Another Day in Paradise (or is it Hell :)

First, I need to explain something to you - to the English speaking readers of our blog. Yesterday, we set a little guessing competition in the Czech version of the website - in short I gave the article a nonsensical title and let the readers guess what it was supposed to mean.
4. 3. 2010 Photos: 30

As it was a line taken from one funny song by a well-known band from Slovakia, we didn’t translate that part for you - you would have found it confusing, I suppose :-) The Czech readers were guessing the answer and then I felt bad that there’s no prize for the winner so I at least decided to remind them today about the competition we have on the website (and in which they actually can win something). Again, sorry guys, but for purely practical reasons, only Czech citizens are allowed to enter the competition. Still, I can tell you what it is about - it’s a guessing competition and you’re supposed to guess the day, hour and minute when you think we reach the northernmost side of Bajkal. Thanks to our generous sponsors, we were able to gather quite cool prizes for the first 10 closest guesses. I love especially the Bergans jacket which is the first prize and cross-country skis made by Madshus! It’s not going to be easy to guess the right date and time - it’s difficult even for ourselves to estimate when we’ll get there. It’s in fact problematic to predict anything in these extremely changing conditions. You may enter your guesses until March 15!

That was my short preface and now I should tell you something about today. You might wonder why Vasek didn’t write today’s message even though it was his turn today. You’re about to find out in a minute - that’s why I once again have to begin with the worst we’ve been through today.

Again, we didn’t have a peaceful evening today but this time it was not due to bad weather... quite the contrary it was because of calm weather and also our blunder. I still wonder how that happened... We really try to be careful and cautious - however, sometimes we just mess things up. Like today... We were sitting in the tent, cooking our dinner, satisfied with ourselves and with what a great team we are. We didn’t spill the water on the mats, we didn’t fill the tent up with vapors from boiling water... but then, there’s something wrong with the stove. I myself wouldn’t have noticed it but Vasek recognized it immediately. The stove was making strange sounds and the flame was very strange as well. We messed with it for a while, we shook it to clear the pump, we turned it off and on... no, we TRIED to turn it on but we didn’t manage it - we didn’t manage to light the match! Only then did we realize what’s going on. We’re in real trouble so we open the tent as quickly as possible and I jump out right away and breathe deeply. Those who’ve ever camped out in winter probably already know what the problem was. By cooking and having the stove on, we must have used up all the oxygen in the tent and we begun to gas ourselves without knowing it.

Even though we acted immediately and got the fresh air in, we both felt very sick. I wasn’t that bad as I got out of the tent but Vasek wanted to stay inside and just air our the tent. It didn’t help him at all so after he moment he joined me outside. He almost blacked out as he was getting out of the tent. For some time he was confused and talked nonsense. I was seriously worried about him. I mean, he’s a tough guy but I could see today that this was too much for him, he was very sick. Thanks god he fully recovered after some 30 minutes and we got back to the tent. When we discussed what’d just happened we both agreed that this was the first day when it was dead calm, the air was still and that’s why the tent didn’t ventilate. Such a stupid beginners fault... since tomorrow we’ll always light a candle in the tent to watch the flame. Vasek is already asleep when I’m writing this and I hope you understand that he needed to have a rest tonight. Before he fell asleep, he asked me to tell you that he got high on gas and need some sleep :-)

Otherwise we had a great day - it was warm and sunny and we got over 200 km! Hooray!! It’s about 124 miles but it’s not such a nice round number :-) Even the ice was smooth for most of the day so we had nothing to complain about. The fact that we made 30 km (18 miles) in a one day for the first time is the best evidence of that we truly had an amazing day. We started to move a bit east to the middle of the lake in order to avoid the island of Olchon which would be in our way if we kept following the western shore. We plan to pass the island closely in a few days. We hope we won’t have whiteouts or storms because than it’s very difficult to navigate ourselves. We usually do not use navigation here as we have no doubts about where the north is and as long as we see the shore, we know where we’re going. So, as any other day, pray for good weather and smooth ice! :-)

PS. In the comments (in the Czech version) someone asked what music we listen to on our iPods - today it were Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters, U2 and Eddie Vedder. I couldn’t help myself and while listening to certain songs I carried out some break-dance-like figures. I guess, Vasek must have had a splendid view of myself :-)

4. 3. 2010

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