Day 17: Petropavlovsk
Sergei won't give up easily and orders the helicopter to attempt one more perilous landing beside an encampment in which lives a man they call the Brigadier, in charge of a herd of a thousand animals. Around him families gather outside tents, constructed from black plastic sheets and birchwood frames. A diminutive lady, swaddled in layers of clothing, with a face more Mongol than Russian, invites me inside. There are six or seven dogs and one or two senior nomads gathered around a stove made of vehicle parts. Smoke rises from a silencer and drifts around the tent. She makes room for me on a reindeer skin and pours me tea from one of a set of little enamel mugs. It's a welcome break from the hysteria of the chase, sitting in a pool of warmth with the rain hitting the sides of the tent like a hail of arrows.
I never saw another live reindeer the whole day, but at least I can say I sat on the skin of a very recently deceased one.
Choose another day from Full Circle
- Series: Full Circle
- Day: 17
- Country/sea: Eastern Russia
- Place: Petropavlovsk
- Book page no: 35
Bookmarks will keep your place in one or more series. But you'll need to register
and/or log in.