Arctic Trophy starts off Varzuga on August 7

arctic-trophyStarts in Varzuga, total distance 700km, with the final destination at the village of Ponoy in the far-eastern end of the poninsula. The expedition is expected to last 7-10 days, which is not surprising given complete lack of roads beyond Varzuga.

To would be travellers to “no foreigner access” areas

noJust spoke with someone actively involved in the Umba tourism scene about the feasibility of getting an official permit for foreigners to visit the area. Was told that success in obtaining such is so extremely rare as not to be worth trying.

In all probability the same applies to other “no foreigner access” areas.

The consequences of being caught there without the permit is a fine and termination of your Russian visa, and denial of visa application for several years. And the police are said to be happy to charge trespassers.

Sorry folks..

This season’s first mushrooms

Gyromitra-esculentaPicked up 5 fruiting bodies of Brain Fungus (Gyromitra esculenta) yesterday near Luvenga. Intend to eat them today.

Since this mushroom is of somewhat controversial edibility I want to say possible good by to friends and clients. (I do intend to boil it twice before consuming though.)

An elementary school opened in Kuzomen

burnayevaUp to very recently the only option for for four elementary school age kids in Kuzomen was a boarding school in Varzuga, with mere 8 visits home per year.

Things changed recently with the arrival of the new teacher, Ekaterina Mikhailovna Burnayeva, from Murmansk, after her two trips to South Carolina, USA.

burnayeva-chacing-wild-horsesIn addition to teaching she prepares school lunches and chases away the famous wild horses of Kuzomen that often scare children.

Community events along the Ter cost of the peninsula for Summer 2016

May 28 2016 – A concert in Varzuga in honour of 70-year anniversary of the Murmansk region.

June 11-12 2016 – “Pomor Old Times” festival in Umba to commemorate 550 years since the founding of the village.

June 25 2016 – Folk Choir of Varzuga.

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Swimming season opened

Today I personally opened this summer’s swimming season, under but slight coersion from Alexandra. And yes, it is snow in the background. The air however was full of stoneflies (Plecoptera) and almost summer-warm.swimming-season River Kolvitsa, between Lake Kolvitsa and a village of the same name, south edge of the Kola Peninsula.

Frozen Kolvitsa waterfall in winter

kolvitsa-waterfall-1

This photo is by Gennady Alexandrov. The rest is by Alexandra.

Yesterday my mate Alexandra took me to Kolvitsa to see one of local natural attractions, the waterfall on the Kolvitsa river. Although I am at a bit of a loss as to the point of dragging one’s ass through two miles of snow to see some bubbling water framed by ice, I am, after all, in the tourism business, so I put up but minimal resistance and ended up seeing the views I’m about to share. Here:

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Double axe murder in Luvenga

axe-murder-luvengaRumours have reached me that New Year celebration in Luvenga, 14km east from Kandalaksha along the South coast of the peninsula, resulted in two dead bodies, reduced to this sorry state in the evening of Jan. 1 by means of an axe.

It is usual and typical for this sort of things to happen during long holidays.

Details, if available, will be shared with humanity later.

Off to Murmansk Sunday for a book presentation, back Monday

Sunday early morning we are off to Murmansk to do a presentation of two books: The Trip to Kolvitsa and A Singer from Chapoma.

kolvitsa-tripThe Trip to Kolvitsa, partly prepared by Alexandra, is about the history of the village of Kolvitsa on the south edge of the Kola Peninsula. The book cobmines reminiscences of Kolvitsa old-timers, photos from their family archives, documents from the Murmansk archive and Local History Museum.
chapoma-singerA Singer from Chapoma was compiled by the local history expert Stanislav Borodkin and the Kola Center for Wild Nature Preservation. The book contains interviews with people who knew singer Avgusta Vladimirovna Alexeyeva (Suryadova),and the texts of her songs.

The event is held on Nov. 15 at 3pm at the Central City Library at Kolsky prospekt 93.

driver

 

Apart from having translated the preface to “Kolvitsa” I have nothing to do with lofty literature and am off to Murmansk in the capacity of a humble driver for Alexandra &Co.

Holes filled with water in a no-access area instead of silver

Tmedvezhyhe very name of the Medvezhy(Bear) Island silver mines has a stunning influence on those who hear it.

I hate to disappoint you but mines are now flooded by ground waters and any silver that may be left there is inaccessible.

Further, the Island of Medvezhy is part of the Kandalaksha Nature Reserve, with public access to it prohibited.

Still, the story of 18th century silver mining has an exciting influence on people’s minds, and I’m posting it on the request of one of your travellers.

Location: Porya Guba (bay) west from Umba, south-west of the peninsula.

silver

A silver nugget from Island Medvezhy

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