the-teachers-depart-antarctica-small.jpg After 39 days on the ice we finally arrived back in Punta Arenas late last night. It was a close call as I woke to strong winds which blew snow over my footsteps in a matter of minutes. I got up to take a call at 5.30am from the Leicester Mercury and reported back that the atmosphere was tense in the mess tent but that they were hopeful for a flight. People were pacing up and down, running fingers through their hair and watching as anyone came through the door – waiting for the crucial decision. At 9.30am we were told that the Ilyushin was in the air with an ETA of 13.05. Hurray!! It’s just so good to think that we will spend Christmas at home, even if it isn’t a white Christmas. However, it was also very sad leaving such an amazing continent, and the people of Patriot Hills Base Camp, who we’ve got to know very well in the last eight days of delay. Their wonderful stories of adventure around the world, and of course the excellent food, will be sorely missed.

eta.JPGBack in southern Chile our first port of call was a nice hot shower, and the use of some welcome toilet facilities. Finally! Now we are faced with the task of packing. Some gear will go back on the boat while the rest needs to fit onto the plane with us.  This will probably take me up until we leave for the UK, arriving in Heathrow on Friday. The adventure is not over…