An Argyll woman is to travel 11,000 miles to help run the most southerly post office in the world with 2,000 “smelly” penguins for company.
Amy Kincaid, 23, from Oban, will take up the Penguin Post job with the UK Antarctica Heritage Trust for four months.
She will be one of four staff members manning the office in Port Lockroy, part of the British Antarctic Territory.
Amy worked in an outdoor shop after leaving school, before spending six months in rural Ecuador teaching in a primary school and working on a farm.
She recently graduated from St Andrews University, where she spent her free time pursuing various outdoor activities and travelling.
Recent summers have been spent working as an outdoor instructor on a remote island on the west coast of Scotland but this will be Amy’s first trip to the Antarctic, where her main customers will be cruise ship passengers.
She said: “I did a project in primary seven about Antarctica and got really interested in it and ever since then it’s been on my radar as I place I wanted to go to.
“Then I saw the job advertised so realised it was a great opportunity. I’ll be living on an island the size of a football pitch. It’ll be mainly post from the cruise ships, a majority of which is postcards.
“Because the area is part of the British Antarctic Territory, the post goes to the Falklands, then it’s distributed from the UK.
“As far as I’m aware it only costs 65p to send a postcard anywhere in the world.”
Post office staff hand frank 70,000 postcards and letters all over the world from the Penguin Post Office.
The job advert said: “Are you happy not to shower for up to a month, live in close proximity to three people and 2,000 smelly penguins for five months?”
Amy, who beat 90 other applicants from around the world, will fly to Ushuaia in Argentina in November, from there she will leave on a ship – crossing Drake’s Passage, one of the most turbulent stretches of water known to man – arriving in Port Lockroy five days later.
Port Lockroy stands on a grizzled outcrop named Goudier Island the size of a primary school playing field. There’s no running water, no mains electricity, and the average temperature is minus 10 degrees centigrade, even though the post office is only open during the Antarctic summer.