In November and December 2011, my wife and I ventured into one of the most remote regions on Earth: the Antarctic Peninsula. However, before landing on the Frozen Continent, our voyage took us first to the Falkland and South Georgia Islands.
The Falklands are one of the world's great wildlife meccas, home to more than six million Macaroni penguins, millions of Rockhopper penguins, thousands of nesting Albatrosses, and countless other sub-Antarctic species.
Eight hundred miles southeast of the Falklands lays ice-crowned South Georgia Island, another oceanic oasis and the best place for close-up looks at vast numbers of stately King Penguins. Spectacular South Georgia is also full of history. It's where Sir Ernest Shackleton and his party landed in 1916 after completing an 800-mile voyage across the wild Southern Ocean in a 22-foot whaleboat to seek rescue for the stranded men of his ship, the Endurance - probably the single greatest feat in the history of polar exploration.
The Antarctica Peninsula is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, framed by stunning mountains, glaciers and icebergs, and populated by large colonies of Adélie, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins, as well as vast numbers of seals and whales.
Eventually, our Antarctica Expedition ended where it started: Ushuaia, Argentina. We both had to set sail yet again, this time for our respective domesticated lives that awaited us. The flight home, however, would be different. Rather than the anxiety and excitement of the unknown, the time spent during our homebound flight was dedicated to reflection and the continued realization that we had succeeded in reaching the “South end of the Earth” and back, a land where few others have stepped foot.
In the next pages you will find a photographic glimpse of the splendor and natural beauty of this remote region of the Word; I hope you enjoy it!