Avid readers of my blog know that I am an Antarctica enthusiast. Ever since I read the story of Shackleton’s failed expedition as a young man, I wanted to see and explore the continent of endless ice. Despite being still somewhat expensive, prices for Antarctic expedition have dropped over the past few years. Therefore, I felt it was now time to turn this dream into reality and visit the Antarctic continent. Together with my Russian friend, Evgeny, we decided to discover this distant land.
“Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success” Sir Ernest Shackleton (polar explorer)
There is one of the recurring questions about this region, people often ask: “Why go there? Isn’t there just icebergs and penguins?” My short answer is “No”. The long answer lies within the stories in this chapter. They are grouped by topic - instead of the usual itinerary along a route. To see a map and get a general concept of an Antarctic journey, see the first trip story Antarctica Trip Overview.
After returning to Ushuaia – again through the Drake passage – I realized to which extent the success of Shackleton’s failed expedition was extraordinary. Sure, my environment on board was somewhat cozy – enjoying hot showers, fine food and 24 hours of coffee. Nevertheless, we had a good dose of extreme climate and persistent cold in a solitude place.
Surviving for more than two years - in such a climate, far away from civilization - without ship or food supplies earns my deepest respect. Sir Ernest Shackleton died during a subsequent Antarctic expedition an is buried at Grytviken (South Georgia).