We’re in Antarctica! After 2.5years of planning, training, learning and fattening up we can’t believe we’re finally here. For so long, we have been visualising what it was going to be like stepping foot in Antarctica- the driest, windiest, stormiest, coldest place on earth. Some people dream of being an astronaut, well this place is the next closest thing- it’s absolutely crazy! Stepping off the Ilyushin 76 aircraft and being blasted by the frigid minus 25 degree air was everything we imagined that moment was going to be like… and so much more.
On a more frustrating note, within a few hours of arriving here we were shattered to learnt that 50kg of our food was left in the belly of the plane! This has delayed our plans by 1/2 a day on top of the previous 12 day weather delay. Fortunately the next plane heading down has our provisions on board. Mistakes happen- I guess that’s all part of the adventure.
We plan on flying out to Herc Inlet tomorrow and commencing our long march South. Temperatures are currently hovering around -25 degrees Celsius and wind is quite benign. Conditions under foot are firm but we’re still pretty intimidated by the steep climb out of the inlet…we’re preparing ourselves for some of the toughest days we’ve ever experienced on an expedition. Even with the delay in starting, we feel that we still have the time to build slowly into the expedition and not flog ourselves too early. With 3mths ahead of us, we need to take the tortoise… not the hare approach, to allow our bodies to adapt to the stresses of being here.
Our pulks are all loaded up and to burn a bit of time (and energy), we went for a ski this afternoon with them fully loaded (minus the missing 50kg of food!) – bodies are feeling good. It’s 24hr sunlight for us now and I guess the excitement of being here and the cold air that literally burns your throat meant we didn’t sleep too well last night…. but we’re sure that’ll improve when we hit the trail!
Thank you so much for all the support, well wishes and Facebook messages- we’re receiving them on the ice (yep- i know how CRAZY!) so keep them coming!