Hunter-gatherer days: mussels, mushrooms, and two buckets of fucus

Inspired by Alexandra’s stories from the Chupa conference on the biological resources of the White Sea and especially its algae we went out to the littoral to collect said resources that presently appear to be on their way to becoming fashionable in the sense that there is a lot of talk about them being underutilized (see an article on the subject by Olga Maximova, an algologist from Moscow). more >>

A “middle of nowhere” hotel in the Arkhangelsk Region

On her way from Chupa my mate Alexandra was given a ride back to Kandalaksha by a Moscow couple who recently built a hotel in the village of Golubino, Pinega District, Arkhangelsk Region, and spoke of their project with such delight that it made me want to share the information on the Golubino Forest Hotel with the rest of the world. If you want to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of an old Russian North village, and yet stay there with comfort, that seems to be indeed it. The owner of the place speaks fluent English, and their site has an English version which is not quite complete at the moment but should give you an idea of the place.

Up in the air

It so happened that our only neighbours along the entire Kuzomen beach turned out to be the famous Boris Vakhmistrov from Kirovsk, a friend of Alexandra’s. He gave us a tour over Kuzomen in his – what are these contraptions called? – motordeltaplane? A small three-wheeled cart with a 500cc motor, with something of a parachute acting as a wing, capable of going up to 30mph horizontally and up to 2 miles vertically.

Alexandra was, as her custom is, the first one to try. more >>

Our traditional August trip to Kuzomen. Some impressions

A large puddle has appeared on the side road to Kuzomen. No way a regular passenger car could cross it.

Set up a camp. Used our jeep as a shield to protect our portable washroom from strong wind (around 20m/s, with gusts up to 25) that was in the forecast.

more >>

A car trouble sketch-of-life example from the same traveller

Another story from Jack from Poland (see the previous story) that may be worth sharing to show the spirit of the country. Reminds me of another couple of travellers who got a free tow from Petrozavodsk to St. Petersburg. So yes, I’d say the situation described below is “typical” for Russia.

While it wasn’t in your neighborhood, I would like to share with you a
story, what happened a week before. more >>

A letter from a recent traveller to Sredny and Rybachy, Teriberka and Tumany

A few days ago I received the following letter from a Polish traveller to this neck of the woods. I’m reproducing the letter in its entirety, with author’s permission, in the hope it may be of use to other potential travellers here. 

Hi

2 months ago I asked you some questions before the trip to Teriberka, Tumanny and Sredny peninsula. I returned home recently. more >>

Weekly fish and sea food fair in Murmansk

A few months ago somebody asked me for a review of the local fish market.

An often-heard complaint about the local fish scene is that it has very little locally caught fish. Recently, however, a weekly fish and sea product fair has opened in Murmansk.

It is supposed to be held every Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm at the Forum Trade Center. The address is Kolsky Proyezd 134. One can get there by a free bus that is said to be leaving every hour starting 9:30 am from Ulitsa Gadzhiyeva in the city center.

Sounds like a good place to get a glimpse of the local fish scene, including the fishermen who, it is said, bring their catch straight to the market.

A night-time tour of Kandalaksha – am I still capable of staying up and active until 6am?

Motivated by greed, I’ve conceded to give an overview tour of Kandalaksha and area on the night from Saturday to Sunday, starting at 1am and ending at 6am. Now, as the day or, rather, night, approaches I’m starting to have doubts about the wisdom of my decision. Somehow staying up all night is something that no longer seems easy although I worked as a night watchman for a considerable time in Canada in my younger days. We’ll see if I’m still capable of pulling it off..