Olenegorsk to Murmansk cross-country bicycle race August 6 2016

bike-marathonIt is a beginner-level 108km bike marathon. Starts at Olenegorsk at the Murmansk Highway, at 10am, and proceeds via country trails through Laplandia, Taybola, Pushnoy, Loparskaya, Magnetity, Kil’dinstroy, and Zverosovkhoz. That’s your chance to explore Kola region back roads!

One can register till August 5 by writing to chereda51-murmansk@yandex.ru. Indicate if you need to be delivered from Murmansk to Olenegorsk.

More at velomurman.ru

Teriberka festival August 12-14

teriberka-2I wrote about it before, and here I’d like to confirm that it is indeed happening in two weeks.

And Alexandra personally spoke with local border guards who confirmed that there are no restrictions to foreigner access to Teriberka.

Historic reconstruction festival July 2 and 3

gandvikHistoric reconstruction festival “Gandvik” is taking place on the Monastery Cape (just east off Kandalaksha) on July 2nd and 3rd starting at noon. The program includes visiting the Viking camp, single and group combat, recreation of a medieval fair, and show of historic boats.

Free admission!

extremeThe Regional Youth Subculture Festival will be held at Polarnye Zori on May 21, at the Main City Square (ulitsa Sivko), starting at 1pm.

Skateboarders, BMX bikers, graffiti artists, breakdancers and other fun types will be presenting their skills.

Festival’s VK page: vk.com/xday_pz

Salmon fishing season open on the Kola River

salmonOther Kola Peninsula rivers are to open for salmon fishing before the end of May. Licenses are required and are expected to cost between 1800 and 4000 roubles ($20-55) for a few hours of fishing and one specimen caught, which of course makes no economic sense for the fisherman who can just buy one huge fat fish for this price. But they can be obtained, from what I understand, from the local section of the Ministry of Fishing at ul. Rybovodnaya 7, east end of Kandalaksha. Poaching however is widely practiced if that’s of any consolation..

Talk to me if you need assistance obtaining the license, getting to one of the many fishing spots around the area, or setting up a camp. Write manfriday@yandex.ru or call +7 921 155 5432.


Birding Across the Borders is now available for sale

A short while ago I made an announcement that Birding Across the Borders has come out. At the time it was not clear where and how to buy it. Proceed here, and for $36 this new guide on birdwatching in the Varanger-Norway-Russia area is yours.

And contact me at manfriday@yandex.ru to take you to many of the places mentioned in the book.

Birdwatching offers on the Kola Peninsula

flameThe recent announcement of the publication of Birding Across the Borders has resulted in a bit of a flame in Alexandra’s Livejournal about the propriety and wisdom of advertising a guide that cannot, as of the moment, be bought unless one applied heroic effort to procure it.

The flame, however, has prompted Alexandra to review and compile existing local birdwatching offers, which I’m here sharing with you.

First, it is Kola Travel, with three tour options: north, south, or central Kola Peninsula. We personally know the company as real and active, and able to receive international travellers, but can’t say anything about their birdwatching tours as such.

Second, there is an offer, called the White Sea Islands, from the Nature for Everyone Club, promising island accommodation, transportation by boat, and a biologist as a guide. We don’t know anything about it beyond what’s on their announcement on rusadventures.ru.

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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.

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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.

Recent Reindeer Herder’s Day in Lovozero

The Celebration of the North and Reindeer Herder’s Day are held in Lovozero every year in the 20s of March. The event includes reindeer and dog sled races, ski races, and winter football. A artisans fair is held and Saami national cooking offered. Here are a few photos from the most recent event that took place March 19-20 by Oleg Filonok.


Why are their tongues stuck out? The reindeer has nearly no sweat glands, so when it runs it sticks it tongue out to stay cool, the way dogs do. more >>