If there’s one place to get stuck amid a pandemic, it would be the great outdoors — with access to nature and fresh mountain air. When Moldovan adventure photographer and videomaker Veronica Verlan set off to Kamchatka, Russia’s fareastern peninsula, with her camera and her dog, Mo, she knew that she’d be travelling to one of the most isolated places in the world. But she never imagined this was where she’d spend the rest of the year, surrounded by otherworldly volcanoes, snow-laden mountains, and healing waters.
Verlan left her native Moldova in March, two days before the country terminated all flights to stop the spread of Covid-19. “I spent the first months of lockdown 100 kilometres away from civilisation, with five dogs and three people,” Verlan says. She had been working on a video project at the time and had intended to stay two months. “My isolation was real. The only difference was that it was not a negative thing,” she adds.
After wrapping up filming, Verlan found herself still unable to return to Moldova because charter flights did not allow dogs on board. So, she continued her adventure together with her two-year-old Alaskan malamute.
“There are so many places in nature you can visit here, so self-isolating was not hard,” she explains. Among the highs, Verlan is proud not to have missed a single sunset this summer. She said, however, one of the least enjoyable moments was “freezing [her] ass off” while camping in the snow.
Verlan will return to Moldova in mid September. Meanwhile, she continues to share pictures she’d taken during lockdown of Kamchatka’s natural splendour with her drone and camera.