Kola Expeditions is getting ready to receive English-speaking travellers

They ordered me to translate their site into English, and immediately uploaded these translations to snowtracker.ru/en/. Last March we ourselves took part in one of their 3-4 hour tours, were impressed, and can recommend Kola Expeditions to travellers looking for the “local spirit”.

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Hills over the Kolvitsa village

Here are some photos from the recent trip to the tundra hills over the village of Kolvitsa, thanks to two Finnish travelers I took there. During a good half a day in the hills we met no one and saw not a single piece of trash. I think I’m starting to understand what draws people up there.

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The white stuff is lichens. No reindeer here, thus lots of lichens.kolvitsa-hills-2kolvitsa-hills-3
Picking cloudberries..

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On top of one of the highest hills in the area..

I hate gnats!!

666These are much worse than mosquitoes. Unlike the latter, gnats slice off a patch of your skin. On Wendesday I got bitten by some during the trip to the hills, and my arms are still swollen and it still itches three days later. The all-knowing Alexandra says these will last about a week. One of the worse thing about gnats is they don’t really hurt when they initially attack you. ALWAYS WEAR LONG-SLEEVED SHIRT TO THE WOODS AND TAKE SOME INSECT-REPELLANT WITH YOU!!

 

Off to the hills for the whole day

okkatyeva-hillToday I’m taking two Finnish travellers first to the Volostnaya hill, and then to the famous “Iron Gates” between the Domashniye (“home”) tundras and Okkatyeva hill, half-way between Luvenga and KolvitsaWish us all luck.

Book Birding Across the Borders has come out..

birdwatching-1The book is in English (with my participation in the translation), and it covers the Varanger-Norway-Russia trans-border area.

more >>

It is not too late to sign up for my Moscow to Kandalaksha trip this summer yet

I’m still available June and the first half of July, September, possibly October..

Details >>

Example, trip notes >>

Lovozero articles by Kristoffer Naess and Simon Eliasson (in Swedish)

I had the honour of acting as an interpreter and an organizer of the Lovozero part of the trip.
swedenEven if you can’t read Swedish, look at them for the sake of photos.

Adobe_PDF_Icon_svgThe village of Lovozeropart 1, part 2, part 3

The trip to the Lovozero tundras: part 1, part 2, part 3

The stories appeared in Norrländska Socialdemokraten on Jan. 24 and 26 2015.

Back from Lovozero

2What took me to Lovozero this time was an interpreting (and trip organizational in general) assignment by two Swedish journalists dispatched here to write about the life of Saami. They’ve promised to provide a copy of the article that I will, of course, share with you.

We met in Apatity where I got by train, having wimped out of the idea of driving 200km through icy roads in a blizzard and -30C. The train trip from Kandalaksha to Apatity cost 700+ roubles ($14) and lasted an hour and a half. Lots of empty seats on the train, probably no need to buy tickets in advance during the off-season period.

I first researched the option of a train to Olenegorsk and then a bus but it turned out there was no direct bus to Lovozero from Olenegorsk, the nearest station on the Murmansk railroad. Here is the bus schedule at Olenegorsk:

olenegorsk-bus-schedule more >>

Now translating the third article for a bird watching project

Part of the job is to diligently translate names of species, of which there is over 100 in the Kola region. Soon I hope to be qualified to assist bird watchers as an interpreter.

Back from a trip to Murmansk via Lovozero

Took a group of four Italian travellers to Lovozero and then to Murmansk.

Monchegorsk_barren_landOn the way to Lovozero we passed through the famous barren lands of Monchegorsk, a product of the North Nickel plant.Monchegorsk_chemistry more >>