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Take a ride through Chernobyl ... via the Internet

December 16, 2010 - Rob Weaver
Earlier this week, an unusual travel piece crossed the wire service:

“Beginning next year, Ukraine plans to open up the sealed zone around the Chernobyl reactor to visitors who wish to learn more about the tragedy that occurred nearly a quarter of a century ago, the Emergency Situations Ministry said Monday. “Chernobyl's reactor No. 4 exploded on April 26, 1986, spewing radiation over a large swath of northern Europe. Hundreds of thousands of people were resettled from areas contaminated with radiation fallout in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Related health problems still persist. “The so-called exclusion zone, a highly contaminated area within a 30-mile radius of the exploded reactor, was evacuated and sealed off in the aftermath of the explosion. All visits were prohibited. ...

Well ... not ALL visits. A Ukrainian woman who enjoys riding her Kawasaki Ninja did visit the area in 2006. A link to her travelogue made the rounds on an online bulletin board for motorcyclists years ago. Here’s how it began:

“I travel a lot and one of my favorite destinations leads North from Kiev, towards so called Chernobyl ‘dead zone,’ which is 130kms from my home. Why my favorite? Because one can take long rides there on empty roads.

“In places where roads have not been travelled by trucks or army vehicles, they are in the same condition they were 20 years ago - except for an occasional blade of grass or some tree that discovered a crack to spring through. Time does not ruin roads, so they may stay this way until they can be opened to normal traffic again........ a few centuries from now.”

The Emergency Situations Ministry may reopen the road much sooner than the author had in mind.

It would have been unbelievable report, if it weren’t for the pictures the author provided. It remains an interesting read. For those of you who are curious, here’s the link:


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