πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί Kayaking in the Drought of the Tundra – Our painful Search for Water


Diary Entry

After the strenuous journey here with the truck and the reindeer nomads’ sleigh, we are extremely tired. We sleep late and make ourselves a breakfast of muesli with Nutella to fortify ourselves. We then pack up all of our things so that they are waterproof and set up our boat with enthusiasm.

Since the waterfall next to us is bubbling well, we are hopeful that with the tributaries from the other valleys, the river not far from here will be deep enough for us to paddle.

Finally go kayaking!



First, however, we have to tow the boat through a small trickle. This turns out to be difficult and incredibly tedious because the boat is very low due to the luggage. We decide to walk forward with our backpacks and then tow the lighter boat.

Everything is very tiring. We have to carry the boat occasionally because the river is completely silted up. Then the water gets deeper again and we are hopeful that we will finally be able to get into the boat soon.



Soon the water will probably be deep enough




The river splits into different directions and we have to be careful to find the channel that becomes a deep river bed. If we’re unlucky we’ll end up in a dead end.

We find a river with more current again and even have to slow down our boat. We manage 6.6 km a day and are extremely exhausted.



At least the vegetation is increasing and we camp on an island made of soft moss between small trees. More plant growth is promising. We still haven’t managed to get out in the boat, but it can’t be far away.

We light a campfire and cook macaroni. The parmesan sauce is the tastiest thing I’ve ever tasted in this wasteland.



Circumstances are constantly changing. We make better progress the next time – but then the river dries up completely. We have to carry everything we have one at a time. Dead trees block the riverbed.

Afterwards we find a river with deeper water again. We are making progress again with towing and can finally paddle!




Our hope and motivation are at a very low level.


But then it’s too flat again and the river has dried up again. But nature is breathtaking!

We camp again in the wide, empty riverbed. Our hope and motivation are at a very low level.



The landscape is beautiful, but hardly compensates for the wasted effort


I celebrate my birthday with a destroyed Batagay-Alyta cake that I have been carrying around with me ever since. But that’s the only highlight of the day. Since we’re completely dry again, we walk eight kilometers ahead with half of our luggage, but we still can’t find any water.

We send our drone up as a scout, but we still don’t see any water in the distance. We consult and have to make a decision.

If we don’t find water the situation will be life-threatening.




It’s a race against time – the water is literally seeping away at our feet



Our drone explores the distance




We decide to return. We don’t know how long there won’t be enough water and at this rate we wouldn’t be able to cover that distance with our luggage. In addition, we are slow because Uli has strained a ligament.

We can request the weather report for the next few days via the satellite phone; This doesn’t give any hope of rain.

We don’t even have large supplies of water with us.

Frustrated, we return to our boat and try to get back to the reindeer nomads.


Our plan failed. What are we doing here in the wilderness now?




Watch the video of our adventure!
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