Anybody out there? All at Christmas celebrations......?
A MERRY CHRISTMAS from just near the South Pole, TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES!
Inching south to the end goal, just under 23 minutes of latitude left...42km!
Elevation: 2802 metres. Into the final 2800s, the plateau does have a few unexpected 'inclines'...
So it's Christmas day is it? No Santa, no decorations, no public holiday, in fact, just the same as yesterday! No, well, I did give myself a present: Only 8 hours march today, and had two luxurious relaxing hours doing 'nothing'... Sheer bliss!
I say doing "nothing", but what I did was so overwhelming it brought tears to my eyes: Firstly, I got nice and comfortable in my tent 'armchair' (yes, I have one, an indispensable item!) put my Father Christmas hat on, and then downloaded the past 3-4 days of your comments that Dominique kindly sent through on her Christmas day.... Well, guys, as I say I was overwhelmed, so much so I shouted out with joy: "This is JUST bloody incredible...Very, very SPECIAL" From all over the world too.... I'm truly lucky, and can't say how the blog and level of interaction has taken 'Solo but NOT Alone' to a level I could never have dreamed....Thanks for being such a key part of my amazing experience!!
What was great was reading about your Christmas preparations / arrangements etc, it took me right into your world too.... Simon takes the 'Belonging' prize with his 28 'people' dinner! Patrick and Brigetta take the 'most spiritual turkey' award, and Sandy gets the prize for the 'least whitest Christmas', because you SHOULD always have snow there where you are!
Please could I ask: If you comment, but aren't on the email list, could you please 'sign up', as I do want to get back to you all individually once I get back to Punta Arenas, and can really savor reliving the whole thing by reading it all in chronological order again. Thanks!
So for today:
The weather was a bit like yesterday: something of everything! I had very warm (-8C) temperature to start, then, clear skies and cold tail wind, then virtual whiteout, even snow, no wind, and finally a strongish headwind, with real poor visibility... Hmm, it's not over yet! The terrain is good up here on the plateau, but the weather is very changeable....
I've decided (if I can try and manage the last 42km) that I'll do it in two steps: 27 km tomorrow and then, 'last wilderness sleep out', and then 15 km 'final strait' to the 'finish post' the following day... That'll be my 27th Dec.
For those runners out there, all I have left is ONE standard marathon! Gee, that feels good! But why does it take me so long? Haha, polar travel requires patience!
Still haven't seen anyone else yet! Just white, and more white...
I can feel the 'end of expedition' mind creeping in: I'm find it difficult to find 'the zone' as my mind races to the finish, meeting Ruth, decisions on kiting, etc. I try and force it back into the minutes of the current march, but it's quite challenging. The mind is a VERY complex and challenging piece of us, hey! The source of all our thoughts, quite simple yet incredible!
That's it for today, enjoy your Monday holiday too...