Wednesday, 26 December 2007
In the meantime here are a couple of highlights. Maybe not the best shots - but the two which meant the most at the time.
This was the first king penguin I saw. It turned up, unexpectedly, on Sealion Island on my second morning there. There is no king penguin colony on Sealion, so this one was probably a bit lost.
Chinstrap Penguins don't breed on the Falklands and are only rarely seen there. From the outset I had declared my intent to see one, but to be honest I wasn't really expecting to. I came across this Chinstrap penguin on Volunteer Beach whilst I was attempting to photograph a group of king penguins taking to the water. At first I thought it was a magellanic chick - but as it walked towards me I realised it was a chinstrap. I was so excited I'm amazed I managed to hold the camera steady...
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
This place is amazing. Six(!) species of penguin all seen and photographed. Albatross in huge quantities. Elephant Seals and Sealions. Night Herons and Caracara. All competing for your attention and for the most part so tame a long lens is not really required. The weather has been kind too - some warm days and a lot of really great light.
Pictures will follow - but internet access is not great here...
Friday, 7 December 2007
Charles de Gaule was a different story. Security there was a bit belligerent. The opening gambit was "You have a knife!" which of course I didn´t. That was before they´d even scanned annything. As soon I revealed I was carrying camera gear my rucksack had to be completely unpacked and each item passed through individually. I also had to remove my shoes and my belt. After scanning it all they stood and watched me carefully repack the rucksack before escorting me to a desk not five paces away.Here they made me unpack the rucksack again. Each item was checked by hand. There was a long debate in French which I took from the body language to be about whether or not the plates I have on my lenses constitute a lethal weapon. These, by the way, are beautifully-machined pieces of metal used to slide the lens quickly on and off a tripod head. They are blunter than the average baguette.
After that, without as much as a "by your leave", one of them picked up the rucksack - with my camera now back in it - and walked off with it. Naturally I was bit bothered by this. It turned out they just wanted to rescan it, because the hand search had not shown up everything they thought they´d seen on the x-ray. They just didn´t feel the need to tell me that.
After another long debate between themselves, I was finally allowed through. I still can´t decide whether they were genuinely concerned or whether it was just a slow evening and they were a bit bored.
The flight was uneventful. If I had been so inclined I could have inflicted serious bodily harm with the stale in-flight bread rolls. There was a beautiful sunrise over Brazil, and some stunning views of the Andes, and I´m now safely at my hotel in Chile. Tomorrow morning I fly on to the Falklands. Hurrah!
Sunday, 2 December 2007
Not sure what the internet access will be like when I get there, but I will try and pop up a blog post once I get there. We shall see...