So, the day started nice and early at 7am, just as the sun is starting to rise over Kiev and Maidan Square. Met the guide, paid the rest of the cash and waited for the rest of the group to turn up. Total for the trip, lunch and the hire of the Dosimeter came to $100 for 1 person, which i thought was not too bad a deal. Trips into the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are restricted each day, and unless you are part of an organised tour like this one, you have ZERO CHANCE of getting into the Zone!!
Absolutely crystal clear bluebird day today, so you know its going to get hot at some point, but the temp this morning was nothing short of 5oC, just chilled correctly. To get into the Zone, you have to clear the 30KM control point, where inspection and passport checks are the order of the day. In this zone are around 450+ abandoned settlements and also the town of Chernobyl. To get anywhere close to the Reactor you have to clear the 10KM control point. Once inside this zone, you are next to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and also the town of Pripyat, the town that has become the infamous symbol of the 1986 incident. You can get to within 270 meters of Reactor #4 (thats the one that exploded). It is now encased in a all new protective coat weighing a grand total of 35,000 tonnes!!!! (The heavyist movable structure in the world).
Then onto the abandoned town of Pripyat. This place is just simply amazing. So quiet walking around here, and HIGHLY radioactive in certain spots, of which our guide took us to visit. General background radiation in most cities around the world is 0.14-0.15, when you start recording readings of 3 to 4, then you need to start worrying a little bit. Most spots in this town were from 0.9 to 10/11, nivce anf high, but our guide took us to a spot that recorded 48.55!!!!!!!!! Now that's highly radioactive and not healthy to hang around for too long!!
To see all the places you have seen on TV or on the 'net before is surreal. Its an amazing sight to behold.
The view from my bedroom balcony overlooking Maidan.................