Text edited and translated by Dasha Kotenko.
All the time we were laughing about how we would die. Like: don’t forget to take a picture of me being eaten by a bear, so you can post it later on Instagram! But then we heard about the wolves that killed a dog the other day, it wasn’t that funny anymore’. New Year 2015 Andrey and Alexander wanted to celebrate at Yustozero, where is was supposed to be safer. One of the locals mislead the guys and when they realised that the closest village was in 30 kilometres (and they went 40 km a day in average), it was already getting dark. So they just went straight ahead by the road in complete darkness for several hours. Eventually they arrived at Sovdozero. Out of 20 houses only one was lit up from inside. But the guys decided not to knock, as the people were supposed to be celebrating New Year already. The guys found a place to put their tents nearby and had their small party: shared a cup of tea, 5 candies and leftovers from morning rice and tinned stew.
After a while the guys realized their mobile phones lost connection and they wouldn’t be able to call their relatives and friends on the New Year’s night. And New Year in Russia is considered to be the biggest and the most important holiday of the year. Alexander wrote in his journal then: “The forest is scary. The phones don’t work. Everything that was frozen is now melting and dripping all over us. The boots are completely wet. I’m gonna celebrate New Year sleeping. Can’t call my parents. It doesn’t feel nice at all”. At 1AM some people started making fireworks and the guys woke up from the noise. For a while they were watching the tent above them changing colour from red to pink. It was a warm night, they had a good sleep. When they guys woke up the next morning they realised they spent the New Year’s night right at the local graveyard. They just packed all their stuff, said that they were sorry out loud and left.
As soon as Andrey and Alexander could use their phones they called their family and found a message from a man named Boris who was offering them any help they needed. He lived in Porosozero and that was exactly the guys’ next destination.