To those who venture into the unknown


Apsley Cherry-Garrard may not have succeeded in saving the lives of the members of the ill-fated 5-man polar party belonging to the 1910-13 Terra Nova Expedition (also the British Antarctic Expedition) on their return from the “lost” (South) pole, but he did write a most insightful, gripping narrative about the expedition which was enough to secure him a most prestigious place in the Travel Writers Hall of Fame. The haunting narrative brings out that the essence of expedition was Antarctic research and to broaden man’s understanding of this vast vestigial wasteland, and not conquering the pole. No matter how worthless the British discoveries turned out to be, how ill-planned their polar journey was conceived vis-a-vis Amundsen-led Norse expedition, the lengths of unending hardships to which the British parties had to go to was awe-inspiring in a very naive way. The expedition’s failure viewed from hindsight opened up different perspectives which were instrumental to improve 21st century exploratory travel a long way. On a fervid note, it added sheen and glamour to the discoveries (tonnes of geological specimens, emperor penguin’s eggs etc.), however useless, that were made.

Agreed, your average shopkeeper can’t conceive that. His world is much too overwrought by the elements of his daily materialistic existence to perceive that invisible veil of heightened awareness and eventual stupefaction so associated with comprehending the nature around us. Guess he just misses the point of it all…

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