1400 km. Broken spokes, reflection on the meaning of records, unexpected company

1

Night in the Gobi deser. Photo: Mateusz Waligóra

I was stupid. I thought that problems related to searching for the road were already behind me. No. I have to search the road all the time. I went through mines in which thousands of paths were made.

Fatigue. I make simple mistakes. I have glued tire glue all my hands, so now I’m waiting for the skin to peel off. There are new blisters on my feet between the wounds. I do not know if it’s the problem of socks or shoes, or it have to be like that. I profiled the shoe insert a bit, cut and injured my finger. Simple mistakes.

In Bayanlig I loaded 90 liters of water. I expected the area to be flat, but many times I had to go up. I did not count on finding a water source, but I did it. Holes in the ground were not marked on the map, their location is known only by nomads.

The trolley was very heavy, the surface was hard, so the left wheel could not stand that. Three spokes are broken. I noticed this in Bulgan. It is a small village about 94 km (three days away) from Dalanzadgad. Broken spokes are a serious problem, I can not solve it because I do not have spare spokes with me.

As far as I could, I reduce weight of troley. I poured out some water. The weather helped me, because three days of walking from Bulgan to Dalanzaghad turned out to be a hard task. Snow, rain, snow with rain, strong wind, passing between one storm and the other. Everything was wet. But thanks to this I drank less water and the cart survived somehow.

During these three days I was accompanied by a dog. This dog stuck behind Bulgan and followed my lead. At first I did not react, then I tried to drive the dog away, but he always came back. He walked with me 94 km. When I saw him licking the hoarfrost from the tent in the morning, I poured water and offered dried beef.

It was a her. I did not call her aloud, but in my mind I called her Takla Makan. I found a hotel in Dalanzadgad, and she lay under the entrance. She was there for the first evening, but she disappeared in the morning. On the one hand, it’s good, because, as the Little Prince said, “You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” On the other – it’s easy to get used to company.

All the time I ask himself: why am I going through this desert? I do not think that meditating on the meaning of the expedition is bad. Thoughts about why I am doing something so senseless, are part of this adventure.

I rested in Dalanzadgad for two days. I have read some comments under the articles about the expedition. Someone asked if I could beat the Guinness record. I thought that I am not worthy to compete with people who for many years have trained eating of hot-dogs on time or have the world’s longest nails. I think that often a record is associated with a human tragedy – lack of self-confidence or the pressure of people around. I would not like to be part of this.

After two days I left Dalanzadgad. The decision to continue was not easy. But it was easier, because I checked in the Internet what is happening in Poland and in the world. This is not something I’m in a hurry to be a part of.

I divided the remaining road into five stages, between five villages. I told myself that it would be easy to get from Dalanzadgad. Another mistake, I was cheating myself. The road is hard. Still.

During the road, my Achilles tendon stopped aching. The human body is amazing. The pain of muscles and other tendons is still current, I eat ketonal for the night, to fall asleep.

I have already walked almost 1,400 km. A little more than 400 in front of me.

Add comment

   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