Hours of journey: 10h - Accumulative: 395h45'
Km./Day: 25,4 - Accumulative: 935,6Km. Remaining to the South Pole: 220,6Km.
Days of progress: 44 (40 Solo) -Inactive days: 15 (0 Solo) - Total Days: 59
Position: S 88º 06,029' - W 082º 07,480'
Today, there's been a bit of an overall improvement. During the first five hours of march, everything was quite the same last two days, but when I got to latitude 88º02', the terrain has rapidly changed: lighter slopes, sastruguis almost disappeared and much harder snow It's not a roses garden, as it is still very irregular, but is certainly looking much better.
The truth is, that an improvement like this one, is to be encouraged about, as today I celebrated the 40th day of the traverse on my own. To those of you that are following the blog since the beginning, will remember when I started the first journey alone when I planned 10 cycles of 4 days, to focus only in finishing the following cycle, and not getting obsessed with what was left. I knew if I completed this 10 groups of 4, I wouldn't reach my final destiny, but it would take me very close and in a situation of truly believe that I could do it.
Well...with perseverance results arrive. I have accomplished this objective I was following during every cycle, and I did not even talk about it here as I didn't want to get overexcited, and now I'm at 7 or 8 days to achieve, finally, the South Pole. Nothing is done or secured, and plenty of things can happen, but I can really say now I have it at close reach. At this stage, something big has to happen for not being able to finish it off.
40 days on my own. 40 days without seeing anything else apart of what I carry, no animals, not a single person, not a landscape more than the snow fields and the sky around. During today's journey I've been thinking when was the last time in my entire life where I did see nobody, and I haven't been able to remember any, and now I've got 40 days on my back without bumping into any living creature. Can You imagine? I have a feeling that it's going to be difficult for this to happen again. I strongly recommend to each one of you to think about it. Have you ever been for an entire day without seeing anybody? I bet most of you will say no.
In today's photo you will only see the first layer of the sledge carries a great deal of garbage in bags and fuel bottles.
They are all the rubbish generated during the traverse. They're not very heavy, but they take a lot of space, and I have to compress them so they do not take much of the space in the sledge.
When doing an outdoor activity, has to bear always in mind to leave the minimum possible impact. We have to care about not leaving any trash behind.
In Antarctica, the agreement with expeditioners is that all garbage must be carried with the expedition, both artificial (plastic, etc..) and natural (waste food, etc...). Only the wee and other remaining liquids (for cooking, teeth washing, can be placed making a hole next to your tent and covering it afterwards. Until degree 89 of Latitude, poor can also be left behind under the snow. Between degree 89 and 90 we have to leave it in specific plastic bags to take it back with us to base, because both expeditions like mine and the ones that start on the last degree (the most common ones), they coincide in the last degree, and that way it's always a clean area. I already found myself in this situation two years ago when climbing Mt. Vinson (the highest mountain in Antarctica), which, despite not being a very crowded mountain, everyone who go there uses the same route, and leaving ‘stuff' behind, would be a mess, as everything stays frozen for a long time.
There are no controls, no guards, rangers or police. Everything is done as a commitment, education and respect towards such pure place that we are enjoying. It would be very easy to make a big hole and bury the garbage every day, cover it and no one will ever notice.
This is too big, there's no one around and is covered constantly with snow and ice. For all those reasons, one feels proud of respecting the place because that's the way everyone thinks and not because it's being imposed or by control.
At the end of the day, it's like everything in life. As much as we think and talk about hopes and change of attitude, what matters in the end is the action we take, visible or not.
If someone still something, even if he does not get caught, is a thieve. If someone lies, even if nobody is aware, he's a lire. If someone commits fraud, and no one reports it, he's a swindler or a con man. For that reason, if someone leaves any dirt in Nature areas, even no one seeing it, of course, he is a pig!
I DEDICATE THE JOURNEY TO:
To all of those that even knowing that perfection is impossible, do their utmost to keep nature clean or any given environment. To those who understand that you can't always recycle 100%, but you do your best about it. And to those who embrace within their personal evolution a constant factor towards improvement of the usage and enjoyment of natural resources, with great respect, precaution and sustainability.
Ah... and to a very particular group of people, unfortunately a small minority within the smokers: those who once the cigarette is finished, don't through the cigarette end to the floor, even if it's on the street, or driving, or burying it in the beach sand.
Remember we are what we do...