Because of the sea the climate is softer than one may expect given the latitude (67°09′). Winter, however, is long, from the beginning of November till well into April.
It is often wet and humid, and weather may change quickly. That’s the key to preparing for trips here: WEATHER CHANGES SUDDENLY AND IN A WIDE RANGE.
The climate is just perfect for mosquitoes, gnats, and horse flies. Don’t underestimate this issue when planning hiking or rafting. In June 2012 I experienced a mosquito attack that made run to safety. And then the locals laughed me off saying I haven’t seen nothing yet, and related their stories how they got blinded by insects while negotiating their way around rocks in river rapids.
I recall an old book that quoted a local reindeer herder saying that lack of insects is a key feature of heaven.
This summer was exceptionally cold. As a result, there are practically no berries in the woods. That leads to a lot of hungry bears roaming the forests and occasionally exploring garbage dumpsters in a desperate attempt to put on some fat before the winter sets in. Lots of bear excrements in the woods between Malinovoye, where our dacha is, and Luvenga. The locals who are in the habit of taking early morning walks say there are four of them in the five-kilometer long and narrow strip of trees between the seacoast and the road. As of recent, they have been containing a lot of rowanberries, which is not at all typical bear food.
A story from Chernaya Rechka (“Black River”) in Karelia reached me yesterday. A black bear occupied a cranberry field and refused to leave even when the local women shouted at it – not a typical behaviour for this beast. Now these women are said to go cranberry picking accompanied by men with shotguns.
I’m pleased to share with the world that Volostnaya Hill overlooking Kandalaksha has, unlike it was the case last March, well-packed trails, and can be accessed on foot without skies, snowshoes, or other contraptions and ceremonies.
Here are some photos from our trip there today..
Trees are fully packed in snow, a local “March” phenomenon, a consequence of wind and high humidity..
Just a few photos that made these days the local photographer Artyom Kovalev. 10 minutes from the city by car, 30 minutes on foot, and voila …
Rain, melting snow, and wind – we were treated to the classic late fall weather last night. The ugliest it has been in a long time. Most definitely this is not the time of year to travel to Kandalaksha.
But I make a living off you travellers, thus the late fall special on all of my services in an effort to entice you here: 50% off, or $12.50/hour and I’m yours to act as a guide, driver or translator.
Or, if you have business here but can’t attend the place in person, I can be your errand boy. Information gathering of any sort, people and grave searches, press reviews, whatever. It’s like having your feet and eyes and hands, and even a part of your brain here.