Many of you will know that the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42. But no one – NO ONE! – including Douglas Adams, the one who came up with the Ultimate Question and its answer, knows why it’s 42, and not 17, 41 or 43. I didn’t know earlier either. Now I do. And you won’t believe it…
Now, I didn’t go looking for the answer to this eternal question. It was the other way round – the answer found me: In a hot river on the island of Iturup!
So, the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is this: ’42’. That’s the temperature of the water in this magical river.
What a place! It’s true I’d bathed before in hot thermal pools. And I’d swam in the hot lake at the foot of Khodutka. But sliding down piping hot waterfalls – that was a first.
The hot river flows over stones and down small natural and semi-natural slides in the rock. Just incredible. The best hot springs I’ve ever experienced. 42 without a doubt!
There are just two ‘buts’ you need to consider if you want to bathe here:
1. The hot river flows from the thermal springs of the Baransky volcano, which is several kilometers from the town of Kurilsk and nearby villages. From all other populated places it’s either far, very far, or extremely far. So if you want to swim – you need to go to the lengthy trouble of actually getting there. For example like this:
2. The water in the river is quite acidic (well, it is volcanism; that’s to be expected), and if it gets in your eyes (in a waterfall, not a remote prospect) – it stings the eyes most unpleasantly. So make sure to have some swimming goggles with you – a very useful and in-demand item here. Also, be careful with silver trinkets – they don’t mix well with same acidic water. Oh, and also make sure to have some beers with you – the perfect beverage for in-between dip-and-slide sessions in these hot pools and waterfalls!
If you’ve only heard about the Ultimate Question for the first time in this here post, that means it’s high time to get to know the immortal work of Douglas Adams. Then to check out the movie. Or the other way round – first the film, then the book; the experience won’t be spoiled.
.@e_kaspersky finds the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and EverythingTweet
All the photos from our Kuril expedition are here.