Expedition to Small Lands Tundra I

April 5, 2018

We gathered our things and headed for our transportation, a low-pressure-wheel truck, for the first part of our trip.

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Narayan-Mar is located on the Pechora River.  It is still frozen at this time of year, so it is our roadway for the first 37 miles of the trip. This is what’s it looks like:

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At the settlement Nelmin Nos, we changed to sleds pulled by snowmobiles.

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We rode in the sled for 75 miles. It took about four hours. Riding in the sled is not fun. Think back to your elementary school years. Remember being on a teeter-totter when your partner jumped off and you crashed to the ground? It was like that except that you are also being violently jostled from side to side. For four hours. In zero degree temperature.

Our destination is an area about ten miles from the Barents Sea. The reindeer herders we were going to visit had two base camps about twenty miles apart. We stopped briefly at the first one. It was small and extremely isolated.

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We then continued on to the main camp. Around four pm we saw a camp consisting of a reindeer hide-covered covered chum, a corral, a rack with reindeer hides hanging on them, a few hundred reindeer, about ten herding dogs, snowmobiles, a small generator and not much else. There is no bathroom. You have go away from camp down a small hill.

We had arrived.

 

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