“Oh you’ve never been for a two nighter before? Take loads of alcohol, more than you think you’ll need, you’re in for a mad few days!”
The advice was regarding our upcoming trip to West Falkland and made our eyes widen from a mixture of fear and excitement, we’d heard it referred to as ‘the wild west’, but we were about to find out for ourselves.
Port Howard farm was celebrating 150 years of the signing of the original farm and around 100 people were travelling from East Falkland to join the 20 inhabitants in the festivities. Considering the population of West Falkland, an area half the size of Wales, is only around 150 this was a big deal.
An extra ferry a day was scheduled, on top of the existing one, to transport revellers across the 6 miles of water separating the east and west.
after a two hour drive from Stanley, we joined a fully booked boat and a dozen 4x4s laden with food and crates of beer. There would be another four trips made by the Concordia over Friday and Saturday.
We were three of seventeen staying at Port Howard Lodge, a beautifully kept guest house where Sue the manager kept us well fed with fresh eggs from the coop, meat reared on local farms and vegetables from the garden. And in the spirit of things, she didn’t charge anyone for the entire weekend, this was a community event and everyone was doing their bit.
The weekend was full of activities, golf, peat cutting, rubber duck racing, off-road driving, canoeing and barn dancing. The latter caused us a bit of embarrassment at first, as we tried to find our rhythm in front of 150 experienced dancers, but we soon found ourselves foxtrotting the night away. We found the Wild West unstintingly generous, and yes, it did live up to its name.