Chernobyl challenge, day eight, Kiev
Saturday 31 August 2007
Today we rest, well that was the concept. Rise at 07:00 breakfast and out by 09:00 (bear in mind I was up until 02:18hrs) in the mini bus to visit the site of the biggest single man made cock up yet......CHERNOBYL!
The rest would have been better had one person, who shall remain name less, went out for a drink and forgot which room he was in. It was not Allan or Mike “Tackleberry” (see police academy) Scaife. Cos they were woken up, as was I, at three o'clock! It was funny though..... later that day on the bus at least. It appears John also found a use for the gravel trap at a set of lights last night, he stayed on but more by good fortune, 'es a nutter that un!
Oh yes we hit Mc D's...........again!
Ok, the day was over cast and started to rain as we went to the power plant, the first rain we have seen to date, not to cold though. We arrived at the first check point got cleared and on we went. Judging from the banter there was a nervous bravado going on. Two of the guys had brought personal dose meters along, Mike 'C' and Andy 'T' but Andy's was a bit dodgy it didn't seem to now which way was up!
First we go to Chernobyl town, or what is left, to have a brief rundown on events and the effects on the area. The “area” was only the Ukraine, never touch the rest of the world...........did it?
It appears there are still people living in the exclusion area, average age is 70 years, old people who refuse to leave.
From here we are taken to the plant, all tucked up now and it's life ended. The last reactor closed in 2000 (R3) R5 and R6 still as they were left under construction, never built, cranes and all. It is odd to stand on the road knowing that if we wander 10 feet in to the grass, or less, we would be very, very poorly. We DID stay on the road. Old Tackleberry said he remembers standing in a German field on exercise being told not to eat any dead animals, never thought one day he would be stood looking at the reason! I think we all had a Kennedy moment, well all who are old enough, to remember it. On the visit we sat down for a team photo, only to get to be told “get up, why you sit there do you not no this is the site of the worlds worst nuclear accident” mmmmm fried egg's eh?
To put you at ease we all got checked out and we are clean.
There is enough stuff on the web about the place and its history so I am not going there ( the bar is open as well).
From the plant we went to Pripyat city, the fair ground is still there as you perhaps know but it was odd, you could almost hear the children laughing and shouting, that was said to me by at least two of the guys as I thought it myself. “Moving” is not enough.
There may be things I have missed, tonight will bring up new story's but for now I am done. A somber, moving and very emotional three days.
Tomorrow we drive again, 265 miles, westward and coming home.
1895miles (ish) of long roads behind us.
Mike Cater has also written a journal, I have to go look at and edit it, or just post it and let you rip it up! Te He. Ta ra fer now xx
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