After she died and I received my inheritance, I had two choices. I could invest the money and put it away for the home modifications, medications etc I am likely to need (be sensible in other words). Or I could use it to fulfil a dream. Something I had always wanted to do, and had not thought possible.
SO I WENT TO ANTARCTICA.
I flew to Argentina - challenging because some of my medication is injected and it is very, very difficult to fly with multiple syringes these days. Flew again to Ushuaia (where I was simultaneously fascinated and appalled when the other passengers applauded the pilot for landing safely) and boarded a Russian ice breaker for a 21 day tour of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic.
|Baby King Penguin in its first moult|
There are restrictions on how close you can go to the wildlife - but no-one told them about it. I had a baby seal gumming on my knee and penguins pecking at my boots.
I took every chance I had to experience as much as I could. Which is how I swam at Paradise Harbour when the water temperature was 1.4 degrees C, and where I had to dodge floating bits of ice. The next day I swam again - at Pendulum Cove in the flooded caldera of Deception Island. The water was a little warmer there - but still brisk. I hadn't realised that there was a volcano there.
I saw Shackleton's grave, and the graves of less famous individuals.
|Very lonely graves at the Argentian base.|
We saw Humpback, Minke and Fin whales even though it was too early in the season for many of whales to have reached Antarctica. There were usually Albatrosses to be seen. And Frigate birds. And many others too.
It was obscenely expensive and I would do it again in a heart beat.
|Adult King Penguin in all its glory|
|Blissed out male Elephant Seal surrounded by his harem.|
|Taken at Midnight on my last night. Midnight and Dawn both.|