Allan Boroughs is a traveller and writer with a passion for classic adventure stories. His debut novel, Ironheart, was inspired by his travels in Siberia, while Bloodstone: Legend of Ironheart took him to the Antarctic. Allan is also a founding member of Future Perfect Writers, who perform regularly at spoken-word events. He divides his time between his business in London and his home in Cornwall; he lives with his wife and two children.
by @AllanBoroughs - 20 hours ago
When did airports become shopping malls? An endless opportunity to buy two-for-one tins of shortbread and strangely flavoured vodka
by @AllanBoroughs - 23 hours ago
Nail art https://t.co/B1zx4lorQB
by @AllanBoroughs - yesterday
206487992831139 - 4 years ago
Fava beans and a nice chianti…
As often happens with binary predicaments there turns out to be a third option. In the morning a stiff westerly breeze (appx 125 mph) clears the fog and gives the plane a 2 hour window in which to land at Frei station. After a drenching zodiac ride to the base and an eyeball freezing walk across the martian landscape, we watch the plane hammer down on the gravel runway and climb on board.
Two hours later I am back in Punta Arenas.
It’s time for goodbyes to my fellow travellers from the past 10 days. There is much exchanging of phone numbers we’ll never call and email addresses we’ll lose on the plane home. This is not really insincerity – just a polite attempt to soften the truth that travelling companions, unlike dogs, are not for life. Read more at www.allanboroughs.com
Tuesday (pretty early) – it is now shortly before the time I was scheduled to be home in London as a returning hero. Instead I am still in the South Shetland Islands outside a Chilean Airforce Base at Frei Station waiting for the weather to lift so the plane can get in and pick us up. Whilst most people are phlegmatic about the delay there are still some who have a loud and tiresome sense of humour failure in the direction of anyone who will listen.
I also learn (through calling home) that Sir Ranulph Fiennes has had to drop out of his Trans-Antarctic crossing due to injuries received in training.
I feel bad for Sir Ranulph as I also feel frustrated that this delay is preventing me from being with my family (really missing you guys) . However it underlines the fact that Antarctica is not a regular destination. In a world where we live by schedules, demand certainties and have an unshakable belief that if something goes wrong there must be someone you can sue, we are surprised and rattled when the wilderness turns around and bites us in the backside. I have a feeling that this is good for us. Read more at www.allanboroughs.com
The price of fish. In the morning we take an early zodiac from the ship in the face of a wind that could cut glass, to visit the ‘icebergs graveyard’, a shallow sound where large chunks of the glacier have been grounded and then shaped by high winds and tides. The result is an eerie landscape where bergs have been carved into arches, peaks, shallow pools and even something resembling a battleship.
A pod of minke whales cruises back and forth across the bay giving us several close encounters and a curious sea leopard sticks its head up by our boat, surveying fat tourists with hungry eyes. After an hour we are met by another zodiac, bearing a thermos of hot chocolate laced with Tia Maria. Sitting in an arctic sound gratefully sipping hot chocolate I would be hard pushed to feel more like an alien visitor if I was wearing a space suit. read more at www.allanboroughs.com
To Detaille Island, home to an eight man team from the British Antarctic Survey between 1956 and 1959. Like many other survey huts, this has been designated an historic site and preserved by the Antarctic Heritage Trust (although, given the remoteness of the location, ‘preserved’ in this instance really means turning up at the start of the season to make sure it hasn’t blown away).
What makes this site particularly interesting is that, after three years of permanent occupation, the team were given less than two hours to pack up and leave when their relief boat was in danger of becoming stuck in the ice. The crew were only able to take the bare minimum with them with the result that, the hut looks almost exactly as it did when they walked out of the door in 1959, perfectly preserved in the dry air of Antarctica.
Heavy boots and oilskin jackets and trousers hang in the hallway and a pair of regulation army plimsolls stand by every bunk for ‘indoor wear’. Meteorological records lie half finished next to jars of dried out India ink. The mess room shelves are filled with thumbed copies of Reader’s Digest, St Bruno flake and Gordons gin. Read more at www.allanboroughs.com
On Tuesday morning we get the chance to visit what is possibly the closest thing to a tourist attraction in Antarctica. Port Lockroy was (and still is) a British owned science station in the Gerlache Strait. As part of the British Government’s attempts to strengthen its claim on the site over Argentina and Chile, it established an official post office in 1944. The site is now maintained by the Antarctic Heritage Trust who now use the funds raised from the sale and postage of post cards to maintain the site and small museum showing the lives of the early polar explorers. The inside of the station has been preserved as it would have been in the 30’s through to the 60’s, complete with rough bunks, sealskin mittens cans of spam, recipes for spicy seal brains on toast and, of course, a photo of Her Majesty.
I have never been someone with a huge amount of nationalistic pride (bawling at the TV for Mo Farrah and Ellie Simmons aside) but I feel oddly stirred at the sight of the union flag flying aloft above an ancient nissen hut in a remote Antarctic sound – a living connection to our heritage as a nation of explorers (not to mention indiscriminate colonisers).
At just over 66 degrees south we cross the Antarctic circle and have officially become polar explorers. Continue reading at www.allanboroughs.com
In the Lost World - 8 months ago
The real adventure begins when our gear is loaded into 4X4s for the 20km journey to the start of the trek. The Pemon people manage the […]
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How Roraima got its name - 10 months ago
Once there was a time when the animals and the humans knew the same language and they could all understand each other. And at that time […]
The post How Roraima got its name appeared first on Allan Boroughs.
Poison darts, murder and gold - 10 months ago
At Ciudad Bolivar we pause to examine Jimmy Angel’s plane, rescued from a tepui top from where he crash landed in the 30’s shortly after he […]
The post Poison darts, murder and gold appeared first on Allan Boroughs.
Chocolate trees, wombles and maggots - 10 months ago
The eight hour drive to the Gran Sabana offers the prospect of getting to know our travelling companions a little better and Manuel and Doug provide […]
The post Chocolate trees, wombles and maggots appeared first on Allan Boroughs.
Murder, cash and a decent burger – welcome to Venezuela - 11 months ago
“Caracas – murder capital of the world!” trumpet the uncomforting headlines. According to the Daily Mail we would be two times safer in Baghdad than we […]
The post Murder, cash and a decent burger – welcome to Venezuela appeared first on Allan Boroughs.
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