TravelTraveler Magazine

Bus2Antarctica: Tea Time in the Falklands

Andrew Evans gets a taste of Falklands hospitality on Carcass Island.

Carcass Island is perhaps the least appetizing name for destination dining, but that’s exactly where I went to eat.

As the name implies, I did see a few carcasses on the island, mostly little lumps of penguin bones–the sad endings of a few little penguin lives lost to petrels or even bigger birds–however, the island’s name actually derives from that of an old British warship, the HMS Carcass. The little drop of rock and grassy hillsides lies at the far northwestern corner of the Falkland Islands.

We had sailed to the Falklands after spending nearly a week on South Georgia. This remote British colony in the South Atlantic was our final stop on our way back from Antarctica and it was odd to suddenly see things like green grass and houses and cars after being absent from civilization in Antarctica. As we walked from one side of Carcass Island to the other–not even two miles–I found it odd to be walking on land again. The sea was an almost-tropical turquoise color and the windswept hills covered with olive grass. The penguins seemed out of place on the white sand beach, especially with the blue skies and sun in the sky.

That’s when it dawned on me that we were headed north–that my journey was drawing to a definitive close. It’s one thing to be on vacation for a week and get a little sad towards the end–it’s quite another when you’ve been traveling for ten weeks and you suddenly realize that you’re about to go home.
Thankfully, Lindblad Expeditions lightened the blow by introducing me to Robert and Lorraine McGill, bona fide Falkland sheep farmers and the longtime owners of Carcass Island. Not only did the McGill’s give us free reign of their island, which is free from pests and therefore a true bird haven–they also put on the mother of all tea times. No matter that I just conquered three continents–in the Falkland Islands I was conquered by a table of cookies.

Ever the spontaneous documentarian, I made this clip to show you the full spread of biscuits, cakes, and treats from which I was forced to choose. The machine gun fire in the background is sharpshooting shutterbug Sisse Brimberg, who was busy documenting me documenting a table filled with cookies.

The menu was decidedly British, along with some classic southern hemisphere treats from Australia and New Zealand. In case you don’t catch it all, here’s the full list:

•    Bachelors’ buttons

•    Butterscotch squares

•    Lemon curd tarts

•    Chocolace

•    Spicy roll

•    Shortbread

•    Lamington

•    Chocolate cherry cake

•    Chocolate cake made with cold tea

•    Cream scones

•    Ginger crunch

•    Nutty biscuits

•    Chocolate chip biscuits

•    Fruit squares

•    Truffles

•    Neenish tarts

•    Ginger biscuits

•    Cornflake cakes

•    Citrus cake

Andrew Evans traveled 10,000 miles–by bus–from Washington D.C. to Antarctica for National Geographic Traveler and tweeted about his travels at @Bus2Antarctica. Follow the map of his journey, bookmark all of his blog posts, watch videos, and get the full story on the project here. Photo and video by Andrew Evans.