“Traveler, Russian blogger, traveled across Yakutia,” that's what I've heard about Sergey Karpukhin from the editor. Of course, such a person simply cannot but arouse curiosity. For that matter, travelers are a special breed, who, perhaps, are not understandable to everyone, but very attractive.
Sergey Karpukhin's blog does not look like the websites of other travelers. It catches you not only with amazing photos, but also with very “tasty” texts from the author.
(from S. Karpukhin’s LiveJournal personal blog)
“... Nature has always had a very strong influence on me. Just a yellow leaf, frozen into the first, still transparent ice, could entrance me. And I found nothing more alluring and attractive for myself than the horizon, beyond which I wanted to get a glimpse more than anything in the world.
... By the end of school, it was clear that I wanted to be a traveler. But they did not teach travelers in our Soviet country, and this was not included in the list of professions for the national economy. According to my understanding, geologists had something close to it. That is why I entered the Moscow Institute of Geological Exploration... And so it happened that my friend Vovka Shirokov dragged me into speleology. I did not think that I would stay there for a long time. As if! For the whole ten years I got sick of this subject, and we had a close team with everyone on the same page that for the sake of this one we would go underground ...
... Honestly, I left geology a little earlier than a severe need had ripened to that. But it would have to be done anyway.
... But all these changes have not affected the dominating aspiration to go over the horizon to distant mountains, rivers and forests. And somehow, I step by step started to get to different parts of the country: Altai, Yakutia, Sayans, then Vitim. And then I put together a team for the Putorana plateau. However, I have never dealt with tourism as such, and I even consider this word to be an insult to myself. Traveling is work and, like any other work, it must bear some fruit. Even intangible.
... And once, having returned from the Putorana expedition in 1996, the first thing I did - I started to study the maps. This, by the way, is one of my favorite activities. I wanted something global. In short, it ended with that I have planned to cross the entire Central Siberian plateau, the vast territory between the Lena and the Yenisei… As a result, this my project lasted for three years. In 1997, in a light kayak, within two months I covered 2625 kilometers along the Lower Tunguska. In 1999 it was the most interesting, say, the most difficult. I made a breathtaking route from the Lower Tunguska to the sources of the Olenek River, about 600 kilometers long, where I had to go 250 kilometers up the rivers and floated down another 700 kilometers down the Olenek River. Here I set a personal record - 40 days in a row, without meeting a person. Although, the expedition itself also lasted almost two months. I still have not broken this record, although I am pulling closer to it. And in 2000, there was nothing left to do but complete the epic, specifically, to go the remaining one and a half thousand kilometers of the Olenek River to the Laptev Sea.
That's how I became a lone traveler ...
.. In 2002, I had a professional debut. A certain publishing house sent me to shoot landscapes in the Polar Urals. Then there were Putorana, Podkamennaya Tunguska, Suntar-Hayata Ridge, Tofalaria, Kamchatka, the Koni Peninsula, the southern spurs of the Chersky Range, Lake Labynkyr, the Lena River, Big Momskaya frost, Indigirka, hitherto unknown unique remnant landscape of the Ulakhan-Sis ridge and much more. I try to tell about all these expeditions, the earlier and later ones, and about new experiences, in my journal.
I am open-heartedly in love with Yakutia
- Sergei, you are a well-known blogger. How did you come to life like that? How many countries visited? What are your plans?
- All the same, I am first a traveler and a photographer, and only then a blogger. And I came to this life a long time ago. My expeditionary experience is 36 years. I am infected by this wanderlust since childhood. And, of course, everything that I see and feel when traveling, requires some kind of way out. That's why I take pictures, it allows you to express yourself. And now we have the opportunity to share it all through blogs and social networks. My plan is simple - to continue to explore the beauty of the world and talk about it.
I visited a few countries, my field of activity is Russia.
- You have been in our region several times. Was there no fear of bumping into bears and wolves in the Yakut taiga? Did you feel like DiCaprio’s character in ‘The Revenant’? What do you think the republic needs to develop tourism? What would be your pros and cons?
- I have not been in Yakutia just several times. I have been there a lot of times and keep coming. Yakutia is number one for me. And the reason is simple. I'm most interested in wilderness and little explored areas of the world. Landscapes that have not been visualized by anyone by means of professional artistic photography. And I find such places in Yakutia. Yes, I just frankly in love with Yakutia. Definitely, the republic is not for mass tourism. Here exclusive, expeditionary, ecological tourism is possible, but not mass, and one should not strive for it.
Rough conditions. Too expensive and undeveloped logistics. Domestic flights create an insurmountable barrier.
Cinema is always misleading. In reality, everything is not so. "The Revenant" in real life would not have survived such wounds. I have seen bears and wolves many times and very close. Usually the beast tries to escape. There is no such serious danger in such a situation.
- People are different everywhere. You are probably a good psychologist. Share experience for novice travel bloggers. How to behave in a foreign country?
- As I have already said, I don’t travel much in other countries, most of all I go to hard-to-reach places. In dealing with people, really, you have to be a psychologist. I can advise beginners to go to people with an open heart. People are usually responsive, especially in the northern regions.
- Can you tell a couple of funny or, on the contrary, the scary moments from your trips?
- This item always puzzles me. There was a lot of things and this is all described in my stories in LJ (livejournal – Author’s note). Well, for example, I had a series of expeditions alone, I covered the whole river Olenek from its source to the mouth alone. This was done in two seasons. At the end of the first part, I stayed in the village of Olenek with the local babushka Praskovya Vasilyevna. And in a year, almost before the start again for Olenek, walking down in the Moscow Metro with a magazine in my hands that published an article about my last year’s expedition I unexpectedly came across Praskovya Vasilyevna. The probability of such a casual encounter tends to zero. It could be regarded as a good sign. And the magazine turned out to be very useful, I, naturally, gave it to Praskovya Vasilyevna.
- What projects are today's travels related to?
- Currently, my projects are related to the organization of travel for people, not only for myself. In fact, the members of my expeditions are sponsors. I have no other sources of financing. And, of course, I do not stop my search for unknown landscapes. Three years ago I was lucky to discover a truly unique landscape in Abyisky ulus in Yakutia, which I called the Granite Cities of Ulakhan-Sis. The September edition of NationalGeographic published my article about this discovery. For three years I have already spent six expeditions there. There are some more amazing places in Yakutia that are not yet presented to the world. I am looking for opportunities for this.
- Continue, please, a logical chain: man - event - fate - ... And why did you choose this word?
- Goal. When a person has a goal, he can change his destiny.
- Tourism itself is to some extent associated with risk. What are the simplest rules (formal or informal) that a person needs to know in order to avoid such risks?
- It makes no sense to list security articles. I can only say that self-belief is important here, but you need to clearly understand where opinionatedness begins.
- How many years will you continue this business? If you decide to get a foothold, which corner on earth will you choose?
- I will travel as long as I am safe and sound. I know people over 70 who do not sit still.
I do not plan to get a foothold.