Kamtchatski Kray

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    • Day 34


      July 14, 2018 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      We've now been waiting 2 hours for port officals to get clearance from the Russian navy to leave port. Submarine exercises are far more important.
      Today is a boat excursion, deep sea fishing, seal sighting, crab catching and most importantly eating and probably vodkaing.
      We have met Illya who has struck up a deep conversation with Matt on history and politics. The views of the historian and citizen have been amicably debated with Matt being invited to Illya's home near Rostov-on-Don in the west of Russia.
      Well I have caught a fish in Russian waters but not the one on display. It came via her friends boat but ot still tasted superb.
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    • Day 22

      Toward the Koryak Village

      August 29, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      Heading out of the city into the rural flood plain at the back of the bay, the Koryak Village is close to the largest volcano. The rural roads are dirt and very bumpy; the dust comes in thru the air-con.
      It's a large property owned by 2 families who raise they animals here and continue the Koryak traditions and language.
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    • Day 22

      Koryak Dance and Song

      August 29, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Dressed in traditional ornate reindeer hide garb, a Koryak woman and 2 girls dance and sing several items from various seasons, illustrating the Koryak reliance on the seasonal patterns. We are invited to participate in a group circle dance. The Koryak man plays the traditional drum. He has been injured in a fishing accident but still participates while seated (he's on crutches).Read more

    • Day 3

      Hotel Petropavlovsk (1. Nacht)

      July 3, 2017 in Russia ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

      Draussen vor dem Flughafen – eine Ankunftshalle gibt es nicht – treffe ich auf den Fahrer des Hotels. Die Fahrt dauert gute 20 Minuten, vorbei an Birkenhainen und Feldern, alles saftig grün.

      Freundlicher Empfang im Hotel, sauberes Zimmer, weiches Bett, unwiderstehlich, ich schlafe nochmals drei Stunden.

      Nach ein paar zaghaften Schritten in Sichtweite des Hotels, um mich mit meiner neuen Kompaktkamera vertrauter zu machen (eine Panasonic Lumix LX100), nötigt mich mein knurrender Magen zurück ins Hotel, ins Restaurant. Ich wähle eine geräuchte Fischplatte, Heilbutt mit Gemüse (=Tomatensalat), Crèpes mit Quark-Rosinen-Füllung u Sauerrahm.

      Bevor ich zu Bett gehe, schreibe ich noch an meinen gefundenen Pinguinen ;-) weiter. Der Upload will heute aber nicht mehr gelingen, das WLAN ist schwach und sehr instabil. Jänu!

      Am nächsten Morgen setzt sich ein einzelner Mann zu mir an den Frühstückstisch. Er ist Russe, spricht aber gebrochen Englisch. Im Gespräch stellt sich heraus, dass er Pilot ist, und zwar ausgerechnet jener Pilot, der die Boeing 777 mit mir an Bord von Moskau hierher geflogen hat. Zufälle gibt's!!
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    • Day 23

      rest day

      July 22, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      After a looooong good nights sleep the day started at ten and an hour later we were off to some waterfall. With an easy walk first through bushes and then through snow we reached our goal under bright sunshine. It was supposed to rain. (We tried not to imagine the weather at Gorely.) Anyway it was a very relaxed and pleasant excursion where we ended thanks to Timon at some hot springs where we had a nice view on the valley. We had to climb 182 stairs to get there, mum counted. Back at the hotel we had lunch and then some of us stayed a bit longer and saw Vitaly, who did not eat lunch, cleaning the tents. We asked Anja to ask him if we could help and we told her to tell him that it would make us really happy if he let us help. We knew that he would say no otherwise. That convinced him and so Martin, Rebecca, Matthias, mum and me cleaned for 1.5h those tents. I have no idea how much time it would have taken him to do that alone. The other members were busy doing other stuff. Anyway, the cleaning water was very brown and Vitaly said we took some Mutnovsky with us. I was glad we could help. After that we had a long bath in the pool. Life can be wonderful. After shower Rebecca passed by. She and her husband Martin took care of the tipping business and created envelopes for each of our crew member. They did that wonderfully and it looks very personal. Since Christina and probably also Yvgeny will quit us tomorrow we will give it to all them tomorrow. The plan will be to leave when we are ready, to go for groceries again and then to the Avachinsky base camp. The weather forecast is not good for wednesday, the day that was planned for the ascent (of 1800m...) but thursday, our reserve-day look way better. Some want to go to Kuri lake to see the bears by helicopter. So we had to decide if we want to let the option open for the lake or the climb. Mum and me decided to try the volcano since it would be another 600€ each and we were not sure about to go or not in the first place and climbing up volcanoes is why we came here. So hopefully we will be lucky either wednesday or thursday for volcano number 4!Read more

    • Day 22

      fifty shades of grey

      July 21, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

      The alarmclock went already after 6h of sleep but we were all punctual at breakfast at 8am. Vitalys suggestion was to go to Gorely volcano today since tomorrow the weather will be even worse. So at 10 we were ready for another climb with hopefully a glance into a crater with a bright blue lake of sulfur. We were optimistic but unfortunately the weather was rather foggy then sunny. Anyway in a good mood and much motivation we started to climb up. It was already windy in the beginning. Like right into the face that wind. It got steeper and windier, you really had to be careful not to fall because of wind. The ascent wasn’t that long, 6km in total with 800m, but that wind! It came in gushes and it was quite adventurous. We reached the top after 1.5h and we saw - nothing. Nothing at all. Nix, nada, zilch. Just grey in grey. Luckily the wind gusts were coming in the front so there was not such a big risk to fall into that boiling water. We wanted to have some lunch up there but the weather conditions got worse, the winds stronger, so Vitaly rushed us down at some point. And that was adventurous. My mum fell once because of the wind and all others were struggeling. We almost ran down that volcano. Still some groups headed the other way, some in sneakers. We did not envy them. Down again we had something to eat and up we went in the truck and back to the hotel. Shower and hot bath awaited us, wonderful. Since that night was not planned at the hotel and theoretically we could have stayed in tents we have to pay for that night, worth every rubel. Diner was delicious as always and for the first time we played cards. Again, what a day!Read more

    • Day 21

      muddy bear wind

      July 20, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      What a day, yes, I repeat myself but today qualifies for that. So since we wished for it we got up at 4, had again delicious breakfast at 4:30 and at 5:15 we started under a beautiful morning sky in direction of the crater of Mutnovsky volcano. We were going at a good pace, unfortunately as predicted into fog. At some point it started to drizzle or even rain. We had strong winds but made our way to the top after only 5hours which was, as Vitaly said, the fasted group climbing up. It was approximately 12km wifh 700 height difference under rather difficult conditions with lots of snowfields. Those were as Vitaly promised way less difficult and exhausting as the one at Talpachik. Up there on the krater we saw not much. Mutnovsky means the foggy, blurry one in Russia. We still went down the crater and there were big holes with Sulfur coming out, stinking and being bright yellow, very impressive but unfortunately also a bit cold up there. We didn’t stay that long since the fumes out of those fumeres (my valcanic vocabulary increases with each day) are toxic (and it stinks of rotten eggs of course) and the cold so we started our way back. My shoes were already soaked. Completely soaked. I was already ok going up Gorely volcano the next day with a little pond around the feet. Oh, I forgot! On n the way up, suddenly someone screamed ‘BEAR’! And indeed! There was a male grizzly wandering around and watching us at a distance of around 150m! AMAZING! I was happy: Now everyone of the group has seen one and more importantly, the bear wasn’t interested in us, we didn’t see him anymore on the way. Our way down was wet and wetter but we made good ways, the ambience was good. Strong winds did almost blow us away. Back at the camp our caring guides were so nice to open the truck and put on the ventilation so soon after it looked like a trekking shop and sauna with very wet stuff. We met at the eating tent for tea and coffee. The winds got stronger and stronger so after diner we had to pack everything up but the sleeping bag and the matress in case we had to leave camp because of the wind. We had a meeting to discuss if we wanted to try to stay or pack up and to go to another camp with maybe less wind - or the hotel. We decided to try. The tents are not storm proof so they can get flat. Rebi and Martins was already flat so they changed the camping spot. While that Matthias and me were still in the eating tent but suddenly its fixation with soil and heavy rocks was not working anymore and so we risked that tent to collapse with us inside. We got out in time and tried to fix it, called Vitaly but obviously with that tent not safe anymore there and some more flat tents to come where you just can’t sleep in Vitaly decided to move. For us not stressful, our guides are so caring and professional and our team was showing some amazing spirit, we all helped eachother in the rain and wind, got all packed up, had a even more crowded truck and 1.5h later, at around 10pm, we were on the way back to the accomodation that is just luxury. The office was ok to pay that night at the hotel for us. I doubt that we could have set up the tents so easily in the same night since many of the sticks are, let’s say, not that straight anymore and the tents wet and dirty. We had a drive of approximately 2h and we arrived all safely at midnight at the hotel. There is even a dry room where we could put our gear, just perfect. We were in bed at around 1am, thinking of our crew that cleaned the truck and took care of everything else. Incredible what they did and still do for us. Vitaly was so sworried about us, I would like so much to tell him that he does an amazing job and that we are very ok with all his decisions and so on, but as said, only bits of English are understood. So mum and I try to show our happiness about this trip with good mood and happy faces and swiss chocolate for him. I mentioned already once, but living all that with mum is amazing. Unfortunately we have one person that is on one hand very appreciative when he has a good time amd thankful and funny, he has a really goid heart but when something is happening that is not at his gusto, he shows it loudly and clearly. Happened as we arrived at that nice hotel the other day he said that he booked adventure and not that, when we arrived at the Geothermic site he was telling to Christina that this place was shit (his words) and the same this evening, he thought that we will just hang around at the hotel and no alternatives and he was not ok with that. We tried to calm him down and wait for Vitaly. In my not much experience with such trips is that the guides always try to get us the best deal so most of us were not worried and well, who can change the weather. But as said, most
      of the time he is very cool and caring. Fortunately Vitaly does not get a lot what he is telling. Anyway, the program for tomorrow is not yet set, probably the waterfalls and Gorely - after all! - the day after. Honestly, who cares, we are all safe, not hurt, dry, fed and hydrated, a comfortable good nights sleep ahead and now we have a good story to tell, lucky us!
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    • Day 20

      again a lot of snow

      July 19, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Aaaah, two nights in a row in a bed is pure luxury and breakfast was at nine, what do we want more. We packed all up and were ready for Mutnovsky and Gorely. We climbed or rather our sixwheel truck climbed up the road up to Viluychinskiy pass. What a beautiful view. We are so lucky. Down again the road to the Mutnovsky camp. Because of too much snow and water we weren’t able to reach it without risking being stuck so Vitaly decided to go near a Geothermal station. It would just double tomorrows hike to the crater, instead of 12km we had 24km. Vitaly reassured us that it wouldn’t be as difficult as Talbachik since we just had 700m of climbing. When our tent was ready and the fridge in the snow for the beers, too, we headed for a walk with a big surprise as there was a lot of geothermal action going in with mudholes and sulfur and just beautiful plants around it, we were enchanted. After diner we discussed tomorrow’s plan. Vitaly wanted breakfast at 7, starting time 7:30 with a time to the crater of 7h, then down 6h so being back at around 20h. We asked if he was ok to leave earlier because bad weather was predicted at around noon. In a nicely democratic vote we could decide to start either at 4, 5 or 6. Like in a good compromise the majority opted for 5. So breakfast at 4:30, very cool. Now a night in the tent (I made a little ditch around the tent in case of rain) the wind is very strong but I think we will be very fine, heavy rocks are holding it in place. (Hopefully!) I am so looking forward for tomorrow!Read more

    • Day 19

      we expected tents, we got luxury

      July 18, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Today we had loooooong hours in the truck to travel south. 600km were ahead of us. After a excellent good nights sleep in the bed and a hair wash we were ready for four nights in a tent, but there was a rumor that we would sleep in huts or even in a hotel as luxurious as the one we were in last night. Some things get lost in translation so we don’t always know what awaits us exactly but honestly I don’t care. Then there was a confusion about the last day as in how that day was an extra day in case we couldn’t climb the last volcano the day that was planned or if that day was just for relaxing, also, that day could be used for another helicopter trip to the Kurililake in the south where heaps of bears are. Mum and me decided to so it in case. As always, everything depends on the weather and we will see. Those discussions kept us busy for a while which was nice so the journey was a bit quicker. Some uf us slept, Iread 1.5 books. We had lunch again at Mil’kova and then we went to the airport where Daniel could pick up his luggage that got lost on the way to China - Russia. Everything, camera included, was still inside. Very cool. After that we went to a supermarket for food and we could stroll around. Mum and me got elastic bandage for our knees, some fruits and one delicious coffee at a little truck. The guy there was not very keen to work. After ordering the coffee he stretched first and he took his time. Luckily we had it since it took quite some time to buy and store up groceries so we arrived at the camp side quite late at around ten. As said, we didn’t know what to expect but no one expected what we got: Spacious double rooms with walk in showers, we even think we were the first guests. They started this resort in 2013 and they build additional houses. It isn’t finished yet but perfect for us anyway. We went all into the hot pool, all 15 of us. I have to say that our group is very very cool, it mixes so well, there are no groups, everyone sits with everyone and it is such a good ambience even arriving this late and having diner at eleven. We also have wonderful weather and everything is perfect other for some having a cold so there is not really a reason for bad mood but still, it is a really pleasant group. Not granted when you are 15 adults from so different backgrounds. And my mum is just awesome, I am so lucky to live, share and have such a good time with her.
      Tomorrow we will head to another tent camp, we hope, or Vitaly hopes to find a spot without snow for three nights with, fingers crossed, hopefully two successful volcano climbs!
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    • Day 13

      russian sauna after long drive

      July 12, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      8:50 rdv in front of the hotel. The big truck waited already and under steady rain our luggage was fixed on the roof of that monster truck. After some time we were tucked in and we drove off. With us a driver, a cook, Christina and Anja for translation and Vitaly, our chief master. During the drive he explained about the history of Kamtchatka, why esrthquake, how many volcanos (there are more then 200, 29 or 30 of them active, more on the eastern range then the western range (there onyl two)). First stop was in Miloko, a town 300km north of Petropalovsk, famous for pies. We had coffee and mum and I got a pie (oh, a rime 😊) for later. We continued our journey north until we had lunch around 2pm. We walked a bit around in town, we were five of us. I bought four apples and the guy gestures around and I had no clue until I understood that he tried to tell me that I hadn’t bought enough for all of us! Of course I couldn’t explain why not five but it was funny. By the way our group is very fun and we have a nice dynamic aready. The third stop was just very short and the fourth one at Kamtchatka river where they built a bridge over it in 2011 only, before it was a feeey in summer and in winter - no cars. If needed helicopter. We arrived at around 7:30 in a cute little village in a guesthouse with even cuter little houses for two and a russian sauna. Perfect. Afrer a walk we went seating for a round until the delicious diner was ready. We had a debriefing from Vitaly and we stayed for quite some togehter talking. I was tonight with Karin, Laura, Marcel and Walter, the latter is Swiss, has seen the world trough job and travel, for example he did Panamerica in 2.5years in the early 80ies, Galapagos included. Very cool! Now it is 11:30pm, alarmclock goes at seven for another long journey into the national park near the first volcano we wanna climb! I am so lucky!Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Kamtchatski Kray, Kraï de Kamtchatka, Kamtsjatka, Kamtsjatskaja oblast, Камчатский край, Kamtjatka

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