Yesterday was the toughest day of the trip so far. I think it must have been the combination of the very high winds and the build up of wear and fatigue on our body. The last 5km were especially grueling, I was behind Baba for part of that section, we had a vicious cross wind from our left and every step he took looked to be his last. I could see that he was completely spent, and to be honest so was I. I pulled up next to him to ask how he was doing like I have done so many times this trip to which I always get an “I’m fine” even when he was not but this time all I got was a rasp with one word “Tired”. But sure enough he put one foot in front of the other for two more hours and we made it. I cannot begin to describe the feeling of halation that overcame us all.
A toll has been paid though, my feet blew up with blisters when we were done, luckily we were finished when the worse ones came, the tip of my right index finger has frost bite (don’t worry Ma, I’ll get to keep it, it should recover on its own) and our faces and noses look like they’ve been attacked by a mad man with sand paper.
This trip has been incredibly grueling, thoroughly uncomfortable, inhumanely cold, painful, in fact agonizing at times but absolutely sensational! Covering 111km from 89 South to the South Pole with my sixty year old father and brother across the most miserable, desolate, savage, isolated and inhospitable place on earth has been the greatest experience of my life. When we arrived I had to hold back a tear in fear of it being inappropriate, but I looked at Baba and saw a couple running down his face and figured sure we’re allowed a couple. The only thing missing was Hamza.
I wish I could say that was the end of the story and now we get to leave this place and I get my hot shower, but I guess in Antarctica nothing is made simple. The Basler is on its way now to pick us up, it should be here in three hours to take us to Union Glacier, but because of bad weather the Ilyushion will not be able to fly in to Union Glacier for another couple of days, we were supposed to fly out on it today.