Mikael Strandberg

Mikael Strandberg

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Mikael Strandberg was born in 1962 in Sweden. He started his career as a professional traveler 28 years ago.

Frozen Frontier: Pregnancy Drama

Published April 27th, 2013

February 15th

Somewhere in the taiga

Around -30 degrees Celsius (amazingly warm!)

What do we do if people get seriously ill? Piotr repeated my question, I think slightly surprised, and immediately added his answer: “Somebody gets seriously ill out here on the taiga. Maybe a cold, but that is it.”

Piotr is Vikas father and he has lived pretty much all his life out in the taiga, tending reindeer. A lot of this time he has spent by himself. He is one of the most relaxed people I have ever come across. There´s a high degree of serenity in people who have spent all their life out in the great outdoors, living in a small tent most of time, dealing with the forces of nature, including extreme cold, hunger and wild animals. In this little temporary camp, the talk over the campfire is dominated by reindeer stories and tales about hunting success or meeting wild animals. Anything can happen. This time last year, Piotr together with his wife Jevdokya and little Andre were travelling from Arkah ...

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Frozen Frontier; Paradise Found!

Published April 27th, 2013

February 12th

A far from permanent camp called Turten (Eveny word meaning “the place with no food for the reindeer”)

Around -30 degrees Celsius (amazingly warm!)

Paradise found!

Yesterday when we rode into Vika´s papa’s camp, it felt like I was part of an old Western movie. However, instead of teepees and horses, we found 7 tents with warm smoke coming out of them. There were also a bunch of sleds with reindeer tied to them, which showed they were not staying here permanently. This was the temporary home of Vika’s parents, Piotr and Jevdokya Andreejevs. We got off the sleds after another hard day - 30 kms of too much risky ice and dense forest which we pretty much shot through at full speed. I thought the main reason for us being here was that Vika wanted to see her parents, but it was really that Yura wanted to see his 8 month pregnant wife who was in camp waiting to be airlifted out to the hospital in Okhotsk by helicopter. Another fact I wasn’t aware of. There´s so much info, so ...

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Frozen frontires; The life of Normal-na

Published April 7th, 2013

8th of February 2013

Somewhere in the taiga with a view over the Okotsk Mountains

Around -40 Degrees Celsius

Woow, where to begin......

The last 2 days have offered some of the best winter landscape scenery i have ever come across! It has just been magical!

Right now I am really knackered and slightly run down. Vika is mending my down trousers who got ripped quite badly a couple of hours ago, when the taiga hit back at me and relieved me of some goose down. It has been a freezing afternoon after a very dramatic day. Our tent is still far too cold, due to a wood stove which isn´t doing its job, but such is life, it could be worse. We survive. It is all normal-na here!

Yesterday morning we started to climb up through the taigam who´s trees wgere dense with deep snow and tracks after wolf, hare and mountain goat plentiful. We climbed with a certain sadness, because the reindeer which Slava was given as a gift, died due to the stress of being tied up. But I always find out about these ...

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Frozen Frontier; 3 days 100 km

Published April 7th, 2013

Frozen Frontier; 3 days 100 km

6th of February

Midday about 100 km south of Uchugay in the taiga

-35 degrees below zero Celsius

Gee, I am really, really frozen into the backbone! But, these three days of travel have offered some of the best winter scenery I have ever come across! Lots of deep snow, mountains, valleys and this eternal taiga, and with this cold and the odd appearence of the sun, the beauty is stunning and it cannot be seen elsewhere. You need this extreme cold to get the alluring foggy misty freeze and extremely clean, high and fresh air!

What a privilaged time it has been! It is like travelling in a continous dream.....But, the cold. The cold, is fearsome.....at times I ask myself, is it really worth it....and it doesn´t take many seconds until I say loudly yes! And the best experience of all are these personalities we come across, all from wolf hunters to reindeer herders...I tell you by experience, it is not a lot of these nomadic personalities around today ...

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Frozen Frontiers; Freezingly Painful

Published April 7th, 2013

3th February

Somewhere in the taiga

Around -50 degrees Celisus

Believe me if I say I have been freezing today! My heels and toes have been terribly cold, but since I am used to this freezing, it doesn´t scare me. All it takes is to start jumping, walking or doing camp work. Problem is, like us, when sitting at the back of a sled, pulled by two reindeers, it goes very fast, probably 7-8 km per hour. And one just can´t get off when one needs to!

Yesterday was short, an hour no more and we put up our first Siberian camp, which is basically a canvas tent built on natural elements and since I am just to the Scandinavian way, it takes time to do simple things like chopping wood, shoveling snow or starting a fire. In this element, our 4 reindeer herders are masters. The way they do the simplest things, is relaxed and with ease and grace. And they´re so easy going. Just as I remember from my Kolyma jorney back in 2004. The Yakut are more serious in every sense, but get things going. Egor is ...

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