Ahead in the distance lies the Thiels mountain range, veiled in mist. Dark jagged peaks tear through fine drapes of snow and puncture the sky. In front of me, bouncing earnestly over sastrugi, is Clare's sledge, the 'Dudley Docker'. I struggle to make anagrams of the blue lettering, 'cuddly', 'rocked', 'coddled', as I do most mornings. But soon my mind wanders off, the conscious giving way to the subconscious and suddenly I'm driving a jeep through the decaying streets of Havana, playing conckers with old friends in lost playgrounds or reliving my student days in various states of intoxication This is how time passes whilst we haul, 8 hours a day sifting through our minds, alert and yet asleep. Stumbling over the carrion of lost memories, long forgotten ideas and the odd stale emotion.
As the morning progresses, the mist descends and envelops us, reducing our world to walls of white in all directions. Navigating in these conditions demands concentration, the second man screaming at the first each time their stronger foot leads them astray.
Tomorrow we shall finally arrive at Thiels, our halfway point. There we will have our third rest day in 29 days. It is much needed as we are all beginning to feel the effects of our endevours thus far. From here on in things will get harder, both mentally and physically. Hopefully, if we succeed in achieving our goal of reaching the Pole, I'll have finally managed to come up with an 8 letter word…the countdown begins.