Day 16: Petropavlovsk
Outside there's water everywhere. An elderly woman with a shopping-bag picks her way along the cinder track through flooded potholes. Sergei had hoped to take us up into the mountains to try and track down the Evenks, a nomadic tribe who live almost entirely from their reindeer herds but no helicopter will go up in conditions like this.
It is a frustrating day of delay. Igor spends much of the morning teaching me a suitably sad Russian song called 'Poliushko Pole' which he says is very expressive of the Russian soul. We drive into Petropavlovsk and I walk along the shore in the dripping rain, watching freighters moving slowly across the bay. I'm not the only one looking out to sea. Behind me is a 30-foot high, 65-ton bronze statue of Lenin, clutching his cap and gazing purposefully at the Pacific, his cape billowing out behind him. It's a fine statue and I was glad to hear that, despite Perestroika, the citizens of Petropavlovsk had voted against a move to have it sent to South Korea to be melted down.
Choose another day from Full Circle
- Series: Full Circle
- Day: 16
- Country/sea: Eastern Russia
- Place: Petropavlovsk
- Book page no: 34
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