Beautiful Kamchatka

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Petropavlovsk Part Deux. We started the afternoon at a museum of local and natural history. There was impressive taxidermy showing the wildlife of the Kamchatka peninsula, including

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the sea eagle, said to be much larger and more powerful that the bald eagle,

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the Russian brown bear, which is the world’s largest, as well as the beautiful red fox and lynx.

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After the museum we drove out of town to a spot where this vehicle awaited us. We were on our way to visit the home of some championship sled dogs, and the road would be rough. When I saw this behemoth I was sure they were exaggerating, but no, not at all! No normal vehicle could possibly have traversed the roads we followed.

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I kept trying to grab a picture as we bounced and crashed our way through a thick birch forest, but they were mostly all a blur. This one must have been taken during a moment when we were suspended in the air some foot or so above the ground, the only explanation for why it’s even partly in focus.

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We finally arrived at a beautifully rustic outpost, the likes of which I’d never imagined.

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The outpost’s outhouse, although there was a slightly more modern one for visitors.

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We were all more or less famished by the time we arrived, but there were audible gasps as people ducked through the small door into the dining room.

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Lunch was actually pretty terrible, from my point of view as a person who doesn’t eat carbs, but I was so happy to be there that I didn’t care. There was broth with big chunks of potato and little pieces of reindeer meat, bread, a few sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, and then a dessert of a fried dough and bowls of sweetened condensed milk sprinkled with lingonberries. Andrei and Anastasia, who own the place and raise the sled dogs, have seven children, so I rather imagine that this was a typical meal for them.

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There are 126 sled dogs here, and each has its own little house on a pad. These dogs are raised to compete in the Beringia, the world’s longest dog sled race, that covers 1300 miles every year in Kamchatka. Both Andrei and Anastasia have won medals and big checks in this race, with these special dogs.

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Here they show us how much the dogs love to run, maintaining a pace of 15 kilometers per hour throughout the race.

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Then followed what, for me, was the best part of the day, as a wonderful troupe performed songs and dances of the Koryak, the indigenous people of the region.

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People often ask me, about cruising, if it isn’t frustrating to spend just a day or two in each place. I guess it can be, but when a day is as full of wonderful things as this day was, it seems just right.

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As we sailed away from the beautiful Kamchatka Peninsula I felt elated to have visited. If you ever get the opportunity to go there, grab it!

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One Comment on “Beautiful Kamchatka”

  1. Lindsay Says:

    You mention a lot of issues with the food in these posts but I don’t think as a reader I have a full understanding of what kinds of food you really do like? Do you think you could maybe post a day in the life post on the boat where you include some of the meals that you’re eating on the boat and also includes some images from the room you’re staying in. As someone who doesn’t travel often I’d love to see these things! 🙂


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