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Pole to Pole

Day 1: The North Pole

The Arctic 
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Single Pole.
Michael Palin - Pole to PoleFor some reason the only liquid we have been provided with for our journey is a litre can of tomato juice which doesn't last long between six people, and it is a thirsty, underfed, cramped and exhausted little group that puts down at Nord Base, Greenland, with only twenty-five minutes of fuel left. We have been away from the rest of the world for ten minutes short of twelve hours.

There is not a soul to be seen.

Russ, armed with registration documents and proof of identity, trudges off into the distance to try and raise someone.

We wait by the aircraft, in a curious state of mental and physical limbo. The only one who seems really happy is Roger, who is at last able to light up his pipe.

After what feels like an eternity, Russ returns with a young Danish soldier who is in a state of considerable shock. No one had told him we were coming, and it being three o'clock in the morning on the north coast of Greenland, 700 miles from the nearest settlement, a knock on the door must have been like the start of a horror movie.

He bravely tries to laugh it off, 'We thought it could only be Father Christmas', before offering us what we are dying for - food and drink and a bed for the night. So day one ends in country one, which turns out, quite unexpectedly, to be Denmark.
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Twin Otter.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 1
  • Country/sea: Greenland
  • Place: Nord Base
  • Book page no: 13

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