It is February 2, 2009 5:08am SPDT. I have been on the ice for 89 days, and 86 of those have been at Pole. I have now lived in Antarctica for longer than I lived in Berkeley. In two days, I will board a flight with 45 other people and fly to Christchurch, NZ. I’ve made a few discoveries in the past couple of days.
The first is that I’m really going to miss all the people I work with. Every single day we work together, eat every meal together, play foosball together, drink together, go to the sauna together…. you get the idea. From the time I wake up until the time I go to bed I’m surrounded by people from SPT. You’d think I’d get sick of them, but in fact I found that when these people aren’t around I miss their company. It’s a good group and we’ve had a fun time this season. It’s kind of scary, but the South Pole is starting to feel a bit like home, and the SPT folk are starting to feel like family.
The second is that NZ is awesome! I’ve been looking into hiking, and I’ve found some sweet places to go. Since the exchange rate is so good (for me) right now, I can rent a car for 2 weeks for $280 American and have myself a nice tour of the South Island. There are huts along many of the popular hiking routes that have mattresses and stoves–so all I need is a sleeping bag. The lighter load will make the hiking go a lot faster. A bunch of the SPT guys have done hikes in NZ, and they’ve all given me some good advice about where to go. Who knows, maybe I can convince one or two of them to come along.
The third thing I discovered is that as excited as I am about getting back to a land where if I want a pineapple I can just BUY it, I’m not really ready to go. I’m leaving in two days, but I haven’t even thought about packing or getting my stuff together or anything really. It’s hard to break the inertia. Tonight when the satellite came up I logged onto craigslist and started looking for places to live in Berkeley. It was just depressing, so I gave up. Another big change in my life is coming up, and I’ve got to get on it. I swear someday I’ll be in the same place for more than 3 months at a time.
In other news, I’m starting an epic adventure in NZ in a few days. Who would have thought?