Life. People. Journey.
Some virtues of my life. Places that I traveled though, feelings that I lived through, people that I met and colors that I saw.

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Gold Rush


9th of February 2010

Location: Egypt, Red Sea
Mood: I miss a cat
This day in: 2009

Amazon trip. Gold rush. My dream came true.

Guys do you know these words: Yukon, Dowson, Klondike, Chilkoot?
If you read Jack London’s books in your childhood you’d say: “That are the places Sitka Charley mined gold!!!"
Since I read stuff about mountain mines and brave prospectors in my childhood I’ve dreamed about building a raft and going down the river to terra incognito inhabited by hostile aborigines to search for gold.

As I grew up my dream became molded…  It was a moment I almost thought impossible when I went to my Amazon journey last year and saw true squaws washing gold! Daaamn! True Indians washed true gold!!! I realized it was not just a fiction by old man Jack! I realized it is possible even now! I realized I can do that myself!!!
As soon as I realized that I got a strong fever! It was the gold fever! Fuck! It’s really a decease when all you think about is GOLD! You can’t eat, you can’t sleep, you can’t do anything. That was my situation for several days when I almost decided to interrupt my around the world journey and wash some gold for the trip :))) Hopefully, common sense and my friends’ persuasions took over me :) Although, they couldn’t root out the idea at all! I promised myself to come back there one year later at any cost!

Viter is a guy who keeps his word :))) Almost one year later I came back to the place to FIND GOLD! This time I wasn’t alone since I had my camera man with me. We decided to shoot our adventures. Going ahead of myself I have to say that we had our special code of two phrases during the whole jungle adventure. My camera man said “OMG” and I said “Don’t be a chicken!”

After we arrived to Miswali I met my friend whom I met last year. She was surprised to see me coming for the gold :) She gave us help with finding explorers. The hustlers willing to bargain with crazy gringos were easily found :) We met Enrique who was an old squaw. He promised to show us the river spots with gold and bring us through the lands of wild Guaranas.
The guy insisted on 100% prepayment for his services, which seemed to be suspicious… By the end of the journey, I found the reasons why all the explorers require 100% prepayment :(

The next morning we bought all the necessary stuff to survive in the jungles. We took matches, salt, sugar, canned food, ammunition, rain coats, flashlight, anti-mosquito spray. The explorers carried machete, tent, ropes and the rifle. After the preparation to go to the open space we started our journey! I was going towards my dream about the gold. My camera man from Moscow – Lesha was anticipating sweet shots. Enrique and his son Jovanni were glad they found 2 gringos :)

We had to walk for 8 hours through the jungles. I bravely walked in the head of our column and actively used my machete. I felt like I was Indiana Jones or something… Lesha was actively running around me to take shoots of every tiny detail… The squaws were walking silently…

One hour later I was blaming myself for rejecting the offer to take rubber boots and wearing my Grinders boots. We frequently had to cross small rivers so my shoes were full of water and my feet were swollen.

3 hours later I was thinking that one more baggage carrier would have been a good idea since my backpack was too heavy for me. Lesha lost his enthusiasm to run and take shots from different angles :) I was carrying several large batteries for the camera so I was wondering about the reason why I brought them. I praised myself for not taking my laptop with me! That was a really wise decision!!!

5 hours later it started to rain… There was no point to take cover so we continued to walk. We had to scramble up and then go down slippery hills and  stile fallen trees. I lost my willingness to wave the machete. Lesha was covering the camera with his jacket, using rude language and continuing the shoot…

6 hours later my feet were completely swollen and wiped off so that each step was painful for me. I blamed myself for not taking the boots...

8 hours later we finally reached our destination… I sat on the river shore to take off my boots. The thing I saw at that moment didn’t look like my feet. I actually had never seen my feet in that condition. They were swollen and the skin was full of blisters. So I started to massage them…

The camera got moisture because of the rain. We started to doubt in reasonableness of our idea… However, the gold still attracted me and pulled me into more adventures…


To be continued...


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Eternal, Yessentuki
!