With the opening up of Siberia and Central Asia, water hobbyists are discovering great swaths of waterways that few Westerners know anything about, much less considered navigating in canoes or kayaks.
British adventurer Paul Grogan, however, did his homework and plotted out a course along the Amur River (the world’s 6th longest) that started in Mongolia and then headed northeast, crossing into Siberia and straddling the border between Russia and China until eventually reaching the Pacific Ocean-a journey of over 1200 miles.
Like any good adventurer, Grogan chronicles this journey in his well-received book, Barbed Wire and Babushkas. An excerpt reprinted in The Sunday Times, paints a wonderful picture of what to expect from the rest of the book-gun-toting border guards, surly tanker drivers, $1 a night accommodations, friendly natives, and beautiful scenery. It is a great, alluring read that leaves me wanting more. I’m not sure about actually following in his canoe strokes, but I at least want to read about it.