March 30, 2013
We walked down the gangway and on to the Tarmac. I stood nonplussed by the noise of traffic, the sight of buildings, of trees. Two weeks before I had climbed up that same gangway, and on to a ship that would take me across an infamous stretch of water, to somewhere that for centuries was known simply as "terra incognita". I had arrived on the shores of places I had read about, seen photographs of; places synonymous with hardship and extraordinary human valour, with Drake, Cook, Scott and Shackleton. But all those books, the photos, the television documentaries narrated by the mellifluous tones of David Attenborough, none of them prepared me. There is, simply, nowhere on Earth like Antarctica.
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