Monday, April 17, 2006

Russia expels global trekkers

MOSCOW, Russia -- A British explorer and his American fellow traveler who entered Russia without going through a border checkpoint will be deported and fined, dealing a serious blow to their dream of walking around the world.

Briton Karl Bushby and American Dimitry Kieffer were also fined 2,000 rubles (U.S.$72; euro60) each have 10 days to appeal against the ruling by a court in the Russian Far East region of Chukotka.

The two are divided over what to do next, NTV television reported. Bushby is considering an appeal but Kieffer is not willing, since it could take up to four months to work its way through the court system, NTV said.

The two have been staying in the remote village of Lavrenty, 800 kilometers (500 miles) northeast of the provincial capital Anadyr, since arriving in Russia on April 1 and being detained.

It took them 15 days to make the trek across a 120-kilometer (56-mile) stretch of the Bering Strait.

Bushby's Web site identified him as a former paratrooper who made the Bering Strait crossing from Alaska to Chukotka as part of a round-the-world walk that began in 1998 at the southern tip of South America.

He wants to be the first person to walk all the way around the world.

Since the beginning of his journey on November 1, 1998, he has covered 27,000 kilometers (17,000 miles), walking through South, Central and North America. Kieffer accompanied him on the Bering Strait leg.

An entry on their Web site says: "All their electrical equipment, as well as skis, poles, dry suits, underwater gloves and sled have been retained for examination. These will be examined by experts as part of the current investigation.

"K and D state that they are OK and get lovely home-made meals from their friend Father Leonid, the Orthodox priest who gave them a place to stay.

"They have managed to find a radio station from Anadyr that plays a mixture of Russian/ U.S. rap and rock which helps to pass the time. They are progressively learning Russian in order to be able to adapt to their new surroundings, relying heavily on a phrase book and dictionary borrowed from the local library."

For more information about Karl Bushby go to

Editors Comment: It will be a shame if Karl Bushby's epic walk does come to an end. I wa sinformed by my good friend, Danish runner Jesper Olsen that apart from Australia, Russians were some of the friendliest people in the world. Hopefully they can extend that friendship to Karl and let him keep walking.

No comments: