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Chernobyl ILLEGAL (don't try this at home)

Chernobyl ILLEGAL (don't try this at home)

December 2019 · 5 min read · Kyiv Oblast

Disclaimer: Do not take this text as advice - tresspassing the Chernobyl zone is forbidden (you can be fined if caught by police) and of course is dangerous. But the "illegals" or " stalkers" community exists, and you can visit this postapocaliptic place on your own risk.

Imagine that you are in a car traveling from Kyiv to the north. Your heart rate is slightly accelerated - next hours you have to hide and sneak. In the trunk lies your backpack with belongings and food for a few days of trekking in late autumn. Nearby are two friends and a driver. You drunk a lot of coffee, because all night you are going to go somewhere rather than sleep.

The car passes Ivankiv and moves on further. Don't I forgot anything - gps, gas stove with cartridges, sleeping bag, etc? It seems like everything is taken. Somewhere further north, where the maps ends, turning into a white spot, you get out of the car and find yourself in complete darkness. And also among the lowly sounds of the night forest. Of course you have a torch, but cannot use it - there are the police guards, maybe hiding somewhere.

You go through the forest, through the barbed wire, through the field, again through the forest, then following the paved road. Your eyes slowly begin to see in the darkness. You hide from cars - there are not many of them, and according to the Exclusion Zone rules, at night they should not be here, but they are.

You go under the power lines - somewhere near the insulator there is a short circuit, and periodically the sparks pour down, illuminating for a moment all around. There is the sound of your reality begins changing.

Across the Uzh river, taking off your shoes, you walk as fast as you can, but you have time to feel zero celsius degrees in the atmosphere, and your feet can warm up only after half an hour of walking.

You go so long that when you stop to rest, you start to fall asleep. But you have to go further. You suddenly see the antennas of a giant construction, wonders of engineering thought , infected by Cold War soviet army's brains. Duga, Chernobyl-2 - "Russian Woodpecker".

Then you fall into sleep, continuing to go almost automatically, but it starts to glow and you wake up. Good morning. You're in the garden, where the apple trees are full of ripe apples. You eat those gifts of Chernobyl and enjoy life. You find an abandoned house and sleep there until the next night.

The effect of sleep deprivation is stronger next night. Through the dam, that is almost impossible for walking because of big stones, you make your way to the island, part of the nuclear power plant. Here is the unfinished nuclear reactor №5.

You run away from the dog's barking, climb on a roof of this terrifying structure, it's time to take a look at the giant arch of a new confinement (probably less then 1 kilometer from your spot).

When the new day comes, you sleep somewhere near this place. There is a song by The Prodigy - "The day is my enemy, the night is my friend". That's how you feel.

The next night you are no longer three but two, the third fellow had other plans, and disappeared in the darkest darkness. The two of you are wandering in the direction of the dead city Prypiat'. You bypass the guards and find yourself on a street that has ceased to be so, because the city has ceased to exist and is absorbed by the forest. The nature of sleep deprivation changes, and now you sleep the second part of the night. You find yourself on the waterfront in the morning. Then you pass through the rubble debris and you see an abandoned tank in front of you.

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Then you pass through a field where nothing grows, you visit dead houses, climb onto their roofs, go to the amusement park and look at the amusement that are not amusing anyone. Suddenly your friend runs somewhere, you don't understand anything, but you run after him. There was a police patrol, they didn't run after you.

You look at the sunset, then go to sleep in an apartment that has no owners.

Your friend catched a cold and it's time to go home. At night you pass through the city, through the abandoned railway station, through the village buried with radioactive dirt, and as the day comes you continue to move in the direction of civilization. Ooops - you meet the big moose and his family!

After half a day of continuous movement, you and your friend are no longer in exclusion zone, catched the transport and returned to Kyiv.

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