our trip has been great so far, but if this hints at a pot of gold in our future, we're all for it!

A "tidewater glacier" in the Beagle Channel

You've heard of the Straits of Magellan, right? Well, the Beagle Channel, some 300 km long and much farther south, also connects the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans. It is the passage of choice for cruise ships, as it is flanked by the spectacular mountains and glaciers of Tierra del Fuego, the "Land of Fire" (and ice, we might add).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Case & Jolene,
The pictures are great. The one with the palm tree and your cruise ship was a good portrait. The giant fingers at the beach is wild!
Gary & Gail