Viking reached the Kaspian Sea (Christian Bodegren)

On a shield sleeps the Viking, sword in his hand, and his tent is the heavenly blue.

Christian Bodegren made a name for himself when he paddled the Amazon river, 280 days counter current and off season.

The remarkable, low key adventurer raised no commotion. Even in his native Sweden, the exploit went largely unnoticed.

Coming home, he “fumbled in search for a normal life” Christian told us.

Instead, he found a new journey.

A walk from Mongolia to the Caspian Sea, “because they are the only two countries left in the world where you can roam freely over large areas of land with Bactrian camels,” Christian explained, “and where there is still a living nomad culture.”

Working on an oil rig, Bodegren saved up to a new war chest and hit the road. To start his 3300 km journey west, he set out find a camel that would carry his gear through a winter Kazakhstan potentially dropping temperatures to 50 below.

He found Goliat, and together they barely survived the big freeze. Cold winds blew over a flat landscape. Christian lost a lot of weight. Goliat marched on.

Along the way, snow fell on abandoned settlements of concrete buildings with no doors or windows. “It’s like we are forgotten,” lamented old folks living there, asking the Viking version of Marco Polo to remind the world about them.

Finally, after more than a year, there it was. The Caspian sea.

“I rose the Swedish flag to the sky, and screamed out, I did it, I finally did it,” Christian wrote in his dispatch last week.

“So many people told me, I would never make a winter crossing of Kazakhstan alone with a Camel.”

“But I actually did it, and I am proud to say, you were all wrong.”

Christian had quite a large following of supporters this time and there is a movie to be made. Now one thing remains: “Finding a girlfriend who wants to live this kind of life.”

Christian Bodegren’s favorite quote:
To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act.
Anatole France (1844-1929)

Website

Christian on Pythom

Previous

Kazakhstan winter crossing by camel

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Into the great Kazakhstan: Bye to Houdini

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Best of ExplorersWeb 2012 Awards: Christian Bodegren, the great Amazon paddle

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