Punta Arenas, Chile
The expedition team met up in Punta Arenas - we spent the week organizing gear and supplies, eating 5 square meals a day and tasting every Chilean beer on the menu.
South America feels different and is very different - it is 20 years since I was last here. You have to get used to the non-urgent response and shrug of the shoulders accompanied by the ubiquitous Manana!
We met another South Pole team from the UK and a Scotsman who is doing the same route as us solo.................after that he is planning to climb Mount Vinson. And we thought our expedition plans were extreme.
Keith and I have been testing and setting up the new satellite communication technology. Our plan is to have the GPS transmissions plotted on a map and to update our blog sites and Face Book from Antactica.
We are scheduled to fly to Antarctica on November 21st, but as everything else when heading to that continent, it is weather dependent. We are both excited and anxious in equal measures!
Watch this space.
Observations of the week were:
• Best deal of the week - FREE
"All you can eat buffet" at Santiago airport. They did not know where I was headed or that I had 4 hours until my connecting flight. Let's just say I made good use of the time.........
• When the Air Canada captain announces the South Pole expedition on the flight, you know it has to be good publicity especially as there was a couple from Elora sitting in the next row.
• Most expensive almonds in the world........from the Punta Arenas bulk food store. $11.00 per KG, no wonder the staff were laughing when I ordered 3 KGS.
• Black market price of almonds 300 miles from the South Pole will be VERY
• Punta Arenas takes the award for my windiest place on earth, even beating Iceland.
• Best laugh of the week.........Andy wearing his snack food bag (see photos).
• Finances - I won the bet on how much our total gear (excluding fuel) weighed - 379 KGS. Note to other expedition members - you have not paid up yet.
Don't forget to check out the Polar Exlorers blog, including voice updates at: Polar Blog
Until next week,