Been a while, I know. What can I say? Actually – three words: July and August :).
I’m literally just back from yet another oh-my-gripping summer expedition – this time around the Kuril Islands (the string of islands above Japan at the far-eastern end of Russia, just in case geography ain’t your strong point). Actually, I could say I’m just back from two trips along the full length of the Kurils (I’ll explain quite why later on): from Kamchatka at the northern end; right down to the southern end; over to Sakhalin; back over to the southern-most Kuril island of Kunashir; and back up to practically the northern-most Kuril island of Atlasov right next to Kamchatka again; plus – bonus track – a quick trip to the Commander Islands to the east of Kamchatka (not far Alaskan islands).
In all, around a dozen islands were visited (some of them – twice), walked upon, and snapped aplenty with my trusty Sony. Approximately seven volcanoes were observed up close (again – some twice), but alas Tyatya we didn’t manage to inspect due to poor weather. In all, the intensity of the impressions: off the scale. Back here in Moscow, I’m still swaying on my feet occasionally, for we were a full month living on a small ship out at sea – and that includes every night bar a few (in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and on Kunashir and Onekotan). The number of photos and videos shot from the ground and up in the air (using drones) – oh my: countless. Accordingly, I’ll be uploading portions thereof gradually as I get through them, accompanied by my traditional tales from the road ship, volcano, and other wild places of interest less-visited…
For now, as a taster-teaser – a few highlights:
The most beautiful volcano in the world – Krenitsyn on the island of Onekotan:
Another untouched, unpeopled, unbelievably beautiful island – Ushishir: the ‘Diamond of the Kurils’, according to me :).
Basalt columns on Kunashir (Cape Stolbchaty):
Hot waterfalls on the slopes of Baransky Volcano on Iturup:
The volcano island of Raikoke, which recently (June 2019!) erupted:
And a few other assorted Kurilian landscapes of varying degrees of ruggedness:
And this is Tyuleny Island near Sakhalin:
These photos were taken by my regular travel-and-adventure companion, D.Z., some using a drone:
That will do for starters. Expect numerous main courses – coming right up…