Bases de données Tchernobyl
Reportage photos en moto !
    These are Predgevalskogo Horses. Someone brought a couple of them from asia a few years ago, they liked it here and now there are 3 herds running in Chernobyl area. They are a sturdy breed and are always on the move. They have a prehistoric look about them. When they sweep by at full gallop, it feels like the next herd will be of some ancient Eohippus. Zoologists also introduced couple of American Bisons to the area, but they would not breed and Bison male headed East. I don't know if the Bison was running from the radiation or from his bride, but the last sighting was in Belorusia, perhaps on a course back to America.

    This is the town of Chernobyl - roads are bad here and it is not my favorite place. The entire population was evacuated in 1986 - but not until long after the danger enveloped them. It was a base for the Atomic Power Plant workers. The Dosimeter reading here now is 20-80 microroengens. This is the safest area in the dead zone.

    It is 18 kms from the town of Chernobyl to the APP, and 22 kms to the Ghost Town. To get there, I usually turn off the main road and travel through the small abandoned villages.

    This is village election house.

    It was quite boring to participate in an election with one candidate from one party, so the turnout was very low. That is until the local officials hit upon the idea of offering free drinks in return for a vote. This inspired the electorate to become very interested in politics.

    The door on the right is free drink room and door on left is the election room. I don't know if authorities came up with idea of making the day after the elections a holiday so the voters had time to sober up before returning to work. Old man who told me this story could not recall it either.


Atomic Plant

    Usually, on this leg of the journey, a beeping Dosimeter inspires me to shift into high gear and streak through the area with great haste. The patch of trees in front of me is called red - or 'magic" wood. In 1986, this wood glowed red with radiation. They cut it down and buried it under 1 meter of earth. The Dosimeter readings on the asphalt paving is 500 -3000 microroengens, depending upon where you stand. That is 50 to 300 times the radiation of a normal environment. If I step 10 meters forward, Dosimeter will run off the scale. If I walk a few hundred meters towards the reactor, the radiation is 3 roengens per hour - which is 300,000 times normal. If I was to keep walking all the way to the reactor, I would glow in the dark tonight. Maybe this is why they call it a magic wood. It is a dark magic with the power to turn biker leather into shining armor.

    This is the territory of the Atomic Power Plant. The Dosimeter reading here is also 500-3000 microroengen per hour.

    The plant was closed down for good in 2000.
    They must build a new sarcophagus soon, because the original one was hastily constructed and is disintegrating.

    This is the final checkpoint. Motorcycles not allowed and protective radiation suits are required beyond this point, and I am not that curious.

Ghost Town

    With a 4 kilometer leap, we are at the gates of the Ghost Town. It was founded in 1970 and located 4 kms North of the reactor. 48,000 people lived here and loved their town. 20 years ago, it was a modern, green and cozy place to live.


    This town might be an attractive place for tourists. Some tourists companies have been trying to arrange tours in this town, but the first group of tourists found the silence unnerving and downright SPOOKY. And it is. They charged 1200 hryvnas for a 2 hour excursion and after some 15 minutes, they wanted to flee to the outside world. The silence here is deafening.


Quiet town

    This is the residence of the town guard.

    At first glance, Ghost Town seems like a normal town. There is a taxi stop, a grocery store, someone's wash hangs from the balcony and the windows are open.
    But then I see a slogan on a building that says - "The Party of Lenin Will Lead Us To The Triumph Of Communism"......and I realize that those windows were opened to the sping air of April of 1986.

    If I am in the Ghost Town just for a ride, then I go alone, but I never go alone inside of buildings. There are many places that not structurally safe, or have collected pockets of intense radiation. The other reason is wild boars, if you see one on the street, this is not a big deal, but to meet face to face inside of the building... I could become a dinner for a family of them.
    When I explore buildings, I pick up a girl friend of mine who lives in Chernobyl, and is a professional guide for the dead zone. She is a native, and highly literate in the field of atomic physics. She has a great personality and has great taste in shoes. There are places where no one dares to go, not even scientists with protective gear. One such place is the Red Wood forest and another is the Ghost Town Cemetary. The relatives of the people who are buried there can not visit, because in addition to people, much of the radioctive graphite nuclear core is buried there. It is one of the most toxic places on earth.


Bike shop

    Maybe it was not hard to guess that this would be the first place I wanted to visit.
    It's a biker thing.

No motorcycle shop could survive a catastrophe like this.

    This is a sales sticker for a Chezet, 26hp, 343cc, motorcycle. Price = 1050 rubles. For the non-bikers reading this, Chezet was the ultimate dream machine for all young bikers in the Soviet Union. I remember being a school girl in a crowd of bad boys hanging outside and drooling on the showcase window of the cycle shop......dreaming of what we could do with 26 hp bike, because Grandpa's crippled dinosaur had only 15 ponnies but how the HELL could we ever afford it in this lifetime????? The average monthly wage was only 180 rubbles then.
    When the town siren went off on Sunday morning, mass panic ensued. With the police evacuting along with everyone else, banks and even jewelry stores went relatively unnoticed, but looters emptied this shop out in minutes. The police began shooting looters in May, when radioactive TV sets began to appear in the pawn shops of Kiev.



    We are at the reception desk of largest hotel in a Ghost Town

    This is a room with trees growing through a stone floor.

    This is the banquet room. It was used for weddings, celebrating birthdays and office parties. There are more signs of life here than anywhere else in Ghost Town.

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