Day 21 Just what was needed! 27.5km

Extremely happy with how today went, with two consecutive days of best distances covered. Today eas just what I needed. This time, all in the right direction!

Got up a little bit later than I wanted. Spasms in my shoulders and neck kept waking me up, but the new supply of painkillers soon helped! I left the tent at around 8.30am. While it was a little cloudy, it soon brightened and became perfectly clear with that normal stiff southwesterly wind coming towards and across me.

Daily routine

I am splitting my day into two. The first four ski sessions before lunch (a rehydrated meal in a thermos, instead of my snacks that i normally have after each session). Each lasting 75 minutes. The four sessions after lunch are just 60 minutes each. Each break between session lasts between 5-10 minutes max. Any longer and you start to cool down more than you should. You just need to eat and drink water: get the calories in, and get moving again. But back to the point… I have increased the length of the morning sessions to see how I get on: I did that yesterday and today. And both times I felt good and comfortable with it. Managed 14km by lunch yesterday and 15km today.  I felt like I could have done the same for the afternoon sessions but didn’t want to overdo it. Just a shame that yesterday was spoilt by the “issue” with the resupply. (Ed…. Understatement by Ben!!)

monstrugi sastrugi

In the afternoon, I was definitely helped by the good visibility. I am in the middle of the biggest sastrugi maze I have ever seen! And they’re BIG sastrugi! (To adapt words from The Fifth Element… Big badda sastrugi!). I think I should rename them “Monstrugi”! Huge!!! It’s difficult to take pictures as there is nothing to contextualize them with. There are plenty that are at least a metre and a half tall. Also, I was helped by the snow being nice and hard. All the loose swampy snow from a few days ago as all been blown around and compacted. Hopefully it stays like this for a while!

So all of this helped me to get my best day yet. A real nice confidence builder especially after the chat with Antarctic Steve and understanding what expeditions would be expected to do at this stage. I just now need to sustain this over the next… hummm… 28 days! Not toooooo long to go!

santa in Antarctca

In the tent now – I will chat a little bit about tent routine tomorrow as have gone on a bit now! To celebrate, considering popular demand, I got the Santa’s hat out, and nice to celebrate to have a vodka chocolate liquor, together with Christmas songs playing on the phone! I imagine everyone back home is getting into the Christmas spirit…?!)

Please support Ben’s chosen charity Cancer Research UK

Visit Ben’s blog site to hear Ben’s audio diary from his overnight camp.

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