falklands: a visit

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      Aircraft map view of arriving over the islands from Rio Gallegos in Argentina.
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Click for another Section: 
1. Getting there
2. Practicalities
3. Getting around
     Road
     Air Services
     Walking
4. On the islands
     Stanley & Settlements
     Wildlife
     1982 sites & war
5 The future

Section 1: Getting there

 

These observations are made on the basis of a visit made to the islands in late 2008 (summer in the islands).  

Unlike the main casahistoria site the comments in this guide solely reflect the personal views of the editor.
 

               
Volunteeer Point - lucky with the weather: no wind, plenty sun & blue skies Penguin heaven - the beach at Volunteer Point
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From Argentina/Chile

Flying in to Mount Plesant on Lan Chile from Rio Gallegos. a very short flight but as you arrive over the (many) islands you are told to stop taking pictures. This is a military area....

Most people arrive on a Lan Chile flight from Santiago. However we reached Stanley (Puerto Argentino) from Rio Gallegos in Argentina using the monthly Lan Chile flight (Lan flies to and from Chile every week, but only one flight stops additionally in Rio Gallegos each way each month). We had already flown down from Buenos Aires on Aerolineas Argentinos. Points worth noting are:

  • Flying time is very brief – less than the time to reach Ushuaia from Rio Gallegos
  • If you are coming from outside south America tickets may be considerably cheaper (about half the price) if you buy them in Argentina rather than Europe/north America.
  • Lan will not recognize tickets issued through an overseas Aerolineas agent or sharing an old style paper ticket with Aerolineas flights. We had been issued such a ticket in London and as result had to buy new tickets to be allowed to board (this despite having had the ticket confirmed by Lan in Buenos Aires and appearing on the Lan computer as a fixed booking with seat reservation!!). I will now have to reclaim these in London….

 

There are currently no charter flights from Argentina. Both the Island and the Argentine Government blame the other for stopping them…….

 

From the UK

RAF/Luxair civilian flight from Brize Norton & Ascension is escorted in by RAF Tornados....The British Ministry of Defence charter a flight every 4 days to the UK via Ascension Island. This makes a spectacular entry and departure to the islands as it is met and escorted in by two wingtip Tornado jet fighters that are scrambled to intercept it. (apparently this is to allow the pilots to practice intercepting airliners ….   There is no denying though that it also serves as a strong display of force to anyone visiting…)

Our arrival weather was perfect, I did not realize there are over 700 islands in the group. Out came the camera but then we were all told to stop photographing as this was a military area. A situation reinforced upon arrival at Mount Pleasant (Military) Airport where we were greeted by a concrete fondue penguin with ceremonial howitzers on both its flanks…

Mount Pleasant Airport is over 20 miles away from the capital. Transfer is by minibus. £15 a person each way. Most people seemed to have prebooked this. We had not but got a couple of places. The trip in gave us our initial glimpse of the island. Loose surfaced roads mainly, spectacular vistas, sheep, isolated farmhouses and the first minefield signs lining the roadside as we got nearer to Stanley.


 

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Click for another Section: 

1. Getting there    2. Practicalities    3. Getting around    4. On the islands    5. The future
 

 

San Carlos Bay seen from the road to Stanley


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