Distance to go:
Ben and Tarka will cover 1800 miles starting from Scott's Terra Nova Hut at the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back to the coast again. That's equivalent to 69 back-to-back marathons hauling up to 200kg each (the weight of roughly two adult men) of kit and supplies necessary to survive.
Distances here are shown in statute miles.
Upstream (Day 28)
Day 28: S80° 52' 22.68", E168° 52' 30.96"
Duration: 8 Hr
Daily distance: 14.8 Mi
Distance to go: 1558.9 Mi
Temperature: -16 °C
Wind chill: -27 °C
Altitude: 236 Ft
A windy, windy day today, and a pretty testing (and occasionally plain grim) eight hours on the white treadmill, reeling in the ever-distant horizon. We had a headwind all day. I clocked it gusting at nearly 25mph (40km/h) when we set off this morning, and it got stronger as the day progressed, to the point where it felt like a hand pushing against my chest at times, or like we were travelling through something thicker than mere air, shoulder-barging our way upstream against some almighty current, only visibly betrayed by the thick, high-speed, ankle-deep spindrift that it carried along.
The sun stayed out all day, which was one tiny consolation, and with the spindrift at full blast it felt at times like the view from my goggles wasn't dissimilar to that out of an aeroplane window, once you've popped out above the clouds. It was quite surreal, though of course we didn't really see anything of note today, just wall-to-wall flat white horizon capped by an infinite deep-blue dome, with the occasional fine, high strand of cloud.
I daydreamed my way around Richmond Park on foot, and around the roads and lanes of the Surrey Hills, the Chilterns and much of Mallorca on a bike. Sadly, if you've seen the film Inception, you won't be surprised to hear a five-hour bike ride only fills up a minute or two of daydreams, and a week's cycling in Mallorca - spinning through Deia, climbing Puig Major, rolling past the blue lake at the top, descending Sa Calobra, climbing back up again and buying Coke and Snickers at the roadside cafe by the junction at the top - a whole week of memories lasted me about 15 minutes in the sled harness.
A few questions today....
Q) What have you and Tarka enjoyed the most so far on your expedition? A) Visiting Scott's Terra Nova hut was an experience I'll treasure forever, and I think we both secretly enjoy the feeling of getting into the tent and our sleeping bags after a "solid" day's skiing, physically spent but knowing we gave it our all.
Q) What food are you enjoying the most? A) Right now, any food is good food, though particular highlights include our freeze-dried meals (custom-made by Fuizion, lamb stew is probably the favourite at the moment). Tarka's least favourite item on the menu is the ten pills we each swallow each day, a big multivitamin/mineral, two krill oil tablets, a vitamin D tablet and six giant BCAA (branch-chain amino acid) pills.