|2004-08-14 - The worst moment of life?
Restday at N 61°56´29.5 E149°49´49´49, at a stony beach overlooking the wide Kolyma River and the Pik Aborigine in the west. Sunny with 6-8 m/s southwesterly wind, making paddling to complicated.
Recently I read an article by a polarscientist, who described in detail the agony he encountered every time he had to leave his tent during the dark polarnight on the Southpole, pull down his pants and take care of his needs.
´´The worst physical feeling a human can experience!´´ he wrote.
I beg to differ with a different opinion. One thing is for sure, he hasn´t spent one single second a rainy autumn day in the hostile surroundings of the north Siberian taiga! Because, at the exact moment you pull your pants down, a massive black cloud of mosquitoes initiate an extremely itchy and painful attack, taking you to the brink of madness! I wouldn´t wish my worst enemy the experience.
I have a lot of respect for the common Siberian. Most likely one of the toughest humans on the globe. Not only does he suffer isolation and loneliness, but he constantly encounters the most extreme sides of nature. During summer he encounters a 40-45 degrees Celsius heat, followed by a an autumn of damp, wet and extremely rainy period of flooding and unbelievably big swarms of mosquitoes. This is followed by the coldest of winters, with temperatures at times below 80 degrees Celsius. A short spring follows with rain and mosquitoes. (Maybe this is the reason we meet so few Siberians?;-) But it is easy to notice that they really confront the hostile nature. They´ve constructed roads on the most complicated places, forced their way through with vehicles like tanks, their boats are made of steel, their motors extremely noisy and spews out loads of oil and petrol. They´re definitely not in harmony with nature. Many beautiful mountainsides are scarred with human destruction and where people´s been, and still are, there´s many graveyards of machine carcasses. But today, after professionally exploring the world for 116 years, I am not romanticizing nature any more, I fully understand that you have to knock head against nature out here to survive. This is one thing those swarms of mosquitoes teach you whilst pulling your pants down!