July 16, 2017

dewerstone is all about getting outside and going on adventures.  It’s about getting out there and living life like you mean it, whether it's a weekend or a lifetime.

Four years ago, we launched dewerstone with a bang, by driving overland from our home Dartmoor National Park to Singapore. This year, we’re taking it one step further and tackling our biggest adventure yet – the Pub2Pub Expedition.

 

How big are we talking here?
Well, you know you’re on a big trip when you have to travel 3,500 miles just to get to your start point!
In Pub2Pub’s case, the official start point is visiting the northernmost bar on the planet, which is located 700 miles from the North Pole, in the abandoned Soviet-era mining settlement of Pyramiden, on the island of Svalbard.

 

However, things really kicked off from one of our favourite pubs on Dartmoor, the Two Bridges Hotel, in early July.  Since then, we’ve utilised a combination of boats, planes and automobiles just to reach the beginning of what will be an almighty adventure!

Pyramiden has an interesting history, during its peak years in the ‘80s, 1,200 people lived and worked here. It was a coveted posting in the former Soviet Union, with free food & accommodation, fine facilities and a pay rate that could financially set you up for life for just a two year stint!
However, Pyramiden never turned a profit, its purpose being more as a very visible outpost, which demonstrated the Soviet Union’s ability to prevail in any environment.  When the Soviet Union vanished, Pyramiden’s reason for existing vanished with it, and in 1998, the mine was mothballed.
Whilst the chilled air of the High Arctic has lent Pyramiden a remarkable degree of preservation, it is still slowly decaying, there's paint peeling from walls, once essential mining equipment succumbing to rust, and hungry polar bears occasionally prowling the streets. 
Everything around us is a reminder that we are only a short hop from the North Pole. The town exists in a world of bleached mountains, tumbling glaciers and polar bear-stalked ice shelves.  Even in the height of summer, the cold is unforgiving, the glare from the 24 hour arctic sun is relentless, but what a place to experience.
After a beer in the hotel bar, it was time to head south.  We’d left the cars on the Norwegian mainland in Tromso, almost 700 miles away, so the first ‘proper’ miles were notched up were by boat, to Longyearbyen, the capital of the Svalbard Archipelago. From there, we flew south to Tromso, where we picked up the cars and hit the road, en-route to the world’s southernmost bar.
Over the next few months we'll be clocking up miles throughout Europe, the UK and then on to the US. We'll then head down through Mexico and Central America, before skirting around the Darien Gap to Columbia.  Then, once again, all roads lead south, across South America to the last licensed bar on earth, located amid the windswept islands of Tierra del Fuego, at the uptmost end of the world.

If you'd like to stay up to date with our adventure, you can do so on the channels below.
We'll also be blogging right here on the dewerstone site throughout the trip.
I hope you enjoy the journey as much as we will.
Ben & the Pub2Pub Expedition crew.
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