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Alexander Shchemlyaev

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Uhul is the abode of the Dagestan highlanders

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        On the road, I wanted to push that scribe off the cliff. So much he got under my skin. To see him perish, that was my wish. He just graduated, and ended up in this newspaper, thanks to being a spoiled son of the "big man". So, I wanted to push him off. We were going from one town to another, and ended up in middle of a highland heat. He was a soccer player and I a boxer, and a 10 year difference between us. And we had a clash. We ended up in such a situation that we dropped our backpacks. I kept the Nikon on my neck, and on his neck a Panasonic, voice recorder, and we left towards another town, one that was dead. We were warned, by we went anyway. Well, it was insane. Just in tank tops, bare arms, and we started to get blisters. We figured that from the bottom we wont be able to climb up, because it was getting late, and it got cold, and we realized we are dying. Five dogs got us to the top. Shepherd dogs. The way it was there: you make five steps and collapse, not enough oxygen, completely exhausted, plus all of the skin covered in blisters. A dog would snuggle up against you, and you are petting it, scared that it will simply leave you a herd of hunters came. So, by the tails, grab it by the tail, because, well, no strength left, and it doesnt even mind, it's helping. And so holding them by the tails we climbed up to the shepherds. Came to the shepherds and explained the whole situation. And they, strong guys, went back and brought up our backpacks over the pass. We gave them the canned food, and some other stuff It was raining and they gave us their sheepskin coats. And we slept in the tent. We, in coats, covered with coats, together in the tent, and they stood outside. They said, "We cant leave you now, there might be wolves. We must stand here". And in the morning they put us behind the donkey: our packs on the donkey, and Im behind, holding the tail, because completely drained, the other one was younger than me. And so, with the help of that donkey tail we made it into that town. We learned later that at the other end the road was normal, and we could have taken it without all these problems. Thats all I can say, nothing much to say really. All of the material was shot in a day and a half.

Alexander Shchemlyaev