Bikal 2010 - Let's Limp Towards the North

I have to tell you something about Pavel - he’s became addicted to that “400th km video” we made a couple of days ago. He watches it over and over every night and only then does he get into his sleeping bag and laughing like crazy goes to sleep... :-))
13. 3. 2010 Photos: 30

Few days ago I was telling Pavel how much I like how he described his hard day and how he dealt with it. Today, when I had my hard day, I was hesitating whether I should tell you about it... But you’ve been sharing our days with us for quite a long time by now so I think it’s fair that I told you about my bad day...

The morning was sunny and calm. We have the tent and stuff packed in almost no time as it’s a matter of routine. We even had clear ice for the first mile but then we got to a very rough terrain which was completely new to us. There were huge rounded pieces of ice piled up as far as we could see. We had no choice but to walk through it. It’s extremely demanding to walk through it. The sleds get stuck very often and our legs wobble on the edges of ice blocks. My sleds got stuck after few minutes of walking and I tried to pull very hard to pull them out. As I propped my legs against the surface, my right leg slipped from the edge of the ice block and I knew I was going to fall. My instincts were faster than me and my other leg flew out in order to avoid the fall - unfortunately it was the left and ill leg... As it hit the ice, the ankle strained and I felt such a pain that it made me sick. Cold sweat burst out on my forehead, I collapsed to the ground and tried to pull myself together. At the moment, there was a feeling of despair and hopelessness - I’d treated the leg very carefully in the past few days and it had been finally getting better.... And now, everything was back or maybe even worse as when the pain started. I didn’t use the painkillers in the past 2 days... Well, to late to take it back. I have to stand up and try to walk it off. But it’s harder than it sounds. I try to suppress the pain but I was overcome by pain. Every step I made was total suffering.

I was limping behind Pavel looking forward to today’s first snack - I hoped that hot tea and my favorite energy bar would cheer me up a bit. But when I finally collapsed onto the sled and sunk my teeth into the bar, it wasn’t tasty at all - quite the contrary it was revolting. The bar tasted like gas! I had no time nor mood to wonder how that happened that my food tastes like gas so I just had a bar of chocolate which tasted normal and threw the other bar in the trash The snack didn’t cheer me up as my mood was probably even worse than before. It was bad. I had to take the first painkiller by noon as I couldn’t stand the pain any longer. Pavel was walking in front of me, waiting for me now and then as I couldn’t keep up with him. He knew that I had a terrible day even though I didn’t tell him - we don’t complain and whine to each other as each of us has enough of our own problems.

I felt rotten. The pain was probably at the top of what I’m able to bear up. At about 3 p.m. we got again to that mess of broken ice through which we’ve walked many miles by now. I tried to walk very carefully in order not to do any further damage to my leg. I probably wasn’t careful enough as I failed to notice two big blocks of ice in front of me. My goggles were a bit steamed up... My left leg got stuck while the rest of my body went on finishing the step. I cannot even describe the pain... I fell down, tears in my eyes thinking, “that’s it, I must have torn the ligament... I’m done...” After some time I braced my energies and tried to stand up supporting myself with the poles. If I can stand up, I can probably walk as well, I thought. It hurt but I could walk so I gritted my teeth and went on. I went on all day till the evening.

The lake probably wanted me to drain the cup of sorrow (or rather pain) as we walked through the roughest terrain possible for most of the day today. To took my boot off in the evening and try to straighten my swollen ankle was the last straw... I was staring at my swollen leg thinking, “Oh boy, please carry me on for the last few days... we can’t stop now after we’ve got so far...”

As I’m writing this, I’m already in my sleeping bag and the leg is much better after I treated it. I believe that it will be even better tomorrow. I have to think positively, about something nice and lovely - about my beloved wife Martina.

It was the worst day ever, I cannot dedicate such a day to anyone...


13. 3. 2010

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