Travelling South

From London to Punta Arenas

From my diary this Wednesday:

21st-century air travel is an astonishing thing. I went to sleep somewhere over the Atlantic, and woke up south of the equator, where it is no longer autumn but spring.

When I think of the privation and suffering that Shackleton and Scott and Amundsen and Mawson’s men endured to travel to Antarctica not much more than a century ago, I find it hard to imagine what the travellers of 2117 will look back on and find unimaginable. This near-fifteen-hour flight from London direct to Santiago?

I’m currently in Punta Arenas, a small town of some 130,000 people in the southern tip of Chile, where I’ll be based until at least Friday 3rd November, the date of my logistics provider, ALE’s first flight to Antarctica of this year. My nine days here is a chance to pack my daily food bags, fine-tune and test expedition clothing, tech and gear, and to take a vital few days of space and relative quiet after the pre-expedition mayhem of my last few weeks in London to decompress and to focus on the task that is about to start…

Ben Saunders (@polarben)

Claire White


Wishinng you enormous amounts of luck Ben. I was fortunate to listen to you speak following your arctic expedition many years ago and have continued to be inspired by your challenges, as well as use you as a role model to the children I teach. Keep focused on the end goal and we will all look forward to following your journey. Best wishes, Claire




Hope the weather down there is perfect for the beginning of your journey. Take care and be safe. So excited to follow along.


Diego Reyes


Hey Ben,
Will be following your trip. All the best!





All the very best on your adventure Ben!
I’ll be following your icy tracks online.
Look after yourself.
Warm Regards.


Bruce Tilley


All the best with your journey – will follow your blog on the way. Good luck.


James Pocklington


All the very best for your epic journey that lies ahead.
I was really hoping to get my book to you before you left, but last minute changes and racing in the HOCR In Boston USA, has unfortunately put the final print back,
However I’m sure it will be waiting for you on your return for a quiet read as you relax and celebrate your success !!!!
Will be following you online
All the very best

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