David Thorpe Photography

Personal Pix

Landmarks and Memories

This is Simon Weston and me on the Falklands. I went with him and feature writer Pat Hill when he visited the islands for the second time - the first time being in the Falklands war when he was so badly burnt, of course.

Simon is one of the great and the good now, of course but he retains the no nonsense get it done approach that got him through the aftermath of his terrible injuries. We had a great time on the Falklands. A para who had fought there, Gary Titler, took us across the island, blow by blow explaining what happened how and where. It was truly fascinating,

I loved the Falkland Islands. back then, in the 90s there were hardly any tourists and only one road. All travel was across moors and rivers and rocks in Land and Range Rovers. They used to replace the British engines with Japanese ones, though, and strip out all the carpeting and softy stuff from the Range Rovers. A guy (called Gus as I recall) drove us over a large part of the Island, across rivers with eagle's nests on tiny islets, over rocky outcrops and through marshes and beaches. I'd never come across a driver so skilled. He seemed to have a sixth sense for what a vehicle was capable of and an uncanny ability to exploit it to the full. He rather reminded me of a Formula One driver, not for speed, obviously, but for sheer skill and oneness with the machine.

I was glad to see the Falklands before the tourists came and the penguins were in danger of moving out. I hope it retains some of its rugged and unexploited chracter.
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