Off to Kuzomen

On our way to Kuzomen with a stopover in Kashkarantsy. Of things unpleasant, it was road repair, with 10 kilometers of large gravel between Umba and Kashkarantsy. Of misadventures, it was a blown camper tire. If we lose another one we are looking into a serious adjustment of plans as the nearest tire repair place is in Umba, 100+ kilometers of a really bad road back.

Saw a fox right in front of us but by the time Alexandra got out her camera the animal had almost disappeared in the bush.

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Back in circulation

This week I was visited by my brother Michael and his family. That was a delight although I may have been a bit tardy in answering your e-mails. Now, when he is on his way to Canada I’m back in circulation.

The newer and better version of Pasha

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Had one too many beers, climbed the horsie, survived

On returning from the Village of Kuzomen found the little horse hanging by our camper again. This time, with more than one beer inside me, I thought it a good idea to get on the animal that, apart from attempting to bite at my legs, took this abuse quite calmly and gave me a ride around our camp. 

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Made it to Kuzomen

Almost free of misadventures. The only exception was the muffler that broke off while we were, already in Kuzomen, going through deep sand. No effect on the vehicle’s ability to move. Of the south coast of the Kola Peninsula attractions, I’ll share the impressions of our stop by the Chapel of the Unknown Monk, one of the key local saints whose body was pulled up in fishermen’s nets somewhere in the 16th century near what’s now the village of Kashkarantsy. The poor fellow never got identified, but fish was caught particularly well in the sea near his grave, and miracle cures happened, thus the status of “local saint” and a small chapel. In our stops there in previous years, we were delighted to see a donation box left undisturbed in this remote and unprotected place. Now it is gone, with the following instructions displayed instead:

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If Kuzomen is not far enough for you, cross the Varzuga river

varzuga-ferry-1On Thursday we witnessed an UAZ van ferried to the other side of Kuzomen, to the true “beyond”. That’s the only way, except the helicopter, to get to places like Chavanga, Strelna, or Chapoma.

Here are a few photos to show you how it happens, with the floating platform being pushed by a motor boat. The cost of this adventure across the river is ~5000 roubles ($70) per crossing. more >>

Day of eared jellyfish

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There are two types of jellyfish living in the White Sea: Aurelia aurita and Cyanea capillata. Aurelia aurita is also called “Eared jellyfish” even though it has no ears. It got its name from its bright and clearly visible reproductive gonads.

Aurelia sometimes comes close to the coastline and gets stranded on the beach, or is thrown out by the storm. But never before have we seen so many jellyfish as we did yesterday.

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The day of giant things

On our second day in Kuzumen we found a huge tree on the beach. Can’t imagine where it has come from. There are no trees of this size within at least 100km from here.

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A huge root, 2×3 meters, and the trunk of at least 10 meters in length more >>