Photo galleries: Roads People Nature
Trip above Polar Circle.
Maybe, you read my report about North adventures (2003) here. I started there again. I had a companion this time. His name was Yuri. We met with him trough Internet and had joint trip to Kolgostrov at July 2005. He started a day before my start, because I only returned from Crimea. We had tickets to train, which returned to Moscow from Crimea late at the evening. Therefore I prepared trip at the morning and started enough late. It was 11 a.m. Way was enough ordinary and not too hard. I tried to keep high speed and stopped very rare. I made a call to Yuri when I passed big towns, such as Yaroslavl and Vologda. He was amazed a little with speed of my moving. Maybe, it was from he has car Honda C-RV, which runs more faster than my little car.
Road became enough empty when I passed Vologda town and I drive with speed more than 100 km/h. It became dark when I reached settlement Lipin Bor, which is situated between Vologda and Vytegra towns. I refueled my car there and "refueled" myself in the cafe. Another part of road from Lipin Bor to Medvezhegorsk (Bears' mountains) town I drove into deep darkness. Road had asphalt paving exclude about three kilometers not far from Vytegra town. I was passing Vytegra slowly because I was afraid to lost needed turn to Pudozh town. There are two roads from Vytegra to Medvezhegorsk. One road runs along South-West and West coast of Onezhskoe Lake, another one runs along South-East and East coast of the same great lake. Both road meet near Medvezhegorsk. I chose second way because it was shorter, had only a little part of metal road and hadn't ferry boat. But if you want to reach Petrozavodsk town - the Karelia capital you must choose first road.
So, I started along road to Pudozh after leaving Vytegra. I was unlucky when was droving along that part of road. My car hit into road holes twice. Firstly it was front right wheel and then (after several kilometers passed) left front wheel was knocked. Last knock was fatal for left wheel. Air began to release slowly from tyre and I had noticed that too late. I had seen that tyre had got many "dental abscesses" after I inflated it. I had to change that wheel and had to drive more slowly and carefully. Also I had to drive through by-pass which run along broken metal road. Road builders finished last twenty kilometers of new asphalt highway there. I had to keep speed no more than 40 km/h there. When I was near at Pudozh town I began to get tired with long road and night darkness. But when I refueled my car at the refuel station at Pudozh and had a meal (some chocolate and bottle of Coca-Cola) I had felt myself better and could drive till Medvezhegorsk. I stopped there at the refuel station and counted time needed for meeting Yuri at Segezha town, where he stopped at a hotel. I found that I have a couple of hours for sleep. I understand that I forgot my sleeping-bag at home when I was choosing between sleeping-bag and thick blanket. It was hard choice and, as result, I left both things at home. I had to start car engine several times during sleeping because it became cold into car. Of course, if I had sleeping-bag I didn't feel any cold into car.
I started after sleeping and soon I had reached Segezha town. I made a call to Yuri and he told me how I can get to the hotel. I repeated all his route include his mistakes during driving from town entrance to hotel. I had to make a couple of calls before I could find the hotel. Then Yuri met me on the hotel porch. I went to Yuri's room and washed there. Then we had light breakfast and we embarked on next "shady enterprises".
We drove fast again and stopped only for car refueling. We had also a couple of stops for photography. First one was at the border between Karelia and Murmansk region, another one was near big sign, which marked Polar Circle. Last "adventure" met us near Polar Circle - we had to drive along broken part of road where road builders made repair. I remember that it was too much dust there. But any road has its end and, at last, we reached Zelenoborsky settlement - aim of our car trip. I had known there that Yuri was so far up North first time.
Vladimir (I told about him here: North adventures (2003)) met us in Zelenoborsky. He said us that we had to float by two boats and I must be a "captain" of second boat. I said that this plan is impossible, because I did never operate with motor boat previously. And water space there was too intricate with numerous underwater stones, sank trees and another dangerous obstacles on our future way. Vladimir said that he planned to invite fourth member nut he had got very profitable offer a couple of days ago and refused to keep our company. I agreed to drive boat with great reluctance. And we started preparing to launch. We drove along Zelenoborsky and nearby settlements and bought meal and fuel for boats. Then we drove to the boat's garages and delivered our goods and chattels there. Wind was too strong for floating and we visited Vladimir's "castle" - summer cottage he built by himself. We raised on one of the towers and had seen Kandalaksha Bay and Kolski peninsula coast. Then we watched rooms and fireplace room.
Wind suddenly fell and we run to garages. I started with Vladimir into his garage and Yuri started to Vladimir mother's garage to move out another boat. We hadn't too much time before darkness would come and did all works quickly. We launched boat and went to place where Yuri waited for us. It was bay of the lake and garages are situated around bank. Vladimir went to garage and I must keep boat at the middle of bay. But wind blew in very strong and I couldn't keep boat. Wind moved it to stones near another garages and I had to get out from boat and kept it far from stones. We understood that don't come to our aim before darkness would came and decided to start next morning. I cat my forehead with garage metal rope when we settled boat into garage. Then I drove to Vladimir's mother home and took Yuri from there. We had supper and conversation with Vladimir and his wife. Then we decide to find fourth member who would drive boat along water space and float between hidden wood trunks and guileful stones.
Vladimir found our fourth member but it was not best choice. However, there weren't another pretenders. We gathered our things and met soon with Sergey - our fourth companion. He was man who like to drink vodka. He hadn't enough forces to row or to start boat engine but he knew lakes and controlled boat better than I could to do.
Wind and waves were not strong, though there were many light white clouds on the sky, which hide sun and it was as yellow dim circle. When we reached wide open space boat began to tear off edges of waves and splashed silver drops around the boat. Life was beautiful and I was going to meeting with polar lakes. I was seeing wide open space and green forests at far banks. Voyage to timbered cabin, which was hidden into forest on the high bank of one of numerous bays, ended successfully. We had carried our things from boats to cabin after we arrived there. We put our slipping things on the wooden plank bed and have a fast meal. Vladimir and Sergey was preparing for setting fishnets and stayed at the cabin. And Yuri and I started to observe rounded lake. Yuri gave duties of passenger-photographer and I was an oarsman. Weather became better and we enjoyed with bright sun, warm wind, light white clouds and clear blue sky. It was too warm for this season. Autumn detained at the unknown lands this year.
I leaded boat out from bay and directed it afar past little islands. I made many photographs of those islands during my two previous trip there. Yuri asked me to pull up to little island. Its square was no more than twenty square meters. It consisted from many big stones and was framed with slightly yellow sedges, which washed in bright-blue water. Center of island was decorated with withered birch, which saved yet its delicate crown, and green bushes behind it. The biggest stone of island had dark-green carpet of moss and red berries of cow-berry were splashed on it surface. Yuri landed on island and I passed island around making photographs. Then I returned to island and tied boat to birch. I made several photos of red berries from different distances and then enjoyed eating those slightly bitter ripe berries. They were very tasty. Yuri liked island very much and he made many photos. Also he built "seid" - stony construction is like ones are built by ancient inhabitants of Hyperborean. Then he wanted to make a photo from water and scooped water into his high rubber boot. Then we had to spend about a half of hour during Yuri was drying his boot. There was big stone, which had shape of pyramid, not far from island. It was favorite place for local gulls because the top of pyramid was abundant poured with white substance. Gull was sitting there during our visit of island and was letting to admire with itself. Sometimes it flied away from top, flied around island and returned to the top again. I suppose it was amazed with our behavior - we didn't shoot from rifles, didn't catch fish with nets and didn't whirl through its "property" on the fast motor boat. We made several photo of that gull. I did with zoom from island and Yuri did shots from boat. I ruled boat followed Yuri's commands and he could make several shots from close distance. Gull flied away with displeasure when we came too close. And we returned to cabin.
After returning we collected some firewood for stove. Then we have a meal and some drink and stoked the stove. But someone didn't close stove door and smoke filled cabin. I closed it and had to open the door of cabin. We talked leisurely about different things when Sergey went off from cabin into night darkness. We talked some time yet and I began to worry about Sergey. Then we went off and found him laying near cabin. He was hard drunk. We put his body on the plank bed. Smoke run away at the same time and we go to bed. Warm from stove was enough till morning and we had a good sleep.
Weather changed at the morning. Heavy gray clouds run closely to ground and sowed with fine rain from time to time. Vladimir and Sergey checked their nets and bring some fish. Yuri offered to make a fish-soup, really fishermen's fish-soup with smell of smoke from fire. We scaled fish, prepared potatoes and onion, made fire and Yuri and Vladimir began to cook. Fish-soup was splendid! And we had a nice meal - fish-soup, a bottle of good Crimean red wine, some vegetables and, even, a little glass of caviar. Though caviar was artificial and made from sea goods we had good dinner! Even North drizzled rain couldn't spoil this cooking celebration.
We decided to returned to Zelenoborsky that evening, especially that weather didn't promise strong wind and big wave at the open spaces. But I want to realize my dream to catch some fish. I thought that Yuri would be my companion but he preferred to stay at cabin and have a sleep. Also he want to check the Sergey's shape and didn't give him opportunity to get drunk. Vladimir towed my boat to place where I could catch some fish and returned to cabin. I made a shot of a couple of white swans, which flied high above my boat but I taking my camera out too long and shot wasn't enough good. I started fishing into wide water space bordered the coast and archipelago of little islands. There were many tops of sank trees, which stuck out from water here and there. I tied my boat to one of those trees top and started fishing. Rain drizzled from time to time and knocked to boat bottom and to my rubber raincoat. I waited for several minutes but fish didn't think to taste my worm and I float to another tree top. During that drift I troll lake in all directions. But trolling was not successful too. Then I tied boat to another tree and first little perch jumped on my hook after a couple of minutes. I caught several perches about 12-15 cm (6 inches) and fish stopped to bite again. I decided to troll again and my first trolling presented me small pike but I couldn't take it out of water - it run away near the boat board. I trolled a dozen times and returned to rod. And again I caught several small perches and then they stopped to bite. I changed rod and spinning several times and missed another pike in the moment I almost caught with my hand. Then rain was harder and bigger fishes came there. I caught several big roaches and perches became larger. But soon Vladimir came to me and towed me to cabin. I caught about a half of bucket of fishes. Vladimir helped me to salt caught fish. Jerked fish was very tasty after I had jerked it when I returned home. After returning to cabin we gathered our things and were sitting in cabin and waiting for the end of rain.
Though Yuri checked Sergey he was hard drunk and we had to carry him into boat. As it was during way there he could only rule the boat and no more. I was very afraid seeing what the great underwater stones passed near our boards. Vladimir wasn't such lucky. He saw back to our boat more then forward and caught big stone just before entrance to wide space. We had known later that his boat got leak into forward part and water leaked into boat when boat put its head into water. And Vladimir and Yuri had to scoop water out from boat several times. I asked Sergey that he would follow another boat but he didn't listen to me and tried to refuse from driving boat. I preferred be silent and didn't ask him any more. Sergey also told me about place we passed and how he sank near that island and then returned home along bank. He noticed that I was a little afraid and when I said him that I fear to sink he said: "To sink is very simple thing and you must not to fear...". Wind was not too strong but clouds became to disperse and sky opened with its light-brown-yellow colors. There and here tails of fog drifted from edges of clouds to water and hid far banks.
We reached last lake soon and had seen lights of settlement and black boat garages on the bank. But we lost second boat. We made a big circle on the water surface and, at last had seen second boat into falling darkness. We floated to garages and made big curve to passed around big underwater cliff. We were at the garages soon. The most difficult thing was to get off Sergey from boat and put him to another one. Yuri and I carried our things from boats to Vladimir mother's home. Vladimir started to his garage and took away Sergey. Then Yuri and I sat into my little car and drove to Vladimir's garage. I helped to Vladimir to put boat into garage. Than we returned to warm Vladimir's flat and had hot supper and sang songs with accompaniment of Yuri's guitar and had good conversation and hot tea.
At the morning Yuri and I put our things into our cars. Vladimir's mother presented us many tasty things: salted mushrooms, basket of cowberry and jam from cloudberries. Then we drove about 700 km and spent the night in motel "Voyage" near Kondopoga town. Next day we arrived to Petrozavodsk where made a visit to Karelian Center of Cultural initiatives, where we had a tea and good warm conversation. Also we visited wine shop where had bought Karelian Balsam and I also bought cranberry liqueur. Muffler of my car broke when we left Petrozavodsk. My car loudly roared as little tank on the battle field. We find garage and mechanic made fast repair. He amazed Yuri and me when he refused from payment for his work. He said that he couldn't settle muffler properly, because it has some constructive defects. I spent five minute to persuade him take money.
We left Petrozavodsk, at last, and then great storm caught us. Cloud-burst like tropical one was falling as wall and I could see road very hard. Rain followed with us till Olonets town and the strong wind changed it. It blew with such force that my car roamed on the road. Wind accompanied me till Staraya Ladoga (Old Ladoga) town. When I passed bridge across Swir' river near Lodeynoe Pole (Boats' Field) I had seen flock of gray crows, which was carried by wind above river surface. Also I made photo of birches, which curved by wind and their foliage flied down wind. There was Hydro Electric Station in Volkhov town and bright chimney-stalks near Kirishi town and sunset when I reached highway Moscow - St. Petersburg. Then I followed behind Yuri's Honda through the Great Novgorod. It seems, I passed through the red light of traffic lights one time. But I was lucky and accident hadn't place then. We had night's lodging in big hotel "Sadko" and visited my teacher Alexander (we met with him at the EWSD courses in Slovenia at 2003). After visit him we left hotel and started home, were competing with long lorries on the narrow highway. We had a meal at big village Krestsy where you could buy different cakes and get tea from Russian samovar. Many women stand along highway and sell that meal. I met Yuri at the refueling station near Moscow last time and gave him his things I carried into my car. Then we said "good-bye" to each other. I was at home two hours later.
My regular trip was finished successfully.