Apologies for the lack of update last weekend, our searches for the occasional King penguins who appear on random beaches have so far been fruitless so we didn’t have much to update on bar some close-ups of this sealion(ess?) down the road at Gypsy Cove and the night herons and cormorants nesting (still no zoom lens, remember!).
Some people have been asking about the nightlife here and last weekend we had our first experience that made it worth mentioning (though by no means our first experience of the nightlife here). Like many remote, Western communities alcohol is a big part of life here. The lack of import tax makes alcohol far cheaper here than in the UK (even bottled British ales like Fullers ESB are just £1.25 in one of the 2 supermarkets). Crates of Budweiser seem to be the standard drink here (24x330ml cans set you back £9.99so they are to be found at all events). Having said that, there is an ale brewery here (Falklands Beerworks) who produce surprisingly good ales for a producer 8000 miles from British hops and malt.
This, you would think, would lead many people to drink in their own homes (which they do) but there is a nightlife here, consisting of 7 major pubs that range from the up-market hotel-bar, to the coffee-shop turned bar, down to the working-men’s club-style drinking hole (The Malvina House Hotel, Bitter Sweet, The Narrows Bar, The Victory Bar, The Globe Tavern, Deanos with it’s sticky penguin carpet and The Stanley House Arms, in that order). The settlements such as Goose Green and Fitzroy have small bars that are run by a local and open on a Friday and Saturday night and it is assumed that anyone entering simply buys a round for all present, known or not. I’m not sure that’s a policy that would translate well to the UK!
Then, then, there’s The Trough. All bars in Stanley have to close at 11:30pm (although a late-opening license can be obtained if the event is for charity, which is a rule I quite like the idea of and I like to think adds some respectability to the considerable drinking culture here). The Trough, however, is something else. It has no fixed opening days, no license and no fixed closing time. It is, in essence, a live music gig made of mobile homes and opens as and when a late-playing band can be found (usually the local band; The Flying Pigs). Its lack of license means you can only take your own drinks and runs until about 2-3am. It can sometimes open without notice and rumours, texts and Facebook posts spread with news of its opening. We attended on Saturday night on a whim and we’ll definitely be back! It’s everything that a Falklands night out should be. Term has ended now, we have 5 weeks off and plenty to do so expect more updates next month!