Hours of journey: 9h45' - Accumulative: 346h
Km./Day: 23,5 - Accumulative: 808,8Km. Remaining to the South Pole: 347,4Km.
Days of progress: 39 (35 Solo) - Inactive Days: 15 (0 Solo) - Total Days: 54
Position: S 87º 00,052' - W 081º 44,980'
Today has been a very tough day. Contrary to what I had yesterday, the visibility was Ok, but it was very windy. It's the day I have advanced with most wind so far. It has been hell to put up and take down the tent. It has also been of great discomfort, cold and over wearying to walk all day against the strong and frosty wind. The mask that protects my nose and mouth has frozen.
To add a bit more drama, the stage was complicated both because of the ascent (230 metres uphill) and because of the terrain conditions, quite irregular and with constant presence of holes, snow packs, and, again, small sastruguis (I've missed them ...!)
In short: I've just been able to cover 23,5 Km. and still with plenty of suffering. I guess the ‘force' has joined me today as well but with less intensity than yesterday. They hasn't gopen flying either, and I am in the tent exhausted, looking forward to tonight's resting and hoping that the wind will have calmed down, otherwise it will be difficult to do another journey in these conditions..
The worst thing of all this, according to the info I have, that the most complicated part of the traverse is round the corner, in between degree 87 and 88. So, if the worst is about to come, it's going to we horrible, as getting here from degree 85 has been already a nightmare and much complicated than I thought.
In any case, and just by the skin of my teeth, I made it to Parallel 87. I'm sleeping right on top where the line is. Time to stay focused and bring on the 88.
As you can see, I am incorporating the position location details since yesterday. Maybe I should have done it earlier, but the truth is I didn't think about it. I believe it's useful to see it and to get a better idea about progress in the map.
I guess the majority of you know how to read the positioning data for latitude and longitude. But for those who don't know it, and to loads of children that are following this blog I'll explain a bit.
In order to establish the exact position of something or someone in the planet, a default unit was set that allows determining git with complete accuracy.
On the one hand, we have the earth divided in 180 parallels that go horizontal. It's like if we take an orange and starting from the exact middle we go cutting 90 slices on top of that middle.And other 90 underneath that middle line with the same distance in between them, that's why they are called parallels. That gives the LATITUDE. In the middle we find the Degree or Parallel ´0´ which is know as the EQUATOR, and above, there is the Northern Hemisphere, and below, the Southern Hemisphere. From Parallel ´0´ you will be adding degrees towards north and towards south, until reaching 90, which are the Poles...North and South. Then, each Parallel is divided in 60 more units, and each part as detailed as you want. There are different types of parallel divisions, but the most common one is in 60 minutes (they are not minutes we use for time). So, each Latitude position will be defined according to the Hemisphere we are in, ie: north, from the equator upwards), the respective degree, the minutes and the respective decimals. And the same with the Southern Hemisphere (From equator downwards).
And on the other hand we have the LONGITUDE, which tell us the position towards the east or the west of the globe. And is determined by the Meridians. The earth was divided in 360 meridians that start from the North Pole and finish in the South Pole. These are not Parallels, I mean, they do not have the same distance according to where we take de position from, as the earth is round, the meridians start very close next to each other and they expand and separate as they reach the Equator (point of maximum distance between them. And all converge in the South Pole. The Meridian ´0´ was chosen in reference to the Greenwich Meridian which crosses Spain close to Cataluña. If you go from Lleida to Zaragoza, you'll see it in the motorway in an arch-bridge shape. From this ´0´Meridian, we start to count the meridians towards West, from 1 until the 180, and towards East, also from 1 until the 180. So, each longitude position will be defined, as we do with the Latitude, depending if we are to the East or to the West of the Greenwich Meridian, also with the minutes and corresponding decimals.
With the two of them (Latitude and Longitude) we can mark a spot anywhere, if we have the Longitude position (from North Pole to South Pole), and the Latitude (the respective Parallel), where they cross, is the geoposition mark the we were looking for.
For example, if you take today's position this is: Latitude - I'm exactly at Degree 87, 0 minutes and 052 decimal of the South, and crossing the Longitude at -81 degrees, 44 minutes with 980 decimals towards West of the Greenwich Meridian. In other words, if from where you are now, you go to the west towards the Meridian 81, you go down straight until Parallel 87 to the South of the Equator, and once there, keep going a bit more to the West towards half way at the Meridian 82, you'll find a yellow tent with a frozen nutcase typing on a computer.
Two more things before I go, although obvious ones, I'd like to go through them as I will experience them in a few days time: When I reach the South Pole, I will be exactly at Latitude S 90º 00,000 of the Earth; if I do any step forward I will be going up again towards the Equator, deducting Degrees fast, but totally on the other side of the planet. And the other thing is, if you want to go from one Meridian to another, you will have to cover a lot of distance; whereas I am in the South Pole, if I just separate 5 metres, I could step in all the Meridians that exist in a very short space of time. Nice, isn't it?