Uca Marinescu – the first woman in the world to reach the four poles

Uca Marinescu is a teacher, explorer and performance athlete. Immediately after retiring as a sports teacher, Uca Marinescu began to explore the world. At almost 83 years old, although she has experienced two major surgeries that have prevented her from traveling far, the explorer is not giving up on her travel dreams. That’s why she is preparing to launch an exhibition with all the photos from over 20 years of brave explorations.

“Around the world” is the name of the exhibition and it will be launched on January 4, 2 p.m., at the Romanian Academy Library.

Uca Marinescu has been traveling since she was in her 50s, an age at which many Romanians give up on their dreams. The reasons are the fear of illness, poverty, and loneliness. Uca Marinescu overcame suffering, loneliness and limited financial resources. To explore means to discover herself everywhere she traveled in the world. She explored both poles of the planet on skis, she reached the Magnetic Poles. She has visited each of the five continents, from North America to South America from Alaska to Mongolia, Siberia, from the North Pole of Antarctica to Papua New Guinea, from the South Pole to Africa and Nepal, from India and Tibet to all the highest mountain peaks of Europe.

Uca Marinescu is the first senior woman and the third woman in the world to reach the two Geographical Poles of the Earth in a single year (2001) and the first woman in the world to get the four poles (including the magnetic poles). For her 70 anniversary, she celebrated with an expedition around the world for almost a year. At the age of 76, she was on an expedition to the Hunza Valley, the famous Centennial Valley, the place where the water and air are the purest, and people live an average of 120 years. At 78, she was in Bhutan, the country with the highest happiness index.

În Tunisia

Since 2000, the adventure of this globe trotter proves to us that you don’t need to be rich and young to be able to explore the world.

For Mrs. Uca Marinescu, lifelong learning is one of the main motivations in her life. At the age of 50, she started learning Chinese, in her 60s she learned the basic vocabulary of the Papuan language because she was preparing to go on an expedition to Papua New Guinea and needed to be able to interact with the native population, not only with English-speaking guides. That’s because she often lives in people’s homes, to get to know and understand them better. She has cultivated a fantastic sense of survival in all conditions, and lives in extremely modest conditions on her expeditions. Only the transport costs are sponsored, the rest is dealing with the native population. She always has in her rucksack a prayer book and a bit of Transylvanian bacon, even though she is a vegetarian.

Her plan, delayed for some time due to health problems, is to follow in the footsteps of explorer Alexandra David Neel (1868-1969), a former opera soloist who turned journalist and explorer of Tibet. She studied Eastern religions “directly at the source” and wrote over 30 books about these religions and travel diaries. Some of them can be read in books translated by Polirom Publishing.

Uca Marinescu’s exceptional longevity and vitality come from her parents from Harghita and the life that hardened her. She refuses to victimize herself. When she is not going on expeditions, she is a ski instructor for children or organizes scout camps in the mountains. Mrs. Uca knows best how to reconnect them with nature, with the mountain – the greatest mentors. All her students say, decades later, that she is an excellent educator, an authentic mentor.

Centenary Valley – Hunza Valley
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