Dis­tant shore

Ex­is­ten­tial cri­sis-in­duc­ing South Ge­or­gia is the ul­ti­mate place to both lose and find your­self.

YEN - - PASSPORT - WORDS AND PHOTOS JO STEWART

Why are most of the best places on Earth also the hard­est to get to? Are they the best places be­cause most peo­ple don’t make it there, so in­her­ently they haven’t been ru­ined by the stench of hu­man­ity yet? Or is it that they just feel like the best places, be­cause you’ve strug­gled to get there and any­where would feel like par­adise in com­par­i­son to what went be­fore? These are the ques­tions that come to mind af­ter rid­ing the grey rapids of the South­ern Ocean while sail­ing on a yacht from South­ern Ar­gentina, to the Antarc­tic Penin­sula, and the sub-Antarc­tic Bri­tish Ter­ri­tory of South Ge­or­gia and the South Sand­wich Is­lands. With no per­ma­nent hu­man pop­u­la­tion, this is about as re­mote as you can get. The lack of re­sid­ing hu­mans also means there are no sand­wiches for sale here – what a tease. Land Ahoy Stand­ing aloof in the South­ern At­lantic Ocean and reached only by boat, South Ge­or­gia is the type of place that when viewed on Google Maps, you have to zoom out many, many times to be able to get any idea of which coun­tries are nearby. Spoiler: the Falk­land Is­lands are the clos­est, a lazy 1,390 kilo­me­tre jour­ney away.

Set­ting foot on land af­ter be­ing bat­tered by the sea for a length of time is al­ways a cu­ri­ously sat­is­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, but walk­ing on South Ge­or­gia is noth­ing short of or­gas­mic. While the Antarc­tic Penin­sula is pretty much ‘white walker’ ter­rain, the is­lands in the sub-Antarc­tic re­ceive the fringe ben­e­fits of be­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.