Pictures!

…just not of knitting. I finally am organizing the photos from my trip and thought I’d share a few with you.

This was the view from our hotel room.

We stayed in a place called Las Niras in Ushuaia, Argentina. The morning we boarded the ship was a clear, sunny day – but cold. Even though it’s their summer, the wind sliced right through us. We expected summer temperatures and weren’t really dressed for the weather, but we were so excited about leaving that it didn’t really matter.

The view from the dining room at the hotel – this is the Beagle Channel that leads to the Atlantic Ocean. I fell in love with mountains when I visited Colorado about 10 years ago (yep, J – it’s been that long!). The Andes are younger than the Rockies, so they’re sharper looking. Every view was breathtaking.

Once we left Ushuaia, we sailed for almost 24 hours toward the Falkland Islands (those seasickness bands – not so great for the swells of the Atlantic – ask me how I know). Our first stop was New Island.

This is a Rock Hopper Penguin and Black Browed Albatross colony. Here are a couple of the inhabitants:

Every time I heard someone say the name of these birds, I heard “Rock Opera Penguins.” I figured they were called this because of their crazy yellow feathers. Felt like an idiot when I finally figured it out and was very glad that I never actually said “rock opera” out loud.

I must clarify here that I am not a birder. In fact,I could quite happily live without birds. However, I fell in love with this bird. It’s a Black Browed Albatross. They are the most graceful, gorgeous birds I’ve ever seen. They have a wingspan of around 8 1/2 feet. Watching them unfold their wings in preparation for take off is an amazing thing – they just keep unfolding and unfolding.

Here’s where I fell in love:

This is another colony on West Point island. There was a ton of tussock grass that grows up a bit from the ground and the ground between the tussocks was muddy and peaty and difficult to walk on. I stayed on the fringes of the colony and just enjoyed the sunshine and wind from the ocean and snapped a few pictures. An albatross took off from the colony and was flying toward me. These birds glide on the currents of air coming up from the ocean. As I watched it flying, it dipped down a bit and I could hear the force of its body cutting through the air. The bird was so close to me that after I heard the whoooosh of it passing, I felt the wind hitting my face. It was one of those lifetime nature moments that I’ll never forget.

I’ll leave you with my friend Frieda:

She’s a Striated Kara-Kara. It’s an extremely rare bird that has been somewhat domesticated by one of the families that lives on West Point. She was very interested in us, and the expedition leaders warned us not to leave anything out in the open, as these birds will steal anything not nailed down.

One thought on “Pictures!

  1. Wow! So glad I stopped by your site today. I haven’t been blogging much lately (too much WORK). But ANTARCTICA…now that’s something different. GREAT photos of scenery, birds, etc. In fact, scenery befitting a ROCK OPERA

    Cheers, Karen

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