12 The Other Kamchatka Peninsula

The Other Kamchatka Peninsula

Posted on January 10, 2011 by team

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The Kamchatka Peninsula. Looking at these words our brain imagines a faraway place with erupting volcanoes and geyser valleys. These are often the pictures of those popular “brand” tourist places and very few people know there is another, unknown side of Kamchatka where you can hardly find a single tourist or even a road. Actually you will hardly get to this place by yourself. This is the north-eastern coast of the peninsula called Koryakiya.

Every year, in March, the sled dog race called “Beringiya” starts in the Esso village. The contestants make their way along the Sea of Okhotsk coast. The distance is 950 km and it takes them about 3 weeks to finish the race.

But first people celebrate this event and ,usually quiet, the Esso village attracts everybody’s attention.

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Since 2010 this holiday became official and expensive gifts were bought for its contestants. The only thing remained unclear – for what purpose a dog-team driver needs a car if there have never been any roads in this place?

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After 2 days of celebration the contestants finally start the race.

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Unfortunately few people can see this event because most of the residents of Kamchatka live in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatky or near this city and the Esso village is more than 500 km from it. So it’ll take quite much money to get to this place by train and pay for the hotel.

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Dog-teams are gradually disappearing behind the hill.

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Unlike the other races this one provides the contestants with some comforts. They take the minimal necessaries with themselves. All their other things are in the trucks accompanying them during the whole race.

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Most of the contestants are ordinary people from those faraway regions where using the dog-teams is absolutely necessary for their life.

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The only woman contestant whose profession is a doctor. The dog-team is the only way for her to get to the patients’ places and give them medical help.

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There are 17 dog-teams in the race. The dogs are used to sleep in the snow.

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The drivers of the trucks have a tradition. They put a glass of vodka on the ground. Then a plate with a ham and caviar sandwich is placed upon it. They believe it will make their way safe.

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Dinner at the hood of the truck.

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Some fun.

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The first destination is the Tigil village.

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Have taken a shower and had a rest they continue their way. The next destination is the Sedanka village.

Lots of children meet the drivers here.

Settled in one of the rooms of the center of social and cultural activities.

Disco in the evening with an old lady DJ

“This is not a toilet”

After so many kilometers on the sledge the Palana village seems to be the center of civilization. Here you can find shops, hot water, the Internet and even an airport.

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The road leads to the small river where some small ships are waiting for the spring.

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It’s surprising that fish is more expensive here than in the Moscow shops.

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The road from Palana to Tigil is being built for several years already. Its width makes difficult for the two trucks not to collide.

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The most faraway part of Kamchatka – the Karaginsky Gulf. Silence and beautiful mountains.

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All the dog-teams have gone and the drivers have to come back. The destination is the Lesnaya village. This village is the last one on the north-eastern coast of Kamchatka.

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One snowmobile with the sledge for all the 4 drivers.

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The drivers decide to wait for two days in the house by the Pravaya Lesnaya river.

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In one of the rooms of the house is the half-finished snowshoes.

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To go to the Lesnaya village on foot will take 3 days. The one thing that prevents the drivers from doing this – encounter with wolves.

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Most of the hunters that lived in such huts either died while hunting or became drunkards.

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The next day they spend in the hut and then are going home.

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The national costume.

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Magnificent trip.

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There are a lot of tracks of hares and foxes on the snow.

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12 Responses to “The Other Kamchatka Peninsula”

  1. George Bush says:

    so what happened to the race?

  2. George Johnson says:

    Nice. The costumes in the first few photos were beautiful.

  3. Musa says:

    This place is beautiful, thanks for post.

  4. OldBikr says:

    A beautiful land, tough though. It is a tough land that raises tough people with deep souls, I wish I could have gone there too.

    Am I first?

  5. SKS says:

    The Other Kamchatka Peninsula????

    The rest is drunken company that collected the author

    There is only one true picture # 2.

  6. itelmeen says:

    “So itll take quite much money to get to this place by train ” — train in Kamtchatka ??????????

  7. Karlis says:

    I would love to visit Kamchatka!

    How much would a trip to Kamchatka cost from Moscow approximately?

  8. nice photos, sure as hell looks cold though!

  9. Ivan says:

    What a diference between what was made in Chukotka for the people (well the money of Abramovich ofcourse) and what they have in Kamchatka… The infrastructure, the buildings here still look old and pour

  10. testicules says:

    Too damn cold for me. Where are the palm trees?

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