South Georgia. The place almost defies description. The landscape is so beautiful that it seems totally alien but at the same time strangely familiar. The mountains soar out of the depths and rise to dizzying sheer cliffs all around. These peaks are often entirely inaccessible, even once you’ve crossed the whole Earth to see them, making them even more enticing. The mountains are punctuated by snowcaps and glaciers, adding hues of blue and white to the landscape, making the place unexpectedly colourful – from the deep brown/black peaty soil, rusty red and steely grey rocks, green and yellow foliage to the azure sea and sky. It’s enough to turn anyone into a poet. Evidently.
I spent many hours wondering how I could sneak off the ship to stay on South Georgia. The staff had to keep a special eye out for me – I was almost always either planning my escape or plotting to smuggle a penguin on board. My partner in crime for these exploits was Julia and the staff had their work cut out to keep us in line!
Thankfully for all involved, when we visited the old whaling station at Grytviken we were also able to visit a gift shop and Post Office – how very British! It was in the gift shop that I spotted a cuddly King Penguin and couldn’t help myself. I had shown him to almost everyone in the shop and taken him to the till before I even knew what I was doing. Julia helped me name him. Wilhelm. A regal name, fit for a King, and German to remind me of my ship-sister.