Hristo Pimpirev: It is great honor for me to be the first to take Bulgarian flag to South Pole29 December 2012 | 13:40 | FOCUS News Agency
FOCUS: You head to the South Pole on Saturday. What is your route?
Hristo Pimpirev: The airplane takes off from Sofia Airport at 2:00 p.m. local time, via Frankfurt, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile and Punta Arenas, the southernmost town of Chile on the Strait of Magellan where planes for Antarctica take off. I remain there until 3 January and on 4 January I take off on a special airplane to Union Glaciar camp. The flight lasts four hours and a half. There the whole expedition – 15 Canadians, Americans and Germans – will spend two days to get acclimatized. After that we will take off on a special small aircraft. We can take only 23 kg of personal luggage. We will almost reach the South Pole. There is an airport on ice there and aircraft land on skis. Then we will ski for a few hours to the southernmost point of the planet, where most probably we will spend one night in tents, just like the expedition of Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott 100 years ago, who were the first humans to reach the southernmost point.
FOCUS: Would you tell us more about the world expedition you are a member of?
Hristo Pimpirev: It is comprised of Americans, Canadians and Germans. The expedition is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the first expedition to the South Pole at the end of December 1912 by Norwegian Roald Amundsen, who was the first to step on the South Pole. In January Robert Scott stepped on it as well. Unfortunately, his fate was not very happy, because he and the other members died on their way back from the Pole. This heroism does not have a match; they are the first people to reach the South Pole. Now 100 years later the situation is different. We have modern means of transport, communications, long-term weather forecasts so that you can plan flights in a way that does not make expeditions to the South Pole huge heroism. This is a well-considered risk. Up to now no Bulgarian has taken the Bulgarian flag to the South Pole. So it will be a great honor for me to be the first to take the flag there. The Bulgarian flag was taken to Mount Everest and the North Pole; only the South Pole remains and I will take it there.
After reaching the South Pole, the whole expedition returns, goes via the Union Glaciar camp, where we spend a night in tents and after that we return to Punta Arenas. There I will join the last group of scientists going to the Bulgarian base on Antarctica on King George Island. I will travel on an airplane of the Brazilian Air Force and then on the Spanish icebreaker Esperides. At the Bulgarian base we will conduct experiments under international scientific projects related with the reasons for the global warming. The South Pole is not a place for a pleasant walk, because the lowest temperature registered there is 83°C below zero. While being there, we will witness the eternal day – the summer on Antarctica. The sun does not go down and stays high on the horizon for 24 hours and the temperature is about 35°C below zero.
FOCUS: So you will stay one night on the South Pole?
Hristo Pimpirev: Yes, I will erect the Bulgarian flag together with the flags of the other nations who were there and the nations studying Antarctica. Bulgaria is a polar nation and an Antarctic nation and has been managing the continent since 1998, for nearly 15 years, together with 27 more countries and with these duties we had to reach the South Pole.
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