Monday, 12 September 2016

Remote geographies

When I was a child and, although it seems impossible, we lived without the Internet, I could spend hours in front of a map or an atlas. It was what it's called "traveling without leaving the room." I memorized countries, cities, mountains and seas, and most of these places, I could get some information in books or encyclopedias. But there were some other places that, for me, were still unknown, undiscovered and hidden. I only had a name and a location ...

Who was living in Tristan da Cunha? How Longyearbyen in Svalbard looked like? Were there schools in Grise Fjord? How could I get to Kerguelen Island? And most important; why should I want to get there?

Dutch Harbor, Lo Manthang, Pitcairn, Stromness, Ogasawara; places that evoked loneliness, isolation, harsh climates and normally hard lifes.

And the Internet age came! For me, that sought to know more about those remote places and their inhabitants, this was the perfect oportunity. And for the people living in those reomote places and who wanted to connect the world and shout: "Hey, we're here", a world of possibilities was open. But the World Wide Web is so extense that, for Kelpers, Zanskarpas or people living in Norfolk Island, This was likely to continue as ignored as ever, but at least there was the possibility of accessing them.

I hope to maintain consistency feeding this blog with interesting entries for those (I guess few) who might be interested in these remote geography complemented with cartographic, linguistic and historical anecdotes.

The original blog is written in Catalan. I'll try to be as accurate as possible with translations but, if you find any mistake, please accept my apologies and let me know.

Although years have passed since I dreamed looking at this point in the world map on the wall of my room, where it was written "Kerguelen Is. (Fr.)", I remain, essentially, a literary traveler. So unfortunately I could not visit these sites. But I'm ready, no matter ramshackle boats, unpaved airfields, or tortuous roads; I'll try to provide all data if someone (or myself) gets encouraged.

And of course, if anyone has been so lucky to have been there and wants to share his experience, I'll be happy to publish it.

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