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Pole to Pole

Day 140: Patriot Hills to the Thiel Mountains

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleMake a cup of tea and join Rudy who is deep into an account of Shackleton's expedition to the Antarctic. Shackleton made it to within ninety-seven miles of the Pole, three years before Amundsen.

We still have 600 miles to go. There is no sign of Dan the pilot or anyone else for that matter. The wind rises and falls. Through the window I can see trails of snow scurrying across the ice.

The door is pulled open with difficulty and a round, wrapped bundle is silhouetted against the bright sky before the door slams shut. This bundle stands for a moment, apparently frozen, arms stretched out in front like a penguin, before heaving a deep sigh and beginning to unwrap. Only after several layers of headgear have been shed can you be absolutely sure who has come in.

Scott cooks sourdough pancakes for breakfast. We eat them with 'Lumberjack' syrup. Mike calls the South Pole for a weather check. Visibility is a little hazy, otherwise good. Temperature minus twenty-six Centigrade. Wind fourteen knots. There is no reason for us to stay here. The go-ahead is given to start loading the plane.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 140
  • Country/sea: Antarctica
  • Place: Patriot Hills
  • Book page no: 315

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