Lifestyle & Travel

Mar 3, 2018

TOURISTLESS ADVENTURE

Adventure tourism became extremely popular over the last decade but also lost part of its realism, after all with guided visits and closed gates resorts in luxury hotels there's not much left of the spirit of adventure that turned popular so many destinations in Africa, South America and Asia.

By PABLO HERNANDEZ

The Adventurists is a travel agency with an expertize as far as bold adventurers go, it promises tons of adventure and very little tourism plus, so it assures, the risk of dying or being maimed is extremely real on its offers, especially on the Ice Run that takes place between March 12 and 24 on lake Baikal, in Siberia.

The challenge is as follows: crossing the frozen lake on an ancient and unreliable Ural motorbike on a praising minus 30 degrees, all for the adrenaline and a good cause, given that the event gathers donations of a charity of the choosing of the participants. Those interested should own an international drivers' license of Category A so they can drive their vintage Ural, that unlike current day Ural bikes had a more negative mood, built to last but not so much to work the choice over these relics of the Soviet Union is really just to harden the life of the competitors. The most recent motorcycle has at least 18 years on its back, the organization has no use for bikes built after the year 2000.

Fear not, during the first three days the organizers will teach you all about driving on ice, driving and fixing the motorcycle and some ice survival techniques (keep in mind you will be camping on top of frozen waters on an average of minus 30 temperature, minus 20 during March without wind). Baikal is considered the deepest lake on the planet with an estimate that it took Nature 25 million years to make it what it is today.

The organization assures a nice portion of spare parts while assuring that you will have to fix your motorcycle somewhere along the track, given that if the bikes were already not very reliable as soon as it left the factory, given its ill adapted replicas of a German motorcycle dating to 1939 (yes, World War II), the passage of time has just worsen its reliability. You will have to travel through oily glassy ice surfaces, open cracks and tons of solidified snow on a temperature that could freeze to death an Arctic fox at the peak of its age.

Although the use of a light and well humoured tone on the description of Ice Run 2018, they do give you this alert: "these are genuinely dangerous things to do (…) you cannot overestimate the risks involved in taking part in these adventures. Your chances of being seriously injured or dying as a result of taking part are high. Individuals who have taken part in the past have been permanently disfigured, seriously disabled or lost their life. These are not holidays. These are adventures and so by their very nature extremely risky. You really are putting both your health and life at risk. That's the whole point."

If you wish to get rid of everyday life and a year's worth of meetings and routine, this might well be the adrenaline punch that may let you forget the world and focus only on your survival, the inscriptions are on teams of two persons and, since this year you will probably be too late, the Ice Run 2019 is scheduled between 11 and 23 of March. Tons of adventure and zero tourism at an estimated cost of £10,000 per team plus the flight and train to Russian Siberia. This is the opportunity to "undertake a monster of an adventure, something so tough that many mere mortals would run a mile from. You walk away with stories to amaze your friends for years to come and friendships spawned from shared endurance; the sort that last longer than frostbite." The organization suggests that you subscribe a good life and health insurance without cutting back on the insurance agencies what exactly you will be facing, better safe than sorry. Keep in mind: there is a real possibility you might not be coming back home!

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