Tag Archives: yenisei

Sayan and Yenisei: Fun and frolics.

One of the most fascinating places along our Upper Yenisei adventure was where the Baliktik-Hem and Kizil-Hem rivers merge. It’s here where the ‘Yenisei’ is first mentioned on the maps (when viewing the rivers going down from the mountains); specifically, that first mention is Maliy Yenisei (Little Yenisei).

Round that corner is the Kizil-Hem, which starts out as a small stream in Mongolia!

Read on: Extreme tourists…

Sayan and Yenisei: the rapids.

Rafting on Balyktyg-Khem and Ka-Khem (aka the Little Yenisei) was pretty chilled – there were no particularly dangerous rapids to speak of. The plan of action was simple: keep paddling along the main part of the river, keep clear of rocks and immediately obey the captain’s orders. The instruction that our crew performed fastest was “Stop!”.

There were only a few rapids, probably five. Apart from that there were sand bars with light riffles, fast sections, two or three standstill sections. For rafters, standstills are an inconvenience – you have to paddle! Thankfully, we always had the wind at our backs, or there was no wind at all.

Read on: Unexpected pitstop…

Reaching the Upper Reaches of Yenisei.

So, just how exactly did we get to the upper reaches of the Yenisei?

Well, obviously, we didn’t walk. It involved various means of transport. First, we drove 400 km from Abakan to Kyzyl. The quality of the road was bearable – it is asphalt all the way, though there were lots of roadworks. Next year it should be in better shape. It took us 6-7 hours because of the repairs, detours and time spent waiting at traffic lights giving way to oncoming traffic on the single-lane sections.

But we finally made it to the city of Kyzyl, the capital of Tuva:

However, this is where things took an unexpected turn for the worse.

Read on: A marvelous artefact next to the airport…

Yenisei: You say ‘eh?’ I say ‘wey hey!’

The Yenisei River. Many of you won’t have even heard of it. But that doesn’t make it any less of a mega river: starting out in Mongolia (!), it’s the main river of three great Siberian ones, and the world’s largest river system flowing into the Arctic Ocean. Anyway; introductions over – we headed its way after our Tian Shan adventure

…And not long after we reached it, sure enough – we were heading down its rapids in rafts.

Now for a bit of geography…

Read on: Now for a bit of geography…