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Closing in on Scott Station

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GoKunming is republishing the travel reports of Kunming resident Jin Feibao (金飞豹) as he travels with an international expedition to the South Pole. Jin has been making daily phone reports to Kunming which have been translated into English by Frank Gua.

January 18: 21.9 km from the South Pole

"Today, it's a little warmer than yesterday, the temperature is 38C below zero. We trekked 17.9 km. Now, we are only 21.9 km away from the South Pole. But we still can not see the houses built on the South Pole [Scott Station].

"David [the tour leader] told us that Scott Station is well equipped, where we can buy beer and Coca-cola, there is also a shop to sell souvenirs. What David said encouraged us to continue pushing forward.

"After 6 days of trekking and skiing, I discovered today that my body has already adapted to this frigid environment. Now I can walk like a camel - no need to drink water on the way. I just need to drink enough water before we start trekking, then I will drink water only when we camp. It is really amazing, because Antarctica is in fact drier than the Sahara Desert in Africa.

"The strong wind has sculpted the hard snow ground into a wave-like shape, we walk on it wearing our skis - it's like tango dancing, slide forward one step, then slide forwad another step. We repeated this tango dance again and again and again. I am wondering, when I get back to Kunming, will I still walk like a normal person ?

"My neck is still painful, I know I still have some painkillers left, but I decided not to use them today, better leave it for the last two days. David said the last two days are the hardest.

"I should not be defeated by my neck pain, not so close to my destination. I have made up my mind, even if I can only crawl, I will surely crawl to the South Pole."

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