Владимир Феоктистов
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Vladimir Feoktistov

If you ask Vladimir Feoktistov what makes him regularly leave his old haunt and throw himself to wild unexplored lands, incomprehensible for a common civilized person, it is unlikely that he whould answer the question. Not because of any hidden secret, no. It is just impossible to express in words the call going from hart - the call of forefathers, Gods, elements... There is only one chance to make the persistent inspiration real. Vladimir Feoktistov's life is this very continuous realization.

Now, he is 38, but his youthful unseasonably suntanned face looks much younger. Behind his back are more than thirty journeys and expeditions: Siberia, European North, Peru, Congo, Chad, Madagascar, Iran, Pakistan and many other countries - civilized and not quite. Each land is its own world with its specific way of life; a little piece of glass taking its place in the variegated mosaic of the universe.

From his very childhood, V. Feoktistov has been showing unconscious interest to new unfamiliar places. Later, this interest developed into a keenness, and then - into the lifestyle. Why it happens so that most of his journeys are connected with water. Even as far back as in school age when Vladimir first sat down at kayak paddles tha water element captivated his young soul and has still hold it uncovering happiness in shimmering blue splashes and in every river droplet falling on the cheeks and the forehead hot under the sun.

At the beginning, he used to raft on the rivers near Moscow and within the "Golden Ring", then the "flow" began to carry him away further and further to the North, until Siberia won his heart once and for all. Amaizing nature of the region, pure air, unique blueness of the sky and greatness of the mountains, crystal clarity of waters and thoughts - this is truely invaluable gift, which can be taken back to the routine bustle of cities and traffic flows. But it is difficult to be sutisfied with only one gift whatever royal it is.

As long as the USSR border had been "locked", Feoktistov unhurriedly walked over the generous Russian lands and sailed the wide rivers: in the area of Verkhoyansky ridge, Chetsky ridge, Sikhote Alin, Yakutiya… But once the prison fell in, and Feoktistov first met his freedom in Peru. There, on his own he made his first pioneering of Amazon's confluents: Pintuyaku, Chambira, and Nanay. This was, in fact, the beginning of "tropic extreme" in his life.

Hungry crocodiles, poisonous and not always wise snakes, pitiless malaria, swarms of gigantic ants and wide-eyed astonishment of ugly, and maybe rather miserable savages - undoubtedly, all this accompanied Vladimir's tropical water-wandering. But is it worth to keep one's attention on these and other stimulators of adrenalin injection onto blood? (which, by the way, in real life are much less dangerous than that describe in popular literature). Wouldn't it be better to think about the fact that "our" world is a grain in this immense universe territory of the Earth. That somewhere near us people live absolutely in a different way, that even two nations living across a narrowest river may differ in terms of morals and customs.

You are right: all this has hothing unusual. But every time he came back home, Vladimir suddenly began to pick up nuances of his surroundings which were always near but invisible for fidget eyes always turned to oneself and one's own problems. And each time setting out on a new journey he noticed how his outlook gradually expanded to embrace new finest sides of people's life: their way of life, temper, behaviour.

People's life... how different it is. In Cameroon and Pakistan, Turkey and Belgium, in towns and close to nature; even along the little Mpomp River, a confluent of Congo River, hidden in impassable African jungle. Rafting along the Mpomp River was Feoktistov's second sole pioneering. Then, his life was in mortal danger when the native guide who was hired almost ran away creeped over by fear of unknown natural forces or local gods. That was not the only time when the cold breath of death burned Vladimirs shoulders, sharpened his passion for life and knowledge and taoght to value all the beauty of the current moment. And, nevertheless, setting out for a next journey he piously believed in coming back to life - the life that waits for him here in the homeland.
On our site you will read about many interesting facts from "travelling" biography of this outstanding person. We will do our best to convey his most subtle impressions and make sketches of his travellings most rich. But remember that no matter how you look at the world with somebody else's eyes, you will not be able to break free from you small or large but confined space. Therefore, consider our album a kind of encouragement for you to slightly open the door "there" yourself, carefully look out, breath in clean air and, feeling free, take the plunge towards the unknown.

Good luck, friends!

 to the beginning mail to Vladimir Feoktistov to webmaster 
© 2002, Vladimir Feoktistov

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