Mirror Reflections – Falkland Islands & Russia

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Life in the Falkland Islands

Han and I ummed and aahed about what to do with our Christmas/summer down here. With both of us having time off from work and a bit of money in the bank we contemplated Chile but there is only one flight a week and it isn’t cheap; one of the downsides to living in one of the most remote communities in the world. Eventually we settled on staying here in Stanley and trying to get out to camp and perhaps to some of the other Islands as and when we could. So far, we’re very glad we did!

It’s the nature of the migrant-based society here that there are large numbers of people here without their families so we hosted our own ‘Orphans’ Christmas’, an open-invite drinks party, followed by a walk to Cape Pembroke Lighthouse with Aniket’s drone (pictures to follow) and then dinner for 7. It turns out a traditional roast does work in summer. Good times had all round. See more here.


Life in Russia

This lighthouse was built under extremely difficult conditions on what was once a jagged rock just off the southeastern-most cape of Sakhalin island. The Mys Aniva lighthouse is over three quarters of a century old and has seen a lot of history during its lifespan. Late 1930s when Sakhalin was divided between Japan and the USSR, the Japanese ordered it built as part of the treastie. After the Soviets seized the entire island of Sakhalin at the end of World War II. The Russians installed an RTG (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator) to supply electricity to the lamp – yes, this was a nuclear-powered lighthouse!

The fall of communism in the early 1990s led to a decade of near-chaos with funds for all purposes in short supply. The Mys Aniva lighthouse, isolated though it was and is, has been looted and ransacked for its metal fittings though luckily its RTGs were removed before the unofficial salvage crews arrived. See more here.


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