Kamchatka is a nature paradise and offers many different outdoor activities (in winter time it has been becoming a helicopter-skiing destination, too).
Lots of hot springs in pretty places invite for bathing…
We also enjoyed river rafting … always watching out for bears at the shore …. while fishing for salmons and trouts … truly relaxing and enjoyable ….
Hiking is also very common – whether up to volcanos or just across the beautiful countryside or mountain areas. For our mountain hike we had to drive up the mountains through a dry river bed (after snow melting this is possible), over ice covers and along stony tracks. We did it on a big foot jeep which was great fun.
The weather was rather disgusting – cold, light rain, strong winds and fogy….. at least a ground squirrel said hello to us …. and some pretty flowers gave some color to it …
The black sand beach is a very impressive result of a previous volcano eruption (1991). This beach calls for a relaxing hike along the Pacific coast.
Today, we say goodbye to Kamchatka and to Russia.
Russia has been a wonderful country to visit. Not only its amazing nature and wildlife, no, its people made the trip so unforgettable, too. As we have mentioned before in the blog, Russian pople are very discrete, seem to be a bit withdrawn but we have only known friendly and very helpful people. The prejudice that Russians are loud and always drunk is simply not true. Especially the young people like to discuss and are very curious about "Europe". They work hard for their living. Like our young guide on Kamchatka who is an English and Chinese teacher but works as a tour guide during his summer holiday (June until end of August). Or our very young boat guide on the river, who studies business administration in Moscow and earns some money by rowing tourists down a river on Kamchatka, eager to practice his English and German skills.
If ever you wonder how we survived Russia without any Russian language skills….here some clues:
1. Learn some words in Russian: Strasdwetje=hallo; ja turist si schwizarii= ich bin ein Tourist aus der Schweiz; spasiba=danke; charascho=gut; baca baca=tschuess; njet=nein; dada=ja; vino=Wein; piva=Bier; wada gasem=Wasser mit Kohlensaeure
2. If you see someone with an ice-cream you grab his/her ice-cream wrapping and bring it to the little food stall and you get an ice-cream. Simple as that;-).
3. Use your hand and body language.
4. Smile and trust in what you will get.
Andi once wanted that they put our white wine bottle in the fridge to keep it cool until the next day…. next day we got back a deep-frozen wine bottle????!!!!! So from then on we finished our wine bottle every evening;-).
In five hours we are flying to Beijing which is our starting point of our next adventure – the silk road back to Europe. In Beijing, we will have a family reunion with our two boys. After finishing his second year at the University in St. Gallen, Julian got admitted to a Chinese sponsored Chinese language course and culture exchange program in Beijing in August. Thereafter, he will do an exchange semester at the Hong Kong University. Valentin has just finished his first year at the Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne and the corresponding first internship in the Golf-Hotel Andreus in St. Martin in Italy (close to Meran). He has not seen Julian since February and both are looking forward to the reunion. Valentin will also join us for the Chinese part of the silk road travel.