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