We are now crossing the border into Belorussia - which is a separate country. The evil dark wind of that day brought 70% of the Chernobyl radiation here. As we travel deeper into Belorusian territory, we begin to grasp the immensity of the total area that was poisoned, and will still be poisoin in the year 2525. Most of the houses here are made of wood - and it absorbs radiation like a sponge.
This is a Belorusian Cemetery. In many villages, hasty scratches on wooden crosses are the only chronicle that remains of the rich lives that dwelled here. Many of the loved ones who prayed over them are probably here, too.
I couldn't find this village on my map, but the town cemetary tells the tale that from the early 1800's, until 1986, all of the people who lived in this village were Smirnovs.
It must be sectarian village, where brothers married sisters and all have the same last name.
I put this village on my map and named it Smirnovka. It is how we call a famous vodka. I wonder if there is a connection to the people who lived in this place and the people who make Smirnoff Vodka?
I can only guess, because there is nobody here to answer the question.
entering Chernobyl area.
There are no commercial gas/petrol stations in the area, so the tank must be full and I check the fuel reserve and tire repair kit. I don't want to be marooned in the middle of nuclear desert.