It has been no secret that we/I killed our Hilux. In itself, it was a feat many saw as difficult but it had had a hard life and the chassis just gave way, locking the steering out and rendering it of little use to anyone. We have, finally, replaced the beast with a smaller engined but equally hardy Mitsubishi Pajero (which, I am reliably informed, is mildly insulting in Spanish and had its name changed for the South American market). Last weekend, in a doffing of the cap to our old ride, we swapped the tyres off the ‘new’ car and replaced them with the old Surf tyres for a more off-road friendly transport and headed out to somewhere we’d been itching to go for a while; Whale Point. Following our extremely hungover guide, whose pain was both visible and exacerbated (you know what’s REALLY fun when you’re hungover? Off road driving!), we drove 30 minutes down the infamous MPA road, then turned off onto the off-road track for an hour. Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between the two.
Whale Point lies on the land of Fitzroy Farm and holds the nearest Elephant Seal colony to Stanley. We’ve seen small colonies of Elephant Seals before, in creches where the young play, but I’d not yet seen any adults. The babies are sweet and generally unfussed by your presence (quite often you can accidentally stumble upon them as you get so close) but the adults grow up to 4 tonnes and aren’t exactly blessed in the looks department. They are, however, equally unfussed by your presence so you can have an amazing experience with these most ridiculous and noisy of pinnipeds. No whales at the point though, they still escape me.
The Point also the sight of the wreck of the St Mary; a large shipwreck of which half remains as the other half found its way to a museum in Maine, USA. I’ve heard tale that it was carrying many iron/steel goods and small toy trains and boxes of nails still wash up. I’ve been searching for shipwreck treasure since arriving but we didn’t have time to visit the wreck on this occasion, so a return journey is on the cards. Possibly today, in fact. Watch this space for update part 2 (and don’t forget you can sign up to follow the blog in the box on the right).