Up for the first hectic day, we were off around the island, so met Gary early and after a full breakfast and headed out of Stanley and past a sign that reminds you that its twinned with Whitby. Never really understood that concept, what actually happens, what are they twinning with, oh well.
Our first stop is Fitzroy, where the Welsh guards where hit hard in the conflict. It was here that HMS Sir Galahad and Sir Tristam were attacked by the Argentine air force. The 3 memorials are very moving. Its brings back memories of harrowing news footage. The day is cold, windy and overcast, making the mood even more sombre. Andy, being Welsh is visibly moved; we are all quiet for a few minutes.
We quietly move off to the next stop, Goose Green, probably most famous as the falling place of Colonel H Jones. A cairn marks the spot. We arrive and Gary announces the news that the house we park outside of is the house Sam’s grandfather had lived in. Sam, soaks it up and I think he is also moved, we take photos, and retreat to the Goose Green Café for a cup of Red Lion tea and stiff one to calm everybody down.
We film a piece to camera, say our goodbyes and head off to our next location San Carlos.
This is quite a trip heading back to the air base then skirting around and way out across what they call ‘camp’ meaning farm.
Gary is brilliant explaining as we go along all the war stories and what had happened in each area. San Carlos is a bleak place, with a couple of small houses and a small museum. Through a gate is the war memorial, neatly kept and is the final resting place of Colonel H Jones. This area was known as ‘bomb alley’ HMS Antelope was hit just outside the bay. The Argentine planes would come straight down the valley at low level, giving the advancing ships no chance at all. A small shearing shed across the bay has the field hospital, still visible. Gary explains that after suffering heavy casualties all the injured that entered the field hospital nobody died. In the distance a pole juts out of the water the final resting place of HMS Antelope, now a war grave. Again he is clearly moved by being here, and when I chat to him on camera, its takes a couple of times understandably so. We have a quick look in the museum, again very moving.
We head off to find Hope Farm another good hours drive way out to see Falklands lamb close up. Here we were to meet the Phillip’s family, not only sheep farmers, but also had interesting stories to tell about the invasion. The farm is an average size for Falkland, some 54,000 acres. We are slightly late for lunch, but Carol, Terrence, Paul, Shula, Jan, Tanya make us really welcome. Quickly we have lunch, a fabulous lunch of braised lamb, vegetables and rice, plus beef stroganoff. Followed by Diddle De jam and cream scones, a small berry that grows on the ‘camp’ plus Tea Berries, named after a small bush whose leaves were made into tea. They also produce small, sweet berries with a pink blush. Shula made some delicious, light meringues and topped them with the berries. All I have to say were wonderful.
We film with Paul ands his daughter about his lambs and growing regime, looking at his shearing shed (he is very good apparently) and his lovely dogs. We pass by a small shed and he shows me the dog food, an old ewe hanging with no skin. The first thing I notice is the fat layer, hardly any at all. This is very interesting, 8 years old, and less fat that any carcass I have seen.
Carol, Paul’s mum is fantastic, brilliantly quick, funny and tells us great stories. The invasion is still very clear to her. One about meeting an SBS guy one night in the dark, and hugging him!!! She shows me the school, a room out the back of the house, which is also home to a full size snooker table!!! Middle of nowhere, a snooker table, how British.
We take a picture; say our goodbyes and all head back to Stanley, some 70 miles away, yes and no tarmac in sight. We pass Teal Inlet, a huge collection of old Land Rovers and finally as its getting dark hit Mount Kent, a heavily guarded Argentine position in the conflict.
Here Gary shows us the remains of two helicopters shot down by the Argentine army. As I wandered amongst the remarkably preserved wreckage I see British and also Spanish scribbling’s on all parts, from rotor blades metal sheeting. Again its very moving indeed, especially as its getting dark. We head along then valley, then round the back of Two Sisters. Then finally dropping down back onto the main road to Stanley past Sappers Hill. A long first day, but really worth it, I could finally put places to names.
Dinner in the hotel again with the lads. This time I had Smelt, a sort of small fish like a sardine, fried on toast, really nice. Quickly followed by King Clip, similar to cod but with firmer flesh and definitely loads more flavor than Britain’s favorite. Matt serving it with Asian Slaw was a perfect combination and really good. Bed!