Between two oceans
LOWA photographer Richard Kienberger journeys across Eurasia in the winter
Russia In the spring of 2018, LOWA photographer and journalist Richard Kienberger finally made a dream that had been whirling around his mind for years come true: He finally undertook his journey across the double continent of Eurasia during a single trip – and he decided to do it during the winter, of all times.
The plan was to connect Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe with Magadan. The Siberian port city is located along two bays of the Sea of Okhotsk. It can be reached from Yakutsk via the Kolyma Highway. The biggest problem associated with turning this dream into a reality was: For most people in St. Petersburg or Moscow, the Pacific coast of Russia is something like a distant continent, a place that they have heard of, but know virtually nothing about.
The Pacific port of Magadan also has a dubious reputation in Russia to this very day, a leftover from the Soviet era when the city served as a gateway to gulags – those notorious Siberian prison camps operated back then. The first part of the journey took Kienberger through Portugal, Spain, France and Belgium on his way to Russia and Lake Baikal. The farther he ventured east, the more intense the cold became – less for him than for his vehicle.
Kienberger drove all the way to the former forbidden garrison city of Chita that is located near the Chinese border.
It was simply too dangerous to drive the 2,000-kilometre-long Kolyma Highway that passes through just a handful of villages alone. Because of the freezing cold, the local safari providers, companies with specially equipped vehicles, temporarily shut down their operations. Kienberger decided to fly to Yakutsk and Magadan. The LOWA model YUKON ICE GTX HI went into action here, where daytime temperatures climbed all the way up to minus 35 degrees.
Richard Kienberger spent 64 days travelling “between two oceans” and drove about 26,000 kilometres. The landscape and his encounters with people along the way left a deep impression on him.