Falklands & South Georgia

The Falkland Islands are one of those places that you’re sure you’ve heard about, but would probably be hard pushed to actually say where they are. In that lies the charm of the Falklands.They are a place where the modern world has most certainly arrived, but that manages to maintain much of the lure and appeal of a time gone by. A place that seems somehow vaguely familiar but not quite in ‘that combination’ of people, town, scenery, climate and wildlife. The Falklands are sometimes described as being ‘More British than Britain’ The Falklands are a place of wide open skies, beautiful long white sandy beaches and clear blue seas. Ask someone where the Falklands are and the answer you might get is that they are off the West Coast of Scotland, thousands of miles out in geographical terms, but very close in a lot of other ways. Where they are not similar is that in the Falklands a walk along the beach may bring you in contact with five different types of penguin, elephant seals, sea lions an assortment of other South American and Antarctic birds such as albatrosses and petrels, and if you’re lucky some dolphins or whales will be swimming off shore. The Falkland Islands are fairly remote and definitely off the beaten track. They’re not the kind of place that you end up visiting on your way to somewhere else unless you make a definite choice to do so. They are for adventurous trail blazer and for the traveller who relishes the idea of visiting a distant place that few before them have travelled to.

South Georgia is an island lying on the Scotia Arc in the South Atlantic Ocean located at 37° West, 54.5° South, about 1,300 Km East-South-East of the Falkland Islands. The island is about 160 Km long and trends North West to South East. Africa and South America were at one time a single continental mass. For over 200 million years, the two have continued to move away from each other. This movement takes place due to seismic activity on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a major fault in the earth’s crust, running from Iceland to the edge of Antarctica. Molten basalt constantly rises to the sea bed from the earth’s interior, forcing apart the plates on which stand the Americas and Africa. In the South Atlantic, the only visible evidence of this substantial feature are the volcanic islands of Ascension, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha. Nearly two hundred islands lay scattered to the east and south of Latin America.These islands, which include South Georgia, were mainly discovered and charted by British navigators, and form part of the Scotia Arc which extends from the Andes to the Antarctic continent.

Glaciers cover some 56% of the island. They have been retreating for 17,000 years, depositing millions of tons of moraine on the floor of the island’s bays and surrounding ocean.