Search for your adventure! And when you find it, tackle it with all you have got, all your strength, experience and passion!
Sir Edmund Hillary
check the progress on the map
The expedition has been voted an 'Achievement of the year' by the National Geographic Society. Thanks guys :-)
Work and other duties currently leave only a bit of time for site updates. I hope you enjoy the pictures. Notes from the log-book and some statistics are next in line! Today I took Pugsley into my favourite bush track, beating my best time by 10 minutes and being surprised that I used to regard this route as difficult
Some pictures from the expedition are already available on the website. Enjoy!
This moment had to come- I arrived to Wiluna! Tears mixed with dust and joy with deep sadness that something very important is over. In 33 most difficult days of my life I have cycled 2105 kilometres, loosing 18 kilograms on weight in the meantime. I don't know if I ever manage to fully comprehend all these things and describe at least some of them. Yet, I will try, so you can expect report updates, photos and summaries on the site as soon as I get back to forces.
Now I only want to thank all the people without whom my dream would never come true. Thank you, Surly guys for your enthusiasm and the bike more remarkable that I ever expected! Thank you, Zbigniew from Extrawheel for the smartest trailer that rolls this earth. Thank you Sebastian & Beata from Crosso for your panniers and enormous support! Thank you, all other Sponsors for your great gear and trust. Thank you, my Family and Friends for your faith, prayers and support. Thank you, all you people whom I cannot mention in this moment for any help you provided. THANK YOU, GOD- for everything...
27 September. When in Poland it is the noon, here it is the end of the dreadfully difficult day for me. I have reached well 12 but the other part was deadly, because since the morning I have had a very strong head wind (80km/h) carrying millions of extremely small sand beads. Luckily, the wind calmed down in the evening so it might be more peaceful tomorrow. After 28km there is well 11, I hope it will be a bit easier. Still have 360 km to go which means 7 days on the road. I hope it will go fine.
Till next meeting!.
24th September. It's 4 p.m (10 a.m in Poland), my day is almost over and I want something for my soul too. I've reached well 17. The place called Killagurra and Gorge is incredible! There are authentic ancient paintings by Aborigines - fantastic!. I also saw wild bees but they don't necesserily have to get me, do they? The riding is still easy and at times even perfect. There is some rocky part of the trail ahead of me but as I managed through the sand I'm not afraid of the rocks.There are only 450kms to Willuna so I should catch the plane to Auckland (on Monday, for example, I covered 80 kms). The storm I described last time fortunately went sideways, thank God. Well 20 is another miracle of the Nature. It's located 10 kms westward from the trail but it's worth taking a rounabout way to it as the views are fantastic.
Every day I meet lots of animals. What differs them from people is that thay don't attack without a good reason. so my eyes can admire their beauty and variety. I will report more deatils as I come back to New
Zealand. Best regards.
22nd September. 3 p.m (9 a.m where you are). I intended not to call but the thing which is happening here is just ubelievable. I'm in the middle of a huge storm. It's just fantastic! Enormous Disdppointm lake looks as if it was covered with snow. It's all white. In about 2 km distance from me a wall of water is pouring from the sky but it seems it will miss me and I won't get soaked. Storm clouds are seething around me. Different world! Riding is perfect. I've covered 60 kms today and still have about 2 hours left. I'm passing by many small, salty lakes. God, the world is so beautiful! I only hope the photos will reflect it. Counting on your support,Best regards.
21st September, as usually it's morning where you are and afternoon here. I should be spending the coming night at the 21st well. Today I've spent many hours repairing my bike. It works perfect but has covered (heavily loaded) 1300 kms which is a lot even in typical conditions. The back tyre wears out much more quickly so I've shifted it to the trailer. It is less loaded there. However, all these minor deficiencies are nothing compared to cars with broken half-axes or ripped off tanks (and I happen to meet such ones too). Last night I experienced a horrible wind storm which pulled up all the fasteners of my tent. For a moment I felt as of I had been in a closed sack. Fortunately, I managed to fasten everything back using full (thank God) water pouches. It appears water serves not only for drinking. Next well is 140kms ahead which is 3 days of riding. Provisions will do for another 15 days and I still have 700kms to cover to reach Wiluna (more or less 14 days of riding). Today I've seen my reflection in the surface of a lake. I've lost a lot of weight but my muscles are made of steel. This is probably thanks to the climate and my style of life for the last 3 weeks. I hope ladies won't draw a conclusion that such an expedition is a wonderful slimming treatment and try to follow me.
Yeaterday I met a group of people travelling from Wiluna by car. They turned to a side (rescue) trail. I've learnt from them that the route ahead of me is pretty decent i.e. quite flat, although rocky.
I will make calls less frequently from now on to save batteries in my mobile. Everything wears out sooner or later. Till next meeting. Best regards.
It is 18 September, 7.40 and 2pm here. 1120 km on the meter, I passed the well 28 in which there was no water (I took it into account beforehand). However I know with all confidence that within 60km there is the well 26 which is full of water (On the way Iíll put up at well27) Iím going South which means here that the temperature will be lower so I donít need as much liquids as a couple of days ago. And the reserve I still have in my containers is about 10 litres. Itís not bad! The longest 200km long part without any working wells is coming to end and it looks like I handled it. The route is deadly difficult in some places. I also changed my diet. The nights and mornings are freezing so I have divided my food rations into 3 meals, including warm breakfast. I have food supply for 3 extra days so I shouldnít run out of it. Saw herd of camels for the first time. These are enormous! They approached my tent at night. Just like dogs, they would rather observe me from the distance. I guess they seldom happen to see something like me on the bike. I found that only the single camels can be dangerous not when they are in a group. We shall see!
I have also seen a couple of poisonous spiders and because I spotted them first they werenít any danger to me. The inhabitants of Kunawarritji claimed that the people who were missing on the ďway of deathĒ in the course of the last few years paid the highest price not for meeting the animals but for the lack of water or serious navigation mistakes. It is so much important to me because I might be the last man between Kunawarritji and Wiluna. And so there is a 700km distance for me to do alone. I think I will make it. I recommend myself to your good thoughts and prayers. I will call you from the Lake of Disappointment. I hope I will not get disappointed myself.
15.09.2005 11.30pm. Whereas in Poland people calmly go to sleep, here it is 6am and I have just been setting off for the next stop of my lifetime adventure. Yesterday late afternoon the tachometer indicated 980km I reached Kunawarritji. It is the most isolated Aborigenian settlement in Australia. There are approximately 30 people living there, and all is managed by a New Zealand couple. The inhabitants of this civilized enclave work in a medical centre and at keeping the airfield. They are surely involved in many other activities; however I had not enough time to have a closer look at it. I managed to check out the Internet (appreciate all the support and entries), unfortunately I didnít make it to call because that night a harsh wind started to blow and caused malfunction to the transmitters. While sleeping in my bag I got the impression that it would be taken off with me into the sky. Luckily, it was a bit calmer in the morning, there blew a relatively strong, side wind so I could move on, grateful for the hospitality the citizen of Kunawarritji.
Everything goes fine and I hope to reach Williny on 5th or 6th October. Till next meeting.
14 Sep. 7 CET. I reached the well 36. It is perfect, enough water and food and the the temperature during the day is lower and lower (after all Iím getting closer to the pole all the time) therefore I can more taking shorter afternoon breaks. Tomorrow cremly I should reach the Aborigenan settlement of Kunawarritji. They are said to have known about my expedition and are already waiting. A bit of civilization might let me have longer telephone conversations. The bike goes fine, however I had to change the tyre due to the high temperature which made the patch stick off. Luckily Iím all safe and sound and I donít get ďlayered outĒ.
On the route, sometimes I meet people crossing it by car. There are marvelous moments. The presence of other people has always served me well.
Warm greetings to all of you!
It's the 11th of september. About 5.30 in the morning I got to the 42nd well (as a reminder- I'm taking the route backwards, from the end to the beginning, this way I'm savingmy strenght). Unfortuneatly the map has suffered a bit since we've started using it and the target of our journey was a bit illegible.Fortunately enough some time ago i sent some copies to poland, 50 I could easily find the coordinates of the 41th well by a satelite phone. Although it is placed 1km off the beaten track, it doesn't look like a well. Actually it is a pool of mud with contaminated water in it. Fortunately the water filted managed to hanle it.
I've filtered about 20 litres 50 far, I think that should do it for a while. Altogether there are no problems with water or food - everything's ok:
The worst thing about the journey is the route itself- it's barely passable. Yesterday I met a polish company
led by Adam Murch. I think their cars suffered far more than my bike. The only breakdowns I've had 50 far
were tiny holes in my tires. Tonight I should have done about 730km. Soon 1'11 have done half of the way.
That's good because sometimes it's really hard to go on. I'd like to thank all
the people who support me,
my wife, my family and all my friends, see you soon!
Dear Kuba's friends,
I'd like to apologise to you for the imperfectness of the reports. I write them just after each conversation with my son but sometimes I can't do it immediately - that's why there are some delays. The information as such may sometimes be not very precise (in particular as for the terminology) as I'm not always able to record our conversations and then retrace them literally. Most often I use notes and some of the terms are completely strange to me. I do believe you won't blame me for that and Kuba will clarify everything as soon as he comes back.
8th September, the noon. I am between 46th and 45th well. I've reached dune mountains crossed by a trail inclined under an unbelievably big angle. I really don't know how I manage to climb these heights and neither the bike nor my legs are protesting.I've already covered 550 kms and still about 1450 are ahead of me. In the evening I should reach well no 45 and in 5-6 days an aboriginal settlement Kunawarritji on the fringes of the Gibson Desert. I drink daily about 8-10 litres of water. Fortunately there is plenty of it. It's crucial not to dehydrate. I met 2 guys covering the route by car. Once they forgot about the needs of a human organism and almost failed to reach the nearest well due to dehydration. Nights are wonderful (Kuba uttered these words with great pleasure). There are a lot of birds around nesting in this area because of the lake. I'm doing better and batter day by day although at noon I have to hide from sun and temperature (40C). The tent serves as an ideal 'shadow'. I've also experienced my first adventure - I lost my camera. Fortunately, thanks to GPS, proper orientation and your friendly thoughts I found it by moving back about 2 kms.
It's 5th September 6 o'clock in the morning (the very noon where I am). I've reached well no 49 (luckily there is some water in it) and covered 377 kms. I'm in a very good shape although the route is really cutthroat at times. The bike can cope with all kinds of surface and doesn't expect to be pushed. It would be difficult anyway as legs are sinking in sand deeply.Yesterday I met an Aboriginal on the trail who was coming back from a hunt by his cross-country car. Having learnt that I was heading to Willun he offered me a huge piece of kangaroo meat. It had been roasted over a fire and tasted delicious.
(Today, that is 7th September ,I've heard from Kuba's friend that he reached well no 46. Let's keep our fingers crossed for him)
I ***** them about 60 kilometers from Vililnah already Iím heading Storkhrust traveling to Tanamikathis
The track is very difficult all stages but the ****** homes beautifully
I enjoyed average speed of about 12 km per hour I drink plenty of water I donít eat too much.Tonight I should get to well 51 tomorrow some more supply of water in well 53.
This is it! In less than 8 hours I will be flying over Tasman Sea to meet my adventure. The next report will be send from the desert.
All preparations completed and still one day to go :) Tommorow morning the bike will be disassembled and packed neatly for the flight to Australia. I'd like to thank all the people showing their support for this project. I strongly believe that we can make it!
Last parts delivered. Bike 100% ready with both racks fitted. Some fights with a trailer- there will be a bit of welding and angle-grinder sparks tommorow :)
First tests with 40kg of load solely on the bike. Thanks to the huge wheels Pugsley seems to perform better than traditional touring bike with similar load. Tommorow some serious dune tests.
The bike is ready! Stronger, more responsive and lighter than I ever expected! You can see some pictures (without racks yet) in the 'Photographs' section.
Departure date: 28th August 8:45am from Auckland to Brisbane, then 9:10pm to Darwin, then somehow to Halls Creek and then... CSR
Polish IDEA mobile network has just offered to supply the expedition with a satellite phone. This way I'll be able to send GPS position logs and some short reports from the track, not mentioning emergency communication issues!
Several more Sponsors, including MSR & Icebreaker have officially joined me this week! Thanks to their support my gear will weight less than I ever expected. Details available soon in the Equipment section.
First note on the site, one month to departure. Surly guys are working hard on the offset rims. Also the unique Extrawheel trailer has to
be redesigned to work well with gigantic tyres. Water sacks under construction. Big thanks to all the Sponsors who already delivered their pieces of the equipment puzzle! The desert crawler should be completed by mid-August, leaving me a week or so for the final testing.
Keep your fingers crossed for all the people involved in the project!
Ok. time to go live. The site is constantly updated so keep an eye on the new stuff! Any feedback welcome.