The Tiksi Trip: day 4

The Batagay Morning at the Pole. A Road to Ust-Kuyga

March 9, 2018

It's typically cold in Batagay -45 C. Here is the coldest locality in the hemisphere.
I can feel the car freeze hard. Although everything is working fine, except for the brakes, which are of course frozen a bit.

The first 30 minutes I'm going slow to warm everything up. However resistant Ravenol lubricant may be, common sense must be present.
The heater is haywire again, and the cold is blowing in my face, so I have to put on warm clothes.

I got good use out of my Bask boots. They are very comfortable to drive in, my feet don't tire and don't get cold. You can go outside for a minute if you need to.

I'm going to make cases for them when I get back, so I'm comfortable in my Winter travels.
The weather got better and the heater started working. Here it only gets warmer in the afternoon, not in the morning.

The colder it is outside, the more often the heater misbehaves. If it's up to -35 C, there's no problem.
On the way we saw several trucks frozen into the river. They got stuck and couldn't get out. Now special crew has to use different tricks to get them out.
They cut ice bulks around the car up to the water level and then leave it to freeze again. Then they repeat the procedure. Thus in a few takes, the car is in an ice pit and can be towed.

Unfortunately, it doesn't always work and sometimes cars get stuck there forever.
I' talking to the French guy all the way. He tells me about his travels, how he alone went to winter Baikal with a sleigh. How he drove 10 days to Magadan at – 45 C with a drunken driver. He's got some good stories in him.

Later that day we reached Ust-Kuyga, which is one of the key points on the route. Here we can fuel up. When in north, the village is only as important as the gas station it has.

Anatoly, the French guy's friend, invited me over and treated me to some delicious stroganina (kind of meat sashimi) and home-made dumplings. Turned out he's thehead of some fishery and hunting supervision. He invited us to come back in Summer :)
I organized my route, so that I could get a hot meal every other day. I spent about a day to get from one place to another, where I could get a nice meal. The rest of the time I had sandwiches and light snacks.

Although I always have a multifuel MSR burner with me, and some groceries and canned food, I'm too lazy to cook. So my system worked just fine for me.

After lunch in Ust-Kuyga I went to wait for the Chinese guys, who fell behind. When they arrived, it turned out that one of the cars broke down and went back, so there's just the two of us from now on.

There were too many of the Chinese guys, so they found a place to stay overnight. I, on the contrary, am quite comfortable sleeping in the car with my napsack.

Tomorrow morning is an important part of the route, we have to get to the sea.

P.S. Please share to find out what happens next :)
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