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Kamchatka-2012: “No Regrets!”

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!

Travel Books

More: plan of the trip – to see everything! …

Kamchatka-Tourism: Tricky Without Helicopters.

Hi all!

Herewith, the next installment of the travelogue of this year’s Kamchatka adventure.

Today you’ll be getting the low-down – and lots of pics – on the universal, essential means of transport for navigating the peninsula: the helicopter. A lot of the photos aren’t mine; they were taken by other members of the crew of adventurers.

Moutain Helicopter Pad

More: Kamchatka copters and Kamchatka from copters …

Flickr photostream

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Arabia

Instagram photostream

Kamchatka Comin’ Atcha!

Howdy, folks!

I’m a big fan of Kamchatka. I’ve been all over the world and seen many of its natural wonders, but nowhere on this planet have I seen such a high concentration of natural beauty and unusualness, mixed in good proportions with overcoming difficulties of the on-foot and water-based tourist way of life, with mushrooms, fish, red caviar, and roaming bears. They say that New Zealand is also such a uniquely beautiful volcanic-mountain-lake land, but I haven’t been – so I can’t compare the two yet. Sooner or later I’ll get myself there though, and will be able juxtapose them for you. But for now – the Kamchatka Peninsula.

I won’t wax lyrical as I often do on these here blog pages; I’ll limit my words here to just the following: Kamchatka is unbelievably amazing and fantastic, utterly unique, and as a result totally mind-blowing. I’ve just confirmed this to myself one more time. As if I needed convincing!

Practically in a straight line along the eastern coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula there are seven unique natural phenomena, each of which could easily be put on the list of the world’s natural wonders. The curious thing is that practically nothing is known about these extraordinary places in the West – or in the East, and even in Russia too.

What would the average Russian person stopped in the street say if asked about Kamchatka? Probably: “it’s a place where there’s plenty of fish, caviar, bears and huge crabs”. Some might even be able to add: “it’s where the Valley of the Geysers is”. However, that valley is just one of the seven Kamchatka wonders. Let me give you the full list, from North to South:

  1. The Kluchevsky Group – a dozen or so huge to mid-sized volcanoes, in a relatively confined space.
  2. Tolbachik, and the Severny Proriv (Northern Rupture), which is a black desert – the result of a crack that formed during a long eruption in the mid-1970s.
  3. The Valley of the Geysers and the Uzon caldera – bubbling and erupting volcanism.
  4. The Mutnovsky volcano range and the Gorely volcano – monumentally beautiful volcanic structures.
  5. Khodutka – the largest thermal springs in the world, which form a too-hot-to-swim-in lake.
  6. Ksudach – a crater inside a crater, a lake, and overall surrealism.
  7. Kurile Lake – bountiful bears, and stupefying scenery.

The story of how the 2012 month-long expedition went I’ll be publishing here in installments.

But with no more of a do, let’s cut to the chase and get to the pics in this first installment – a few for each of the seven wonders of Kamchatka:

1. The Kluchevsky Group

Sunset Mountains

More: And the other six Kamchatka wonders …

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Kamchatka-2012, Day 0.

Howdy all, from the village of Paratunka! Here we’re at a small hotel that has warm water springs in its grounds that flow into natural swimming pools. All ecological, none of that horrid chlorine, and great fun! Paratunka is near the end tip of Kamchatka, in the far-far-far-east of Russia. The hotel was nothing special, but that didn’t matter. The only things that did matter were the nice warm temperature and freshness of the water in the hotel’s pools.

Kamchatka Hotel

Read on: Kamchatka-2012, Day 0.

Kozmodemyansk Ethno-blogging Expedition.

Between June 30 and July 3 we organized our second annual conference bringing together the Russian press, bloggers, government and IT vendors to discuss current topics on the development of the Russian IT and telecoms industries. The focus of the discussions was Internet security issues, and they sparked plenty of heated debate among the participants.

A special feature of this event was its format. Just like last year, when we held the first conference of this type, we decided to go outside the traditional box and not gather folk in a five-star hotel, wear suits and ties, talk formally and pretend to be people we aren’t.

Kozmodemyansk Ethno-blogging Expedition

Read more > Kozmo what?