After many rivers and profiles the expedition ‘To the East!” has finally achieved Zhigansk. Vladimir Shilnikov has prepared a small story about the village and it is really great. Please read below.
- The closer we got to Zhigansk the better were the roads. At first it was more life a profile that has cut the forest as if using a ruler (Profile is a many kilometers long glade laid with unclear to us goal. In some places they are used for movement, in other cases they are slowly but surely become covered with plants.) Then we found tracks. We crossed Munakan, which is an inflow of Muna. The road has become better and our speed rose. After we passed Kuonara village, we were nearly in the right place. An ordinary winter road, an ordinary road. In some places there were small swamps, but mainly it was a well laid track, that Sherp can use to ride real fast. We have felt the presence of a big river almost immediately. Undre the wheals we could hear a sandy soil, the plants have changed too – there have been many cedar trees on the sides. Even a few pine trees appeared. And the air has changed – we have felt a fresh wind.
- Finally we are in Zhigansk. It is a big settlement, an administrative centre of Zhigansk ulus of Yakutiya. The history of Zhigansk has started in 1632 when Enisey Kazaks created Lensk ostrog, the future Yakutsk. Back then a month later, in the mouth of the Strekalovk river Kazaks built Zhigansk cabin. There were rises and falls and rises again in its history. Life of the settlement is closely connected with the history of the Siberia development.
- Nowdays it is a large village with three and half thousand people. Its main trades are fishing, hunting and deer herds. There are two state schools, nurseries, a hospital and a library. It was really interesting to walk along its streets. The biggest and widest street is called Oktyabrskaya. It is wide with wooden pavements. It is the most central street. We thought so because right on it (or very near) was the post office, different local government buildings, a few shops and museums.
- Yes, that is rigt, there is one more museum – very small, but very interesting. We continued our good old tradition and visited it. It was absolutely worth the time. A great tour topped our knowledge about the North and its people. I may repeat myself, but no book will ever compensate for the real communication and observation. That is why it is so interesting to talk with the locals, learn about their life and listen to their tales about hunting, rivers, weather etc.
- A little more about the settlement as we went round and looked at it. The houses are very different, starting from apartment blocks to the private houses. The many-family homes are usually two-storey tall. The houses were built long time ago and they are wooden. New ones, most likely frame houses, externally covered with siding, very beautiful. Tall apartment blocks are rare, we saw only a couple – three and four floor buildings. Clearly all buildings are made on piles. The private sector is much more varied. One or two storey buildings. There are simple houses, most likely old. New ones usually decorated with casing, flowers or other decorations. In the yards there are steam rooms, barns or garages. In terms of transport there is a clear influence of the Far East – many right sided Japanese cars. Due to the specific climate all cars are four wheel drive. Also often can be seen UAS cars. This is quite typical for Zhigansk, Olenyok and other northern settlements.
- In conclusion I would like to invite you to the river bank of Lena. If you walk on the upper side you will see a few important monuments, amongst which there is a stone with a memorial, devoted to the pioneers- builders of Zhigansk. In the bottom part there is a wide shore with many motor boats near as you can’t even imagine yourself a life near the river without this type of transport. We had a feeling a boat was owned by each other citizen.
The organizers and participants of the expedition thank their partners and sponsors:
The company Ravenol, the main technical partner
Iridium Russia, thanks to them the team will always be connected. The equipment for the data transfer was made available by the companies “Satellite mobile technologies” and “Iridium 360”
Product sponsor for the expedition – the company X5 Retail Group, managing brands “Pyaterochka”, ‘Perekrestok” and “Karusel” for the support of the idea of moving to the east
Technical partner Paptor U-Pol
Garmin Russia – for the navigation and action cameras Garmin Virb
Webasto – technical partner and sponsor of the expedition
Company “Dinakor – strength technologies” and brand Kubota
Company DJI alongside the 4vision.ru – the provider of quadcopters for the video shooting from the air
4×4 Club and brand Warn
Zinc – navigation programs for all terrain and expeditions. It helps us stay the course!
“Medical technologies of survival” for the organization of the medical part of the expedition and the expedition’s medical kits
KB “Radar”, transport company “Promit” for the help in transportation of the cargo to the East
Transport company “Promit” for help with package deliveries
Informational partners of the expedition:
National Geographic Russia, Popular mechanic, Men’s Health, strana.ru, vesti.ru, Russia.travel.ru