250 km. Crisis, pass, dead marmot and important days

2

I had a crisis a few days ago. I even thought about stopping the expedition. Bringing things to the pass was exhausting. I was sick, I was scared. I called my loved ones, I cried, I got rid of emotions, the fear of the first week of the expedition. A classic swing – sometimes I feel good, I think about the next expeditions, and sometimes I wonder what to do to evacuate from here as soon as possible, never go anywhere, have a garden, go to work in a corporation.

And now I am high – 2125 m above sea level, probably the highest place on the whole route. I succeeded, I pulled the cart to the most difficult pass.

I had a flat tyre. I had to unpack the cart and take off the tire. I saw hundreds of microducts in the tube. I removed the spikes and filled the holes with a special extender. It works for now. We’ll see how it will be in the morning.

On Sunday I walked 25 km, I try to make it my daily average. I saw the first marmot in Mongolia. Dead, hanging off the motorbike. The machine driver did not let me to take a photo, because we met on the outskirts of the strictly protected Gobi B. area. He killed marmot illegally.

Another time, the nomads rolled out of the bus with a bottle of vodka in their hands. I drank one cap so I would not offend them, and I refused another one, explaining them that I’m tired.

I say to people I meet that I will walk seven days to a small town and that town is my goal. Water should be on the edge of this town. I do not tell them about the real goal of the trip, because they do not believe me anyway.

Drink, drink, drink. Thirst. I can not fight it, I can not tell myself that I will drink only five liters today. Now I have 45 liters with me. On average, I drink 10 liters a day. A lot, but I knew I would find the water. But now – if you believe people – it has to change. Many say that there are no waters in the streams and rivers in the following days. If water really is not there, it will be the end of my expedition. The streambeds that I have passed so far have generally been dry.

My thighs are sored, my groins are festering, but I’m still delaying the moment when I will take the antibiotic. I’m going in boxer shorts. It must look grotesquely, but it is the only way to vent your thighs. Feet are fine, small blisters. Sometimes I fell pain my knee and back, but the body has already got used to the effort.

The days are hot, the nights cool, on Sunday it blew hard in my face. I like the evenings the most. I make a tent, turn on the stove, take notes. I like Chinese soups – they are salty and fat. The mornings are the worst, because everything starts again.

On Wednesday I am leaving the Altai with a very steep road. If I do not damage the cart, no catastrophe will happen, then I will enter the trueGobi.

I walked about 250 km. 1550 ahead of me. I repeat my favorite quote from the book by Marek Kamiński: “I have to go.”

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   Mateusz Waligóra jest specjalistą od wyczynowych wypraw w najbardziej odludne miejsca planety. Szczególnym upodobaniem darzy pustynie, od Australii po Boliwię. Na koncie ma rowerowy trawers najdłuższego pasma górskiego świata — Andów, samotny rowerowy przejazd przez najtrudniejsza drogę wytyczoną na ziemi — Canning Stock Route w Australii Zachodniej oraz samotny pieszy trawers największej solnej pustyni świata — Salar de Uyuni w Boliwii.

Na co dzień pracuje jako stały współpracownik National Geographic Traveler oraz przewodnik wypraw trekkingowych na kilku kontynentach. Jego fotografie publikowały media na całym świecie, między innymi: The Guardian, Daily Mail, National Geographic, Globetrotter Magazin, 4-Seasons Magazin oraz Adventure Travel Magazine.

Autor książki ‘TREK’ nagrodzonej tytułem “Książka Górska Roku”, w kategorii “Przewodniki i poradniki górskie” na Festiwalu Górskim w Lądku Zdroju. Ambasador marek Fjällräven i Primus.

www.mateuszwaligora.com

wybrane wyprawy:

2017

Druga wyprawa projektu ‘Before It Is Gone’: Victorinox Qhapaq Ñan, w góry Cordillera Vilcabamba w Perú

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2015

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2014

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2009

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