|2005-04-19 - Freedom
19 Apr, 05 - 22:36
GPS-pos: N69°26´ | E161°41´ | Alt: 0 M
It´s been 5°F during the day plus a 6 m/s freezing northerly from the Pole, this Tuesday the 19th of April. The time is 21.56 when I start writing the English version of today´s dispatch, half an hour after I wrote the Swedish version. We´ve pitched the tent on the sastrugi at N 69°26´50.2 and E 161°41´59.2. We´ve knocked off another 42 km in two days and it is only 33 km to go until we reach Ambarchik Bay.
The natural beauty we´ve experienced the last two days has been, to say the least, spectacular!
In the north we´ve had the never-ending, horizon free icescape leading all the way to the North Pole, in the west the flat tundra and to the east we´ve had a chain of mountains leading my thoughts to Greenland. And the sastrugi in it´s duny and regular shape is terribly beautiful!
I had almost forgotten my love for open and vast spaces until today. I´ve always loved the open, windy, lifeless and flat spaces which make up the different deserts of our globe. They make me feel clean, satisfied, spiritually calm and incredibly free! In comparison, the taiga and other forests, sometimes make me feel trapped and threatened. I never experience this in the world of the open spaces. Just the ultimate freedom!
Right in the middle of this intense feeling of freedom, one of Stalins dreadful gulags appeared on the top of a ridge. There it stood, overlooking all this natural beauty with an endless view in all directions. A ruin made up of a mining mound, wrecked buildings and lots of barbed wire. A dark reminder of one of the worst atrocities committed in the history of mankind. I can well understand that this one was considered as one of the worst. One of the deadliest. Even if it was a sunny spring day, it was freezing cold with a penetrating wind which chilled you into the bone. Most prisoners didn´t, of course, survive the winter. However, I think the freezing cold probably wasn´t the biggest killer. It must have been totally devastating to your mental strength to have, whilst you were working yourself to death or freezing to death in the canvas tents, the view of the total freedom in front of you. Only an insane person could work anything as evil as that out.