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  1. The Road of the Bones: a Mass Grave of the Stalinist Genocide of 2, km Long
  2. The Road of Bones: London to Magadan
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Those who worked on the roads had it a little better than those in the mines, who died in greater numbers. They laboured for 15 hours a day, ate just porridge or bread, and lived in camps surrounded by swamps. Sanitary conditions were terrible.

The Road of the Bones: a Mass Grave of the Stalinist Genocide of 2, km Long

Many inmates were rehabilitated when the camps closed and left the area, but others stayed in Khandyga. Mrs Nikolayeva said: "Most did not survive long because life in the camps had been so harsh. But there never seemed any ill will between them and their former guards. The turning off the highway towards Topolinoe, where at least half a dozen camps once stood, including one for women, appeared about 40 miles east of Khandyga.

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Ahead lay seven spine-jarring hours to reach the gulag in an all-terrain vehicle that ploughed across ten rivers and miles of rutted track. A modern bridge over the Menkule River was built in to replace the one made by camp inmates in An Orthodox Christian cross stands beside it in honour of "Russia's bridge-builders ", carefully avoiding direct reference to the gulags.

Back on the Road of Bones, at the village of Teplyi Kluch, a map at the tiny gulag museum charts the expansion of the camps under Stalin, from prisoners in to more than 12 million by the time of his death. Prisoners built Teplyi Kluch and its tiny airport, which was used by the Americans in the Second World War to deliver aircraft to the military.

Bones are always popping up through the surface. We are trying to keep their memory alive. It's very important. There were more than a hundred camps in this area alone. My grandfather was a guard in one of the camps, but he never liked to talk about it. He just said that they were grey, awful places where people were always hungry and cold.

Upgrade now. Share this article Facebook Twitter Email Print. The journey to the heart of Joseph Stalin's reign of terror was long and arduous. Finally, hidden behind a clump of trees, the gulag emerged. Read Next.

The Road of Bones: London to Magadan

Ridicule is always welcome. I have my doubts. It's a stunt. She's not equipped for being out on that road, period. You'd need a back pack for supplies minimum because it can be many days walk between villages. You can sleep in a long coat but you need a means to make a shelter. Maybe someone very close to her is buried under that road.

The period of time caused unspeakable grief. A curious tale indeed. From the accompanying picture this mysterious lone traveller appears to be carrying no baggage that would need to contain any provisions for such a challenging trek in extreme sub zero temperatures. Where is she eating? If this story is true, all I can add is to wish her good luck. We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments.

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