Famous Polish traveler, explorer Jacek Pałkiewicz will visit Kyrgyzstan. He has made the latest geographical discovery of the 20th century: the precise determining of the source of Amazon River. It was he who alone crossed the Atlantic Ocean as a volunteer who "suffered a wreck" and proved the power of the human spirit and mind. Jacek Pałkiewicz crossed the deadly deserts on camel's back, traveled thousands of kilometers through the snow-cowered expanses of Siberia, explored the most remote regions of the planet. His name has become synonymous with strong, male adventures.
24.kg news agency asked why Jacek Pałkiewicz will visit Kyrgyzstan and what discoveries the famous Polish traveler now seeks to.
- I will meet with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, which will provide support for the project at the state level. And it is prestigious for the expedition. Preparation for it began in Poland, and then I visited Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, where I also received support. I held ministerial level meetings in Moscow on January 23.
- What does it mean for you to make a career of a traveler?
- My profession is the world of adventures and travels. I have been engaged in it for 40 years and can not do other things.
- Are you a lone wolf or man of a team?
- I feel myself equally well in this and other capacity. It all depends on the project in which I have to participate.
- Name the travelers who stand with you, as a journalist, a member of the Royal Geographical Society in London and the Russian Geographical Society, in the same row.
- Perhaps it is immodest? But I will say that there were a lot of idols and heroes in my life first, but as my experience grew weightier, these figures of authority vanished on the horizon. But I warmly remember Thor Heyerdahl and Yuri Senkevich, we had a very strong friendship. We often met in Moscow in this triangle. I visited Heyerdahl's home in Italy and, knowing that he warmly treats me, once asked him to write a preface to one of my books. But he said that he never does it in principle and refused. Nevertheless, I have included the conversation in one of the books, there are more than 30 of them.
- What of your features have helped the traveler's career, and what hindered it?
- It was harder and more difficult for a young man. I have fallen and went up on the way more than once, but the situation gradually changed. There are a lot of smart books and programs on television now, and it has become much easier with the experience. Here is an example. Preparation for an expedition to the island of Borneo named "Headhunters" took me a year and a half 30 years ago. And the preparation took only two weeks eight years ago. The world has become more accessible thanks to the Internet, IT technologies and electronic devices.
- What have you learned from travels? What have you got thanks to them?
- Discovery of the world is a tremendous wealth. The man opens his eyes, acquires wisdom, which he had not before, he gets a possibility to compare different world and the one in which he lives. This allows not to unnecessarily criticize a country, to become more tolerant.
- Have you seen different worlds or similar in your travels? Were there different people or similar?
- Both. The world is very rich. There are people who believe that, for example, Indian tribes are uncivilized. Is it so? No. Every nation and every tribe has its own civilization. You may ask what can we learn from the Indians in South America? My answer is: the people of these tribes never kill more animals than they need to feed, do not cut down a needless tree. A lot of people in our civilization want to have more and more, they do not have brakes. I saw it very well in Dubai, where the sense of community is consumption, some endless shopping.
This is the path of destruction of our planet.
- Will "One Belt - One Way" project that you are working on help to change this situation?
- No. I'm too small to change the world. No summit on this subject could do anything like that for several decades. The greatest leaders will not be able to do it. My project is aimed at understanding between peoples, rapprochement of peoples and especially cultures, history.
- Your article on the history of the Silk Road says that "its cultural heritage can become a platform for building a broad cooperation," that the project "on the organization of the expedition New Silk Road-2017 has great potential for communication." Do you think we need another platform in addition to already available?
- Any new platform always brings something new. And no matter how good there is, any new ideas, views are useful, any new people improve situation in the country and contribute to its development.
- You have been in Kyrgyzstan for over a quarter of a century ago. What do you hope to see this time?
- I think I know what I will see. I'm watching the world, the situation in Central Asia and in your country. Nature of your land - wild, the real, which has not been spoiled like in other countries- attracts me. There is something like that only in one country that I know. This is the Kingdom of Bhutan. Its king is very concerned about the environment.
And it seems to me that you have little to say about such an outstanding figure as Kurmanjan Datka. The potential of this historical figure in the development of tourism is very high.