Penguin rookery. Penguin nest. And now, penguin highway. What? I stirred. Amazed, I looked around when I heard my expedition guide cautioning me, “stay away from penguin highway.”
I looked around and saw few naughty penguins staring at me and teasing me. As if telling me strongly, “this is our highway, you use your highway, dear.” I grinned and uttered, “highway so cute.”
My query got satiated when I enquired from my guide. Penguins create distinct trail in snow to move around. And such trail is called penguin highway in continent Antarctica. Remember that never to step on penguin highway as the trail may get lost.
Moreover, penguins hold first right to cross as Antarctica is their land and humans are just visitors there. So whenever penguins needed to cross visitors have to step aside.
Penguins use same well defined and well laid track, to and fro, as they feel safe. Else the Antarctica landscape with thick layers of ice would prove deadly for these tiny flightless birds.
I fancied penguin highway so much that whenever I was ashore my eyes would search for one. During my visits to several islands in Antarctica, watching penguins waddle through their highway was my must to do activity. They appeared so pretty walking in straight line. And so disciplined, never tried to overtake each other. Though they would very often stand and talk to each other.
Some of penguin rookeries, or colonies we may call, were very far from sea. And penguins would travel long distances. So their highways made their travels quite comfortable. Similar like our highways make our journeys comfortable in our cities.
In Antarctica, for each hike on islands, visitor tracks were laid beforehand by expedition crew. And I would call these tracks as human highways in Antarctica. If not for these tracks, visitors would get sunk in several feet thick snow deposits.
I myself had treaded through four feet high snow wall near Argentina research base while ascending highest peak there. Just imagine this happened when I trekked on well marked trail by crew members. Otherwise I would have been buried under glaciated ice in Antarctica.
MY ANTARCTIC ODYSSEY continues ….