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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Kamchatka, Russia - 21 July, 2003

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Platina Camp at the base of Bezemyanny Volcano N5555.844' E16035.028' 1,433 meters .
Finish Camp site enroute N5554.981' E16023.772' 1,232 meters 14 km (by foot)

Total (by train):

766 km

Total (Kamchatka):

626 km

Total (other):

139 km

Total:

1,531 km

 

Weather: Began clear, sunny, cool/warm and windy.  In the afternoon partly cloudy, sunny, warm/hot and windy.  Very cold overnight.

 

 

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We wake up to a glorious morning - not a cloud in the sky except a few wisps of clouds over the one volcano we climbed yesterday.  And there was a nice wind to keep away the bugs.  We lay back in our tent and snoozed for a while, with the peaceful morning being interrupted only by the noisy sounds of the other group getting ready to climb the volcano this morning.  Shortly after 8 AM we reluctantly get up and pack up our stuff and tent.  At 9 AM we stroll over to the cabin for our breakfast.  Then it is time to get ready to leave and head on.

 

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We begin our walk just after 10 AM and head back the way we came into the campsite.  After a short walk (it seemed much shorter going out at the start of the hike on a nice day rather than in at the end of the day with poor weather).  The hike up the steep side of the small saddle is hard, but short.  We have a brief break at the top, taking in the view.  We also spot a huge marmot on the nearby slope.  Then it is down the other side of the saddle.

 

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We have a smooth path to hike on - flat and soft.  This goes on for a while, but comes to an end when we enter a dried out river bed and carry along it's course.  At around 1:30 PM, after we have exited the river bed, we stop for lunch.

 

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It is a great spot with tremendous view of the all the many volcanoes that surround us.  It is sunny and cool in the nice wind that is blowing.  No bugs to speak of.  There is a stream running by and some people go for a dip in one of the pools.

 

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While eating our lunch, we sit back in the sun and just enjoy the break and relaxation.  We take a bit longer than normal.  It is also a good idea to make sure that we know where we are going.  Just before we leave, we also take a group photo.

 

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The next hour and a half of walking before we get to our camp site for the night is along this moss that is so soft to walk on.  It is like being on a thick, plush carpet.  At each step we sink in a few inches.  We arrive at the camp site just before 4 PM.  It is almost 12 km away as the crow flies from the Platina camp.

 

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What a nice spot.  The ground is so soft.  We set up our tent on a nice flat, spongy surface with excellent views of two of the six or seven volcanoes that surround us.  We decide to just sit back on the soft ground with a rock to lounge on and listen to music and stare up at the volcanoes and the few clouds that are racing across the sky.  In between just relaxing, we take some pictures around the camp site.

 

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We also have to go and collect some drinking water.  As the river that passes nearby is flowing strongly and full of muddy sediment that has turned it almost black, we need to find an alternative source.  We find it in the snow bank that lines the edge of the river bank.  In the heat, the snow is melting and water is dripping down off the edge.  We can find a few spots where the flow is actually quite high and can fill a cup up in a few seconds.  We then transfer this to our water bottles and after repeating this a few times, we have our water.

 

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At around 6 PM, we decide to explore the surrounding area a bit.  We discover that just a short way down river from us, the flowing water has formed narrow, but deep gully in the solid volcanic rock.  Many years ago, it must have found a crack in the rock and slowly over the years eroded away the surrounding rock until the gully was formed.  The gully starts off small and shallow, but quickly develops into a deep gash in the rock.  It would not be a good thing to fall into the river at this point.

 

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A few hundred meters down river, the gully ends at a cliff face and the water pours out into the once again calm and flat river bed.  We wander around a bit further and on our way back to the camp site come upon another smaller version of the gully that we had just explored.  But it has the potential to grow into a much bigger one.  This one is dry at the moment and we scramble down into it and make our way up the gully back to our camp site.

 

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Back at the camp site, we collect some more water from the snow bank and then sit back and relax while waiting for dinner.  Dinner once again starts off with noodle soup and is followed by pasta with some form of sauce with tofu.  It is very tasty and we enjoy it.  It is amazing what Victor comes up with after so long on the trail.

 

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Not only can we enjoy the food itself, we can enjoy it in a wonderful setting.  The weather has held and the wind continues to blow.  As a result, there are not too many bugs and we do not find too many mosquitoes dive bombing our soup and sacrificing themselves.  It is nice not having to pick them out of our food, which we had to do on many occasions to-date.

 

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We decide to retire to our tent early, in order to just lay back in our sleeping bags and enjoy the view from our tent.  Today we have done very well at placing our tent, and the view is magnificent.  The colors of the sky and on the mountains change as the sun begins to set.  The temperature also begins to drop and we are glad to be inside our sleeping bags as we slowly doze off as the sun sets behind the mountains.

 

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