ANTARCTICA: Swimming in -1.8C Water

This week we celebrate Mid Winters Day,the Mid Winters Solstice,with a unique Antarctic Tradition.The Mid Winter Swim, something that I have been looking forward to for ages.I don’t know why, it was sobloody cold, it hurt. The temps on Mid Winters day were -29.3C and the water was a freezing -1.8C, I must be crazy to swim in this. 

Tatteredpassport

Chainsawing the Sea Ice

Why are the Mid Winter Celebrations so important to expeditioners? Well it is a milestone for us. Here at Mawson the sun set on the 19th of June and we wont see it again for 10 days. It is now that we are in the middle of the darkest, coldest part of our stay in Antarctica. It’s around this time that you really miss home, you miss your loved ones, you miss the beach sand and you miss your dog, well I know I do. This is when your Antarctic family come together for  the best dinner and festivities of the year. We still have a long way to go before we return to the warmth of home, but for now, this is home and this is our family and now I realise that, so we celebrate. 

tatteredpassport

Preparing the pool

One thing we do for a bit of a laugh is send out invitations to our celebrations. It’s all a bit of fun as we are well aware how isolated we are right now, there is no way in, or out. This year I sent a few invites out to some of my favourite YouTubers and to my suprise, got a few great replies from Nicole Eddy and Louis Cole.

Tatteredpassport

Getting ready for the swim

Tatteredpassport

Yep its as cold as i thought

TatteredPassport

Shane’s Polar Plunge

Tatteredpassport

Yep it was freezing

Thank you so much for visiting TatteredPassport. If you have enjoyed this post please share with you friends. If you have any questions about this video or anything about life down here in Antarctica, please ask in the comments and i’ll see if I can do a video on it.

You can follow Tatteredpassport by simply clicking on the FOLLOW button at the bottom of your screen, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and BEME.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

Inside Tibet: Inside The Destruction. Daily Vlog: 42

I see more cameras today, I see more guards today, I see more heart ache today, I quickly understand why. We are at the Tashilhunpo Monastery, a historic and culturally important monastery in Tibet’s second largest city, Shigatse. Tashilhunpo monastery is the traditional seat of the second highest ranked tulku lineage in the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, the Panchen Lama.

The monastery has endured a hard life, in 1791 the Gorkha Kingdom invaded Tibet and

Tattered Passport, Tibet

Cameras at the Tashilhunpo Monastery

captured Shigatse, but most recently it has been in the centre of the conflict between China and Tibet.  During China’s invasion of Tibet, two thirds of the buildings were destroyed, the hardest hit were the residences of the 4000 monks. The monastery itself was not extensively damaged, possibly because it was the seat of the Panchen Lama, who remained in Chinese controlled territory.

In 1966 the red guards  led a crowd to the monastery to break statues, burn scriptures and open the stupas. Inside the Stupas were the relics of the 5th to 9th Panchen Lamas, the crowd threw most of the relics into the river, some were saved by the locals. In 1985 the 10th Panchen Lama Choekyi Gyaltsen began construction of a new Stupa to house them in honour of his predecessors. In 1989 just six days before he died the stupa was consecrated. It was as if he was saying now he could rest.

https://youtu.be/VnU9JQ08mkY

Thank you for visiting Tattered Passport, if you have liked this post please Like, Share and Follow. Simple click on the follow button at the bottom of your screen. You can also follow Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

One Hectic Day. Daily Vlog: 32

I jump in a cab and head off to Durbar Square nice and early only to find out that I am completely in the wrong spot and need to walk back to where I had just come from. I had been in contact with a few peeps from our Mt Everest Base Camp trek, CJ and Simone and were going to have some breakfast with them before they head off on there own adventures. After getting completely lost for hours, I finally found them, had a quick breakie and they hit the road and I made the looooong walk to the post office.

Tattered Passport

Durbar Square Pigeons

I had planned on sending a bunch of my left over trekking gear that I no longer needed and some souvenirs back to oz, save me from carrying them around Bhutan and Tibet. Be warned if you are going to use the post office in Kathmandu, put an entire day aside for it. The post office is utter chaos, no organisation what so ever, and completely dodgy. They pile up stuff, throw stuff around, there is no instructions on what you have to do. I just had to wing it, push my way through the locals and hope for the best. I was actually surprised when I get word that the packages made their way home. The post officer checks your packages very thoroughly, opening up everything even a Buddha statue I had bought in Bhutan. He then signs some document and you are left in the lurch again. So I wander over to this old lady who wraps your package up in a white cloth, It gets stitched up, very slowly, this lovely lady kept on asking to give her some pot, really. Then you pay her, then walk over to another guy who goes over the stitching and puts melted wax seal stamps along the stitching, you pay him. Then you find out that you have to go next door and pay for the postage and in cash only. You battle with the crazy crowd all pushing in, I learnt very quickly to just push through and get to the front. So after that I was ready to head back into Thamel, I was there for 4hrs all up.

Tattered Passport

Durbar Palace

 

Tattered Passport

Prayer Flags at the Monkey Temple

That afternoon I caught back up with Luc and made our way over to explore Durbar Square and the Palace. You get an incredible view over Kathmandu from the 9th floor of this UNESCO Heritage listed building. Back in the square, a large group of people had congregated, so we wanted to check it out. Turns out they were filming a dodgy fight scene for a local Nepalese movie. It was pretty cool to watch, but ridiculous as well. We then jump in one of the dodgiest cabs I have ever been in and drove up the dustiest street in Kathmandu and visited the Monkey Temple. I was pretty happy when we arrived there, well more surprised I guess. The temple is beautiful and as the name suggests, there are monkeys everywhere, they are cheeky little things as well. We watched a few baby monkeys playing around in the trees and watched as a “Gang” of cheeky monkeys steel some of the thousands of prayer flags and drag the bundle to there hide out. It was really interesting to watch them, they were just like little kids.

Tattered Passport

Monkey Temple

We then found the best spot for the sunset at the Nirvana Cafe, ordered a couple of coffee’s and watched as the sunset over the temple and on “One Hectic Day”

Tattered Passport

Young Monk

Thank you for visiting Tattered Passport, if you have enjoyed this post please Like, Share and Follow. You can follow Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and simple by clicking on the “Follow” Button at the bottom of your screen.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out.

Shane.

The Emotional Roller Coaster of Saying Good Bye.

Saying good bye is never easy, after spending 22 days with amazing people in some of the most breathtaking locations I have ever seen you build a very close friendship. Then after it all everyone leaves and heads off. Today I felt a little alone, so I got myself a massage, wondered around Thamel and did a bit of the Admin side of my blog. Sorry this daily vlog is only a short one. Nothing really happened.

Travel opens your mind and soul for new and incredible experiences. You seek knowledge and look for any opportunity to meet new people. Once when I landed in Kathmandu from Paro, Bhutan I shared a cab with a Swiss backpacker, after chatting on the way into Thamel we decided to catch up for lunch. After lunch we wondered around Thamel and found our way to the “Garden Of Dreams” where we bumped into an Aussie backpacker, who invited us out for dinner and she introduced us to her Chilean friend who told us about a cool Shisha bar where we spent the night singing and chatting over a bunch of beers and Shisha. I still stay in touch with all of them and follow there adventures. This unique way of building friendships so rapidly and then parting ways just as quickly can be a emotional roller coaster but somehow builds the friendship even stronger.

Have you had experiences like these? Have you felt empty when your left alone in a random country after making great random friendships?

Thank you for stopping by Tattered Passport, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or simply by clicking on the Follow button on the bottom the screen. If you have liked this post please feel free to share with your friends and family.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out.

Shane