915 km. Halfway of the expedition. Problems with legs. Dry stream beds like cravesses. And the most difficult part of the road

9

photo: Mateusz Waligóra

During the last week I often missed the path.

My path led through the valleys, to which rivers were flowing down from the mountains. I’m using past tense, because now there is no water. So I had to cross many dry stream beds in which path was lost. Crossing dry stream beds is a problem, because there are many sharp bushes inside. You can not bypass them, you have to drag the troley somehow. One time I spiked a piece of wood into the tire. The hole was three millimeters wide. I’ve patched it twice. In total, I have already fixed 16 patches on one of the inner tubes. They often fall off. I still have 16 new patches – I do not know if it’s enough.

I have a rule that I choose a path only when its course is right with the image on at least two of the five maps that I took. I wanted to reach the Shinejinst settlement from the north, through the mountains. This path was indicated only by the Russian map, but I took a risk, because this map never failed before. After some time, the path blurred in the steppe. So I went dircet way – on stones, grass, bushes, hundreds of dry stream beds. Often I had to make up my way to get around the stream bed and find a better way. I listen to the audiobook of Marek Kamiński’s book and these dry stream beds remind me of the cravesses in the glacier, which Kamiński crossed on his way to the pole.

While crossing one of the dry stream bed, the trolley pushed me forward and I twisted my left leg. It hurts, limps, I eat two ketonals a day. I also have a problem with my right leg, because my achilles tendon hurts.

I came to Shinejinst from the south. This is a settlement, a bit larger than Bayantorooi. The water is delivered by a mini-cistern. There is a lot of yurts in the village, there is also electricity. A local shopkeeper let me spend the night in her bower. I warmed up the water and soaked my feet. On the left in the place of blisters I made a large hole with a depth of about 7 millimeters. I can not cure it, I hope it will not get infected.

It was very cold in Shinejinst. In the morning the trolley was iced, and on the ground a few centimeters of snow lay. The day is getting shorter, I have to make a tent an hour earlier than at the beginning of the trip.

In last days I managed to overcome 40 km. This is no longer a lonely trip; we go together – me and ketonal.

On Tuesday I got to Bayanlig. I found a bed and shower here! I will rest a day or two, try to heal my legs. Now I will try to cross the most difficult part of the expedition – 8 or 9 days, 250 km without any villages and rivers. Apparently there are some wells, but locked up with padlocks. There are no escape routes – either forward or return to Bayanlig. But the view can be great – the path is near the big dunes.

I wonder if I can handle it. 915 km behind me, 900 ahead of me.

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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

2017

Pierwsza wyprawa projektu ‘Before It Is Gone’: Chadar Aztorin Expedition na zamarzniętą rzekę Zanskar w Himalajach indyjskich

2016

Samotna zimowa wyprawa przez największy górski płaskowyż w Europie —  Hardangervidda w Norwegii

2015

Samotne przejście największej solnej pustyni świata — Salar de Uyuni w Boliwii

2014

Samotny rowerowy trawers najtrudniejszej drogi wytyczonej na Ziemi —  Canning Stock Route w Australii Zachodniej

2011-2013

Rowerowy trawers Andów — najdłuższego pasma górskiego świata wraz z Agnieszką Waligórą

2009

Rowerem przez Kubę śladami Buena Vista Social Club