Meeting Jacob opened our eyes. His understanding of life in Yukon was remarkable. Indian life on Yukon majorly changed when electricity was introduced. A lot was left behind. Instead of sledges they now use a snowmobile. Boats go on motors, but roads from village to village are a rarity. The natives use small planes to cover the longer distances which course almost as often as a bus. Yukon is the main highway that dictates everyone’s life. The boat is on a bank. The Water level has dropped during the night. Three guys have rubber boots. Two of us don’t. One two, three, it’s not moving. Push it. There we go. To Sandris’ side. Lets go! One, two, three! Go, go! Push! One, two, three! Go, go, go! Stop! What the hell!?
-It moves, moves. Go, go, go! Look at this line. That line and another one. And many more small ones. The water level in Yukon is dropping
by 15 centimeters every night. So if yesterday we left the boats in the water, now, during the night, only sand, wet sand, is left under the boats. The sand is soft, your feet sink in it
and so do the boats because they’re full and heavy. It was very difficult to get them out. This means that there is a small chance we’ll set shore in places like this again. Let’s go. A large part of Alaska is positioned on an endlessly frozen piece of ice – permafrost. In some places the soil can be very thin. Only 2- 3 meters. You can always feel the cold when you’re lying on the ground. Trees grow slow here. And they don’t make foundations for houses, they build everything above the ground. The houses can be moved at any moment. We heard some people talk about Austrians while
we were heading this way. Or Germans. Well, people from a land where they speak German, who are on the same path as we are. It looks like those are them. Husband and wife. After the shots fired this morning
I thought the geese are going to fly past us. We missed 4 times. It was something. Canadian geese in Alaska. A beautiful kind of geese, also found in Latvia. Unfortunately very rare. It is very hard to shoot this creature.
You know why? Look at this armor. See this? Very thick. I think we’ll prepare them today and cook them tomorrow. While we’re feasting on the geese
we shot yesterday we were visited by a quail. They act very active as it was a mating period. In Latvia grouses have their fake mating period. Andis is trying to get a picture.
– But they should be afraid shouldn’t they? They were born this year so they have no human experience so they don’t know what to be afraid of or why be afraid. He starts his mating dance. Looked like he tried to attack me!
– Flew right at you. We’re at a place called Russian Mission.
There are no Russians here though. But you can see these people have lighter skin than Indians. They are Eskimo people. I will tell you about the church. They sing holy songs in their own native language. Eskimo language?
– Yes, but they don’t know the language. They have holy icons, no one knows from what year, the end of 19th century most likely. Brought from Russia?
– Yes. They wanted to restore them.
They tore some parts off but then understood that it is not that easy so they kind of fixed it with some white paper duck tape. But their most valued possession is a chandelier which they believe costs 3-4 thousand dollars. That is what they think.
But the chandelier was impressive. Even when boating on a magical river,
with wonderful people on great boats you got to take time and look around.
This is what the planes of Yukon look like. We’re at Saint Mary’s village, it’s an early morning and we were invited to a host a lecture with Raimonds leading and me Maris assisting. This is the school bus that collects kids from all around the village and takes them to a school. which is attended by 186 kids. Give me the camera
and I will show you how it looks. A close up of the lecture. Let’s go inside. The further we went, the more interested people were of who we are. We were invited to dinners, hunting, they helped us as they could and finally invited us to a school so we could tell them about our trip, ourselves and our tiny Latvia. Someone listened, someone didn’t care, but now, the young Yupik Eskimo generation will know how to locate Latvia, know that we have a language, culture and traditions. I am confident that we were the first ones who told them about the happenings on the other side of the World on the shores of the Baltic states. With this experience we traveled further to reach another sea. The Bering sea. We’re trying to reach the sea
and it is not going that well. The wind is in our faces, the waves are strong. Now you can witness how the reserve bench looks. This is the fifth mans spot in the boat. The man who does not row.
The possibilities to help are very few. It is raining outside. The wind is blowing. A man is wrapped in a plastic film so he would not freeze. Otherwise everything ends very fast,
the temperature is +5 degrees Celsium, and if I didn’t have this plastic film, we’d have to stop very often because there are no ways to get warm. You have to spend 6 hours of your day like this. There are not many things you can do here. Sometimes I manage to read a magazine. The only thing you can do is wonder about life. The speed rate of traveling or exploring this river is a very difficult topic. There are many sides to this. One side is going for the end destination in the planned time. You can’t travel it for 2 or 3 years. No one has that much time. But on the other hand we have traveled so far and there is so much to see here. The stories are endless It’s a great satisfaction for this great period of time. When in ‘99 me and Erik Zigmund drank tea orsome other beverage and dreamed of boating on Yukon… So when it all started in 2002
and continued in 2008 and now we’re here. I’d call it the great result of a large,
great dream. I’m almost there. We just have to reach the sea. And again, I have proven to myself
that every dream can come true. You just have to use your hands and mind. Well Maris. – This is the last camp on the river. The journey seemed very long. If we compare this to home. Or compare this to other places that have nothing. This place really has nothing.
There’s no gold even. The only meaning of life here is to do
what you do as best you can. If you have a family – you take care of it.
If it’s work than it’s work. It sounds strange and pleasant. If you don’t think that way than it seems like nothing here has a meaning. Why do people live here? In a village of 80 people? No, even worse – 8 people. Why the hell do they do that?
Move to a city and be in piece, but no, they live here, and that’s what makes me happy. I expected bad weather conditions, excuse me, but to row 1800 km against the wind is like being bodybuilder for the whole day,
I mean you just got to be crazy, you really got to go nuts to plan this
and actually do this. But that is a myth that exists in the World of boaters. The German said the same thing. He did this once with a canoe and he won’t do it again. Well, look at us. We’re doing it. I don’t want to do it with any other boat. Do I look stupid? You got to use a canoe for this. Perfect. You can take a lot of stuff with you. You stop. Pee in peace. Why should I use a damn kayak? I hear someone saying that I loved to row. Judging by Raimonds that might be a very great compliment. But if it came from him, it’s like when someone hands you an ice cream on a very hot day. With the way that he thinks, the rules are different here. As Raimonds says – you got to follow everything. You mean the way he talks? – At first it was hard to separate his jokes from being serious. But after the 42 day, I’m starting to understand.
– So what’s the resume? I just understood that I love the road I’ve started to walk. A lifestyle. I don’t know how to call it. What lifestyle is that?
– It’s closer to nature. What is it, Janis?
– Just exercising. First category on the left side. We’re entering a canal which indicates
a village Emmonak in 4 km. The plains of Yukon are staying behind us. There is the third exit to Bering sea. It goes through other village. There are three main exits to the Bering sea. We’re entering the middle one at the moment. There it is.
– There it is! What’s there?
Our destination! What did you see there? – Emmonak. The Eskimo village at the Bering sea. Is there a tradition that when you achieve something, everyone jumps in the water? Sadly, no. Actually, I can’t know everything. The men are here. What date is it?
– September 19th. – 2008. Emmonak, Alaska, The Bering sea.
300 km further is the Chukchi Peninsula, Russia. Let’s go. Give it to Maris. – Pass it clock wise. And the km covered? – By the unofficial data we’ve covered 1793 km. We can exaggerate – 2000 Km. The official river length is 3200 km.
– Almost 2000 km. That sounds good. – In 42 days only. How much was it before? 1700?
– It was 3 and a half. Hey. That’s actually good. More than 3000 km. The longest expedition of Raimonds.