Ben and I touched down from New York early on Wednesday morning knowing that between us we had two days to attend six different meetings,Â give two speeches,Â MC an awards ceremony, hire an assistant and pack everything we would need for a month-long unsupported training expedition to Greenland.
To say that we were not approaching these tasks feeling completely bright-eyed and bushy-tailed would be something of an understatement. Our SOUTH reception in Chris Andersonâ€™s fantastic loft had been a huge success, introducing us to a host of fascinating people who sparked new ideas about how we might reach out to the people who could get the most from SOUTH. The meetings that followed were fascinating and allowed us to visit everything from a school in a deprived area of Brooklyn, to the swanky Explorers Club, to the studios of a nationally-syndicated radio show where I proceeded to make an utter tit of myself. However, this all took its toll and by Tuesday we were knackered.
Those few days in London passed in a kind of semi daze; anyone looking in Benâ€™s window would have seen something akin to a cocaine den as I poured hundreds of portions of energy drink powder into nondescript plastic bags. Skis were checked, tech equipment was repaired and hats were bought. As the hours began to close in I had to call in my father who spent his Friday afternoon mixing Muesli, carbohydrate drink and groundnut oil into a high-cal but fairly disgusting mix (Thanks Dad).
We made it with minutes to spare, to find we were some 60kg over our baggage limits. Ben turned the full power of his charm on the French lady at the check-in desk to get our charge reduced, and when that didnâ€™t work we tried abject begging to the Iceland Air rep. This worked better. We were supposed to be in Greenland by now, but bad weather at our insertion point meant that they couldnâ€™t get a plane through so we are still stuck in Reykjavik.
There are worse things than being stuck in Iceland and Ben and I did get a full nightâ€™s sleep last night for the first time in weeks, but we are both still itching to get out on the ice. Feeling that familiar arctic wind as we wandered down Reykjavikâ€™s main street made me hunger to be out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but the ice, the sky and the sounds of skis cutting through snow. Ben is trying to find a way to get the latest wordpress version working from the ice, and if he is successful I will be able to update this site while we are in Greenland. If not, you will have to follow the action on Benâ€™s fine site. Either way, it will be a pleasure to have you along.
A final word, thank you Sunny and Jennifer. You are a continuing inspiration to me and Ben and I feel most undeserving of the work you put in while we were in New York. One day, somehow, weâ€™ll make it up to you.
With their natural habitat disappearing fast, polar bears seem to have been trying different ways to speed up their evolutionary response. Hunters near Iqaluit have managed to shoot a hybrid polar-grizzly bear, the first recorded in the wild. Well, at least it was until they killed the poor thing.