It’s been a huge 3 days. With 2 days of night wind only, good wind today and a storm tomorrow, I have “rolled the clock” for 72 hours to try and make distance in poor conditions. I’d be generous if I said I’ve had 12 hours sleep in this period. Despite the strain on the body, in really light airs I’ve managed to get just under 350 km closer to home. 760 km in the last 7 days, which is wild as Antarctic terrain just doesn’t let you do those mileages willingly. Little wonder I am feeling flogged tonight, in my sleeping bag at 6:30 pm ready for a beautiful full nights sleep.
Today’s travel was initially magical, then torturous. The first 80km were on a smooth ice plain, where miles came easy for the first time in a long while. Spinning the kite madly, whooping, gps clocking 35km/hr. I chewed up the distance with a grin. Then bang, back to planet Antarctica, sastrugi and crossing the grain. 70km of bang, crash, bang, knees pounding, whole body jarring. At one point my left ski got caught under the nose of a bigger ice chunk, ripping it back, out and rotating the knee. I felt the medial collateral strain but I don’t think I’ve torn anything. I managed 151 km.
Hobbling on a dodgy knee, I put the tent up carefully and dug it in, as a storm is expected tonight. It’s really cold right now.
With horror, I noticed something had vibrated in the sled and created a tear and two holes in the front skin of the tent. A Storm tent’s outer shell acts a lot like an eggshell, one crack can lead to failure. So after a huge day I repaired the tent then finally I felt safe to relax.
I have a small ice Christmas tree in my tent and a double portion of Chocolate for Christmas, otherwise it’s pretty spartan. My best present is being 1598 km out from Thorshammer.
If I am honest and open however, my soul aches for family, friends, merriment, warmth and cheer. A dull ache to see Sarah, Jade, Simon, Java, Alex, Kit and the extended tribe – not be with them for Christmas pains me.
Hold your loved ones close and have a blessed Christmas.