An Amazing View_Paradis Harbour_Antarctica
Most of our time in Antarctica during November 2010 was spent exploring the Antarctic Peninsular. However, near the end of our exploration we landed and ascended a steep hilltop above Paradise Harbour, one of only two ports were cruise ships stop on the continent.
The harbour itself is extremely beautiful and surrounded by huge ice cliffs. There were loads of penguins messing about on the ice, coloured by the reddish stains of their excrement, and I photographed them gathered in front of some of the buildings on site. I understand that large populations of birds, seals and whales can also be sighted in the area.
There's a research station at Paradise Harbour. Although the scientists, 3 lovely girls who were stationed there at the time, were busy running the souvenir shop. Apparently the profits go to help fund the research. (Personal Opinion: I'd be happier if the girls were just making a little bit of extra cash, on the side. I can't understand why scientific research at such a place is not adequately funded to begin with). The quality of the products on display was high, but I have to admit to finding the experience of shopping on the edge of such an amazing wilderness to be quite surreal.
There was loads of snow and ice to meet us on our arrival, and navigating our way along the slippery path from the small jetty, were our zodiacs dropped us off, the short distance up to the souvenir shop was no easy task. And once there I proceeded to fall, knee high, into deep snow. Still it was fun and, together with most other members of our group, I huffed and puffed my way up the top of a nearby hillside for a panoramic view of the harbour and surrounding area.
The view was gorgeous, which I'II share with you another day, and I was sweating like a proverbial, having stacked on way too many layers for this particular excursion. While on the top, Terry, one of the team from Aurora Expeditions made the above picture of me. As you can see he's almost as good a photographer as he is a barman, a job at which he excels. What else can I say: he's happy, honest and a keen listener. I made sure I made a couple photos of Terry, from the opposite direction, which I'II be sure to post at a later stage.
Other than the achievement of making the climbing to the top, and being rewarded with a fantastic view, we all got to slide down the hill on our backsides. A far quicker and more exhilarating experience than the slog upwards.
If ever you get the opportunity, a cruise down to the Antarctic Peninsular is an amazing experience. And the photographic opportunities are incredible.
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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru