Day 3: Dr. Ross and team take in Chilean sites before heading to South Pole

Dr. Heather Ross
1 / 2

Dr. Ross - An original Spanish Fort, located about an hour outside of Punta Arenas.

An original Spanish Fort, located about an hour outside of Punta Arenas.

Weather in Chile: mostly cloudy with intermittent heavy rain.

Today we went out to an original Spanish Fort about an hour outside of Punta. With Diego as our translator, we were able to get a lot of the history of the region. We passed Hudson Island, famous in Pinochet’s time for housing prisoners and the disappeared. We were able to follow the outline of Tierra del Fuego as it arched along the coastal road following the Strait of Magellan.

The Fort itself was built in the 1800s for the Spanish who colonized and protected the strait. The major route for east/west shipping was along the Strait of Magellan as passage across Tierra del Fuego was far too dangerous. Punta prospered during this time and fell into some decline after the Panama Canal was opened and trade routes shifted.

We got back to the hotel around 2pm (4pm EST) and headed into town for some last minute supplies. The team then congregated at the Shackleton Bar. We met all three guides and two of our group – Ian and another individual. There were lots of introductions – a really good group. Two members of the team were delayed, one individual has lost a piece of luggage, and three more are to arrive late tonight. We ate a late dinner with the group.

Tomorrow, we have our briefing with ALE (Antarctica Logistics and Expeditions). We need to be packed and ready to go – gear goes to the storage area tomorrow so once it's sent, it's sent. We then start on call for the flight as of the 4th.

Dr. Heather Ross is travelling to the South Pole to raise awareness for heart disease.
Follow her Journey to the Bottom of the Earth exclusively on Yahoo! Canada.