Day 17

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I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see the inside of my tent than this evening. The weather wasn’t particularly bad, the surface wasn’t great but has been worse before, I don’t know what it was but when I woke up today everything was a struggle. I clearly woke up on the metaphorical wrong side of the tent! I smashed down breakfast and thought I best get moving and sort my head out, 3 hours in and I thought I must be nearing the end of the day, time was standing still! I was determined I had to break 30km today, I want to hit Thiel Corner (essentially half way distance wise) next weekend and need to bang out 30km each day to make it. By breaking down the day into 90 minute chunks it makes a much bigger task seem manageable mentally, by the time I was 9 hours in me and Bessie had just battled through a large sastrugi field (ice chunks/ridges cut by the wind) and I was focusing on keeping moving forward until the end of the next song, let alone the next 90 minutes! We eventually limped in at 19:45, 11 hours and 30 minutes after we set off, 30.01km complete. There were always going to be tough days out here , today just happened to be one of them but I’m 30km closer to the pole and we clawed every inch of that today so I’m happy! I also learnt you should never sneeze with your face mask on, it makes a right mess of the inside of your goggles!

Thanks so much for all your questions and messages of support, they really do mean the world and I’ll try to get to them all at some point (either in the blogs or when I’m home).

Are you passing through time zones quickly as you are so close to the pole?
A great question, I’ve crossed over time zones ‘physically’ a couple of times so far, I’ll do it again a few more before I reach the pole, but I’m staying on Chilean time for ease (which is 3 hours behind the UK). When I reach the pole I’ll be able to walk through every time zone in the world in a couple of seconds which is pretty cool.

What’s getting you up in the morning?
Well originally I had my phone alarm but due to the 24 hour sunlight I am managing to wake up at 6am without any help . If only it was that easy at home!

How are you dealing with the isolation?
I’m into my third week since I last saw or spoke to a living thing and to be honest I’m finding it fine so far. I’m concentrating so hard on the tasks at hand that I haven’t really had the time to be lonely, which I understand sounds ridiculous when I spent 11 hours staring at me toes all day, but I’m constantly navigating, checking my pace, planning in my head, then when I am in the tent it is food, admin and sleep as quickly as possible!

Shout out to the old man - @supernige for song of the day, I can’t get my iPod out to check the name of the songs so I’m guessing official title track and band, I think it was fleetwood mac and go your own way. You did however blow your title during my time of need when I was stumbling my way forward, surviving until the end of each track before I’d allow myself a quick breather, by adding Led Zeppelin “stairway to heaven” which has a 7 minute guitar solo in it, nearly killed me off!