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Eldorado

Ice, Death and Dogs

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"One hundred years ago this week, Australia's foremost polar explorer, Douglas Mawson, returned home after two years of triumph and terror in East Antarctica.

At the end of February 1914, Douglas Mawson sailed into the port of Adelaide to a hero's welcome. His final sentence in The Home of the Blizzard, his own account of his adventures, conveys a feeling of overwhelming emotion at his reception: "The voices of innumerable strangers - the handgrips of many friends - It chokes one…"

The intensity of feeling may have been coloured by regret and guilt, welling from memories of the deaths of his two friends and his own near demise, on a disastrous trekking expedition one year earlier.

Douglas Mawson is one of the less celebrated figures of the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration. Yet his story is as gripping as the exploits of Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen, even though he didn't seek the glory of being the first to reach the Geographic South Pole.

Full article; http://www.bbc.co.uk...gazine-25682462

A good read, if you like explorer tales. Enjoy!

p.s. the photos are superb.

Edited by Eldorado
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Thanks for the link. That was a good read!

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Nice find.. I especially loved the images. :tu:

Thanks for sharing,

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Great story. My heart sank when Mawson finally made it back and saw the ship leaving, but happy to read that six men stayed behind. Then he had to stay another year when he should have been in the hospital. Ode to the explorers.

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Mawson's story may not be well known in many parts of the world, but he's fairly well known here in Australia. Here in Canberra there's a suburb named after him with the streets named after expedition members, and back in the 80s and 90s his mug was on the Australian $100 note.

100_dollar_note_front.jpg

Having said that, there are a couple of dark stories about the death of Mertz. Once Mawson had determined that Mertz was unlikely to survive it's been suggested he put Mertz and himself on a starvation diet, both to save food and to hasten Mertz's death. And after Mertz's death there's a suggestion Mawson may have helped himself to some meat from Mertz's corpse. I don't know the truth of the stories, but if I was in Mawson's position I could well imagine at the very least being tempted.

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In a survival situation you have to use everything to survive. He could well have gone down the Dalmer Pass road, who knows what any of us will do until we face that situation.

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In a survival situation you have to use everything to survive. He could well have gone down the Dalmer Pass road, who knows what any of us will do until we face that situation.

Donner Pass?

.

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Donner Pass?

Doner kebab would have been welcome, given the circumstances.

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Posted (edited)

Great story.

Trying to imagine their feeling while watching the ship depart. :cry:

Edited by scorpiosonic
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Doner kebab would have been welcome, given the circumstances.

WEAKSAUCE...

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Seriously..rename this to the horrible jokes thread..

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Seriously..rename this to the horrible jokes thread..

Rename yourself to dOUrfella.

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Epic! Thanks Eldorado.

So searched a bit more and found this brief re enactment of the OP. It is punctuated by some of Mawsons actual journal entries, giving an eerie insight into his will to survive.

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So searched a bit more and found this brief re enactment of the OP. It is punctuated by some of Mawsons actual journal entries, giving an eerie insight into his will to survive.

Thank you! :tu:

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I'm always amazed at how tough people were in those days! I once had to clear the snow from my driveway when it was -15 degrees outside, and the wind was 20-30 mph. My fingers went numb very quickly, and I thought, "Well this isn't so bad." Then I went indoors and my fingers thawed out....It was the most excruciating pain I've ever felt! To this day, my fingertips turn black and hurt like crazy when I'm out in the cold weather. I can't imagine living in conditions like that for over a year in the conditions those early explorers did.

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Brilliant read. Amazing when so much of history is preserved. Another "Thank you" from here.

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