To some people, naming a road “Thatcher Drive” in homage to the Iron Lady may be, let’s say, a little irksome. If however you live in the Falkland Islands and consider her the sole saviour of your freedom and way of life, you might consider it a humble acknowledgement. It all depends on your point of view.
This was my second time in the Falklands and it really is a charming little bit of old England, though with its rugged coastline and biting winds I should say a little bit of old Scotland, 8000 miles from home. Luke Burrage (a great juggler) and I took a good three hour walk along part of the coastline to enjoy the freshest of air and the wonderful Magelanic penguins.
The locals are always obliging and friendly, especially to 2000 cruise ship passengers with dollars bursting out of their bum bags, and I was most obliging to them too (or at least the hospital staff) for giving me a very nice emergency filling on the spot for £90!
This South American trip with Holland America Cruises included stops at Montevideo, Punta Arenas, Valparaiso Chile and a personal favourite Ushuaia - proclaimed “the most southern city in the world”. The town is nothing to speak of but the Tiera del Fuego (Land of Fire) National Park is a short cab ride away and the scenery is stunning. The trick is to get there before the coaches arrive so you can really experience the stillness and grandeur in peace. As you can see from the pictures, it’s stunning.
Galloping horseback along the beach in Puetro Montt in the shadow of the picture perfect Orsono Volcano was exhilarating and slightly painful on the inner thighs! Maybe my technique is a little off.
Last stop was an over night in beautiful Buenos Aires. After a day’s sightseeing I had a great dinner with a Couch Surfing buddy (an American exchange student over there studying chemical engineering) who explained that that very day was a national holiday to celebrate the Argentinean invasion of the Falklands (or Islas Malvinas as they still call them) and they take it all very seriously. He was shocked to hear me report how anglicised Port Stanley is and how a typical evening there begins in the pub with a warm beer watching Eastenders end ends with a bag of sweaty fish and chips on the way home. Where Tango comes in a can and the steaks are rubbish. He said the people in Argentina are under the firm impression that the British are an unwelcome occupying force there, and the people of the Islands are waiting patiently for the Argentineans to come back and liberate them. As for naming a road after Mrs Thatcher... well you can imagine. Like I say, it all depends on your point of view.