GES230 - Clove & Skomorokh River, Kiev
After an interesting excursion to a bunker in the basement of a housing block, where we witnessed a very secret cinema being set up. We wandered through the streets to a quiet area at the back of a warehouse & shopping mall area. Here in the dark a stream ran along a grassed area. I say grass, it was covered with snow. GE087 lead us here, and we met GE088, who GE002 had already shown around London's drains. GE084 showed up as well, with two Danish explorers. GE087 left, and the assembled group headed into the tunnel below. The Clove river runs from the outfall below on the left.
After a handful of meters, the square tunnel opened out into this wide arch. The flow filling up most of the floor.
As with London drains, there were escape points along the way. Although apparently friends of GE084 had drowned in this drain.
Further along again, and it was back to an oblong tunnel. Brits on the right, Danes in the centre, and Ukrainians on the left.
Something you never see in London drains, a small iceberg below an escape route.
Side pipes don't have quite the finesse of Mr. Bazelgette's system in London, going for the brutally raw look. I think it was near here that GE084's friends died.
A mismatch of roofing, and a blocked exit as the river flows around a right angle.
Halfway along the river, a feeder branch enters. The main flow comes from the left tunnel.
GE074 navigates the odd method of getting to a higher level. A ladder comes up behind the highest metal girder.
GE084 brought us here to show us where the tunnel had collapsed. A warning to the ever present dangers down here.
Going back to the junction shown further up the page, we headed on again up the main path of the Clove River. The minerals extracted from the bricks during flood events to leave the patterns on the walls.
Large cave like side pipes and a low ceiling section of the tunnel.
GE002 had seen photos of a junction here, and set about trying to take his own interpretation of it. The rest of us took a well earned breather. GE084 informed us we were now under Khreshchatyk street, the main street in the downtown area of Kiev. We were 1km from the planned exit point in Independence square.
Moving on again, the ceiling of the tunnel looked questionable, as the tunnel size got smaller. Side pipes of varying sizes poked out of the walls.
A larger side pipe enters the Clove, other pipes cross the tunnel chamber, but don't deposit. Meaning a precarious crouch under the pipes.
The crumbling tunnel takes on a familiar egg shape as we come to our exit point. A small problem was a foot of snow sat on top of the exit lid. The local chaps worked away at it for quarter of an hour, and eventually I felt a cold blast of air from above, and realised we'd made a breakthrough.
We all climbed out, and after a few snow throwing moments, headed our separate ways.
Our last day together in Kiev, saw us meet up with GE088, and head out the back of a suburb-urban train station, and follow the tracks for a short distance. Beside us ran a small river in a concrete trench. We climbed down into the trench, and made our way to a oblong tunnel that entered the small river. This carried the Skomorokh River, or Brook might be more appropriate for it's size. Most of the tunnel looked like this for at least the first kilometre. It was about 1.5m high, and I'm around 2m tall, so I was crouching from the start.
We stopped at a side junction, GE074 cheered me up by saying we would be going down the side junction, which would have meant crawling. GE088 said that the tunnel didn't get any higher, and I wasn't that impressed with the solid dull grey concrete tunnel, so opted to sit and wait for them.
The wait turned out to be an eternity. After listening to an episode of the Goon show, taking a few photos as seen above, and even trying to get some sleep. I'd had enough, and headed out to freedom. The others emerged a few hours later. Thanks to GE084 and GE088 for guide skills. GE002 and GE074 for amusing company.