Hours of journey: 9h30' - Accumulative: 259h15
Km./Day: 30,7 - Accumulative: 576,1Km. Remaining to the South Pole: 569,1Km.
Days of progress: 30 (26 Solo) - Inactive Days: 15 (0 Solo) - Total Days: 45
Long live the day 13th! Even if it's a Tuesday... to hell with the superstitious!
It has been a fantastic day in every sense: Sun, good visibility and mild temperature (between -17ºC and -12ºC); I've broken my own mileage record in one day in 100 meters; and I've seen the Thiel Mountains that I have been yearning for, and I have reach the 50% of the Kilometers of the traverse.
Not sure if you'll be able to see them in the photograph, as they're snowed capped and there is not enough contrast to be clearly visible (they must be at about 40-50 Km. from where I am), but today, at 10h30 in the morning I have seen my first mountain for 22 days. Since then, the only view I had when visibility conditions where ok, was the one of the white surface and the horizon line. It's been a gas, even having it all planed. I always liked to see mountains around me, but this time I wanted it badly. It means a lot of things: a treat for my eyes in the first place, the ascertainment that I was reaching Parallel 85, and the fact I was about to reach the equator of this traverse.
When we were preparing the expedition with Carles, we always said the first main target was to get to Thiel, and once there, we would have many more chances to complete or quest, as theoretically, the second part improves in terms of terrain conditions and surprises. Now that I've made it I feel that I have made an important step towards the final goal. Nevertheless this will not get me off guard, and I will keep the same physical and mental level, as there's still a long way to go, and for sure, plenty of surprises and obstacles to face and overcome in the next few days.
But today I have made a giant step forward in this adventure.
I hope I will be able to take better pictures of this massive Mountain range, as I will not get much closer because I am heading direct to the South Pole through Longitude 80 -81 west, and the Thiel Mountains are located from the 85. Although being very nice to watch, better to do it in the distance, as mountains mean slopes, and with these glaciers, height differences implies bad terrain conditions, huge efforts and plenty of crevices.
Pay attention to the figures heading this post. For the very first time I am counting more Kilometers done than the ones left. This gives me plenty of energy and moral support, as it allows me to keep mentally subtracting instead of adding them. But the truth is that there's still a long way to the South Pole, and when I stop seeing the Thiel mountains, in about three days, I will not see anything until I reach the American Base "Amundsen -Scott" next to the South Pole. I rather see mountains instead of artificial Bases, but certainly is, if I make it, I'll be so happy to see that monster of a base, as If I saw the Everest mountain for the first time!
I DEDICATE THE DAY TO:
All the friends who wrote a card from the ones that my wife prepare every time I am preparing any adventure. Every day, just before going to sleep, the last thing I do, is to read one, as it gives me very good vibrations, which help me to sleep better and feel fine.
This particular activity was started by Maria (my wife) in 1998 when I was participating for the first time at the Dakar Rally on a bike. In that time, there where no satellite phones and we would not call home until the Rest day stage, nor we could receive message using the www, and to find every day a handwritten card from someone giving me hope, support, or a drawing, was one of the best moments of the day. Nowadays there are plenty of other systems of communication, but with this system, so personal, almost handcrafted and full of illusion, still has a lot of value to me.
Thanks to all of you.