An Unprecedented Achievement in Chilean Waters
5. 2. 2015
The crossing was completed at 1.01 p.m. of the Irkutsk time (GMT+8). They had very low battery and the connection broke off after few minutes so we don’t know any more details yet. They sounded excited, happy.... as if they couldn’t believe they really made it... They were laughing a lot saying again and again that there’s nowhere else to go... they reached the northernmost side of the lake near the village of Nizhneangarsk. Last thing they told me was that they can see a road and a house... :-) Then the connection broke off.
I asked them to tell me how they were feeling but they said it’s too hard to put it in words... it must be difficult to say how you’re feeling if your dreams have just came true...
The guys will send us a message today as soon as they make it to Severobaikalsk and recharge the batteries. They wanted me to thank you all for following them but I’m sure they’ll soon tell us more themselves - so far we don’t even know how many km they walked today.
The guys managed to contact me one more time before they had to run to catch the train - they sent a short update, unfortunately no videos and photos. Those will be added on Sunday when they’ll arrive to Irkutsk where they’ll have more time to relax write messages and read your wonderful comments. They said they’d been very busy since they left the lake. They had to unpack and then pack again their sleds to get them ready for the train, they had a shower and a proper dinner. They also had to connect with their contact in Irkutsk to make sure that everything is set for Sunday. Still, they found a minute to write a short update for us :
The ice begun to go slightly uphill under our feet, we stepped over the last crack and... and there really was nowhere else to go. We reached the end of the lake on which we spent the last 24 days. So many times had we tried to imagine this moment, so many times we had dreamed about it and when it’s actually happening, we fall short of words. It’s such a powerful moment, we’re not able to put in words what we feel but we know one thing for sure - if only for this moment, it was worth it! We still don’t fully realize what we’ve just done... Being the first Czechs to ever cross the lake, we’ve just written our tiny piece of history. We’re laughing, shaking our hands in disbelief saying again and again, “We did it... we really did it...” Moreover, we think we completed the crossing in a very good time even on the world level - but we’re not sure about that, we’ll have to check. We completed the expedition in a good mood - we neither have frostbites nor do we feel dead tired. We think we could walk even further if we had to... though we’re glad that we do NOT have to :-) We both can’t wait to see our families and friends.
We had about an hour to spend at the end of the lake before the car arrived to take us to Severobaikalsk. We spent this last 60 minutes taking in the icy atmosphere and taking the last pictures. Then we got in the car and set out for “civilization” - we were still laughing though it felt a bit strange to sit suddenly in the warm car after we spend the last weeks in freezing cold, alone... Luba who picked us up satisfies our wishes right away - she ordered large pizza for Pavel and bought “pelmene” (a Russian specialty) and beer for me :-) We then put the sleds into her office and spend some time repacking everything. We got rid of the trash we’d been carrying with ourselves. Then a great guy Zena came for us and took us to his cosy apartment where we finally took a hot shower! When we saw ourselves in the mirror we burst out laughing - scruffy, with beards and messed up hair we really needed to do something about us. We both must have lost few pounds. Then we had a great dinner with fresh fruit and vegetable... an apple has never tasted so good before! Now, we’re back in Luba’s office and I’m trying to write a message on a Russian keyboard... We’re leaving for the train station in 10 minutes...
We want to thank you again for your warm wishes, comments and for the nice atmosphere on the web. It’s thank to you all as well that we successfully did what we came here to do as your comments always energized us when we were feeling down. You all have been part of this great adventure and we thank you for that! We’ll send another update on Sunday after we arrive to Irkutsk.