On reaching the hotel Chris looks up the notam on the internet and, yes it states that there is no gas today but it also has information backdated to 2008 that is no longer relevant. Although we have a car in which we are the masters of our destination. I know both Chris and I are both bummed out about our dilemma, as it means we may be delayed for a week!!! Once again Chris emails and texts people we know in Argentina asking for advice, as this type of thing has never happened to us in the USA, and we are stumped. We prepare to go to dinner and we both agree to try and enjoy our time tonight and deal with the fuel issue tomorrow. We hear rolling of drums in the nearby streets, and I suddenly remember that it is carnival month and wonder if Trelew also takes part in this festival. We asked in the hotel at the front desk and yes indeed there is a local carnival going on tonight. Of course Chris grabs his camera and we head to the streets, we see many people running towards the sounds of the drums and see groups of young adults dressed in bright sparkling costumes. The female dancers are wearing skimpy bikini type outfits with beaded tassels, feathers, and sequins attached to various parts of their costumes. Some are wearing very revealing attire others more modest, but all are very vivid, dazzling and glittering. Most of the males are also brightly clad, but are mainly carrying huge drums while performing impressive dance moves while marching along the streets. We were thrilled to have unexpectedly arrived on the night of Trelew’s carnival parade but managed to witness a magnificent display for a couple of hours and get to eat a dinner at a great resturant. The next morning our dear friends in Comodoro were going to help us out of trouble again!!We received a telephone call from our friend Martin who was preparing plan B, and instead of us following plan A and waiting helpless until fuel arrived in Trelew. Tinti his nephew was going to fly his plane up from Comodoro with fuel and let us siphon some off some for our plane. This was very reassuring as we now had our fuel issue solved and set off for the Welsh tea house in Gaiman. We had also found out that the dinosaur museum in town was brilliant, because beside China; Patagonia is said to have the most dinosaur fossils in the world. The museum was indeed superb, and although dinosaur stuff is normally not my thing, I was totally in awe with the amount of bones and pristine fossils displayed that had been discover in this area .The Welsh tea houses in Gaimen were also great fun, it seemed weird to see many Welsh flags flying in windows in houses in a Patagonia village. And when we finally sat down in one of the tea houses to sample their afternoon tea, we could hear a Welsh choir singing in the back ground. Apparently the reason behind the Welsh Village is many years ago when Argentina was developing and looking for new settlers in a rural primitive area, there was also a town in Wales going through flux and unrest. The people of the town were scared that the English would take over their area and they would lose their language. So when the Argentina government heard about this they welcomed in the Welsh people promising to allow them to kept their language, culture, and traditions and so they have. A local explained that many residents are descendent of the first settlers and some can still speak Welsh. We noticed that many of names of the area are still traditional Welsh names such as Jones, Evans, and Davies. The day driving around this area was surprising bonus and I learnt about another art of Argentina. On our return to our hotel we got an email from Air Journey in Florida (the people who have organized travel permits and paperwork for us) that Viedma now has plenty of gas. Trouble was we had already alert Tinti to fly down with gas from Comodoro!! More phone calls and organizing, and of course drama!! Chris finally manages to sort it all out and we were able to double check with a telephone call that this was indeed the case. So tomorrow Viedma for gas and on to new place, an area outside Buenos Aires on the river, recommended by Gustavo and Leo from Cielo called Tigre. We are in good spirits as we head for the airport,  we are excited about checking out a new place in BA. I have to send some postcards at the Correo (post office) so we drive around before we go, looking at the bustling town. A group of stray dogs run across the road out in front of our car. Chris slams on the brakes as one small dog and bounces off our bummer, rolls and without missing a heartbeat continues to follows the rest of his rag tag friends racing away unscathed. Chris is totally horrified, as he has seen a similar incident happen with a car in front of him hitting a cat, only to find the poor animal by the roadside moments later dead. He decides to drive around the block several times to make sure that the silly dog really did get way ok and after a while we cannot find it so decide it must be ok. Both being big animal lovers, we are now a little dazed by this incident, subdued we drive slowly towards Trelew airport tr.  

Staying at the Cholila lodge was a great break in our journey. We ate huge delicious meals cooked by Silva, hiked up to a waterfall and went for a boat ride with Daniel. We went for walks, managed to go kayaking around a small part of the huge lake which was 600feet deep(we later found out) but the highlights of this stop for me was horse riding with Align, Daniels daughter(an endurance champion rider)and low level flying while being filmed by Daniel and Ali(his son-in-law). On the horse riding trail we had two colts along with us following their mothers, and the two friendly sociable family dogs, which seemed to enjoy diving into the lake and rolling in the mud as we rode along the trail. We saw green parrots and strange plants that only flower every 70 years. It was fun crossing lakes and the rivers on horseback as we got to see a different part of the area that we may not have otherwise seen. I also found out that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid once lived in Cholila, very peacefully for a few years but apparently there was a bank robbery in the area and the sheriff blamed them and so they went back to their bank robbing ways, or so the locals say.  In our low level flying Daniel had managed to mount a camera on the tail of his plane, and was able to film every move we made.
The weather had been very varied while we were staying in Cholila Lodge but that was ok, as we having fun! I was able to sit by the huge open log fire, look at our pictures from the trip, or be still, do nothing but stare out of the window at the wonderful vista !!  It had been raining pretty hard all night, I had been listening to the heavy down hitting the roof, thinking how peaceful it sounded, only to remember our poor plane was also sitting outside the lodge and I began praying that the plane was not leaking again! While flying in a small plane fuel is always a consideration when planning our stops.We can decide to go to one airport which may be convenient but they may not have the fuel we need for our airplane.So we had planned to get fuel in the local airport Esquel but we were told by Daniel there was now none available. But we were not too concerned as we had enough to get to a couple of airports such as Bariloche,or Viedma (little airport which we used on the way down). We also knew that Trelew has the right fuel for our plane(AV100 LL)which will be our main refueling at the next stop.
We felt very sad to be leaving this little tranquil oasis, as we had been able to completely chill out being the only guests, and build a real connection with Silva and Daniel. But it was time to move on now and make tracks back up north towards Trelew. We had planned to go over the mountain pass so we could get a good look at the snow -capped mountains that we had been looking at every morning from our bedroom window. I volunteered to do the take- off today as this was such a great opportunity to take off on a grass runway and be able to immediately soar over the beautiful blue lake after the wheels have left the ground. So there we were, ready to go I make sure that the nose of the plane is not digging into the wet ground on the runway as I taxi. So plan to do what is called a soft field take off and pull the stick fully back so that I will lift off quickly without digging the nose wheel into the muddy ground and avoiding any holes. So as I start going down the runway avoiding puddles and holes I do as planned and hold back the stick fully but as the nose popped up off the ground as I expected the seat shot backwards and I was unable to reach the peddles.  I was now almost pulling the nose way too high which usually results in hideous accidents (and is a common occurrence with Cessna seats). We swerve down the runway, we hear a thud and a scraping noise as we hit a muddy hole but luckily Chris being six foot seven and with long legs, was able to quickly grab the controls and take over. I can’t believe I have damaged the plane, how bad is it? What is it going to cost? I have never had an “incident “before in an airplane, but Chris reassures me that it was just a scrape and that it is probably a just a crack in the fairing. We continue flying towards Trelew and most of the way I am feeling pretty bad. I look at the beautiful views from outside my window and try to enjoy the great scenery, but I start to think about what I could have done to avoid my “incident”. I question my flying ability and swear to let Chris do all the take offs from now on, and begin to worry about how much damage I have caused. We decide that we have enough fuel to get to Bariloche and then refuel properly in Trelew.  In Bariloche we inspect the damage that I did to the plane from Cholila, and see that the plane is covered in mud, and the plastic on the fairing on the tail is cracked with a big clunk missing. I feel awful and I know that Chris is trying not show that he is really annoyed with me as he patches the damage with duct tape , but this is not the first time my seat has slid back and although it gets “mended “every time we have a service on the plane, the repair never lasts for long and I am continually having to jam the seat into position on every take off.  We both agree that it was an accident waiting to happen, and the solution may be to buy new rails, as the pins are not good enough. I thank god I was not on my own when this happened as I would have surely crashed, and know that most of the crashes I have read about with sliding seat issues have resulted in deaths. We forge on to Trelew, but as we approach we are told by the air traffic controller that the airport has no fuel. OMG!!!What are we going to do now? We had not planned on this little delight! What do we do now, as we do not have enough fuel left to divert to any other airport or know anyone here to help us. While we are unloading our bags, we are approached by a pilot who vaguely looks familiar and it turns out he is from Comodoro Rivadavia aero-club and is also in the same dilemma with no fuel. We discover there is an notam,( a pilot’s report) which we unfortunately did not read this today that states that there may not be any fuel for up to five days. Shocked and a little bit frustrated, we decide if we are going to be stuck in a place such as Trelew, place we had not planned on staying in for long, we should hire a car and go and explore. One place we both had talked about visiting is Gaiman, a town which we had both heard about which is a few miles out of town where the people speak welsh, have a Welsh choir and have several Welsh tea rooms which you can visit.
We decided to hire a car which is really expensive in this country and head for the same hotel that we stayed at before on our way south, we know it comfortable, and clean, and we also know where a lovely resturant in town is, and are planning to head there tonight for dinner.

It is amazing in life that it is somehow not what you know, but who you know, can sometimes get you out of trouble or put you on the right path to what you want to do!! After a hideous night of both of us not sleeping well, Chris frantically texts, emails and calls friends we know in Comodoro Rivadavia from the flying club, asking if they know where we can get my computer repaired ASAP. Good old Sebastian, who has helped us out so many times on this trip, knows a place in town and tells us to go immediately. A lovely “computer geek” called Herman who speaks English, sighs, mumbles, and rolls his eyes looking at my computer for about 30 minutes, trying to find out the problem, and decide if he can mend it. Both Chris and I beg him to try, and explained how important it is for us to have this machine up and working, our photos, our films, my documents, etc. I had also remembered when I woke once in the night, that my case studies and my long slogged project for my master degree are also on my computer, and I shuddered at the thought of losing them. I think that I have probably backed up most of my stuff, but I mentally questioned myself saying “did I save that one, not sure if that one was backed up?” I have a cloud that backs stuff up also and I know it restores most stuff as I did it to this new computer from my old one. But it is a long couple of day’s downloading and a real time consumer, a total pain!!Having this “machine” broken made me realize how much we both rely and use this thing, and it kind of horrifies me to think I would be lost without it! Herman eventually tells us he can fix it, and it will be ready for tomorrow at 12. We had planned on leaving early morning but when we hear he can fix it we are both ecstatic! I tell him I could almost kiss him and I meant it!

When our friend Martin hears what has happened, he advises Chris that we are both need to go to a place to de-stress. He knows a place that we can fly to which is run by a good friend and his wife. They have a lodge in the Andean mountains on a lake, which is tranquil and peaceful. You can, fish, hike, horseback ride and best of all do nothing!! He tells Chris he is carrying too much on his shoulders and needs a place to clear his head and recharge his batteries. So after collecting my computer with an extra added stress of us getting a message saying it won’t be ready until 6pm instead of noon. We packed up our stuff, pay our bill, check out of our hotel and are on our way.

Cholila Lodge is on a lake and in order to fly there we are supposed to fly a certain grass slip and Daniel the owner will come out in his plane and meet us. Then we will follow him to the lodge, where there is another grass slip in front of the lodge. The journey to the Lodge is wonderful as it is over the vast Patagonia country side which transforms from a dry and dusting looking land that looks like a desert with  guanaco running around, to now various tones of green and lush vegetation ,with gorgeous  wild horses dashing along trails, and deep  valleys. We find the grass strip which is just pass a small airport called Esquel where we had planned on topping up our plane with fuel but find out from the air traffic controller on approach that they have run out of gas. We have enough to get to the lodge and on to Viedma or Bahia Blanca on our way north so are not concerned about this issue. We soar over the mountains and keep our eyes peeled for the grass field which after a few minutes is plain as daylight. We land, and as we step out of our plane we are greeted by a silver haired, kind faced man who is the Daniel the owner of the lodge, who has flown in to meet us in his vintage 1955 Cessna 180, with a friend who is going to take pictures of us as we fly to the lodge, what blast!!! How incredible to have a picture of us flying our plane with stunning landscape and mountains as backdrop!!!The flight was not only magnificent but the view from the plane was spectacular. The lake was the most bluest of lakes I have ever seen in my life, it looked like it had been photo shopped as the colour was so vibrant and bright. We flew in formation for a while, which was such a delight, and really good fun thing for both of us, I could not stop myself smiling at the thrill of it, and when I looked at Chris I knew he was feeling the same pleasure I was, as he grinning from ear to ear like a Cheshire cat!
 When we landed I was totally impressed, as this was one of the most glorious picturesque lodges I have ever seen. It looked like it should be on the front of a post card, as it had all the features you expect that are pleasing to the eye. The sun was shining brightly, the temperature was hot, and in front of the lodge was a stream trickling down from the mountains that led to a couple of ponds with wild geese and ducks swimming on it,, this in turn ran down to the lake. In front of the lodge were friendly dogs bounding about and if you looked up at the front of the lodge towards the chimney, you could see the smoke bellowing out, this coming from the open log fire which was burning inside. On unloading our bags and leaving our plane COMPLETLY parked in front of the lodge (see pictures on website) we were warmly welcomed by the charming Silva, Daniel’s wife who showed us to superb room. The room had wooden beams as did most of the ceilings in the lodge, and a rustic, very cozy feel about it. The best thing I liked about the room was it had double doors that led to a balcony; and from that balcony, one was able to see snowcapped mountains! After settling our bags in our room, Silvia brought us coffee and cakes and Daniel, Silva Chris and I had a friendly chat about what we wanted to do. Silva explained that they had just had a huge group of guest leave and was expecting some more the next week but this was a bit of a lull and we were the only guest staying at the moment so we had free run of the lodge and to let her know what suited us. What a result!!! This was just what we needed no schedule, plenty of sleep, and peace and quiet. The best thing about this place was although there was internet; this was the Andean mountains so our expectations of sending emailing or receiving mail were low. We had come to rest our tired bodies, get over the expensive accident of the broken computer and calm our frayed nerves. We hoped to explore the beautiful area that we found ourselves in and take advantage of this unique opportunity to do some mountain activities.

Rio Gallegos returning to Rada Tilly
On our last full day in Rio Gallegos Chris, Leny, and I took a flight up to the El Calafate mountains which is also part of the Andes. The mountain range which is named Fitzroy is supposed to be the most impressive, with huge blue glaciers. Apparently there is a time every so many years that the glacier forms a type of bridge across the valley and when it eventually thaws and breaks the noise is spectacular. Tourists from all over the world come to witness this event and last time this was predicted to happen many waited for months to see and hear it break. In going around the mountains on this flight we were told by air traffic to maintain 6,000 feet which we thought would be way too high to get any decent pictures. But as we turned the corner looking for Fitzroy there was no mistaking which one it was. 11,000 feet high with the most incredible glacier road swirling down the mountain there it stood. “Look at THAT” Leny sighed and in deed, all three of us were mesmerized and could not stop LOOKING AT THAT!! We circled around and zig zagged along the edge of the mountain getting as close as we could without violating air space. We unfortunately was unable to see the mountain top because it was obscured by cloud and although we could chance climbing high to get a peak it was not worth the risk of getting caught in clouds without knowing where the top were. . We were all really excited as none of us have been up close to a glacier and this is mountain is one that that everyone talks about and comes to see.
Flying back to Rada Tilly was not as exciting as it was first time around. The amazing dry and barren deserts looked pretty unimpressive this time, as we have seen so much on each leg down to the Southernmost tip of the world, and having seen the glaciers day before which were pretty impressive and still on my mind, this landscape with its many oil derricks(nodding donkeys) now seems very bland. On arriving at our hotel we were given an ocean view room which was lovely, but the internet seem very slow and intermittent. We didn’t think much about it because we had been invited to a BBQ in our honour at the aero club in Comodoro on our first night back and although we were sad that our friend Martin was in still in Buenos Aires working and unable to join us, we were looking forward to seeing the rest of the club members who met before on outward leg such as Sebastian, Tinti and Javier, to name a few. The BBQ was outstanding, I am not a big meat lover, but the pork, which I normally like least of all meats, melted in the mouth and the “chef “who was this cheeky chap, promised to return to the USA with me to be my private cook!! We had a great night with the Comodoro aero club members, the food and the conversation was great despite a language barrier. No one seemed to mind our sign language and Spanglish. We were asked to share our pictures of our journey using a slide show, which was an honour, and which we were proud to do. I know Chris was in his element surround by pilots talking shop but despite being “one of them” I wasn’t quite. I do love the thrill of flying, and I am always amazed at the changing terrain and different landscapes that I have the privilege of viewing from a plane  as a pilot, but I do not feel and urge to always talk about planes, be it be new engines, new GPS, new parts in the cock pit, Apps for maps. I love the experiences one gets to have in an airplane and like to share stories of what I have seen and hear about others but I sometimes feel isolated if I am not completely plane mad like many of the pilots I have met are. That said, I think I was a bit of a novelty being a black, woman pilot in most places we have flown into included the Comodoro aero club,which only have a couple of women pilots.
The next day was supposed to have terrible weather; the forecast said it was going to be wet, cold and raining. Chris and I had decided to stay in for most of the morning as to catch up with all of our emails, blogs, and journals. But when we woke up, the sun was glorious and as we had a front seat view of the beach I was desperate to go out while the weather was so nice. But Chris was in a foul mood, the internet had been down when he had woken up early in the morning and now he said it kept logging out half way through some of his writing. Apparently he had “lost several documents” and some important emails not be could not retrieved.We went to breakfast and both set about doing our email tasks but the room was hot, the internet was REALLY slow, and I was not into it as I could feel a long walk on the beach beckoning me. So I asked Chris if he wanted to go out, and “all hell broke loose” and we both lost our tempers and had a huge row. I left for the beach with my tunes on my iPod and Chris carried on sitting in a hot room battling the slow internet. When I reached the beach, I decided to walk for 30 minutes to an hour. This way I would get some fresh air, a little exercise, and cool down from our row. I had plans to return to hotel to do email, but the weather was so pleasant that I got carried with collecting shells and stones!! Mad as it may seem to some, a good friend from home asked me to bring back a couple of stones from places I have visited, and now it has become a compulsive habit to me!! Once you notice a stone that has an interesting colour or strange marking you see another and another. I also like collecting shells, so I was engrossed in my simple pursuits of shell and stone collecting in tidal pools while the tide was out, and I managed to for walked for miles and miles.  I enjoyed talking to the local people along the way, most were out to get fresh air like me, or to walk their dogs, but all very friendly and chatty. One humorous old man especially, also walking his dog stopped me to practice his English on me, and show me where muscles were growing on some rocks. He also talked to me about the local area and reminisced how the area was many years ago when he was a boy. Feeling less stressed out by our silly row I returned to our hotel to find Chris still fuming and upset with me for “abandoning him” to have a nice day alone while he slaved away. We had lunch both pretty glum, and we both thought “bugger this!” we are going for a walk together today!!! Went in the opposite direction of the beach walk I had done in the morning, and saw totally different shells and rocks. Chris left pictures down loading on his ipad and explained why he was braving out his emailing until he felt that he needed a break and some fresh air. We go for a walk and as we talked I realized that many people have been following our story and supporting our cause which has been wonderful, but Chris got many emails saying “when are you going to post more pictures?” “When are you going to update your blog?” I had not realized how important the blogs had meant to some people and how Chris felt some obligation to keep up with the demand of others.  I felt less inclined to do so, not because I didn’t want to write my journal, because I enjoy writing it, but I am only human and if there is an internet problem or issues that are more important to me then I will do it at the next place we stop.
On returning to our room we feel better, refreshed and a bit calmer.We write post cards, look at our next leg of the journey, and talk about places we want to visit. Chris eventually checks the pictures that were supposed to be downloading on his ipad while we on our walk, but for some unknown reason they had not down loaded and he had lost email he had written a couple of hours previously. Bang!!Frustrated, aggravated, irritated and tired he threw his ipad on to the second bed in our room, unfortunately it landed hard with a huge bang onto of my computer!!!! Not impressed at all, in fact I am fuming, as it seems that now my computer is broken and won’t work. Tomorrow we need to find a computer repair shop ASAP as it is our last full day in Rada Tilly. My computer is only a few months old, and although we have backed up stuff most of our trip on a hard drive from my computer, it still has all my old pictures, films and documents on, I have a good shout at Chris for a few moments and then we both go to bed quietly subdued. Another drama to deal with!!

The next morning after the grueling the experience of Chris’s peanut drama, Chris receives a response from the Chilean government stating that we have to land in Chile pick up a Navy personnel, get more permission and have someone come onboard with us while we take our picture of the rock at Cape Horn. We receive more emails in Spanish in which we can’t decipher, and after much consideration we decide that time is running short and we can’t afford to be stuck in Chile if things go wrong, all for a picture of a rock!!! We decide that we have come as close as we could to the Cape Horn and the most sensible thing to do now is continue to Rio Gallegos to see our friends at the aero club at Rio Chico.
We return our hire car and the nice rental man runs us to our airplane, where we load all our stuff in. We are greeted by a man introduces himself as Peter. He starts asking us many question about our plane, our trip, and our journey. We have become accustomed to people being curious about our US registered plane but after a while I get suspicious and ask him “are you a helicopter pilot?” as there is a helicopter sightseeing place next door. No Peter explains he is the commander of the Navy base!! My first reaction is “on no what is wrong and does he want now?” He asks for all our paperwork and a copy of the flight plan from Stanley. He jokes with me about the hangar fee being higher now he realizes we are a USA registered plane, shakes our hands and leaves. A little later at the international Ushuaia airport, we land and give the PSA our paperwork and show our entry to the flight plan office. We see Peter the naval commander again and Chris reckons that we have got them all baffled as we did not land in Rio Grande our first place on our flight plan not Ushuaia. Chris explain our need for “gasoline” and “mucho vento in Patagonia” After a while he understood our reasons for landing in Ushuaia joked with us about our language barriers and left. After the PSA took a picture of our plane as usual, we continued on our way, flying over Beagle Channel, and zig zaging through the mountains valleys, looking in wonder at the amazing ice lakes and snow covered mountains.  Our route direction now was towards  the east coast of Tierra del Fuego, as we proceeded along our course the ride began to get bumpy, we were certainly back into Patagonia I said to myself through gritted teeth as I banged my head on the plane, “this is Patagonia!”
Before long we were descending into Rio Gallegos main airport where we were pleasantly surprised to be met by our friend leny. Unfortunately more paperwork is needed to be done, Chris does this part while I attend to our refuel issue. The same people are there and they smile and laugh when they see me. Next leg is a short five minute flight to the Rio Chico aero club. Of course Chris has to do a couple of  buzz jobs over the club hangar. We hope that some of our friends will be waiting there for us. As we do a low flight pass of the club we see several people on the ground. Chris continues to complete the landing pattern and as we taxi up to the hangar we see many people waiting as we step from the plane, we see Leny and a camera team. Leny says “I hope you don’t mind, but a local camera crew is here to interview you, I will translate for you”. Chris is on great form in front of the camera, he rattles off our mission and the cause we are trying to highlight by doing this flight. He states the importance of organ donation and the reasons why everyone should be a donor. I am very proud of the way he can speak in a confident and calm manner despite microphone pointed in his face and camera right in front of him. I on the other hand am not natural in front of a camera but feel my whole body either going rigid or I clam up. Once the camera goes away we get reacquainted with the friends we made on the outward board, and I am pleased to see Jose and Juan are here as is leny. The club have kindly organized a barbecued of cordero, or lamb (which Chris had jokingly requested on our way out). The evening was a great as we not only got to show the guys our pictures of our trip, catch up with the friends made on the way out but also make new ones. I felt touched that they had all made an effort for us, and kind of understood what all this meant to Chris, to be involved with a great aero club, the camaraderie of pilots, all talking about their adventures, their flights, and their shared experiences. I watched all the guys and saw although we spoke a different language they all had the same passion about airplanes and flying.

We are now in the most southern tip of the world, or as the locals call it “Fin del Mundo” the end of the world. We get a ride into town from the airport by a friendly local helicopter pilot and decide to do some sightseeing in this unique town. The people have a native Indian look about then with dark eyes and dark eyes. The local people seem totally intrigued by Chris and I, the children especially look at Chris with awe because of his 6’7 height and me because I appear to be the only black person in town. On our first night we just order room service and crash out, we try to catch up with our emails as the Falklands internet was unbelievably slow and expensive.  We find this is also a huge problem in Ushuaia, but then we are at the end of the world. The local helicopter pilot who gave us a ride to town told us in order to fly to Cape Horn our last stop for our mission a few miles south, we need to apply for a permit as the rock is “officially Chilean” Chris sends emails applying for a permit to fly to the rock and so we can take some pictures and while we await a response we do our sightseeing.
We decide to hire a car which is both incredibly expensive and REALLY slow! The whole process took two and a half hours despite having the hotel call the night before to book it for us!! We venture to the old jail which is now a museum and a can kind of an Argentine Alcatraz. The conditions in which the prisoners lived in were barbaric with concrete floors and no heating. The prisoners were used as a kind of slave labour to build local buildings, including the local rail network. We also went to another museum to learn about the most earliest and primitive local Indians called Yamana Indians. They lived a wild nomadic life in which they lived off shellfish and wild vegetation, they also wore no clothes. Unfortunately just like many native inhabitants in history who have interacted with the western white man. Missionaries came and “civilized them” and unfamiliar with wearing clothes they picked up germs and infections and eventually the Yamana tribe was wiped out.
The next day we drove around in the National park which was picturesque, with huge mountains and great lookout points for scenic views. The park had huge lush green trees, alpine forests, lakes, streams and rivers. We saw a native red fox and many interesting birds. Camping seemed popular in this park as it seemed ideal for those who like to hike and climb mountains, in fact we saw many people just doing that. We found a little old steam train in which the network and rails as mentioned in the museum was built by the prisoners many years old. We decide to take an hour ride in this train and as we felt like treating ourselves for an extra $20 we also got a lunch which entailed a tasty crab meat sandwich, a glass of champagne, a local chocolate cake (alfajor) and muffin. All was going well and we was enjoying the views from this this charming little First Class carriage which we shared with another four people. The food was delicious and on the way down Chris mumbles something to me about not feeling well. He was suddenly very quiet so I asked him what was wrong and he refused to answer me. All of sudden I knew what was wrong as his face went bright red and started to look swollen. There must have been peanuts which he is highly allergic to the cake! Of course we didn’t have his Epipen with us; it was of course back in our hotel room which was about a 30 minute drive away. Chris’s face continued to get redder and redder and as we neared the town, I suggested that we should find a farmacia (pharmacy). I looked at Chris and I knew it was getting really serious when he said “no I think I need a hospital”. Now I was really scared, I knew that he may go into full blown anaphylactic shock any minute and he was telling me that he was having trouble breathing!!We looked for signs for a hospital, and frantically looked on our ipad for map for a hospital sign. Suddenly we saw a red cross, and then a hospital sign which we aimed straight for. This was one my worst nightmare realized; in a hospital, in a foreign country trying to tell the doctors that Chris is sick! I frantically tried to explain to the receptionist that Chris was allergic to peanuts and he may go into anaphylactic shock any minute as he was now making a choking sound! Luckily after us both shouting” allergic! allergic!” several times, a wonderful angel appeared and “said I work for the Red Cross and speak English can I help you?” The lovely lady was Eloisa Dougherty who had unfortunately hurt her shoulder and was there to get a pain shot. Thankfully for us she was able to translate the importance of Chris seeing someone immediately and within seconds we were ushered to a room where the doctor and the nurse sprang into action. The doctor gave Chris a hydrocortisone shot and the nurse put a mask on his face and gave him oxygen!! We waited for 2-3 hours as Chris began to start breathing normally and look less red. The delightful Eloisa with excellent English stayed with us the whole time, amusing us with funny stories and just hanging out with us. We left the hospital after the doctors gave Chris the green light to go and paid the minute bill of 70 pesos which is about 12-15 dollars (10 pounds).After facing my huge fear of taking Chris to foreign hospital being realized it all worked out in the end! We drove Eloisa home, got a takeaway meal from the resturant next door to our hotel and crawled into bed.

We slowly leave Port Stanley but only after we have looped around town, looking at all of the places that we have visited and have grown to like. We then focus on flying towards Weddell Island which we had overflown on our inbound leg to the island. As we establish radio contact with Mount Pleasant we are once again “embellished “by two RAF Typhoons who zoom past us as we depart. Chris is disappointed as he did not have his camera at the ready and get a close up shot. I am just pleased that they flew by to say good bye. Over Goose green and Fox bay we here another voice on the radio stating that they too are going to land on Weddell Island. We find out that they are a Sea King helicopter and part of me wonders “could it be the lovely Prince William?” As we approach we realize it is not an RAF helicopter but a civilian one, which is still pretty cool. Chris does the landing as it is a grass field runway, and although the runway is nicely mowed it is a little uneven. I also notice that the wind has picked up a lot, and I know I can do it but I would rather he with all his experience take control. Good call (I later tell myself)because  as we flare the crosswind picks up, Chris has to fight with the buffeting wind as he forcefully puts the plane down quickly so it does not float, glad I did have control I say to myself!! We chat to the Sea King pilots, take a quick peak inside their aircraft and wave them take off which is pretty impressive when you are up close.
We are met by Martin Beaton, a delightfully humorous, gentleman who not only helped us refuel our tanks in the increasing wind but has a warm flask of tea and homemade cake from his wife Jane!! As we sip our tea and look around us the view is pretty spectacular. Weddell has a wild rugged feel to it but is beautiful at the same time. Martin and his wife live alone in this remote part of the islands for 6 months of the year and love the undisturbed, uncomplicated lifestyle. Once we have finished our tea, with an extra slice of cake for our journey, we board our plane, wave goodbye to Martin. We start our engine, readjust our lifejackets and taxi to the end of the runway. Our plane starts making weird noises, as we do our run up, I can’t believe it, what now! We turn off the engines and start again this time all is well and we lift off now towards initially Rio Grande where plan to do our first port of paperwork drama and then on to Ushuaia. When we reach our water crossing we keep a close eye on the ground speed, and we both agreed if it drops below 90 we may be in some trouble. We figured despite extra fuel there may be a point of which if the headwind becomes too much we may have to turn back to Weddell Island. But so far so good we stay at 90-100nm of ground speed. I worry a little about the weird noise the engine made on takeoff, but then forget about it as I watch the wind whip the waves forcefully and notice the many white caps down below us.
The wind died down as we progressed along our route and the leg was actually really enjoyable, our ground speed remained at 90 knots and we started to hear the Argentina air traffic controllers as we got closer into their range. Back to Spanish speaking airports we were tried to contact Comodoro Approach but after a while we came in range with Rio Grande tower who handed us to the Ushuaia Tower. We flew over the most incredible snowcapped mountains I have ever seen in my life, which had the most stunning deep blue ice lakes and glaciers between them. This is something I have only seen in travel magazines or documentaries. As we soared around the Andes, words could not describe the outstanding beauty these mountains have. We see the crossed the beagle channel and are now Tierra del Fuego province. We first land at the big international airport at Ushuaia where people are confused and baffled where this little 172 Cessna has come from. Our intention is to fly to the aero club which is two minutes away after getting our paperwork done, and get fuel, as we have been directed to do so by our Comodoro Friends, who also say we can also park our plane in the club’s hangar.  We explain all this to the customs and immigration people but they are still puzzled with why we have landed here and what we were doing in the Malvinas. Language barriers do not help as none of them speak English and we of course don’t speak Spanish, after Chris shows them an Argentina newspaper article of our flight they seem to lighten up. Luckily a security or flight planning guy called Nicholas (Nico) arrives; he speaks English and is a member of the Ushuaia aero club, the place we want to fly to. Nico explains that unfortunately there is no room in the aero club’s hangar for our plane but the Navy Base hangar right next door is happy to let us keep our airplane there at a cost. With help from him and some translating we are on our way!! We still need fuel, so we head for the aero club, and on arriving at the aero club we are greeted by two young men who immediately in clear English welcomes us to Ushuaia. We have a chat about our journey and they have seen articles about us and our journey in their papers and also on the TV.  The current political climate is a bit messed up at the moment in Argentina, and there is friction between the Falklands, UK and Argentina. We have been staying clear away from getting involved having made friends in both Argentina and the Falklands. But some articles in the UK and Argentina press got it all wrong!! They said we were flying in a jet plane THAT had to be escorted into Port Stanley for our own safety by the two typhoons, and others say we were intercepted as we were suspected of wrong doing. We had to put them right as both stories was utter b……t and we did not want to be involved in political propaganda. We all had a laugh about the ridiculous stories they had read, they help us refuel, chatted to us about the local area and wished us good luck for the rest of our trip.

Having spent from five days in the Falklands we began to feel very much attached to place. It seemed only right and appropriate to spend both Chris's birthday, 11th Feb and Valentine’s Day, (a day I now dread) in such a peaceful place. Valentine's Day marks the 2 year anniversary of Chris collapsing and going into hospital, and despite it being 2 years ago I still remember vividly the whole day of seeing him unconscious and connected to the life support machines.
 I like the people, the place and the friendly atmosphere that seems to everywhere.  Being such as small community we would chat to someone in the morning in our hotel and later on that day we would see them in the post office, bank and local supermarket. Everyone appears to know each other, went to school with each other, or are related in some way, and although some say it may be a bit overwhelming at times, they all seem to support each other. While talking about our donor awareness cause and what the money we receive for Kings College Hospital goes towards (global and national research, patient support, Listen Lodge/family support) it seems that the Islanders also have a similar local charity called the Stephen Jaffy Fund which also supports the family members.

The day before departing from Port Stanley, Chris and I talk about our flight back north and on to Ushuaia. Chris has been watching the weather and winds for the last few days and has seemed very edgy, as the winds have not been our favour. I start to get nervous because although I know we will not do anything silly or dangerous I hate to see my comfort blanket (my 747 captain husband) nervous. We establish a new plan to get over our 400nm water crossing to Ushuaia, as the headwinds are so strong that if we go the same way we came we will definitely not make land, run out of fuel and have a nasty surprise in the South Atlantic!!Chris comes up with a plan to get a couple of Jerry cans of fuel, so we have extra fuel and head for the far west part of the Falklands called Weddell Island, here we can top up our tanks, this way we will less of a water crossing by 100nm and full fuel tanks.

The last night in our hotel we begin to feel sad, we have a delicious meal of Patagonian of tooth fish, and say goodbye to the lovely hotel staff, Carl, Jasper, Christine. We even have a visit from Robin Godwin a local amateur photographer who gives us great pictures of our plane and the island, who we met on our first day in FI.
In the morning we say our goodbyes to all our new friends, we feel that we still have not seen enough of this amazing place and vow to come back for more sightseeing, but next time in a faster, bigger plane!!Our friend James drives us to the airport and we see our friend tour guide Tony smith and his daughter Aline waiting to see us off. The local TV station interviews us as we prepare to leave and Robin Godwin also arrives to take a couple of pictures of us as we depart.

With our airplane packed, jerry cans full, we take off into the clear blue windy, sky, heading for Weddell Island; both of us feel very emotional as we leave. Chris does a buzz of the airport and I see I think Andrew waving from the tower, and Robin taking pictures as Chris does a low pass. On to Weddell Island we go, goodbye Port Stanley.

We discovered from the beginning, that the Falklands islands has a magical and welcoming allure about it, and from landing into Port Stanley to checking into our lovely Malvina Hotel, I felt an odd sense of familiarity about the place. As I explained to my friends and family when describing the Falklands, it felt like the England I knew when I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. Locals seem to have a strong sense of community spirit among them, neighbours appeared to be real friends, and visitors are treated with a kind, hospitable, and trusting manner. For example; we arrived on a Friday night, and found the island does not have cashpoints (ATMs)!!! As we have been traveling for 8 nearly weeks, we have a varied collection of different currencies. We thought that although we had some sterling (about 100 quid) between us, we expected to be able to draw more cash out of “the hole in the wall” for meals, sightseeing, and, sundries, etc. In hearing the news about the Falklands having no ATMs, I was horrified and a bit shocked. But people reassured me that most places accepted credit cards and for those who wanted cash, we could go to the bank that accepts UK cheques! This was good, but it was Friday, and the bank did not open until Monday and much to my surprise people who preferred cash said "no worrying about paying by credit card, it’s OK pay us after you have had time to go to the bank!!!! So we had dinner, hired a car, booked a tour, brought gifts and did IOU’s, no one seemed concerned about us not paying them!

We found when talking to people they seemed to show a genuine interested in both getting to know us, and about our cause. Some people went out of their way to help us, or introduce us to someone they knew who may be able to help get our organ donor awareness drive some publicity. The kind staff at our hotel alerted the local paper the Penguin News about our journey and we were able to do an interview with a lovely man called John Fowler, and our friend Andrew contacted the local TV station who also kindly came to interview us.

After spending our first night feasting on a lovely local lamb dish (a sheep is on the Falklands coat of arms) and sleeping like logs. Andrew had organized for his friend James from FIGAS to lend us a car. We had great fun driving around and hiking across the countryside. The island was amazing, with its impressive mountains and hills and romantic windswept beaches. Parts of it looked like the Cornish countryside, and some areas reminded me of remote isles in Scotland. Chris said he also saw similarities to the Yorkshire Dales, in which I must agree.

The next few days was spent sightseeing the island, either with just myself and Chris, or in the company of the island’s most knowledgeable tour guide Tony Smith and his lovely daughter Aline. We would drive and hike up hills exploring the island and learning about the history. We also got to be driven in a super comfortable 4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser banging through "camp" with Nobby Clarke. He took us to the far North end of the eastern part of the island, Volunteer Point. This is a unique place in the world where you can observe nature up close and personal. We was able to spend approximately three hours with an large colony of King Penguins, who live alongside colonies of Gentoo and Magellanic's with the total number being around 1-2000. Because this was the summer, the season when many babies have been born, the young “toddler” penguins come from their nursery areas and are playful and overly curious of our presence. If we sat still and waited, after a while they would walk up to us peck our jackets or shoes and sit next to us. It was truly an amazing experience!!