Antarctica: Ben Saunders

Packed for Antarctica – an update from Ben Saunders…
November 3, 2017

In the starting blocks

Hello! It’s been a busy week of preparation and packing (the photo above is my sledge with 65 days of food) here in Punta Arenas in southern Chile, and I’m due to fly to Antarctica early tomorrow – Saturday November 4 – to attempt to make the first solo, unsupported and unassisted crossing of the Antarctic continent on foot.

This thousand-mile traverse of the coldest place on earth has never been made alone, unsupported (with no resupplies, no air support on route, and no support vehicle), and unassisted (with no use of the wind for kiting or ski-sailing).You can follow my progress at, which I’ll be updating daily via satellite phone from my tent. I’m also @polarben on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

This journey is in large part inspired by my late friend Lt. Col. Henry Worsley, and I’m raising as much money as I can for the charity he chose to support on his final expedition, The Endeavour Fund.

I hope you might consider making a donation to this fantastic charity that uses sporting and adventurous challenges to support the recovery of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.

Go well.

(Photos are by the brilliant Martin Hartley.)

“Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of habit, the cloak of many cares and the slavery of civilisation, man feels once more happy.” 
– Marcus Aurelius

India Travel Diary: Goa

Traveling through Goa, the smallest state in India, is like traveling back into time.  One finds themself at a crossroads between Indian tourism including snappy tuck-tucks, bright Portuguese colors and centuries of colonialism.  

Beaches call India’s rising middle class to holidays, honeymoons and adventures.  But scratching beyond the surface one finds history rich in religion, arts and architecture.  

Starting in the south at Zeebop, we warmed up with a leisurely walk down Goa’s longest beach – complete with warm crystal clear water, fishing boats adrift on the sand and Goa’s famous beach shacks offering cold refreshments.

Meeting up with our trusty cab driver Cruz, we were taken to old Goa to marvel at the Portuguese Cathedrals which rival in size and scope many in the west. 

We rounded out our 36 hour Goa crash course in Panjim, to admire the Gitanjali Art Gallery.  Here we found oil works displaying a rich fusion of Indian and Portuguese influences including one memorable diptych displaying the angst of a new generation of artists.

We retired across the street at the Panjim Inn for Mojitos (hold the ice!) and Kingfishers.  Off to Delhi, ready to dive in to the fullness of northern India.