Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Novo - or Novolazarevskaya to give it its full name - is where the Russians operate a scientific research station and have a blue ice runway. Most of Antarctica has a surface of snow which is quite soft. In a precious few locations the flow of the giant ice streams of Antarctica reach a dead end because of a mountain range, and in these locations the flowing ice is pushed upwards and gives a hard enough surface to land wheeled planes on - such as the Ilyshian 76.
This is Penny checking out the blue ice - Penny by the way is one of my family's penguins and she had up until now had never been to Antarctica, you may have spotted her in the pictures from CapeTown.
 Whilst waiting for the weather to be suitable for flying onwards to Halley the chief activities at Novo are drinking tea.

Or snoozing in a sleeping bag.

 The research station at Novo is some 15km from the airstrip and as we were on standby to fly out we had to stay at the airstrip and wait (and wait). As well as the ice runway the facilities at the Novo airstrip consist mainly of tents and containers of various ages.


  1. Aaaah! Make sure Penny gives you a cuddle and a waddle on your birthday on wednesday!

    She seems a touch small for such a big adventure...

  2. The Barbers wish to commemorate this auspicious day most formally by saying 'Happy Birthday', you can go to the end of the world but you can't hide!
    much love Matthew, Rachel, Jack Zoe and Tom

  3. Happy Birthday, Mike. Thats the first photo of you I have seen for many a year - you do look older than I imagined! All the best - Alan

  4. Thanks for all the birthday emails and posts above. Alan - do you think that makes a 50 year old feel better? I'll post on my birthday when I have caught up.