Diary Entry

We have been traveling on the truck through the pure wilderness for 10 hours. We reach the reindeer nomad camp shortly after sunrise around six in the morning.

There are only a few tents scattered around and a spherical woman and a man with leathery skin greet us and their relatives who were sitting with us on the back of the Urals. These include children who are now apparently back with their families for the school holidays.

There is no sign of the reindeer. The people explain to us with a few words of Russian, Evenish and hands and feet that the herd is grazing in another valley. Then the nomads invite us into a yurt. Breakfast is ready. There are pieces of horse meat, bread and cranberry jam. And of course vodka.

We ask the nomads what the water level is in our Sobopol River, but they cannot tell us.

“There you are! Breakfast is ready!”

After breakfast everyone goes to sleep again. We take our luggage and set up camp a little away from the yurts.

We set up the tent and also take a nap. Then we’ll think about how to proceed.

Not far from here, the Sobopol River arises from countless sources in the mountains. We have to get to the end of the valley to reach the riverbed.

We can finally use our kayak there. Until then we still have to cover a few kilometers with our luggage.

Our river rises at the end of the valley

After an hour Konstantin comes to us and offers us horses for the route to the river. He now has the information that the river will only be navigable in twenty to thirty kilometers. We wonder why he didn’t tell us this an hour ago.

We agree to take a horse to help with the luggage, but we cannot agree on the price. Constantine demands a lot. Afterwards one of the nomads comes to us and offers us horses at an even more expensive price. We remain stubborn, refuse and continue to sleep.

Shortly before we leave, the nomads seem to want to make money from us again

After some rest we start to help ourselves. We build a sleigh for the heavy luggage out of small trees. Despite our design, transporting the heavy bag with the boat and our supplies is very laborious. The nomads watch our activities from a distance. When we are finished and say goodbye again, one of the Ewenen suddenly comes to us with two quads and a sleigh attached to them.

Without a lot of words, Konstantin and the nomads load our things onto the sleigh. Suddenly a lot of people from the camp wanted to take photos with us before we motorized to the end of the valley and to one of the sources of the Sobopol River.

Now everyone wants to take photos with us

A sacrifice for the mountains – cigarettes, vodka and whiskey

We stop at a place in front of the river gorge to make a mountain offering. “Tradition”. We spill some whiskey while the others leave cigarettes.

We give the whiskey away as a thank you, but we toast everyone again with it. Once again we make a sacrifice and everyone has to tap the cup before drinking.

We’re exhausted from little sleep and the ordeal in the truck. We pitch our tent around the corner of a small waterfall that represents a source of the Sobopol. Konstantin and the others set off hunting with their huge rifles and we are now where we wanted to be – alone, far away from any civilization in the heart of Siberia.

Tomorrow our search for water begins.

Watch the video of our adventure!
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