The team reported today that their celebrations last night went well into the wee hours of this morning, which made their long awaited sleep-in all the more pleasant. Last night the South Pole NGO camp manager, Devon, made them a delicious meal with tons of food and even a few beers & cigars.
They had a 2 hour visit at the pole with a photo session (we are looking forward to seeing those pics!) before chatting the night away with Devon, who was probably equally happy for fresh company.
Today they awoke around 9:30 and had a leisurely morning re-visiting the South Pole and then packing up their tents and gear. After a hearty lunch they boarded a Twin Otter for the flight back to Union Glacier basecamp. The flight took around 5 hours and included a 40 minute stop at the Thiel Mountains for refueling. Just imagine how different it was for Amundsen and Scott back in 1911 & 1912. When they reached the South Pole they had the entire return trip ahead of them.
Back at UG (Union Glacier) they are enjoying the milder temperatures of the lower latitude (and lower altitude). The big news is that they got to have their first showers. Washing off 44 days of grimes and grease is very refreshing, but then it's back into the same old clothes. A look in the mirror may be a bit of a shock to this crew who have undoubtedly lost a lot of weight.
They will be transmitting some photos, so check back again for another update from the team!