If yesterday was just a taster for what Antarctica had to offer, then today was a six-course feast. With our visit to the spectacular Danco Island (just off the Antarctic Peninsula), we were seeing the Antarctica of the TV documentaries – I was half-expecting David Attenborough to wander past at any point.
Under bright blue skies, the landscapes of the jagged ice-covered mountains all around us looked unbelievably beautiful, while the wind-sculpted icebergs floating past us looked like works of modern art – it was simply magical.
From the zodiac landing point, we climbed up the snow-covered hillside straight into a busy Gentoo penguin colony. It was just so fascinating to watch them trek drunkenly along their little highways up and down from the sea to their hillside homes in the rocks. On land, these creatures are so endearingly ungainly that they’re constantly stumbling and toppling over, like a bunch of arthritic old men who’ve over-indulged at a black tie dinner.
The great thing about penguins is that they constantly look confused – like they’re not quite sure where they’re going, or what they’re doing – but, they just pick themselves up again and carry on their mission to and from the sea. As they pass by each other, you can’t help but imagine their conversations – you could watch them for hours.
Sadly, we didn’t have hours – but, today ticked off all the Antarctica essentials, and left me totally in awe of Mother Nature. A day not to forget.
|Thanks to Agata, our personal paparazzi!|