One day closer – Haytham

89.3763S,47.1143W
We punched out another 20km today, this time in 8 hours, an hour less than yesterday and whilst everyone is battered, bruised and falling apart all I can say is woooohooo! We’ve covered 70km in five days and have 41km to go, we are comfortably past the half way mark and God willing, weather and health permitting we will be out of this hell on earth after two more hard days, hopefully this time tomorrow I’ll be writing to tell you just one more day to go.

Today was COLD, it was overcast and the wind was blowing harder than usual, and that’s really why we arrived quicker. During the hourly breaks everyone got so cold and we all know the only way to get warm was by moving so no body wanted to hang around. I have to give it to Baba though, I see him out there day after day kilometer after kilometer really struggling but he doesn’t say a word, when I’m starting to tire and the cold takes its hold I think about him and how he’s doing, so I ask and the voice that responds is so belabored it makes him sound anything but fine but sure enough he pulls through to the end every time. Every night at dinner we have a distance discussion for the next day, and the day we did the 15km was really tough but Mohamed and I wanted to push for 20km the next day so we could finish in four days and get the hell out of here. Before dinner we strategized how we were going to lobby for 18km which would only be one more hour than 15km and go from there. He ended up cutting us off short saying 18km was neither here nor there so we would do 20km, I was shocked. After completing that first 20km day yesterday I thought no way he’ll agree to that again but not only did he agree to it, he suggested it. And now literally as I type this I can hear him singing in the tent next to mine, only to be interrupted by his coughing fit every once in a while.

He asked to put this part in the dispatch: “Haythoumi, you know what the best part of today was?”
“No Pap, what was it?”
“It was when you and Mohamed saw me dragging my heel and pulled up beside me on either side, you guys didn’t say anything but just skied with me from there till the end”.

It’s an especially cold and windy day today and hearing the wind outside our tent is akin to being in a horror movie and hearing the evil demon outside, but there is a great prospect that we will arrive at the pole after tomorrow and leave this savage absolutely cruel place which is enough to make us all smile, even if our teeth are chattering when we do.

Haytham.

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14 Responses to One day closer – Haytham

  1. bandar and salman says:

    Dear All
    Very proud of you, been following for the last week and just found out that I can leave message, Salman wants to know if you can bring back a piece of ice from Antartica! He will save it as water for his class.
    Pictures look amazing thanks for keeping us upto date, looking forward to the next dispatch, Happy Birthday Amo Waleed, guess we will celebrate in Vegas where it’s nice and warm, hopefully all will join.
    Love
    Bandar and Salman

  2. Yann says:

    Dear Waleed, Wishing you all the best for this special day in a special place. Happy birthday, Yann

  3. Hamid Kazi says:

    Dear All,

    Thank you for depicting the events and taking us near to the unforseen nature and the activities and sharing your perception of the site to all of us.

    Congrats and wish you all a lot of courage and power to reach the target. With lots of love and best wishes from all of us.

  4. Doreen Paul says:

    Happy Birthday Waleed from all of us in South Africa,we hope that your challenge will be accomplished soon,and you can all celebrate in style.We are with you all with Love and Prayers,good luck for the next gruelling push to the end.
    The Paul family

  5. Tarik Zahid says:

    Dear Waleed,
    Najwa and I are wishing you a happy and warm birthday see you soon ISA
    T4

  6. J. barry Morrissey says:

    Happy birthday my dear friend. You are 60 years young today!!
    Endurance in the field and fantastic grit.!
    Barry

  7. Roy & Patty Sloan says:

    All of you are unbelievable! From your posts we can feel some of the cold and discomforts here in San Diego. Truly inspiring.
    Happy Birthday Waleed! One thing for sure you will not be having ice cream with your cake this year.
    Best Wishes,
    Roy & Patty

    The

  8. Ron Turner says:

    Well done to the three of you , especially to your dad. You now know what it is like to be so cold that it is only your will power that keeps you going .
    Having been on winter warfare training in Norway and Canada I can empathize with you in your efforts .
    Haytham have you made a parachute jump into snow ?
    Will discuss it with you when you get back to warm and sunny Jeddah.
    My congratulations to you all .
    Ron Turner

  9. Sharifa Oraina says:

    My darling Son Waleed, and my darling grandsons Haytham and Mohamed

    With my heart and prayers i send you my love, all day I am praying for your return safely, I am very proud of you all, in the meantime, I am so worried and praying for your return, I pray to God to be every minute with you to protect you all.
    Happy Birthday Waleed, this is the first time you are not here for your birthday,but every minuute you are in my thought and my prayers. Wishing you many happy returns. I love you.
    Allah Ye7fathkum bi 3inayathi wa yarudkum saleemeen illa all watan, wa 3ynuna aal mutashawiqa bi ru’yakum

    Your loving Mama and Teta

  10. Tarik Zahid says:

    Dear Haytham,
    With every step you take there are countless guys taking it with you.Now it is a hell hole and other things, the moment it is over it will be a brilliant adventure . Waleed is not a quitter or a person to take second seat It is no surprise he is going for 20 (ma sha Allah) That is something to learn. Needless to say , being together you energize each other. Way to go guys. Your courage stamina perseverance is inspirational. A well deserved rest is around the corner.Keep your spirits up you are almost there. You remain as always in mined heart and Prayers.
    Tarik 4

  11. RET says:

    VERY impressive, gents. Every last one of you!

    H, thanks for the updates, typed with frozen fingers no doubt. You’ll have the rest of your life for laundered underwear and getting dressed in a vertical position, ISA.

    Mo, I look forward to asking where this ranks among your adventures. You’ve taken yourself to some of the most unique spots in the world, my friend.

    Abu Haytham, this is some kind of birthday party!!!

    Cheers,
    Ret

  12. Sultana says:

    Haytham…
    For the first time since this trip began did i today lose control of my emotions and i can’t stop crying. At this point, there is no use me saying don’t push too hard, you know Baba, never one to say “no” to a challenge. All I can do is what I’ve been doing from the beginning, which is pray in each of the daily prayers for your safety and well being.
    Your writing is so evocative and full of such sensory detail, not only it makes for a fantastic and exciting read but is also so real that I could actually hear Baba’s laboured breathing and I could just see you and Mohamed pulling up near him to support him…too much really…too painful… Allah ye7meekum wa yekhalikum li ba3d.
    God speed, it’ll be over soon. So proud of you……

    With my prayers and greatest admiration
    Mama

  13. Stephen says:

    Dear Haytham,

    Another fascinating read, thank you – truly remarkable and a credit to yourself after another day end of a grueling 20km hike in unbearable temperatures (my mind boggles to just think about it), I and all of your followers are very grateful to enjoy reading your daily blog.

    I look forward to hearing about your father in 2 days time striking that ‘perfect’ golf shot at the bottom of the earth should it be suitable to do so, something I am not sure if anybody has ever done before, history in the making for ‘The Foreplayers’ – well I am sure nobody will have done with the class that your father will deliver.

    Here’s to you and your teams continued successes in Antarctica.

  14. Suresh Haridas says:

    If you have a task to perform and are vitally interested in it, excited and challenged by it, then you will exert maximum energy. But in the excitement, the pain of fatigue dissipates, and the exuberance of what you hope to achieve overcomes the weariness.
    (Jimmy Carter)
    Cheers !
    Suresh H

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