by Transantarctic Expedition
horrible place, south pole, explorers
Hi well today is December the 14th 2011 which is a special day in Antarctica, because it is exactly a 100 years since the Norwegian Roald Amundsen as reached the South Pole, he was the first person to do so. It's the centenary year and it's a pretty big thing in Antarctica so there have been lots of special things happening all over the continent today. I didn't reach the pole today, I'm still a degree and a half away and you know, all day my mind has been thinking about those original explorers and what they must have gone through to get to the South Pole. What a bleak and horrible place it must have seemed. To me the South Pole is a place where I can get resupplies, there's people, there's the opportunity for abit of a wash, things like that. But for those guys, the South Pole was just a point on the Antarctic plateau which as it was today, the cold, windy, fairly desolate place, so to find yourself there knowing that now you have to turn round and go all the way back, do that with no hope of rescue or help - that's a pretty monumental thing. I've been thinking about those original explorers alot, and what a shame I'm not at the Pole to join the party ! But hopefully, I did quite well today, 17.5 nautical miles, so if I keep going at that rate it shouldn't be more than 5 or 6 days, probably 6 actually, before I'm there myself. So, fingers crossed, these nice surfaces continue all the way to the Pole and the nice weather holds and I get there within 6 or 7 days.
by Transantarctic Expedition
some familiar faces, busy place, south pole
Hi well, yesterday was an interesting day because just as I was thinking about setting up my tent, I saw some vehicles coming towards me - and it was a convoy of trucks coming out of the South Pole. Even more amazingly it was some people that I worked for last year (http://www.extremeworldraces.com/) so it was friends driving towards me. They knew I was out here so they decided to come and say hello on their way to the Ross Ice Shelf. It was great to see familiar faces, but I was a little bit worried that after being on my own here and suddenly seeing people - people I knew - it would set me right back to step 1 of getting used to being on my own. But today I've been ok. ? think it's maybe because I'm so close to Pole now and I know at the South Pole station it's inevitable that I'll see lots of people as it's a very busy place. So maybe the fact that I've seen people before - a week in advance - is not such a big deal because I'm going to be seeing people shortly anyway. At the moment Pole seems like the Wizard of Oz - the promiser of all things - everything will be sorted at Pole. I've just got to keep remembering, for me the South pole is a station post on a longer journey - not the final destination for me - and as long as I keep that in mind then I'll be ok. But it will be really great to actually get there. I'm less than 100 nautical miles away now - and it's so tantalising close!