December 21, 2021
How to ease yourself into Kamchatka gently.
My Kamchatka-2021 chronicles resemble a tourist guidebook already! And since that’s the case, I simply couldn’t not include the wonderful Nalychevo Nature Park, which is a stone’s throw from… the city, and, as such, can easily be recommended as a tourist’s first Kamchatka experience after flying in for the first time. Why else? Because it has a bit of everything: beautiful volcanoes; hot springs you can bath in; boiling, bubbling, gurgling muddy pools; and hissing, steaming – stinking! – bright yellow fumaroles. Besides, the tourist infrastructure of the park is pretty civilized – paths, cabins, and even as far back as 2006 distance posts appeared along tracks and wooden bridges were built over the streams.
The park features natural beauties such as this one:
I’m sure things have changed since my last visit there – way back in 2006 (ever since, I’ve gone for the more… hardcore Kamchatka locations like inaccessible volcanoes:). But I’ll say it again: Nalychevo Park is perfect for the Kam-noob, or indeed the remote-adventure-trekking-anywhere noob. It’s like a warm-up – the proverbial ‘shallow end’ of the pool: so you don’t get traumatized by Kamchatka’s extreme weather changes, lack of tourist infrastructure, and other such antagonisms which take some getting used to. First – elevated-platform paths, footbridges, decent cabins to spend the night in, plus the possibility of being evacuated easily if things go pear. Later come the more radical adventures )…
I don’t have many photos to show of the place – and the ones I do have are 16 years old! But you can find plenty of current pics on the internet.
One major plus of the park is that it’s so easily accessed: no helicopter required! No off-road vehicles! No days-long treks needed! There’s even a bus goes to the park from a nearby village (of Pinachevo), which itself is just a 45-minute drive from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
Or you could get to it by asking the pilot of the chopper you took to see the Valley of Geysers and Uzon to drop you off by the park. Which is what we did in 2006:
Again – about the weather…
Even an ‘amateur-level’ Kamchatka location like this can turn into a hellish stamina (and human-spirit!) tester if the weather suddenly turns bad. And it’s not as if you can plan sensibly based on weather forecasts here, since local weather forecasts can change sometimes several times a day! In short – even here: be careful!
‘Being careful’ means taking extra clothing with you in case of rain or it getting cold – or both. After all, as the locals say, “you’ll find out the weather forecast for tomorrow the day after tomorrow”!
The rest of the pics from Kam-2021 are here.