Day 10: Alien land of Kotelniy Island, our destination
The place is almost alien. There’s not a tree on the entire island… no grass, no growth whatsoever apart from moss.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of animals: polar bears (lots of polar bears apparently), arctic foxes, hares, owls and other assorted critters.
The sea around the island is covered in solid ice for most of the year.
If we had been here during the winter, we were told, we would be standing waist-deep in snow.
The other big problem on Kotelniy is empty barrels… and they’re EVERYWHERE.
By some estimates, there are 60,000 empty fuel barrels scattered around the island.
Fuel for generators and heating is absolutely vital here, but also tremendously expensive to deliver, never-mind removing them.
So apart from making sure everyone and everything here can survive, fight and function… the military is wracking its heads over what to do with the barrels dumped here by the Soviet Union for decades.
On the fun side, we got to ride around in this:
An ultra-huge, super-loud, mega-cool and nigh-unstoppable machine called the Amphibious Transportation Vehicle. Talk about an unimaginative name for something so awesome… and it does swim!
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