So I’ve got a little bit of an announcement to make…. since I got home we have verified that I am now the youngest British person, and youngest woman world wide to have walked to both of the poles…. not even sure what to say about that….
I’ve been back in the UK for a couple of weeks now. Strangely getting home is always the hardest part of an expedition, trying to get back into every day life. But I’m pretty much settled now, and everyone else from the team look like they are home and settled too.
Looking to the future, in September I will be starting a Biology course at university in London. And as far as expeditions go, there is actually already another one to South Georgia being planned! We are going to try and follow a route that Shackleton did, and it will be a team of 9, so far that’s pretty much all I know apart from preliminary dates. South Georgia looks amazing and I am so excited! I’ve been talking to Rune and Hempie about other possible expeditions and we’ve got lots of ideas. They are both such amazing people, Rune does all these amazing things all the time and they have both achieved so much, I’m so lucky to be able to go on expeditions with them. I’ll post updates sometimes about what is going on.
I also just want to say thank you again to all the people who’ve given money and support to Red Balloon and the expedition. You really will have changed someone life by doing that, so on behalf of all of Red Balloon, thank you.
We did it! Pretty much no frost bite and all in good condition, everyone did amazingly. Will do a longer post when we’re back but we’re still in Longyearbyen sorting kit and stuff out now.
Thank you again for all the support!
Tomorrow morning at 9am we’re gonna be on a plane to Barneo. Either tomorrow afternoon or the morning after we’ll start the expedition. It’s actually happening!
Having spent the last few days with my fourt other team members I’ve been reminded how great they all are, we must have spent half the time so far laughing at each other. They’re such a lovely group of people.
Throughout all the training and now the trip is actually happening I’ve been feeling so lucky for all the people I know. Everyone on this trip is amazing for so many different reasons, my lovely house mates are so fantastic and all the friends and family who have helped with this I’m really grateful for. So thank you so much to all of you!!
Also, a good tip generally for cold places. Don’t walk 10 mins to a restaurant in -18 in jeans, you won’t be able to feel your legs afterwards. You would’ve thought Nick and I would already have known that but apparently not.
Anyway, we’re all gonna sleep soon, big day tomorrow. Hope to speak to lots of people when we get back.
Wish us luck xxx
So I’ll blog when I can at he moment. We arrived in Longyearbyen at 1am last night to walk out into -14, and it is so beautiful.
Today is going to be spent sorting the kit out and organising food.
Rune has already been here for a day to get some stuff sorted out and has some news on the flight out to Barneo (the camp on the ice we are going to get dropped from) but not much. At the moment it looks like we might be a couple of days delayed but we’re not sure, if it all goes to plan we will fly to Barneo on the 5th, and leave for the expedition from Barneo on the 6th.
Been talking to Rune about the conditions at the pole, and yesterday it was -32!! That’s similar temperatures to the South Pole and with the dampness is worse in some ways.
Will try and post when I can, we have a tracker that we will be carrying while we walk. I’ll set the link to that up on my home page at some point.
Watch this space
On Wednesday last week my lab and I held a bake sale in the William Dunn School of Pathology where I work for the moment. It was a massive success and with all the help from other members of my lab and other people in the Dunn school we raised £300! With than and a massive anonymous donation the total is now over £1,200!! It’s fantastic!
Today I put up a page of just photos as part of the website of some of my favourite photos from the South Pole, so please go and take a look! Antarctica really is beautiful, and even though the photos don’t even half do it justice it at least shows a little bit of what it is like.
So a couple of days ago Cambridge News put up an article about the trip! ITV are showing interest and will be filming soon, New Scientist should be publishing something about the trip next week and Cambridge TV have put up an interview online. It’s really daunting again that all this stuff about me and about the trip and Red Balloon is coming out, but its really good. Since the article in Cambridge News I’ve had quite a few donations, and its all raising awareness of bullying, so its had a good effect, and hopefully the other articles will have the same effect.
Training is good. And it’s so much better if its done with friends! My house mates and I spent the weekend in the lake district walking and my lovely housemate Bella comes running with me and tyre dragging every now and again. It really breaks the monotony of hours on your own in the dark. Training and winding up for the expedition has really made me appreciate my friends, I’m very lucky to have so many people who are so lovely around me. Lots of people, like Bella, have really been helping with everything, organisation and fundraising as well as training. Will definitely talk more about them in updates to come.
So the days are finally getting longer! Some of my training is now done in daylight, which is so nice. I’ve properly got back into training like last time now. I either run, tyre drag or climb every day, carry a 15kg bag to and from work each day (I’m slowly increasing the weight) and I feel like I’m always hungry. Until about a week ago my feet hadn’t adjusted to the increased frequency of high impact exercise and my blisters had blisters, but that has also calmed down, which is a great improvement. Now I just have gross feet, instead of gross and painful 🙂
I’m talking to people about events and sponsorship at the moment but I’ll put something up when there’s more fixed stuff about all of that. Raised over £400, which is great, but I think it’s gonna be a struggle to raise as much as last time. Going to give it a good shot though.
Of course any donations at all are appreciated so much! Donate here
So I’m celebrating because we’ve reached %2 into my final target for fundraising. So far we have £325! Compared to the target of £15,000 that’s barely anything but its a start. And it’s going, we’re making progress!
I thought I would say here as well that the date I am leaving the UK for the North Pole is now the 2nd of April and that should be the actual finalised date now, the flights are booked. I won’t be able to update the blog from the arctic but hopefully people back in the UK will be able to for me every time they hear that we’re still alive and whether we’re making progress or not.
Definitely excited but a little apprehensive. There’s always that worry that you wont perform once you’re actually in the environment and in the team and you’ll hold every one else up. And the only way to get round that is just to train, and make sure that you won’t. Make sure you will actually cope, which is what I’m doing!
Dates for the North Pole trip have just been finalised and sent round by Hempie! We leave the UK on the 11th of April, hoping to start walking the last degree on the 14th.
Proper preparation is starting now too. Training intensifies and I’ll be doing all the same stuff as for Antarctica last time I think, so back to spending more hours a week with my tyre than any actual person. Though it does seem to be different in some ways, less cold preparation needs to happen but I need to be physically stronger than last time.
Also now that the website is pretty much done and the fundraising page is up, its time to start trying to fund raise again! So if your reading this and would like to donate to Red Balloon, please follow this link to find out more about donating:
It’s kind of daunting now that its actually happening. Wish me luck!
So first post. After several hours of fighting with the web page its finally up and working!
That’s all for now, but in the coming weeks I’ll keep developing the website and start posting training updates to keep people in the know.
Thanks for reading!