Jin Fei Bao's messeges from Antartica (translated by Frank Gau in
December 14: I am now in Santiago of Chile. The flights from Beijing
to Paris and from Paris to Santiago went smoothly. Santiago is in summer
at present, about 30 celsius degrees in the day time. I have good lodging,
had excellent Japanese food for dinner and my local Chinese guide is friendly.
Everything is going well. Tomorrow I will fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas.
December 15: I have arrived in Punta Arenas and have visited the
local travel service which is a sub-contractor of the ANI (Adventure Network
International). The manager of the local travel service is from Sweden.
He checked my climbing and trekking/skiing equipments, and praised me
for being well-prepared. I have also got my pre-paid trekking boots --
very warm. Tomorrow morning I will meet other team members and have a
meeting in the office of the travel service.
Punta Arenas is a beautiful city with a lot of flowers and a relaxed lifestyle.
It has a population of 125,000. Today, the day time temperature is 15
celsius degrees. Punta Arenas time is 10 hours later than Beijing time,
2 hours ealier than New York time. I have found a Chinese food restaurant
called Golden Dragon.
See More Antartica Photographs Click Here
December 16: Today at 4:30 am, we boarded a big transportation
plane, took off from Punta Arenas of Chile, flew 3500 kms and landed in
the Patriot Hills of Antarctica at 9:05 am. 35 tourists (including me)
took this flight. They are from many countries, the oldest one is already
more than 80 years old, the youngest one is only a teenager, and several
tourists from USA are more than 70 years old. I am surprised to find out
that I am still a young man among these adventurers, but I am the only
one from China. The good thing is: I met a man from USA, who can speak
some simple chinese, so we can talk in simple chinese, that is great !
The Patriot Hills camp is very comfortable, 2 persons share one sleeping
tent, with spring mattress bed, just like a hotel room. The big dining
tent is located in the center area, it provides 3 meals each day, the
cooks here can cook Chinese meals, it is amazing ! This tent is also the
place for people to meet and chat, drink coffee, tea, bear, wine, read
books and magazines, play poker and chess games, etc. It also provides
many kinds of fresh-baked cakes and sweeties through out the day.
But it is very cold outside the tent, about 30 celsius degrees below zero.
When we left Punta Arenas, the temperature in Punta Arenas was 10 celsius
degrees above zero. So, after 4 hours 30 minutes flight, the temperature
dropped 40 degrees. However, because it is the first time for most of
us coming to Antarctica, and because the sun will never set, so everybody
is excited, going out to taking photos and videos, nobody stays inside
tent, everyone is happy. It's not like a serious adventure, it's more
like a winter holiday tour.
However, among the 35 tourists, only 4 persons (me, one man from UK, another
from Russia, and another from Czech) will climb Mt. Vinson then trek/ski
to the South Pole. The other tourists will just take some sightseeing
tours around Patriot Hills.
December 17: Today I and several other team members boarded a small
airplane in the Patriot Hills, flew about 1 hour, landed in the Base Camp
of Mt. Vinson. The Base Camp is 2200 m above sea level, much higher than
the Patriot Hills which is only 800 m above sea level, but it is warmer
here, because it is surrounded by mountains on 3 sides, and today is sunny,
without wind, so it feels very comfortable.
In the Base Camp, we saw about 20 other climbers. They flew here earlier
than us, and they have already built up their camps. To my big surprise,
there are 4 old men in their 70s and 80s, and some photographers and reporters
are taking photos and videos while the 4 old men are digging snow holes
and setting up their own tents. Later, through talking with the US man
who can speak a little chinese, I find out that the 4 old men are not
ordinary adventurous tourists. They were the first climbers of Mt. Vinson.
They climbed to the top of Mt. Vinson on Dec.18 of 1966. So, today is
the 40th anniversary of their first climbing. No wonder the reporters
are documenting their Antarctica tour. There were 10 persons who climbed
to the top of Mt. Vinson in the 1966's expedition, which was organized
by the American Alpine Club. At present, 4 of them have passed away, another
2 are too old or too sick to travel, so, only these 4 old men came back
to Mt. Vinson, to commemorate their first climbing. The 4 old men are
all from USA, the oldest one is already 82 years old, the other 3 are
in their 70s. Those photographers and reporters are also from USA, they
are making a documentary called Return to Antarctica.
December 18: Today, we (I, a man from US, a man from UK, and our
mountain guide from Scotland) hiked to the top of a nearby snow mountain
which is more than 3000 m high, it took us 5 hours to go up and down.
This is our first training day, to train our body's adaption to the altitude,
to train our rope skills, to train our teamwork. We all feel tired after
this hiking. The meals in the Base Camp are very good. This morning, we
had ham, cheese, fried-egg, bread, coffee, fruits as our breakfast. At
dinner time, I find out that the 4 men in our climbing team are all between
43 and 45 years old, and each one of us has paid about 55,000 usd to ANI
for this tour (which includes airfares, hotel fees, equipment fees, satellite
phone cost, luggage over-weight fine, etc., each person has to spend about
100,000 usd for this tour), so, we all regarded ourselves as mad men,
and hold up the red wine glasses in our hands -- cheers for the Mad Men
in Their 40s. I have taken a pack of cigarette with me from Kunming, but
once I arrived in Antarctica, I have never smoked it. We care about environment
very much, and we have picked up all the rubbish voluntarily, even the
bread pieces dropped on the ground, I picked it up and ate it, because
Antarctica is a very clean place. All our wastes, including our shit,
will be packed and air-transported to Punta Arenas to dispose. No wonder
the Antarctic tour price is so high.
December 19: Today, the weather is still good. At 11:00 am we left
the Base Camp (2200 m high) and went up to Camp 1 (3100 m high). The way
is a snow/ice slope, about 10 kms long, but not steep. Each of us has
to take a personal backpack, which weighs more than 10 kgs, besides that,
each person has to drag a sled with some public equipment on it, including
food, tent, fuel, water, rope, a big bottle for pee, etc., which is much
heavier than I thought. On the way, we have to cross some obvious and
hidden crevasses, which is surely dangerous. So, we are all linked by
a life-rope, about 6 m apart from each other. The important thing is,
we have to keep the same pace, which is really a challenge for me. I have
climbed several high mountains, but all of them were done at my own pace,
now, I have to keep an international pace. I consumed a lot of my energy
on the way, and I felt tired. I thought that I was the only one from China,
so I represented China in this mini united nations, which gave me courage
and strength to keep going, step by step, finally, after about 6 hours,
we reached Camp 1. Tonight, we will stay in Camp 1. Our mountain guide
is from Scotland, he has climbed to the top of Mt. Cho Oyu in Tibet for
1 time, climbed to the top of Mt. Muztag in Xinjiang 4 times. So, he is
really experienced. The 3 other members in our climbing team are all very
tall, at least 180 cm or even 190 cm, I am the shortest one in this group,
and they all look stronger than me, but in fact, I am the only one who
has been to the top of Mt. Everest. The benefit of linking us together
through one life-saving-rope, is that it will help us to build a kind
of deep friendship which may last a lifetime. Tomorrow, if the weather
is good, we will go up to Camp 2.
December 20: Today, the weather has changed, but we still decided
to go up, so, at 11:00 am we left the Camp 1 (3100 m high), went up to
Camp 2 (4100 m high). The way is a snow/ice slope, but much steeper than
yesterday's, at least 45 degree. The 4 of us are still linked by a rope
like yesterday. Because it was too cold, so we in fact walked faster than
yesterday. We have to keep moving to produce some heat in our bodies,
although we have already put on all our clothes, hats, gloves. My hands
were so cold inside the gloves, I had to rub them constantly. But we continued
pushing forward. Then, it started snowing, the visibility dropped to about
10 meters, the temperature dropped to 35C below zero. This has become
the coldest day in my life up to now, even colder than Mt. Everest. We
quickened our pace, and reached the Camp 2 in only 5 hours. Once we reached
Camp 2, we immediately started to dig the snow, we digged a big 1-meter-deep
snow hole, and set up our tents in this hole, in this way, our tents will
not be blown away by strong winds, and the 1-meter-high snow wall can
help us keep some warmth. After sitting down in our tents, we started
to boil water using the gas stove, then drank tea or coffee, ate some
energy bars. At this moment, we felt the enjoyment of life. Now, we are
only about 800 meters below the top of Mt. Vinson. We should reach the
top within the next 2 days, if the weather is not too bad.
December 21: the weather is still not good, it is still snowing.
So we decided to wait in Camp 2, try to have some rest. Everybody is still
in good spirit. And it is warm inside our tents. But go outside to pee
is really a torture. So in fact we can not drink too much tea or coffee.
Tomorrow, if the weather is OK, we will try for the summit.
December 23: the weather is good, We left Camp 2 at 8:00 am, climbed
up for 7 hours, reached the top of Mt. Vinson (4897 m high) at 3:00 pm.
The temperature at the top was about 40C below zero. I stayed at the top
for 25 minutes, showed China's national flag, UNEP flag, 2008 Beijing
Olympics flag and the Kunming City Spirit banner. Then we came down safely
to Camp 2 in three hours.
December 24: Merry Christmas call to USA from Mt. Vinson base camp.
December 25: At 2:40 pm, we boarded a small airplane and flew back
to the Patriot Hills. Today is Christmas. There are about 30 tourists
staying in the camp. They are from several countries, including US, UK,
Australia, Norway and Chile. Most of them are explorers; several of them
have been to China; one of them has been to Kunming city. We had a great
Christmas dinner. Then had a great party. At the end, everybody walked
to the Christmas tree and took a packed gift. I got a beautiful handicrafts.
Today, we heard one good news and one bad news. The good news is: one
of the 4 old climbers coming from US, the one who has climbed to the top
of Mt. Vinson in 1966 and now is in his 70s, has already reached the Camp
2 (4100 m high), and he is now in very good spirits and believes that
he will reach the summit of Mt. Vinson soon. We are all inspired by this
good news, and feel that we are still young. The bad news is: 3 explorers
from the UK, on their way trekking/skiing to the South Pole, have suffered
frostbite, they were only 200 kms away from the South Pole when they decided
to give up, now, they have been rescued back to the Patriot Hills camp
by a small airplane. It looks like they will be fine. Tomorrow, I will
do my ski training again. We will stay in the Patriot Hills for 3 days,
doing the final preparations and on Dec.29, if the weather is OK, we will
fly south to the wilderness of 89 degrees south latitude, start trekking/skiing
the last degree to the South Pole.
January 1, 2007: I am still in the Patriot Hills camp, waiting
for other explorers flying in from Punta Arenas, they should come within
3 days. Once they arrive here, we will fly south and start our trekking/skiing
to the South Pole. The life in the Patriot Hills camp is comfortable.
We play pingpong (table tennis) everyday and I always win. I have already
learned skiing, now I can ski well. They have also taught me to play American
poker. I even learned to speak some simple Spanish. When there is nothing
to do, I sleep, and it's very easy to dreaming in my sleep, when I wake
up, the sun is still shining in the sky, so I know I have made many daydreams
here in Antarctica. Happy New Year to all of our friends!
January 4: I am still in the Patriot Hills camp, waiting for other
explorers flying in from Punta Arenas. Today, we got a bad news that the
big transportation airplane, which was old and was made in Russia, was
damaged when it took off from Punta Arenas while the wind was very strong.
Now, they are repairing it, and it can not fly within 5 days, which means
we will have to stay in the Patriot Hills for another 5 days. Today, I
washed my hair for the first time since we reached Antarctica. In Patriot
Hills camp, each day, each person can get only 1 liter of hot water for
washing, so, washing hair is really a kind of luxury. I will continue
skiing and playing pingpong and day-dreaming in the following days.
January 8: Today, the weather is good, the damaged-then-repaired
transportation airplane finally took off from Punta Arenas of Chile, and
arrived in Patriot Hills safely. It brought in about 40 tourists, including
3 explorers who will join us to trekking/skiing to the South Pole. This
time, there is one group from Asia, they are scientists from South Korea,
they come to Antarctica to search for rocks from outer space. I am still
the only Chinese in this camp. Yesterday, I skiied for 9 hours near the
Patriot Hills camp. Now, I can ski down hill. Exciting! Tomorrow, if the
weather is good, we will fly south.
January 9: Today, the weather is very good; the temperature is
10C above zero. I don't even need to wear my outer jacket and my gloves.
But we didn't fly south today, because our tour guide David decided to
train our team first, to see how far we can go in one day. So, this morning,
our 5-person team --- including David the tour guide, one man from Boston
of USA, one man from Frankfort of Germany, one man from Moscow of Russia,
and me --- started a trekking/skiing tour, each person dragged a 40 kg
sled. We covered 8 kms in about 8 hours, I felt like I am a dog dragging
the sled. 'You are doing quite good', the tour guide told us. Now, we
have already set up our camp in the wilderness, tonight, we will stay
here, tomorrow, we will trekking/skiing back to the Patriot Hills camp.
The day after tomorrow, we should fly south.
January 10: Today, Kunming Daily and City Times published a short
letter, which was written by Kunming Youth League on behalf of the all
young people living in Kunming, to congratulate Fei Bao for his successful
climbing to the top of Mt. Vinson, and encourage him to overcome all difficulties
to reach the South Pole, then wish him good luck. We read this letter
to Fei Bao when he called us in this morning, Fei Bao said that he will
surely reach the South Pole, he will surely not let the Kunming people
down. He said that his team will fly south tomorrow, and it is quite possible
that they can reach the South Pole in only about 5 or 6 days, much faster
than what we expected. Finally, he thanked all Kunming people for caring
about him, and he wish there will be more Kunming natives to visit Antarctica
in the future.
January 11: Today, the weather is good, after dinner at the Patriot
Hills camp, we (4 team members plus David the tour guide) took a small
airplane, flew 5 hours (in fact, it's 3 hours, because we stopped on the
way to refuel for about 2 hours), covered about 600 kms, landed in the
wilderness of 89 degrees south latitude, 85 degrees west longitude. Now,
we are only 110 kms away from the South Pole, the temperature is 30C below
zero, the altitude is 2714 m. It's the same ice land in all directions,
so we have to use the sun and the GPS to judge which way is the south.
The 2 pilots flew back to the Patriot Hills immediately after dropping
us at here. They dress like rock & roll stars, very cool, not like
pilots at all, but they are very skillful pilots. Now, we have set up
our tents, I and David (the guide from Scotland) share one tent. Tonight,
we will stay here. Tomorrow morning, we will trek/ski south, if the weather
keeps good, we can reach the South Pole within one week.
January 12: Today is the first day of our trekking/skiing to the
South Pole. The weather is good. We started at 9:00 am, trekked/skiied
for 8 hours -- covered 12 kms. It's not a bad start." On the way,
we didn't stop to cook lunch, we ate some chocolate bars as lunch while
trekking, we stopped only for drinking water. We had to keep moving, because
as soon as we stopped, we felt the freezing cold immediately. Although
the sun is always hanging in the sky, but the temperature is 30C below
zero, when it was windy, it would be much colder. All of us had suffered
some minor frostbite, I got my frostbite when I took off my outer gloves
to drink water, because the lid of my water bottle was too tight to open
with the outer gloves in my hands. It took only several seconds, but my
hands still got a minor frostbite. Although it is extremely cold out here,
but all of us are still in good spirit. We have confidence to make it
to the South Pole in one week. Now, we have already set up our tents and
have just finished our cooked dinner in our tents. After this call, I
will fall in sleep.
January 13: "Today, the weather changed, the wind is very
strong, the visibility is only 4 meters, the temperature is about 40C
below zero, so David (the tour guide) decided that we should stay in our
tents, waiting for the storm to pass. So, we got a day to rest. "
"It's extremely cold outside our tents, even the GPS can not work
in such freezing environment. I have to take my GPS back into my tent
can it wake up to life again. When GPS doesn't work, I have to depend
on the gradienter to judge the direction. The gradienter is a small ball-like
instrument which I hang in front of my chest, so I can check my direction
frequently when trekking."
"Peeing is not difficult, because I have a big bottle, I can pee
into this bottle inside my tent, then seal the waste in a plastic bag
and put it outside on my sled. But shitting is really a torture, I have
to go outside my tent, dig out a big snow hole, more than 1 meter deep,
then do the job inside this hole, in this way, I will not be blown away
by strong wind, after the release, seal the plastic bag and take it to
"Today, I realized that my face has also got a minor frostbite, because
the strong wind drove the snow and ice off the ground to hit my face,
like it was hit by many mini bullets. So, I decided to use a scarf to
wrap-cover my face and ears first, then put my big goggles on the scarf
to fix it, in this way, my face will be protected when trekking."
January 14: "Today, the strong wind has stopped, but we are
covered in endless fog, the temperature dropped to 41C below zero, the
visibility is only 10 meters."
"However, we trekked 13.8 km in 7 hours, much faster than our first
day. With the help of GPS, we headed south, we can not tell where is sky,
where is land, everything is the same gray in such fog, like we are marching
into the time tunnel, I have to keep thinking something else, such as
my hometown Kunming --- the warm sunshine, the colorful flowers, the Stone
Forest, the cross-bridge rice noodles, the exhibition times I have spent
with my friends in Yunnan Provincial Museum, etc. --- It is this kind
of imaginations and pleasant memories that help me to keep moving one
leg in front of the other and help me to spend the boring time on the
"Today, my face has been well protected by the scarf, so I can say
that I have saved my face. But other team members' faces have got frostbite.
So, when we stopped, I told them my way of dealing with it."
"After 7 hours trekking/skiing, David told us that we have covered
13.8 km, now, we are only 84.2 km away from the South Pole. Everyone is
very happy. So, we stopped to set up our camp, other team members all
looked exhausted, but David and I are not so tired, so we helped other
team members to set up their tents first, then we started to set up our
tent, everything settled, we started to cook water, then use the boiled
water to cook the instant-rice. Dinner is always better than lunch, our
lunch is always chocolate bars. In such place, eating is only for surviving,
not for enjoyment."
January 15: "Today, we finally marched out of the time tunnel
(the fog area), saw the blue sky again, so we trekked faster than yesterday.
In 7 hours, we covered 14.5 km. Up to now, we have already trekked 40.3
km, covered more than 1/3 of the 110 km distance."
"But today is a very hard day for the man from Boston of US, he walked
very slow, so we have to stop frequently on the way to waiting for him
to catch up. Later, we realized that he has nearly used up all his strength.
It is impossible for him to keep our pace."
"So, we decided to help him, to divide his burden - the luggage on
his sled, about 40 kg, - to the rest of us, so, each one of us has to
add about 10 kg weight on our sleds. But we have not complained, we know
that we are a team, and we should not leave anyone behind. We should march
to the South Pole together. This is the critical time when teamwork will
show its power."
"Today, my neck spine (bone) is sour and painful, when we stopped
to set up our camp after 7 hours trekking, I found that my neck could
hardly move, I guess it's beacuse I kept walking in the same posture for
too long, when I was thinking how to deal with this neck pain, the man
from Frankfort of Germany handed me a small bottle of oil, I took it and
found out that it is a kind of medical oil made in China. We both laughed.
In China, this oil is very popular, used for cure mosquito bite and car
sickness. I didn't expect that I will use it in Antarctica."
"Thank you, teamwork !"
"Today, the weather is very good, without wind, the temperature rise
to 20C below zero. We can call it a warm day. We took the full advantage
of such a good day, trekked 15.9 km."
"We have taken 10 days food on our sleds, now, 5 days have passed,
you think the sled should be lighter, but it is not, because we have to
take all our waste on our sleds. So, the food is lighter and lighter,
but the waste is heavier and heavier, thus our burden is nearly the same
all the way to the South Pole."
"I have asked David to give me several more of the plastic bags,
which I will take back to China, I will ask China's factories to produce
it, and I will advocate China's mountaineers to use it to seal their waste
when they climb China's mountains in the future. This is a very good thing
for China's environmental protection. Next year will be a good chance
to spread this message, because China's climbers will take the Olympic
torch up to the top of Mt. Everest, they will need this kind of plastic
bags. I wish, next time, when chinese explorers come to Antarctica, they
can use the made-in-China plastic bags."
"Today, my neck bone is still sour and painful, and I found that
I have obviously lost some weight. So I can say that I have found a recipe
of losing weight, that is trekking to the South Pole, this recipe is 100%
"Now, we have covered more than half of the distance, we are all
still in good spirit, we cooperated better than before, and we are going
faster and faster. David said that we can reach the South Pole within
4 days if the weather keeps good. I am sure that we can reach the South
Pole on this Friday (Jan.19) or Saturday (Jan.20).
"Today, we trekked 8 hours, covered 16.6 km. When we started in the
morning, it was still sunny, but in the afternoon, the weather changed,
it's really cloudy but not windy, the temperature dropped to 42C below
zero. In such freezing condition, we dare not to stop, we have to keeping
going and going."
"Today, my mind has become numb, I am walking like a machine, or
maybe like a dog dragging the sled, without any thoughts, without any
imaginations and pleasant memories."
"My neck is still painful. The good thing is, several days ago, I
taught David some simple massage skills, so, now, he can give me a relaxing
massage when we camping."
"Now, we are only 39 km away from the South Pole. But the nearer
to the South Pole, the harder the snow and ice on the ground become, which
made dragging the sled more difficult, because it is always bumping. However,
when sitting down in our tents, we encouraged each other, talked about
visiting each other's homes after this adventure. Surely we have built
a deep friendship, which is one of the benefits I have got from this expedition."
"Today, it's a little warmer than yesterday, now, the temperature
is 38C below zero. We trekked 17.9 km. Now, we are only 21.9 km away from
the South Pole. But we still can not see the houses (the Scott Station)
built on the South Pole."
"David told us that the Scott Station is well equiped, where we can
buy beer and coca-cola, there is also a shop to sell souvenirs. What David
said encouraged us to continue pushing forward."
"After 6 days trekking/skiing, today, I found out that my body has
already adapted to this frigid environment. Now, I can walk like a camel,
no need to drink water on the way. I just need to drink enough water before
we start trekking, then I will drink water only when we camping. It is
really amazing, because Antarctica is in fact drier than the Sahara Desert
"The strong wind has sculpted the hard snow ground into a wave-like
shape, we walk on it wearing our ski, it's in fact like tango dancing,
slide forward one step, then slide forwad another step. We repeated this
tango dancing steps again and again and again. So, I am wondering, when
I get back to Kunming, can I still walk like a normal person ?"
"My neck is still painful, I know I still have some pain-killer (medicine)
left, but I decided not to use it today, better leave it to the last 2
days. David said the last 2 days are the hardest."
"I should not be defeated by my neck pain, not at such a place so
close to my destination. I have made up my mind, even if I can only crawl,
I will surely crawl to the South Pole. "
"Today, we trekked nearly non-stop for 13 hours, covered 21.9 km,
reached the South Pole at 10:15 pm (Jan.18, local time), (8:15 am, Jan.19,Beijing
time). Today, we also experienced the coldest temperature in our expedition:
50C below zero. (-60F)"
"According to David's plan, we should reach the South Pole on tomorrow,
not today, but when we trekked to a place where is only 15 km away from
the South Pole, we saw a small black spot on the horizon, David told us
it is the Scott Station. We were all very excited, we finally saw our
destination. So, all of us decided at the spot that we should not stop,
we should continue going till we reach the South Pole. But David knew
that I was suffering the neck pain, so he decided to let me to make the
final decison: go or stop ? I looked at the black spot on the horizon,
and said without any hesitation: Let's go !"
"So, after 13 hours trekking/skiing in the extremely cold environment,
we successfully reached the South Pole, one day ahead of our schedule."
"When walked into the Scott Station, it's already night time, (although
the sun was still hanging in the sky), we saw many countries' national
flags hanging outside a huge building. Then, a receptionist took us to
a restaurant to have dinner. We had hot coffee, hot milk, and some fresh
cakes. It's all free. Each one of us was very happy and excited."
"Then, the receptionist guided us on a short tour of the station.
My god, the station is much much bigger than we thought, looks like a
city of science, like the future's scenery we have seen in Hollywood movies.
There is hospital, fitness center, cinema, restaurants, shops, post office,
laboratories, etc., all are equiped with world-class facilities. Some
of the buildings are still under construction. There are more than 500
persons living in here for long term, including about 100 top-level scientists,
they stay here to do the researches about earth, universe, geography,
etc. Most of the working staff are from USA."
"But the station didn't provide accommodations to tourists. So, we
had to set up our tents near the station. Now, we are all very tired,
we are going to sleep. Tomorrow morning, we will do some shopping, and
some photographing, then we will fly back to the Patriot Hills camp."
This morning, we came to the symbol of the South Pole - a stainless steel
ball on top of a 1-meter-high pillar, the ball is as big as a volleyball
- where I showed China's national flag, the 2008 Beijing Olympics flag,
the UNEP flag, the KCC flag, and took some photos. Then we visited the
post office, where I had my passport stamped, just like I have got a South
Pole visa on my passport, I also bought some postcards and mailed it to
my family members and some friends."
"Then, David told us that we could not fly back to the Patriot Hills
today because the weather in Patriot Hills was not suitable for landing.
So, after lunch in a restaurant and then a short nap in our tents, we
continued our tour in the station."
"The station was first set up on Jan.23 of 1957 by US National Science
Foundation, its altitude is 2900 m above sea level. There is an airport
nearby with a 4270m-long runway."
"Inside one big building, there are many plants, and these plants
are all growing very well in this big green house, which gave me very
deep impression. Scientists can create a mini forest environment in the
South Pole. Amazing !"
"We also did some shopping. I was surprised when the sales clerk
hailed me in chinese Ni Hao (means Hello), and asked me if I was from
Beijing, I told him that I was from Yunnan of China, he said he has never
heard of Yunnan, I said: 'I am the first person coming to here from Yunnan,
in the future, I believe you will meet more people from Yunnan.' "
"The best part of arriving in the station is that we can finally
have a hot water shower and use the toilets, no need to dig out snow hole
to do the release job any more."
"Today, my neck pain is a little lighter, but my foot pain started,
when I was trekking/skiing on the way, my feet were numb, so I didn't
feel the pain, now we came to a warm environment inside the buildings,
the pain showed out. Which means, when you concentrate all your energy
on your goal, some difficulties will be dwarfed or even disappeared."
"Tonight, luckily, we were invited to a rock & roll party, the
dancing hall looks like one of Kunming's disco night club. We were throughly
relaxed and immersed ourselves into the beautiful music and dancing, nearly
forgot that it was 48C below zero outside this building. Each one of us
had a great time in the party."
"After visiting the Scott Station, I felt the enormous power of science
and technology, maybe in the future, human beings can really create a
living space on the moon or on the mars."
"We should fly back to Patriot Hills tomorrow if the weather is OK."
After about 4 hours flying, we arrived in the Patriot Hills at 3:00 am
of Jan.21 (Beijing time). When we took off from the South Pole, it was
42C below zero, here at the Patriot Hills, it is about zero C, we feel
much much warmer."
Comparing the Scott Station and the Patriot Hills camp, the Scott Station
is like a 5 star hotel, the Patriot Hills camp is like a normal hostel.
But coming back to this camp, for us, it's like coming home. We feel very
comfortablemhere. We had a grand dinner to celebrate our success, and
we drank a lot of red wine."
"I have just arrived in the Punta Arenas of Chile. I plan to fly
back to Santiago on Jan.23, stay in Santiago for one night, then take
Air France flight on Jan.24 via Paris back to Beijing, I should arrive
in Beijing on Jan.26 (Beijing time), I might stay in Beijing for 2 nights,
then fly back to Kunming on Jan.28/Sunday."
January 28 (from Frank):
Fei Bao arrived in Kunming happily and safely on last Saturday at 3:30
pm. He got a hero's welcome at the Kunming airport. He has lost at least
10 kg weight. Now, he is being interviewed by Yunnan TV.