February 5, 2014

Almost done

Two days away from completing Scott's route in Antarctica, Ben and Tarka are struggling with exhaustion and a harsh climate. Ben writes

Objectively, we're both in no doubt that our extreme physical fatigue is dragging our emotional states down, but we've both shared an unusual feeling lately of something approaching disappointment; we'd perhaps hoped Antarctica would hold more moments of beauty and joy, but the reality is that this has been - for the most part - a vast challenge that has taken us to the very outer fringes of our physical and mental endurance. Exploring those seldom-trod human realms has been a fascinating journey, but it's a frustratingly hard story to convey, as no one will ever know what it was truly like for us.

Thousands of miles away, I've followed the journey in comfort, safety, and warmth (though there have been a few weird days when I think it was warmer in Antarctica than here). This reminds me of the emptiness and the absence of celebration when Ben and Tarka reached the pole. Now I can't wait to hear how Ben feels about this effort when he makes it to TED in March.