Tuesday, 10 November 2015

From Chile to Halley 2015

 Helping Sam to set off the local weather balloon, which has connected to it a sonde which gathers information about, temperature, pressure and wind speed/direction.  These balloons are used for forecasting the weather and are released around the world at the same time. It will reach a height of about 100km, growing in size to that of a double decker bus before it bursts and falls back to earth.

Walking around the Rothera point looking for wildlife but only icebergs today. Its a 30 minute walk in the snow but in summer when the snow disappears then its just rock and it takes a bit longer although there is usually more wildlife.

                      Three or four runs and its time to head back home

                                           View from the top

 Fresh powder and crisp clean snow, not that deep so its quite easy to ski and within a minute you are back down and its a 15 minute skinned walk/ski to the top again.

               Saturday ski-touring to stork bowl. A beautiful clear day.

The Caboose at Vals which is 1 -2 hours skiing with skins from the base. The caboose is kitted with all the necessary equipment for staying for a number of days for upto 4 people including a reflex stove for heating and cooking.

Skiing at Vals with support from a skidoo to make it easier to get there and to get to the top of the run. Can do a large number of runs within a short period but this is nowhere near as good as the bowl or as steep.

The Rothera base on an overcast and blowy day, still covered in snow as the season starts.

 Sleeping accommodation for 4 in the Giants building although there was just me for this period since the season is not fully underway.

                                                Ready for action

Buildings and doorways dugout as the snowfall gathers during the winter. It was slowly be moved and will melt as the temperatures warm and rocks below start to radiate heat.

Rothera still blanketed in snow, the Bonner laboratory which is the biological science platform is still adrift with snow. A twin otter in the background coming into land on the gravel runway.

The first glimpse of Rothera, the major antarctic base due to its logistical capabilities and the science facilities. It can accommodate upto 130 people in a season, probably not comfortably but still double the amount of people compared to Halley.

 Making our way to the BAS Dash aircraft (4 engined) for the 5 hour journey to Rothera.

A 4 hour flight to Punta Arenas arriving late and not leaving the hotel. Not really bothered since i have spent many a night in Punta and eaten at many of the restaurants.

Peri-peri prawns at a local restaurant.

Santiago city centre

Santiago city centre is busy compared to Punta Arenas and it covers a large area with many gardens and things to see.

A local fruit and snack stall on the way to the city centre.

Time to taste some of the local dishes on my way into the city. Its a 14km walk and takes about 3-4 hours passing many local shops, markets and suburbs.

 A Night in Santiago after a flight 3 hour flight from London to Madrid, a 5 hour wait in the airport and a 14 hour Dreamliner journey to Chile. Arrived at 0900 and will leave the following day at 1400.

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