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 >>

New: I’ve overcome my fear of Skype and am ready to offer Russian lessons

fearLast night I did my first English lesson via Skype.

I have to confess it was one of the first Skype sessions of my life. And it went much easier and smoother than I had expected.

That made one of those watching me suggest that I offer Russian lessons via Skype too.

Here I am, doing just that.

What’s best, being stuck in Kandalaksha, where prices are low, I can offer these at “provincial” rates of 700 roubles ($10) for 1.5 hour session, payable via PayPal.

As with English, the introductory session is free and involves no obligation on anyone.

Write to manfriday@yandex.ru or Skype me at Uncle_Pasha_2011 to get started.

Massive Fall reduction of the rates for my services

snailTo get over the Fall stagnation, when the trickle of orders for my humble services of a guide, an interpreter, a driver, a fixer, or whatever, comes down to a near nill, let me try reducing the rate from the usual $30/hour or $250/day to $15/hour or $125 for the whole day!

Let’s apply it from this moment till the end of November, and see if this drastic measure will help in revitalizing my small operation.

Oh, travellers are welcomed to our fold-out couch at 1000 roubles ($15) per person per night, down from $20-25. Also part of the “Ukrainian crisis and consequences” sale.

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.

“Teriberka to moscow – how far is it?”

This search query was noticed in the stats counter on the site. The famous Leviathan caused unprecedented interest to small Teriberka.

The distance between Moscow and Teriberka is 1969 km. You drive through Yaroslavl, Vologda Region, Karelia and Murmansk region. And – voilà! – you are in Teriberka.

moscow_teriberkaWe drove through most of this road by car and we can talk about it in detail. But if you are not interested in what’s between Moscow and Teriberka is much faster and more comfortable to get there by train/plane to Murmansk.

If you are sure that you are interested in Teriberka…
teriberkaMore photos of Teriberka in varandej livejournal>>

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.

Now ready to travel to Finland

finland-border-crossing-2

Re-entering Russian Federation

reindeer

At the deer park near Salla

Bureaucratic arrangements (car and health insurance) have been pretty straight-forward, and the whole recent trip, including the border crossing at Salla, was rather uneventful.

I’m thus pleased to announce that I’m now ready to travel there on behalf of my clients.

The distance from salla-to-kandalaksha-179Kandalaksha to Salla crossing is 179km (200 to Salla itself), so the cost of picking you up (up to 3-4 persons and their possessions can fit into my car with relative ease and comfort) at Salla or area or getting you there would be $200+$250=$450.($200 is “car upkeep” -fuel, maintenance, insurance – at 50 cents/kilometer, and $250 is my fee for the day.)