Tuesday, 15 December 2009
The next day us group of entripid explorers met up with Niv (a climbing expert) and a giant Snow Cat which was pulling 2 sledges....the first carried nothing but would act as a snow barrier from the blizzard created by the Snow Cat's tracts for the second sledge on which 8 of us would have to travel....I say us....but having firmly ensconced myself in the Snow Cat's cab...I mean them....
It took just over an hour to get to the drop off point from where, to my horror, I realised we had to walk the rest of the way......fancy that! Bloody hard going I tell you....Oh yes...and not only walk we had to all be roped together as a spot of cravass jumping was called for....I don't remember that being on the list! I have to say that jumping those 24 inches felt like a great achievement. I can see you sneering from here...right...leave this blog right now, put on every piece of winter clothing you've got, add an axe and climbing helmet, tie a piece of rope around your waist, attach it to the nearest two human beings and go and jump 2 feet pretending there is a 60 foot drop beneath you.....go on...
You can come back now....got my point?
When I got to the edge of the ice cliff overlooking the colony I just couldn't believe my eyes...it's amazing, unbelievable, exciting, emotional and bloody noisy...believe me penguins can only shout and scream at each other.
And then there was a spot of ice cliff descending.
It's not so cold now so the pengiuns don't feel the need to huddle in tight little groups anymore and can stroll around. On land they are comical, in the sea they are majestic.
We are told not to approach them but obviously the penguin council have not issued the same advice as they curiously look at us and slowly come to examine the strange creatures that have invaded their sea-ice beach and then as quickly as their curiosity comes it evaporates and they get on with whatever penguin business is at hand.
It is all so timeless.
I just hope they have more time than the scientists here say they have.
I'm feeling pretty emotional .....