Quad Biking On Sea Ice: Antarctica

Even in the most remote, isolated and extreme place on earth, there is still space to have some fun.

Living and working in Antarctica brings some unique challenges you just do not get working in capital cities or even in remote mine sites. The isolation here means we can not get parts delivered until summer, the extreme temperatures can freeze anything, and the wind has been known to even blow away the anemometer, the device that gives us the wind speed reading.

So you can imagine we are kept busy by these conditions. However you know the old proverb “All work and no play makes jack a dull boy.” So what do we do for fun?

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Curtis Bureaux asked a question

On station we have plenty of things to occupy our free time. In the bar area we have a dart board, pool table, table tennis and a soccer table. We also have a Gym and a climbing wall. However this week the Sea Ice in the recreation area has been opened allowing us to travel on the sea ice. We went out with the FTO (Field Training Officer) to conduct our Sea Ice Travel Training, we learnt how to measure the sea ice thickness, how to read the maps and where we are allowed to go.

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Peace Out,

Shane

Magical Takin’s and A Man with a beard. Daily Vlog: 25

I wake up early and have to pinch myself, I am actuality in Bhutan. I have a great breakie over looking the breathtaking Thimphu River and the Olympic Stadium. Our first stop of the day is the Changangkha Monastery and the celebration of the passing of “The Man With The Beard” sorry I don’t have his Bhutanese Name. The Man With The beard is loved in Bhutan and you see his statue everywhere. The celebration was an incredible site to see, it was an opportunity for me to see real Bhutanese Buddism celebrations first hand. All though I could not take the camera in side the monastery i can tell you it was incredible. I let the scent of incense the sound of bells and prayer wheels along with the power of chanting wash over me. I felt blessed to have been able to share this moment with the 100’s of locals all celebrating in that monastery.

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The coolest and my new favourite animal in the world

Have you heard about the national animal of Bhutan the Takin? A half Cow half Goat looking creature that has a very unique local story of how it become? The Man With The Beard who came to Bhutan from Tibet and brought with him Tibetian Buddism was not loved nor recognised as anyone special. He was mistreated by the local religious people at the time, however this did not bother him. One night at dinner he was given only the bones of a cow and a goat to eat. He said some very powerful words over the bones and the Takin appeared and walked out side. Since that day The Man With A Beard has been worshipped in Bhutan. I love hearing these mythical stories of  the countries that I visit. They give you a little insight into the history of the land and its culture.

Bhutan has really had a profound effect on myself, I really love its peaceful and unspoilt landscape. My guide Pelma took me for a walk through the forrest. One of the most peaceful places I have ever been. I could easily of stayed there for hours. We walked along this track and appeared at the Tango and Wangditse Dzong monasteries. They are currently in a full on restoration project phase. They burnt down due to a Butter Lamp incident. This was a common occurrence through out Bhutan. So many times i had seen monasteries with fire damaged areas. Now a lot of the monasteries have a separate area for the butter lamps. I found it fascinating that these monasteries are both a tourist spot and still getting used constantly from the locals for worship. Bhutan has a very interesting concept behind tourism and seems to work for them. These sacred places are still enjoyed by the local people. I would always see local kids, parents and grand parents laughing and enjoying the great weather. It was very refreshing after the chaos of Kathmandu.

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Amazing Bhutan

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Bhutanese Prayer flags over Thimphu

Our van boke down so we had an opportunity to walk around Thimphu for a few hours. Pelma showed me the Archery competition, which i found very interesting. The competition is in this field in the middle of the town and you can just wonder in and watch. There is not fencing or barriers stopping you walking across the field and i watched as people did just that many times. The local stray dogs would walk across and even lay down in the middle of the paddock and no one seemed worried. In Australia there would be so many barriers up stopping you from getting close enough to see anything and don’t forget a huge fee to watch the event.

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Bhutanese archery

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Suger cane at the Farmers market

I got to wonder through a local market place as well as the local farmers market, one of my favourite pass times. I love walking around these types of places. The smells the noise the people and the stuff. It is just a great way to see how the locals really live, how they really trade there goods for stuff that they need.

 

 

 

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One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

We land at the Worlds most dangerous Airstrip. Lukla: Daily Vlog; Day 3.

One of the parts of this adventure that I was looking forward to the most was the flight to the infamous Lukla Airstrip. The day started early and you could feel the anxiety in our group starting to build. I was getting more excited and when saw the aircraft I knew this was going to be cool flight.

mykombiandi, lukla.

The BeyondEverest project crew waiting for our flight.

 

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Getting excited for a flight.

 

It is a strange feeling when you start to fly and you just keep going up and up. You can feel the aircraft preparing to land but it is not descending. Then all of a sudden you see a mountain very close to the wing of the plane and then you land.

Check out the Daily Vlog, Day 3.

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=pzm0PSUFYOU

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I would love to hear from you. Have you been to Lukla? What were your experiences?

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One Life, One Search.

Shane