Destination: Pebble Island
Days spent traveling are rarely as exciting as today! Normally days spent travelling are pretty mundane affairs, one flight after another, a few connections here and there but nothing many people haven’t done themselves!
Today started out in a similar fashion, Santiago airport is much like any other large, modern airport and our flight on LAN airlines was like many others. Only the view of the Andes at sunrise from the terminal made for some sense of expectation.
Our flight took us down alongside the Andes which was beautiful to watch passing by as we headed to Punta Arenas in the very south of Chile. We then carried on (via southern Argentina) to Mount Pleasant RAF base on The Falklands.
Here the really interesting travel began! We collected our baggage and headed for our internal F.I.G.A.S (Falkland Island Government Air Service) flight to our first destination Pebble Island.
The Islander aircraft are like nothing I have ever seen before! They are tiny, smaller than many family cars and really look their age! Getting aboard one of these with your pilot is really getting back to basics. However the advantage of these small aircraft is that you always have a window seat. And that is a good thing as the views afforded as you fly fairly low over the Islands are superb!
Our landing strip on Pebble Island was just marked into the grass on a slight plateau above the lodge where we would spend the next 3 days. The pilot managed a lovely smooth landing to drop us off, thankfully he waited until he was without passengers to take off almost vertically before banking hard right to sweep along the front of Elephant Beach on his way to his next stop!
After we had met Ricky, our host at Pebble Lodge, we had around 1 hour before dinner to explore the area around the lodge. I took this opportunity to take some of my first landscape images of the trip, trying out the new Lee ‘Big Stopper’ filter to take some long exposure images.
Then while heading back to the lodge we spotted a Southern Giant Petrel swooping over the coastline on the lookout for its evening meal. These birds are huge and to see them so close to the lodge and so soon after arriving really raises my excitement about the rest of the trip!
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