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.

Boat rowing regatta in Umba tomorrow, July 2

rowing-regattaThe festival is held yearly since 1998, and is intended to promote the Pomor culture and newly-fashionable “healthy lifestyle”.

Four and two-oar boats, both classic and flat-bottomed, are used.

For more info contact event organizers at +7(81559) 5-17-44, 5-18-33, or +7 911 063 4912, or e-mail them to cfks-t@list.ru.

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.