Rafting in Kamchatka.

Though we’re already well south of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in my Kamchatka-2021 travelogue series, I haven’t reported anything yet on rafting on the peninsula. Well that changes in this post, and now – not later – is as good a time as any, since all our rafting had been done by the time we reached ‘the city’ as there are no decent rafting rivers in southern Kamchatka (perhaps with the exception of the Opala river, but I’ve never rafted it myself).

Over the years I’ve often had the pleasure of rafting in Kamchatka – and mostly in the central part of the peninsula: down the Bistraya (fast) river (near the village of Esso), the Bistraya (!) river near the village of Malka (the southernmost stream/river I’ve rafted down), and also the Icha river.

I won’t go into detail here, but I will say is that rafting in Kamchatka is a welcome alternative activity when trekking up to and around volcanoes might become a bit too samey for some (it can never be too samey for me, but there’s no accounting for taste bizarre viewpoints:). In short, the rafting = adrenaline rushes: check; wonderful Kam-scapes whizzing past: check; oar action as one’s daily fitness activity: check; much beauty and meditation possibilities: check.

Read on…->

How to experience the Kamchatkan volcanoes Gorely and Mutnovsky properly.

Wanting to continue my travelogue series ‘southward from the city’, I looked back at some of my older Kamchatka chronicles, and I found this neat little ‘southward from the city’ synopsis, from 2015:

“In my humble opinion, Kamchatka is the most fascinating and beautiful place on the planet. Voluptuous volcanoes with colossal craters with multicolored lakes, + unearthly surrounding landscapes, geysers and hot springs, + lazy wild brown bears roaming free, + red caviar applied on your sandwiches not with a knife or teaspoon but with a spade :).”

And, indeed, I was thinking maybe I’ll pass going over old ground – the Kam-wonders that are reachable by car within a day, but then I reconsidered…

The main reason is… I occasionally read folks’ travel notes from their trips to southern Kamchatka, and they’re… just silly! Example: a group will report proudly how they made it to the top of the volcano Gorely. But getting to the peak completely misses the point: what needs doing is a trek along the top-rims of the craters – full circle, and the same goes for other volcanoes here. Then you get a whole day of the most amazing natural beauty all around you, while you steadily plod along. Racing to a peak, taking a few pics, then racing back down again – where’s the fun in that? What is the point? See – it’s like I say: just silly ). So, that’s my first reason for not passing over some previously-reported volcanisms: to make up for the sacrilege that’s out there on the internet!

Accordingly, here, today, dear readers: Gorely review! In particular – the multicolored lakes thereof.

First – to the readers who haven’t (yet:) been to Kamchatka: this is a volcano that is categorically visit-mandatory! I know I rave about most any volcano on the peninsula, but this one really is A-list, VIP, elite, etc. Alas, neither Google Maps nor Russia’s Yandex Maps shows the full topology of this volcano, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome in the flesh. The main thing: the sheer size and… ambiguity of the structure of this volcano – plus the lakes in its two main craters.

Read on…

Flickr photostream

  • Kaspersky HQ
  • Kaspersky HQ
  • Kaspersky HQ
  • Kaspersky HQ

Instagram photostream

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:

Read on…

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Red + green: shaken – not stirred!

As promised, herewith, my big announcement!…

But first, some background…

Nearly 12 years ago – in 2010, a youngish, green-colored company became a partner of a legendary global red-colored brand with more than 80 years of history to its name (incidentally, by doing so paving the way to other companies in the cybersecurity sphere).

In the intervening 11 years, both the worlds of cyberthreats and Formula-1 have changed tremendously. In the cyberworld, alas, things have changed for the worse. For example, cyberthreats to physical equipment ceased being the stuff of sci-fi and Hollywood blockbuster movies, to become real – daily – risks for organizations and businesses. That’s one reason why, since 2013, we’ve been protecting all of Ferrari’s digital kit – some 5000+ devices: from the industrial equipment at its plant in Maranello, to the computers of the engineers and mechanics at the racetracks around the world!

For fans, Formula One is all about speed, adrenaline and emotions, and for the folks providing the speed, adrenaline and emotions F1 is mostly all about massive volumes of data transferred in real time between the racing cars, the team of engineers in the garage at the track, and company HQ. On average, from just one car for a single race up to 200 gigabytes of data is sent from 150 sensors all over the car – and on the driver: for example, his biometric data is transmitted from sensors in his gloves!

Protecting such vast amounts of data and intellectual property while maintaining the continuity of a multi-billion-dollar business demands – you guessed right! – the best cyber-protection in the world. Thus, I’m very happy to announce that this year we’ve signed an agreement on extending our partnership with the Scuderia Ferrari team, and one ‘feature’ of this agreement is that our logo on the nose of the red race cars will continue to cross the finish lines of the world’s best tracks! Hurray!

Read on: ‘Just like absinthe + Campari’ (mind-blowing:)

In Milan for the motorcycle show; in Maranello for… what else? )

Finally, I made a long-overdue visit to Fiera Milano, the humungous, legendary fairground and exhibition center in Rho, on the outskirts of Milan. The occasion was the EICMA motorcycle trade show.

What really struck me about the place – just how massive it is. so I looked it up later – and yes, the stats back up my observations: turns out it’s the biggest exhibition center in Europe! ->

Incidentally, Expo 2015 took place here (I mention this as the world-expo topic was touched upon recently after I visited Expo 2020 in Dubai).

Read on…

Bolognhattan.

I recall, quite some time ago, wondering why there are so many skyscrapers in large cities in the U.S.A., while in Europe – hardly any. Wait, no let me see – and delve (into my archives). Yes – I wondered it in Frankfurt, in 2017.

My question was answered with a reasoned reply: “just look at Tuscan cities, rather – how they once were, long ago”. I didn’t quite follow, and didn’t follow-up either back then. And having just been to Bologna, (which is almost Tuscany – just outside it), I was still further perplexed since I sure didn’t see a Bolognhattan; only a few medieval skyscrapers:

Read on…

“The city’s” disappearing volcanoes.

I’ve already told you what a Kamchatkan mirage is, haven’t I? Briefly, again: it’s when a whole volcano can simply disappear. Oh yes. “But surely you mean just the peak of a volcano can ‘disappear’, say – in some mist or fog or in some low cloud, right?” some of you may understandably ask. Actually – no. Whole volcanoes. Whole, gigantic volcanoes! Like, these, for example, next to… ‘the city’:

“Which city is that?” you may also ask…

‘The city’ is in fact Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky – which used to be the only city in Kamchatka. All other settlements on the peninsula are smaller than city-size: like towns (today there are a further two: Yelizovo and Vilyuchinsk), villages, or even smaller. Since Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was long the only city, it was – and still is, out of habit – referred to by all locals as simply ‘the city’: you never hear its full name uttered. So you hear things like: “I’m in the city”, or “I’ll meet you in the city”, or “there was a bear roaming the city this morning”! :)

Read on…

The ever-changing landscapes of Kamchatka’s Valley of Geysers.

Onward – and further down toward the southern end of Kamchatka…

Kizimen and Kronotsky volcanoes – duly observed; the gurgling of Uzon caldera – duly whiffed!

Next, the Valley of Geysers – another unique natural feature: a valley of hissing, steaming and bubbling water (& volcanism). Moreover – hissing, steaming and bubbling over a large area:

Read on…