Day 6 of our trip was another transfer day, this time from Pebble Island to Goose Green/Darwin.
Originally our flight was scheduled for 12:20pm but we woke up in the morning to find a fairly think fog had covered much of the island, this caused a delay to the FIGAS flight schedule. We ended up having an extra 2 hours to kill around Pebble Island.
I chose to catch a ride in the 4×4 out to one of the ponds close to the lodge and take the roughly 1.5 mile walk back. This allowed me to take some more photos of the local landscape and scenery. I also took the route back through the old settlement of Pebble Island which is now in a state of decay as the farm has shrunk in size. This was quite a fun place to shoot some abstract details of the rusting farm buildings and machinery.
Once we arrived back at the lodge we got the good news that FIGAS were now operating and our flights would be arriving soon. So we headed up to the airstrip to meet the planes. The islanders have to ask as air traffic control, fire marshal and baggage handlers so we needed to be there at least 10-15 minutes before the planes arrived.
Once loaded for the flight I was given the chance to sit in the co-pilots seat on the flight to Darwin, this was a brilliant experience. I was able to take some photos of the magnificent views that we were flying over as well as being able to speak with the pilot via the planes intercom. Our pilot Drew, currently the new kid at FIGAS having only received his licence 2 years ago, was really knowledgeable and happy to share information about the islands, the route , his training and the plane!
On arrival in Darwin we were met by the lodge manager Al, who transferred us to the settlement of Darwin via a gravel road. It had UK sign posts and seemed very developed compared to Pebble Island. On arrival at the lodge we were met with Tea and Smoko (the local expression for a sort of Afternoon Tea of cakes!) and then shown to our room.
I decided to spend some of the afternoon wandering around the settlement of Darwin. I wanted to capture some nice landscape photos of the settlement with the sea behind it and Mt Usborne in the distance. I am pretty happy with the outcome but might try and head back tonight a few hours later if the light looks favourable!
Finally it was time for our evening meal. In the same way as we had found at Pebble Lodge meals are taken communally with all of the lodge guests having the same home cooked meal prepared by the chef. Tonight’s meal was Vegetable Quiche, Tooth Fish with mash and vegetables (I have never seen or heard of Tooth Fish but it was incredibly tasty) followed by a generous wedge of lemon and ginger cheesecake. One of the best meals we have had since we arrived!
Dinner was also a great chance to discuss the day’s activities with the other guests of the lodge. We enjoyed chatting to a group from Switzerland who had been to see the sheep shearers working in a local settlement, this sounded very interesting and I plan to ask our guide tomorrow if we might be able to incorporate a short visit here into our battlefields excursion tomorrow.
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