As many of you back home are likely aware, there is a bit of free time down here.
What you might be asking yourself is what on earth do we do to fill in that time and the answer is honestly very similar to how I filled my time back home.
Wine, cheese and the occasional hike. This is how the original Vestfolds wine tour was created.
For our first expedition we set out to hike and indulge at Watts hut, although being summer and not having sea ice yet, this meant a four hour hike and much to my dismay carrying all of the wine and cheese that we wished to consume.
Brave and bold were the participants of the wine tour (Dani, Hana and Stuart, also obviously me) as we parked up the Hägglunds and set out to the Antarctic wilderness with the promise of wine, laughter and cheese waiting for us at the end. All said and done, an incredible hike with gorgeous scenes surrounding them and an even better night spent enjoying some much needed time away from the station.
Our next tour was set to be an absolute blast, with winter bringing the sea ice and completely mechanical transport, we would no longer be held back by mortal weaknesses such as not being able to pack three bottles of wine, or not having room for 20kgs of fancy cheeses from Hermann’s special fridge. Our destination was Bandit’s hut which is the furthest hut from station and requires about three and a half hours of travel in good conditions. The up-side of this is that the mountains, icebergs and snow drifts all the way there look spectacular so you are never bored.
Upon arrival we carted a loaded esky with cheese board, dinners, desserts, wine and snacks up the hill and laid it to rest in our accommodation for the night; I would describe this trip as somewhat similar to icarus flying too close to the sun…….. Although we had the capacity to bring extra bottles of wine and cheese, we likely did not need any more food or drink to further bloat ourselves.
This was my favourite Vestfolds wine tour as the sun had just returned and it felt like summer again.
Our next and final tour saw us heading to a hut each of us had visited many times. Brookes hut is an extremely easy hut to reach with the trip lasting just one hour via Hägglunds. This Vestfolds wine tour was dedicated to Dani’s birthday and this required a little bit of fancying up our previous processes for dinner and cheese.
With the help of Hermann I was able to put together and cook some marinated lamb backstraps and garlic potatoes to feed all the hungry participants before the real wine-ing began.
Living away from all my friends and family for so long has been a tough experience but activities like this with my new friends on station provide a short glimpse of normality that really helps.
William Gloury, Wine co-ordinator of Davis station.