5. 2. 2015
I had no doubts about what happened. I’ve had problems with my right knee for many years - so from the moment we stepped on the lake for the first I walked with a brace on my knee. Moreover, subconsciously I must have tried to make it easier for my bad knee by putting all weight on my left leg. What happened is that I probably carried it too far - now I have a tendinitis in my left shin and a brace on my right knee... So, I dialed our surgeon on the satellite phone who we can consult 24/7 in case of urgency.
It went like this, “Hi, it’s Vasek, from Baikal. I need your assistance...” I described him what bothers me and he only confirmed what I thought. “What’s the best way to treat it?” I asked him. “Well, usually we splint the limb and recommend to let it rest for a couple of weeks...” “Well, you know, I still have some 400 km (miles) to go...” As he had helped us to put together the first aid kit, he knew what’s in so he said, “You have Tramal and Ibalgin - both pain killers - with you so combine these two to relieve the pain. Then apply the Priessnitz compress every night. That’s all you can do there...” I said goodbye and then counted the pills we have here to prepare my daily dose...
I think of my dear wife, poor she - I’m sure she’s now thinking of how I looked like when I returned from my last expedition... She had hard time to recognize her husband in that thin and limping man who came back to her. Sweetheart, I can hear you saying, “You’ll be like all beaten up again, I can’t stand it...” But you know me, I’m a tough guy - even if I had to sit on top of the sled and use my hands to push it forward for the last miles, I won’t give up... :-))
We woke up to a sunny day today. We had a slight tail wind for a change. We knew where we were heading - towards the Olchon Island which outlines we could see yesterday evening. We’re getting closer every hour and soon we distinguish its steep hills covered with snow. The surface is changing constantly again - clear ice, snow fields and occasionally fields of broken ice to make it more interesting for us. We move on pretty fast and feel good about today’s progress - Olchon is getting closer every minute. It was at about 3 p.m., I was just listening to some great rock music on my iPod. The music was pulsing in my ears when out of a sudden there were unfamiliar noise which didn’t belong to the song. It was getting louder and louder. I saw that Pavel, who was walking some 50 m (54 yds) in front of me at that time, stopped and listened. I looked down at the ice I was standing at - it was clear, glass-like and... it was shaking - I could feel it move under my feet. Then I saw the “webs” of tiny cracks radiating in all directions! I stood motionlessly, my mouth wide open - it was soooo beautiful! It went on for 2-3 minutes and it really was spectacular! When it stopped I walked to Pavel and we both bursted out at the same time, “Wow! What the hell was that?!” We have no idea if it was one of the light earthquakes which are quite common in this region or if it was caused by the immense pressures within the ice... Anyhow, it was simply breathtaking! It was definitely worth coming here... Hey ice, you rock! (literally :-)
It’s at about half past 6 p.m. when we finally set up our tent in the last rays of sun. We both agree that we’re very tired today.
Thank you all for supporting us!
PS. The video is there to make you laugh :-) Pavel doesn't say much there - he just lets us hear what he's listening too - Foo Fighters. He dances a bit, shows us how much he likes it, and informs us that "Foo Fighters rock!" :-) Then he shouts at Vasek to make him wave to the camera... really, that's all :-)