Because of the delayed flight yesterday it was kind of a rush going through Boca and along Buenos Aires’ main attractions so we decided to take it easy. We slept in, had a late breakfast and arranged our luggage for the flight home.
As Aerolineas Argentinas could only hold our reservation on the changed flight until 6 in the morning we got up at half past five so would be at the airport before that. Strangely enough no airline staff was to be found. After talking to a security guard via Google Translate we found out they would only arrive at seven.
It was the same routine as yesterday but without all the problems. Up at seven, breakfast at eight and then we had to wait for the bus that would bring us to Mount Pleasant airport.
We were getting ready for breakfast when there was a knock on the door. Teresa came to tell us that our flight to Rio Gallegos was cancelled because of the weather. The airport was to close at 10 until tomorrow at 5 in the morning. Latam rescheduled the flight for Sunday at the same time. We are supposed to land around 4 in the afternoon but our booked flight to Buenos Aires will then have left already.
After breakfast Tony picked us up for drive of almost 3 hours to Volunteer Point, the last hour and a half at walking pace in 4×4 mode.
It was time to leave Pebble Island in the morning and fly to Stanley. The wind was blowing hard but that’s not a problem for the FIGAS pilots. The bonus was that it only took 30 min flight time because of the tailwind. It was a nice coincidence that we had the same pilot for the third time.
We started our full day exploring the island by 4×4 at 9:15. The first stop was at the airport at the location an Argentinian Skyvan was destroyed when the British retook the island in the 1982 conflict. Next we visited the HMS Coventry memorial at the top of a hill. We slowly continued the drive through the fields until we came across the crash site of an Argentinian Dagger (copy of the French Mirage made by Israel), most of the pieces are scattered over a 500m radius and we could still see the imprint of the plane’s nose on impact.
We got up at 4 in the morning and were at the beach 10 minutes before sunrise (4:28) to see if orca’s would show up trying to catch some baby seals. Unfortunately they only visited the other side of the island. We still stayed at the beach to see the seals and elephant seals fight and play as they are mostly active at daybreak.
Breakfast at the lodge is at 8 and after that we were free to roam the island. Yesterday evening we walked to the beach where the Gentoo penguins come to shore and along the way we passed a few elephant seals so we went to look for them first. We soon found a lot of them resting in the sand and were impressed with their size, they weigh about 3500 Kg. We then crossed the island where we were “greeted” by a few birds of prey. They came flying up to us and landed about a meter away. Each time we walked away they would follow us until we were far enough from their territory. On the way back to the lodge other guests told us that there were 2 King penguins at the end of the other path. A few minutes later we saw them standing on the side.
At 7:45 we were picked by Sue who drove us to the local airport. The state run FIGAS (Falkland Island Government Air Service) runs a shuttle service to several locations around the Falklands on demand depending on who wants to go where. There is no fixed schedule. After 45 minutes we landed on the airstrip in front of the lodge at Sea Lion Island. After getting some information from our host we were on our way to explore the island which is only a few kilometers across.