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.

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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 >>