The Long March

Lars Alfredson
Wed 30 Nov 2011 22:32
29112011 The Long March

As well as a case of Beer, our previous night's visitors brought us a tray of fresh Eggs. This is a much appreciated gift and we celebrate by starting the morning with a breakfast of the same fried with Bacon, toast and drinks various.

Bill turns up with some hose pipe to slide over our mooring lines as ""chaff preventers", as the sharp edges of the concrete Jetty threatens to cut through them as we move back and forth. He also invites us to come over to his farm on the other side of the sound. Lars accepts the invitation but not the ride "We'll walk" says he, Oh dear.

Thomas wisely declines the invitation and volunteers to stay on "Anchor watch" even though were tied to the Jetty. I foolishly follow my leader, "It's only a half hour walks" says he, more foolishly believe him, when will I ever learn.

The three of us yomp across country trying to make a short cut. Lars and I don't do too badly thought Peter who is following the coastline to short cut us, finds himself confronted by a minefield and has to retrace his steps, that'll teach him.

An hour and half and four miles later we arrive at our destination the "Many Branch Farm". Bill and his wife Shirley welcome us in to coffee and homemade cakes known here "Smoko". His is one of the smaller farms at 10,000 acres, an average farm he says is around 20,000. The main difference here is as they are "land rich" the number of sheep per acre is far smaller than the UK and they don't bother with re-seeding or fertilising the land.

After letting us loose on their Broadband to update the Blog and sort out our E-mails they offer to drive us back via the Shop which opens for and hour and half two days a week.

Before we leave Shirley give us a jar of homemade chutney and Bill goes out to the garden and disappears into the biggest Rhubarb patch I've ever seen and fills a bag for us. This along with a freshly caught 6+ pounds sea trout, one of two he'd caught that morning in the creek below the farm (Apparently it normally takes less than thirty minutes to get a fish!!) decides the evenings menu.

The journey back takes a mere 15 minutes by Landrover along a recently graded dirt road and past the piece of aircraft wreckage we "discovered". This turns out to be a piece of Harrier that was shot down and whose Pilot, captured by the Argentineans, had been sent to the mainland for medical treatment for broken collar bone.

At the Shop it looks like Tesco's on a Friday night, or at least their version of it. Most of the Settlements 35 inhabitants seem to be there, some selecting produce while others sit about chatting, eating their crips or drinking a beer or soda. It's a very laid back social occasion.

As we make our purchases, I see a customer with a pack of sliced ham. "Where did you get that ?" I enquire whereupon he points to a little home fridge behind the shopkeeper. Expectantly opening the door I am disappointed to see he'd had the last pack and though there is plenty of butter and cheese, ham is off.

Walking back to "Dawnbreaker" we rescue a damsel in distress, a young girl called Jessica. She'e stuck the other side of a watery ditch where, as she informed us, she was picking "YumYums". These turn out to be Sorrel leaves. She generously offered some for us to try which we did with differing opinions on the taste, before we went our separate ways.

Bill and Shirley joined us for happy hour. He gave us some useful information on which islands to visit as we head to the western end of islands ready to cross back to Ushaia. Shirley offer guidance on how to make pastry for our rhubarb pie as well as how best to cook our fish. As result we had a truly memorable dinner that night and Peter has been promoted to Pastry Chef. Many thanks to them both.

Bob the Blog

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