Lake Vanda, Wright Valley
It is not only the windiest, coldest, highest continent it is also exceedingly beautiful. But as William Blake observed ‘comparisons are odious’ and when it comes to beauty the Antarctic aesthetic is set in such a vast and sublime arena and is so strangely coloured it doesn’t register on the same scale as other continents. Everything about it is different. I was drawn to the extraordinary flat surface of the Ross Sea, the enigma of penguins, and most of all I was seduced by the ‘Dry Valleys’. For reasons not yet fully explained there are three valleys that remain in all of Antarctica without ice except for some peripheral glaciers and turquoise lakes. Truly a land stripped bare. I was fortunate enough to spend over three weeks in those valleys which resulted in my book, ‘An Improbable Eden’.