Kamchatka-2012: “No Regrets!”
The next chapter in the expedition travelogue…
Day 1. And We’re Off!
Let me start with a joke. But not just any old joke – there’s a point to it. You’ll see!…
So, two old friends meet up by chance after not seeing each other for years:
– Wohhh, dude! How many years has it been? How the devil are you?!
– Good, thanks. I got married [In a mournful tone].
– Congratulations! Let’s go for some beers and celebrate the occasion!
– No, can’t. Beers aren’t allowed.
– Then football, eh? Like the good old days?
– Nope. Football – not allowed either.
– Hmmm. Ok, let’s get out to the dacha [summer house]. The woods, mushrooms, barbeque, and all that?
– No can do. The woods, barbeque and all that – not allowed.
– I see. So, you don’t regret getting married?
– No. Regret isn’t allowed.
On every successful expedition or tourist-hike, sooner or later a short slogan tends to come into existence that starts being repeated more and more, and which eventually comes to be the trip’s motto, infusing the trip and everything that occurs on it with its essence. Well, Kamchatka-2012’s motto fairly promptly came to be “No Regrets!” – none at all, zero, naught, zilch regrets. No matter the multiple hindrances to a semblance of holiday good times – the far from perfect weather conditions, the scarcity of drinking water, the excess of water pouring down from the heavens, the massive airborne mutant bloodsucking beasts, the numb legs and sore feet from far too much hiking up mountainsides, and so on…
…Despite all of that, everyone, in the end, had no regrets whatsoever!
The overall plan of the trip was simple: to see everything!
Southern Kamchatka (the first part of the expedition): Kurile Lake and its roaming bears, Ksudach – walking around its calderas, Khodutka hot springs – getting wet and chilling out a bit, and the Mutnovsky and Gorely volcanos.
Northern Kamchatka (second part): the Valley of the Geysers and Uzon, to fly around the Kluchevskaya Sopka volcano, then Tolbachik and the Severny Proriv, followed by the final stretch – three days rafting on the Icha river – filled to the brim with fresh fish.
Fortunately, everything worked out! The trip was deemed a total success – by everyone.
Btw, I write above the “first” and “second” parts as some adventurers didn’t do the whole month-long trip. Some did just the first, others – the second. Understandable. This was hardly lying on the beach all day, cocktails, and evening dinner dress-up. The going was decidedly tough, requiring plenty of stamina – just for a half-trip.
[Map credit: Google Maps]