Bespolka Home Page Russia 2003 Home Russia and Mongolia 2003
Previous Day Kamchatka 2003 Home Next Day


The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Kamchatka, Russia - 17 July, 2003



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Tolbachick Base Camp at Lunakhodchikov N5544.368' E16016.765' 1,190 meters .
Finish Camp site at a former geologists station N5545.016' E16025.437' 1,003 meters 12 km (by foot)

Total (by train):

766 km

Total (Kamchatka):

569 km

Total (other):

139 km


1,474 km


Weather: Mostly cloudy, cool/warm with the occasional light wind.  Cool/cold overnight with rain showers.



Russia03_CD06_08_web.jpg (55305 bytes)

Russia03_CD09_21_web.jpg (56977 bytes)

Today is one of the many relaxing starts to the day when we do not have a volcano to climb.  We have a slow start, once again snoozing in our tent and enjoying the view of the volcano as the sun rises over the nearby hills.  We pack up our tent before we have breakfast at 9 AM.  After breakfast we organise ourselves before our ten AM start.  But just before we head off on our hike, there is some confusion with our porter.  On this trek, if you make no arrangements for a porter, you have to carry all your own gear, including your portion of the food.  As we had small packs, lots of camera gear and wanted to enjoy our walk, we had decided to hire a porter.  The confusion came in when we were trying to determine what he could carry.  Before we had come on the hike, we had clarified whether or not he could carry our portion of the food and our tent, sleeping bags and mats.  We were told no problem.  But things got a bit confusing on the trail and our porter was carrying joint stuff for the group (such as pots and pans) and other stuff, so in order to make sure he was not overloaded, we took back our tent and sleeping pads.  It was not a good way to start off.


Russia03_CD06_12_web.jpg (129486 bytes) Russia03_CD06_15_web.jpg (152891 bytes)

We left at 10 AM and began the walk on undulating terrain covered with volcanic ash traversing along the flank of the volcano.  There were the occasional rock wall that we had to hike over.  As we went along, we saw increasing amounts of plant life, including new flowers that we had not seen in the last few days.  We made frequent stops along the way.  Just before 1 PM we came upon some bear tracks in the ash - this raised our hopes that we might see some bears (one of our objectives when we came to Kamchatka).  A short time later, we come upon more bear tracks - a mother with one or more cubs.


Russia03_CD06_16_web.jpg (77909 bytes)

Russia03_CD06_18_web.jpg (98437 bytes)

Around 1:30 PM we stop for a quick lunch.  After continuing, we notice that the plant life is increasing and there are even more new flowers.  We appear to be slowly descending.  Just before 4 PM we come upon a stream, which we cross which includes some jumping and clambering up the slippery bank.  We stop here for a short while to give everyone a chance to take a wash and a rest.  We take the opportunity to wash our shirts and towels.  The shirt dries while we stand there in the wind waiting for the others.


Russia03_CD06_22_web.jpg (90874 bytes)

From here it is a short walk to the camp site at an old geologists station, where we arrive at 4:30 PM.  This camp is 9.16 km from our last one as the crow flies.  We set up camp, collect some water from the nearby stream and the spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing.  But it is hard to relax - the bugs and mosquitoes are really bad here.  We decide to relax in the tent to escape from the bugs.  We just lay back and enjoy the view of the volcanoes that surround us.  Getting out of our tent for to do anything is a nightmare, so we pretty much hang out there until dinner.


Russia03_CD06_20_web.jpg (90252 bytes)

Dinner is in the small two room cabin.  We all crowd around the tiny table, sitting on benches made from planks resting on old batteries used to power the measuring equipment (remnants of which are scattered around the place).  So long as the door to the cabin is kept shut, the bugs are not too bad in here, so we are able to enjoy our dinner in some comfort.  Dinner is noodle soup, rice and meat, along with some snacks.  No more vodka.  We hang out in the cabin chatting for a while, and then retire (maybe retreat is a better word) to our tent for the night.


Russia03_CD06_19_web.jpg (77222 bytes)

Before we get into the tent we make sure that we have completed everything that we need to do, such as brushing our teeth, etc.  These all take extra protective measures to do in order to try to ward off the bugs that are swarming around us.  It is a bit strange to be brushing your teeth with one hand while swatting away mozzies with the other.  As usual, going to the toilet is a pain.  We slip into our tent and undertake another search and destroy mission before settling in for the night.  The bugs are swarming around our tent trying to get in - the buzzing is amazingly loud.  We also hear the patter of them landing on the tent - it sounds a bit like rain.


Previous Day Kamchatka 2003 Home Next Day
Bespolka Home Page Russia 2003 Home Russia and Mongolia 2003

Copyright 2003