Chernobyl, day 2 – morning in the machine graveyard
Day two started bright and early with breakfast in the same diner we’d had dinner in the night before. Once again we were segregated in our little curtained-off booth. Breakfast looked like this:
There was also a whole plate of orange slices, and a whole plate of bread. We ate as much as we could, but couldn’t even come close to finishing it. Then, just as we were about the finish, the diner lady brought out huge bowls of noodles. She left, and we looked at each other, asking ourselves silently “what do we do with this?”
After breakfast, our guide and driver took us out to an area filled with old, rusted machines and buses; and several warehouses. He told us not to step on the moss growing on the ground as it’s highly radioactive (yes it’s bright green) but also to watch out for snakes in the long grass. OKAY.
I was photographing inside a bus when a bird flew in and scared the crap out of me. However, the bird wasn’t nearly as scary as the GIANT FLESH-EATING MOSQUITOES that were everywhere. They are aggressive, man! They’ll find the one little patch of skin on your body that isn’t covered by a bit of hoodie or sock in about .000264 of a second and dive onto it, feasting hungrily, and as you swat at it, another two will hit another part of your body. Sometimes they’d get caught in my eyelashes. Our guide had insect repellent, but the guys still got bitten a lot (me not so much, they seem to like the pale skin more).
Most of the buildings were fairly empty, probably looted as well, but here and there would be a hardhat or another piece of workers’ equipment.
The vast space has a desolate, kind-of otherworldly feel to it. It really felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. And I’m not talking outer-suburban-Melbourne middle-of-nowhere. Big rusted machines littered the landscape, some hidden amongst trees, some out in the open as though they were deliberately on display.
We didn’t encounter any snakes. I did step on a fair amount of moss (would you prefer the radioactive moss or take your chances with the snakes? Hmm, decisions…) but I also passed all radiation checks.
Second half of the morning coming next.
x Kitten of Doom