I’m back and so is the sun! After all this talk of “24 hour sunlight” I didn’t see the ruddy thing for 6 days, took the first chance I got to top up the tan.
A very brief update on the last few days, the white out bought with it some fresh powder, which although created more drag under the sled, it also smoothed the surface out for a couple of days and I managed to knock out repeat 30km+ days (good news). The bad news is the lack of sun meant I was without an iPod for 4 days. When you don’t see or hear a single thing for 11 hours, time goes very slowly. An important experience though nonetheless, I’m hoping it won’t be repeated though!
Back to the present - I wish I could come back to you with news of a record breaking day but unfortunately, along with the sun came the wind, and the wind had 5 days of fresh powder to play with. Which it very neatly organised into foot deep piles every half metre or so, which managed to bring Bessie to a complete standstill every time. It was painful stuff today, at times I would turn around convinced Bessie must have flipped over as there is no way she could be this difficult to budge on runners designed to slide. 11 hours later and I was only 21.3km better off, but that’s 21.3km closer to the pole so I’ll take it.
The 4 days with no iPod means my mind has been responsible for my entertainment (dangerous times). Food became the repeat topic of fantasy all week with food fantasy of the day quickly becoming the substitute for song of the day. I’ve now planned out pretty much the first 10 meals I’m going to have when I get back. The first being at my favourite local restaurant - the Chicago Rib Shack in East London, buffalo wings to start x 2, full rack of baby back ribs (x2) and an onion loaf on the side to commit carbicide with. 🤤.
Question from the legendary Eva and her friends from Kilmore School:
What will you do for Christmas?
Well Eva, I didn’t fancy spending Xmas alone in a tent so I thought it would be rather cool to arrive at the Pole on Christmas Day. It’s a big ask as it means I need to average 32km a day for the next 24 days without missing a day. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas though and have an advent chocolate for me.
Will you get any rest days?
Probably not! I'm not planning on it as I'd love to meet my target, but I might be forced into one if I get hit by a storm or blizzard!
Also some from Barcombe Primary Schoo (shout out to the Beavers & Cubs)l:
What colour is your tent?
Have you met anyone else?
Sadly not, but there is a slim chance I do given there are some other awesome adventurers on the ice. Shout out to Ben Saunders, The Ice Maidens and Ogita, hope their trips are going well.
Are there really penguins in the Antarctic?
Yes the Emperor Penguins but sadly I won't see them either :(.
How did you get all the way to the Antarctic?
I initially flew to Punta Arenas where I then waited to jump on board a monstrous Ilyushin IL-76 transport plane to Union Glacier. From there I waited to board a small twin otter plane that took me to the start point at Hercules Inlet.
Have you seen any animals in the sea?
I haven't even seen the sea :(.
Are you scared?
Not at the moment, the most scary thing would be missing Christmas at the Pole!
Anyway, good to be back, hope it will last this time! Here’s to more than 21km tomorrow!