World Run II / Reports
The map shows the position of which the pictures for the day are taken (if any). The start and finish markers are placed at the first and last valid registered position. This is not nessesary the actual start and finish position, if GSM or GPS signals was not available.
Distance today: 0.0 km (Accumulated: 21494.0 km)
Elapsed time: 00:00:00
Country: Chile East
Drama before the start
After a delayed arrival in Punta Arenas 28-12 - where SAS-airlines sent me various other places in South America and still havent delivered any of my luggage for the 1½ year run (!) - I started researching the exact starting location:
In order for this part of the run to be a proper first run from the Southern tip of South America to the Northern tip, I need to start from the most Southern point on the South American continent.
So; together with my good supportdriver & cameraman, Jamie Fullbrook from england, we drove out the 29-12 and 30-12, in search of the southernmost accessible point. Its a drive of 60-70km South of Punta Arenas and quite demanding even for our 4w-drive Ford Explorer supportcar.
The official road ends 50km South of Punta Arenas at Fort Bulnes, where in 1843 captain John Williams ancored in Posesion Bay and claimed the Southernmost Point of the continent for Chile. This will then be the starting point tomorrow for the last half of world run II, the South - North run, after having completed the first part of world run II, the North -South run of 21 449km at Cape of Good Hope, South Africa by 15.March 2010.
But... From the cliffs at Fort Bulnes we could spot a wheeltrack continuing a bit further South. So, yesterday we went out again to see if it was possible to reach a point South of Fort Bulnes.
This turned out to be a little adventure of its own - the pictures are uploaded and you can view them below the report from yesterday (browse "reports" in the top menu and choose Chile and 2010-12-30) to get an impression !
The wheeltrack turned into a sandy trail winding between the volcanic cliffs and sand of the beach and the low antarctic forrest. It slowly became increasingly difficult to pass with our 4wd. and 17km South of Fort Bulnes we finally couldnt get any further: we were stuck in a small river where the tires and later the axel & undercarriage of the car began to sink into the soft sand.
For 3 hours we struggled to dig the car out; finding pieces of wood and beachstones to lay under the tires in order to try to get the car un-stuck again. Hoping that the dripping rain wouldnt increase or the tide, 8meters from the car, wouldnt rise across the low sandbank.
At the point of nearly giving up (which would have been fatal as we dont have a budget to replace the supportcar, and equally less an oppotunity to buy a replacement down here in Punta Arenas: Jamie bourght the car for me and drove it more than 3000km from the capital of Chile, Santiago, across the Andes Mountains and the remote Argentinians plains down to Punta Arenas where we met up).
I began to see the entire project sink with the car - and the SAS-lost luggage for the expedition & run - when the winch at the front of the car suddenly began to work. It had been out of function before. We could secure it to a tree 20meters away and let the car pull itself out of the small river by the metalwire from the winch. What a relief and what a drama right before the start !!
As always its important to turn problems into positive: So instead of driving back slightly shaken and with the obvious decition of starting from Fort Bulnes at the Southernmost accessible point at the end of the official road on the South American continent; then I instead began to run the 17km back from 'Olsen river' (;-) to the accesspoint to Fort Bulnes. In this way making sure that all the passable distance from tip to tip of the continent can be run - if the legs have strenght for the the next 12 000km.
It was a relief to get out all the stress, anxiousness from the drama and also streatch the body after the cramping work together with Jamie trying to dig the car free those dramatic 3hours.
I guess running has this purpose for many people no matter if its 5km or around the world we run - to release stress, to use the body the way it was meant to be used and to return to the positives of life :-)
... The gps-track of this "research-run" can be found at:
Tomorrow, at ca. 10am. local time (13pm. GMT, 14pm. danish time) I plan to start the run officially from Fort Bulnes and depending of how soon we reach the phonesignal zone of Punta Arenas then the live-gps coverage should start 1-3h. later where also the first parts will be uploaded instantly as we reach signal.
Untill then I'll try to shake off the last days travel and car-dramas, hope to see my luggage for the 1½ year run to North America and also Wish all a HAPPY NEW YEAR :-)