My vacations came, at last. I was
going to spend two weeks at Murmansk region and Karelia. Firstly I was
going to have fishing at the lakes with my cousin's husband Nikolay and
his friends. Then I planed to go to Karelia - trolling pikes and have some
car trips along Karelia, include visiting waterfall Kivach and spa
Martsialnye Vody. Though I had only two weeks for vacations I had got
great amount of adventures, I had never previously.
I started my trip on Friday 12, September. I prepared to reach Murmansk, met Nikolay there and returned with him to settlement Zelenoborsky - initial point of boat trip to lakes. I planed two rests during my way to Murmansk.
Part 1. Way towards North
I started from my job at 10 a.m. I
must to drive into Sergiev Posad town to take some materials and CD with
photos I made in Slovenia to my colleague. I had to turn off from highway
Moscow - Yaroslavl during visiting Sergiev Posad and I had to leave town
along the local road (pic
1). Firstly I planned to drive along the North-West direction but
suddenly I decided to drive through the next towns Yaroslavl - Vologda -
Vytegra - Lodeinoe Pole. That decision was from some kind of nostalgic
mood - I like this road though it is longer that North-West
There was some part of narrow and hilly road from Moscow region border to Pereslavl town. I was lucky - there were not heavy and slow following lorries on the road and I could keep enough speed. I bought some red and yellow onions near Pereslavl town as usual. That onion is sold at each settlement or village near highway. I reached Rostov town soon and road there became wide - it had two stripes in each direction. I increased speed of my car and "flied" along the almost empty road. My "flight" was not so long - it had ended at the road police "ambush" where I was stopped by policeman. Speed was about 120 km/h and another policeman invoiced penalty.
I got lost my way in Yaroslavl. I make this each time I visit that town. I turned wrong way and drove about six kilometers before I understood that. I corrected my mistake and was at the bridge across Volga soon. There was the beautiful view from that bridge and I was pity that I hadn't opportunity to stop there and make some photos.
At last, I passed Yaroslavl and car run through the fields and forests. I stopped at the bus stop and take fellow traveler. He went to gather mushroom and told me about great amount of the best mushrooms in the forest this year. He even was late to bus gatering only the best mushrooms. He went out near Griazovets town.
I was in Vologda during the sunset (pic 2) and passed town along the around road and then turn on the road Vologda - Vytegra. I usually drive this way each time since 2001. Parts of road with asphalt become more and more each year. I had to drive along metal road only several kilometers this time.
I like next part of this road - from Vytegra to Podporozhie. It is real metal (ground) road. I like to drive here at the night time. Wide night road, black walls of the forest at both sides, cars meet rare here . You cannot drive there fast, especially at the night. Turnings, hills, stones, which appear suddenly just in front of the car. You fell yourself derelict, far from urban civilization. Sometimes you see shine eyes of unknown animals near road edges, bright star or moon, which appears and disappears amongst the top of trees, rare villages meet you with dim lights and headlights of your car reflect into windows of sleepy houses...
Metal road ended in Leningrad region at the turn to Voznesenie's ferry. My car run faster there on the asphalt road and soon I reached town Lodeinoe Pole. Bridge across river Svir' was not repaired and looked like it was bombed by artillery. Rain became near Olonets town, many cars met on the road and light of their headlights glittered on the drops on the frontal window. Several hours passed and I turned to the road to Girvas. There are many beautiful places along that road, but there was too dark to look them. I only stopped at one of the lakes to have a look on the wet sunrise above the blue water (pic 3).
I was at Girvas at quarter to eight a.m. I had a four-hour rest here and then started my way again. I passed town Medvezhegorsk (pic 4) at 2 p.m. Several big tractors with construction machines passed me when I stopped to drink coffee (pic 5). They occupied all road and were leaded by car of road police. Then I spent long time to try overtaking them. Rain started from time to time, sky was cloudy. Weather became better at Murmansk region and I could look the beauties of evening lake and yellow-green forest (pic 6) and paints of the evening sky. I was at Zelenoborsky at nine p.m.
I stayed with Nikolay's mother and she said me at the morning that both of outboards engines were stolen from boat garage. Then she said that Nikolay has many friends here and they will help him. I didn't know then that loss of engines would start my adventures. Nikolay called at the midday and said that I can drive to Murmansk and he would wait for me at the railway station. I started at 1 p.m. and had to drive about 300km.
Firstly I reached Kandalaksha town where filled my car with petrol and started new route. Rain began at once as I left Kandalaksha behind. Rain was changing from downpour to drizzling rain and it accompanied me till Murmansk. Road became slippery and sometimes my car lost road and I had to reduce speed. I was deprived opportunity to watch landscapes I passed due to those circumstances.
Soon Khibiny Mountains began. Road run up and down and had three stripes - one for lowering and another two for raising. I discovered there one phenomenon for myself. Previously I only heard about it from experienced drivers. You drive along the road and all your feels say that road lowers or, at least, doesn't lower. But car engine works very hard and road run up in fact! Firstly I thought about troubles with engine but remembered about phenomenon. Another time I lost into shroud of rain and entangled oncoming stripe with my own. I surprised a little why road had one stripe for raising and two ones for lowering. Fortunately, I understood my mistake soon and return to right stripe.
When rain became quiet I could look the splendid views around road. Though gray tints prevailed and all around seemed gray - dark and white clouds puffed up above mountains was wonderful. Sometimes I saw the led color of cold lakes and yellow spots of autumn forest. Then rain started to fall again and I could see only a part of road in front of my car.
Mountains' passes ended, at last and I reached town Monchegorsk. I saw there strange landscape which was like recently fire-site. There were enough large plots of such black ground there. I passed turn to Laplandia and signs to villages became to meet more often. Soon I reached Murmansk outskirts. I passed first turn to Murmansk and stopped near second one where I ask another driver about my further way. Driver started to tell me all road to railway station and I lost "Ariadne's thread" after fourth turn. Driver promised to lead me some part of way but his engine had broken and I had to drive further alone.
Murmansk is situated as narrow stripe between hills, which are covered with forest. It consists from blocks of buildings and has enough hard traffic. When I placed my car and asked a woman about way to railway station she told me how to reach it by trolleybus. And I continued my way along the trolleybus' wires. The best explanation was got from driver. I drove exactly to station and... passed it by. There wasn't any inscription on the front wall of station.
I was late an hour and Nikolay had to wait for me at the railway station. He had rucksack and his dog with him. Because we had to drive back I couldn't to look at sights. We visited a couple of groceries to buy some food and started back. I lost my way in town as usual and had to spend some time to stand on right way. I made only one photo in Murmansk when we went away from it (pic 7).
Weather was better at the way back. Sun shined through the clouds and little birches at the road were flashing with autumn gold (pic 8). We can see yellow-green hills and heavy clouds above far Khibiny mountains. We had many stops and used them for making some photographs (pic 9) giving the rest for Nikolay's dog who quickly got tired with travelling into car.
I saw again the terrible black ground near Monchegorsk town (pic 10). I also had seen white and blue smokes above red chimney-stalks far from road. Nikolay told me that colors of smokes were also orange, red and green formerly. Poison clouds lowered from Khibny mountains sometimes and killed all plants on their way. Swedish absorbers were set several years ago and only two colors of smokes had left then. And life is returning with little crooked pines on the poisoned land.
Heavy white-gray clouds crawled along mountains and crossed above highway ahead (pic 11). Cars drove with turned on headlights. Then got dark and I could see only road and light of the cars drove towards me. We drove several hours un the dark and then reached Zelenoborsky. We had several stops and I made that photo (pic 12) of moon path on the black water of bay.
Part 2. Adventures are beginning.
We prepared to boat trip to
the lakes all next day after returning from Murmansk. Nikolay did all
businesses and I was his personal driver. There were too many different
things to do and we drove many kilometers. Also we untwined fish nets near
boat garages at the evening. It seems, those nets stay at the boat
Lake near Zelenoborsky is a last part of water reservoir ahead of the power station (pic 1). Its banks are densely filled with boat garages, which look like wooden sheds (pic 2) Slide rails for boat launching occupy most part of such garage. Those slide rails continue straight into lake. Winch is used for launch and dragging boat. There are a couple of rooms in the garage too. They keep nets, baskets and another things in store. Another room has a place for table, some kind of sofa and chairs.
We started four together with one dog by two boats. Evgeniy and Vladimir - both friends of Nikolay. We spent whole morning preparing boats and buying food for our trip. At last, all was done and we allotted to boats. I hadn't any experience and sat in one boat with Vladimir. Evgeniy and Nikolay sat to another one. It seemed that we could start but something was wrong with engine of another boat. Vladimir had to move to another boat and helped. I spent that time rowed and was not allowing boat to reach a bank with underwater stones. This fighting was continuing about forty minutes. Thank havens, their efforts were rewarded and we could start our voyage. We left lake, went through channel between some cliffs, passed under railway bridge and were soon at the lakes expanses.
There was strong wind there and it could prevent our attempts to reach place. They say that lakes' waves is more dangerous than sea ones. Many peoples paid with their lives for neglected wind and weather condition on the lakes. But wind was not so strong that time and we continued our way. I suppose that someone who didn't know about danger didn't forget it. Therefore I looked around with great interesting and brushed away drops bringing with ordinary wave from my face and tried to make some photos (pic 3, pic 4). Another boat chose way through the Dogs' gangway (pic 5) Our boat continued to move across the lake. Then we had to returned a little back where we find our friends on the bank. Steer rope had broken in their boat. Boat came to us from lake during our attempts to repair rope. There were three people - one from St. Petersburg and two from Zelenoborsky. They gave metal pipe for repairing and we did repair (pic 6). We presented some gas to them, made group photo (pic 7) and continued our trip. But I was in the repaired boat with Nikolay now.
We were at another great space soon. There were strong wind and high waves there. Our boats run along the way chose by captains. I seemed that engine of another boat faded out. I had just said to Nikolay about that but he darted from head to stern of the boat. Steer rope broke another time. And we were too close for sinking. I suppose I can write down this notices thanks to Nikolay and his great experience.
Due to boat left almost without ruling and Nikolay decided to go along the banks where wind and waves weren't too strong. We lost another boat and reach some gangway soon. It was quiet there but we lost right way. Water was low that time and it was hard to orientate. Evening was close and we decided to spend night on the one of islands there and would continue our trip at the morning. Underwater log tore off screw propeller and we had to row. We had enough time to prepare night's lodging and I amazed with beauties around (pic 8, pic 9).
We chose one of islands and hided from wind behind its high bank. We could see how lower was level of water. Carpet of moss ended on the 2 meters height above water level (pic 10). There were too many withered white logs on the bank and we needed in fire because we got wet on the lake. I only then remembered that left my rucksack in another boat. So, I was without sleeping-bag, warm wear and ethyl alcohol. We only had bread, tea, salted red fish (salmon) and a few vodka. Salmon was bought by Evgeniy in Murmansk. We dried near fire (pic 11), had a meal and lay into boat bottom. Nikolay was accustomed to such sleeping. Besides he had a warm dog near. I could slept only an hour and a half and then had frozen. I had to get off from boat made a fire (pic 12), prepared warm place near fire with stone wall and firs' branches.
At last, I settled in my "nest" and put a couple of logs into fire. Then stones were heated and teakettle boiled. I drank hot tea and lay between fire and stone "wall", which protected me against wind from lake. It was warmer there than in boat but while fire was burning. Withered wood gave much heat but burned out fast. When fire died out I awoke up from cold and went along bank seeking logs. During one of such "walks" I had seen strange clouds in the sky - they were milky-white and very bright and changed their shape very quickly. And only they began to melt I had understood that I observe North lights. I saw it first time. I read about it and imagined it another way - polar night, frost, colored "curtains" and "singing" sky. I observed those clouds amazed with their various shapes and moving. I tried to made photos, of course, but I could see only black field with points of stars. Though color was only milky-white but I froze from their beauty and fantastical swaying. I could observe "curtains" and "spiral galaxies", "arrows" threw from zenith to all sides of horizon. Especially I remembered fist with "forefinger", which point to North-West.
But next day would promise to be hard and I settled at the fire again. Of course, I was slightly pitied. Night was calm and only one thing happened then - fire sparkle burned through my wind-jacket sleeve. Dawn became and we began to continue our trip. Nikolay repaired propeller at the evening but steer rope broken in front part of boat and we hadn't any opportunity to repair it again. Thank heavens, wind was not so strong as yesterday and we could see all underwater logs and tops of stones from large distance. Nikolay started engine and we were at the expanse soon. We could find our location and defined direction to our target. But gas ended immediately after that event. We rowed seven hours changed one another and fought against wind and waves. I get tired with such unusual job and got a blood corn on the left palm. But there were so beauty around with blue water, sky and far banks (pic 13).
We had seen another boat after seven hours. There were Vladimir and Evgeniy in the boat. Our meeting was glad because our friends considered that we sank and we feared the same too. They said us what they did after we lost. They reached cabin where planed to meet us and then started to find our boat. Vladimir fell from boat during that "rescue party" and Evgeniy saved him with great difficulty. Then they asked us how we could expend forty liters of gas. Nikolay answered that we had gas only into petrol tank. I was very surprised when Vladimir show us the reserve 20-litres tank which was under the rear bank of boat. I was sitting there a half of time! It was fine - had twenty litters of gas and rowed seven hours instead a half of hour going by engine. We went to one of bays and came into cabin (pic 14) soon. Vladimir and Nikolay started to set fish nets and Evgeniy and I prepared supper and sat a little on the bank admiring quiet water (pic 15) and sunset above the forest (pic 16). We slept on the self-made plank bed in the cabin, which was heated by stove. It was very comfortable to sleep there after night near fire. And three days would be ahead - three days of joy.
Part 3. Adventures are continuing.
Though yesterday subset was yellow (pic
1) next morning became with gray clouds and wind. Nikolay and Vladimir
were going to chek nets and then started to gather some cowberries far
from cabin. Evgeniy was going to stay near cabin (pic
2) and then to gather some cranberries at the nearest swamps. Then I
got one boat and prepared my spinning for trolling. Nikolay got me to
another lake where he went to Vladimir's boat and I began to troll. I
rowed against wind along the lake and then allowed wind to carry my boat
during I trolled. Nikolay and Vladimir finished to check nets near.
Suddenly I remembered that my camera stayed at cabin. Nikolay told me and
showed direction to cabin from his boat. To go there by feet would not
long but if I started there by rowing on boat it demanded an hour and a
half. Then fellows left me alone. As day was gray with heavy clouds I
didn't started at once and continued to troll. I didn't catch any pike and
when sun appeared from clouds I decided to start. I tied boat to stump and
pressed rope with stones and started to short way. I didn't know that way
wouldn't be short then. Usually I take compass with me but that time it
stayed at home. I just forget it there. I passed little swamp and had seen
the bushes with with red cowberries (pic
3). There was not good harvest of berries that autumn and I couldn't
pass those berries without tasting them. I went from one bush to another
and had gone from right way. I passed another little swamp and found five
mushrooms, which called redhead. I put them into my cap. I reached hill
soon. As said Nikolay cabin must be behind that hill. I rose on the hill
and went a little forward. I couldn't understand in which side was cabin.
Forest there was dark and dense. I started to make serifs on the firs by
knife. Then I understood that it would be better to return back and I
started to go from one serif to another. When I couldn't find next serif I
decided to go down from hill towards open water I had seen through the
forest. I was near lake soon. Lake was the same as I left and far
mountains were like too. But I couldn't find boat there. So, I looked
around and went through the one of capes. When I crossed it I discovered
large bay. I clear remembered that I never was there. Sun suddenly
appeared for a couple of minutes and I understood that I had lost my way
and couldn't find right way by myself. It was first time in my life!
Remembered rules I decided to go to the open place on the shore and wait for help there. I noticed that shore is not wild there. I find old fire and rusty tins on the shore and another traces of human activity. There also were ruins of another cabin not far from place I stopped. But if I was going to be found I must help my friends or another people to do this. I haven't matches and couldn't set fire. I decided to rise the "flag of disaster". I found thin and long trunk, took off my white T-shirt and tied it on the top of trunk. Then I set trunk at the cape and strengthened its bottom with stones. T-shirt waved firstly but rain had soon begun and T-shirt had stuck to trunk. My wear was a little warmer than one during the recent night lodging at the island and I couldn't to set fire too. I risked to spend terrible night without fire at the shore of cold lake. I haven't another opportunity besides making some kind of shelter, which saved me from rain. I also hadn't any meal besides my five mushrooms and berries growing around. So, I started to make shelter of branches. All tools I had were knife and my two hands. I made base of shelter from thin trunks and was looking around to seek where it would be better to break fir's branches. Then I heard sound of boat engine and went on the cape. Vladimir came in his boat. He had seen my "flag" and came to me. It was "happy end". I passed the cabin and went further along the same shore. Then we returned to Nikolay who waited for us at my boat. We had a mushroom soup from redheads for supper. Then we had evening tea with smoke (pic 4). There was not too much fish and fellows couldn't gather much berries.
Fellows started to check nets and gather cranberries at the morning and I went for my new adventures on another boat. Weather was again cloudy and windy (pic 5) and then wind became stronger and sun appeared amongst the clouds. I trolled and rowed, rowed and trolled without any luck. When spoon-bait clutched snag I had rowed to snag and pulled out spoon-bait. When I tried to went to another bay I couldn't do that because of strong wind. Therefore I landed to bank and continued to troll from that place.
First trolling presented me pike. It run away from hook at the edge of water and I had to cast it ashore by boots. Then I made a photo of pike (pic 6). Next trolling gave me another snag, which was three meters from bank. I run along bank and pulled by spinning. Metal fishing line broke and I had to set another spoon-bait and continued trolling. Soon I "caught" new snag near bank and snag clutched spoon-bait firmly. I put spinning into boat and float to snag. I was wrong and set brake on spool on. Wind carried boat away and I couldn't to pull bait. Then I put spinning at head of boat and began to row. When I stopped to row and decided to look how I should pull bait. And wind blew strong at that moment, boat run down and something knocked me to elbow. I turned my head and had seen my spinning, which was fitting into water like rocket. Firstly I felt upset and then laughed. Then I landed again and take the old short spinning which was into boat. I set another spool on it and trolled a little again. When sun appeared through the clouds I became to make photos of yellow birch above bank (pic 7), yellow-green forest on island (pic 8), waves beaten at bank (pic 9, pic 10) and boulder with traces of water levels (pic 11). Then I sat on the stone and admired lake, sky and banks. My friends were soon here and asked me if I lost again.
When we returned to cabin Nikolay made my photo with trophy into boat. Then we were preparing caught fish and made supper. Stove in cabin was very heated that I had to take off a part of wear three time per night. We decided to return home at the morning because wind was strong all days.
We started home early at the morning (pic 12). I was again with Vladimir in his boat. Engine died away when we reached the middle of open space . Vladimir became to repair the engine and I rowed trying to keep boat against wind. Wind blew stronger and stronger. Engine died away next time when we were near the passage from one open space to another one. Vladimir was repairing engine again and I kept boat again. Vladimir said a few strong language to me when boat knocked stones. I don't know what was the cause of bad working of engine but I spent rest part of way home working as pump. I lay on the bottom of boat and pushed rubber "pear" on gas hose from tank to engine. We saw silver grass when we returned home. There was frost during the night. But we didn't see that at the lake because it gave its warmth as giant accumulator.
I also could drive to Kandalaksha town that day and bought there new spinning and spoon-baits instead lost ones.
Part 4. Karelia.
My way to Karelia started from dam
at Zelenoborsky (pic 1) and Kniazhaya
guba of Kandalaksha bay (pic
2) at 7:30 a.m. Rain fell again. It was fine and boring. Sky was
gray, asphalt was black and forest along road became brown behind the rain
wall. I reached the Polar Circle where faded blue obelisk stood at the
just repaired road (pic
3). I didn't come to obelisk because of edges of road were dirty from
recent repair and long rain - workers continued repair a little further.
There were different road-rollers and another technique there.
I noticed tied ribbons on the trees. I observed such view many times - in Moscow region, at Crimea and another places. I heard about that tradition long time ago. I know where such action is appropriate. It is a Muslim custom and such place had name "aziz". There is a solemn place, where a Muslim can deliver from sins. There must be spring there and tree or group of trees. Muslim must fast and pray there during all day. Then Muslim can tie ribbon (or part of his wear) to the branch of tree. I am never able to understand our people (which aren't Muslims and often just atheists) who tie ribbons and make inscriptions anywhere they could reach.
I met some road swindlers near turn to Loukhy settlement. I also met them or their colleagues during my way to Zelenoborsky. Those fellows stop cars at the road and asked help. Sometimes gas ends in their car, sometimes they need engine oil, sometimes they have spent all their money for car repair. Anyway, they offer to change "golden" finger-rings to gas (oil, etc). Of course, they tell that cost of "golden" finger-ring is more large than price of gas that you give them.And, therefore, you must give them money. I learned about that from Internet before trip. And all three times I went off from those swindlers. But if they act on the road - there are some people exist who buy this "gold". There are too many people here in Russia who want pay five cents for one dollar...
Then my way was easy. My little car run fast under drizzling rain and gray sky. I only turned to ground road to have a meal and drink coffee. Next turn was when I decided to have a look on Kem' town. I wanted to look at mooring from which boats start to Solovetskie Islands. There were about twenty kilometers from highway to town. I has a look to Hydro Power Station (pic 4), stony bank of river Kem' with orange forest on it (pic 5). Then I stopped at the memorial dedicated for heroes of Russian Civil war (pic 6) and obelisk with town name and its founded date (pic 7).
After I reached Kem' I passed railway station then drove along soggy streets and arrived to one of outskirts (pic 8). I met there a man who agreed to be my guide and show me mooring. It was far from town at settlement Rabocheostrovsk. We drove directly to old cargo mooring, which was like skeleton of ancient monster I saw sometime at museum. It was strange to see new wooden small church behind that mooring (pic 9). My guide told me that it was worse a couple years ago but some cargo ships start their road to White Sea (pic 10) from this mooring. My guide had a couple of strong drinks before but it was not enough for him. And he got tired telling me. Therefore he asked me about... Of course, I had and he drank about 100g of spirits (96%) from enameled cup and ate sandwich and cucumber. Then he could continue his tale about modern life in Kem'. Life is very hard there and at the thousands of such towns and settlements in Russia. Shortage of job, little salaries with high prices, pillage of recourses and any values by crime together with local authorities. I drove to Kem' and parted with my guide near alcohol shop.
I continued my way to Girvas soon. There were only gray color of sky, drizzling rain, dark water of rivers and their quaint names (name Five, as example) (pic 11). Only yellow leafs floated with rivers' flow and red-orange spots of autumn trees on the banks (pic 12) contrasted with gray colors around. I reached Girvas at 6 p.m. and was met, fed and placed into single room. I planed to spend five days there.
I went all over nearest roads with host and he showed me lakes (pic 13) where I could troll pikes. Also we visited Girvas dam and waterfall Poor-porog (pic 14). Day was sunny and I started to troll to one of lakes by car. I drove till the moss swamp and went further on foot. Nearby bank was low and lake wasn't deep there. I could see tops of snags over the water and brushes of reeds. Banks rose further and transformed to small cliffs with birches and pines on them. Autumn landscape looked nice under the sun light and I often stopped and admired that splendor (pic 15). There were bright-red cowberries and overripe berries of blueberry (pic 16) around the path along bank. I changed places and spoon-baits and trolled near snags and islands of reeds. Sometimes I stopped and made photos. But it was not any result. However, I caught my pike. I did that at the low edge of lake during last troll. It clutched big yellow spoon-bait at the reeds and I dragged it on low moss bank (pic 18). Then I went to another lakes and spent there rest part of the day. It was splendid day and I enjoyed with autumn warmth and bright colors of autumn. When I re3turned home the host told me about fish "palie". Big lake was named in honor of that fish. It is little fish from salmon class. It has red body with little black spots. Name "palie" means somewhat about "burnt". This fish had disappeared when Hydro Power Station was built in Girvas and water from swamps went to Palie Lake. But they try to restore this fish in the village Sviatnavolok at the special ponds which like ones I saw near dam in Girvas (pic 19).
I started to waterfall Kivach next day early at the morning. I made some photos there at 2002 and gave them to Aleksey Agaltsov who put part of those photos on his site "К2000". Some people said me that better photos would made at the morning. So, I started early that time. It was not too far from Girvas to Kivach. And I was soon near the gate. I was first visitor that day. I made photos during two hours moving from one place to another. You can see those photos here.
I also made photo of river Suna behind waterfall (pic 20), had a conversation with souvenirs' seller (pic 21) and learnt at the museum (pic 22) that best photos of Kivach are made at midday. I spent long time in museum seeing nice photographs of local artist-photographer.
On the way to Girvas I passed villages Berezovka and Koncheozero. I met weasel here who came to road from forest. It didn't fear car but run away quickly when I got off from car trying make a photo. Then I reached Martsialnye Vody (pic 23) - first Russian spa founded by Russian tsar Peter Great at 1709. I see sanatorium above the road and visited springs with mineral water. I met man here who bought island in Onezhskoe lake and organised the tourists' camping there. He and his friend showed sightseeing to their visitor from Pushkin town (Leningrad region). I didn't like taste of water from springs (pic 24) - it was like to Moscow water-supply one with taste of chlorine. Island owner told me that this water doesn't save long time and it is better to drink it immediately. Then we went to museum together and learnt about history of spa and chemical properties of water. I made a photo of Peter Great (pic 25) there. At last, I drove to Girvas.
Next day I started along old Murmansk road through the villages Sviatnavolok, Elmus, Yustozero, Kumsa to town Medvezhegorsk (bear mountains). It was a turn to village Lindozero not far from Girvas. I liked sign (pic 26). It says: "Atention! The direction to Lindozero is signed with direction signs". The road to Lindozero is ground one.
There was a good road from Girvas to Kumsa - about 70km of asphalt road without big holes and with very little traffic. That narrow road is not straight but it winds through the forest and passes along lakes and abruptly runs away from them. I remembered new wooden church on the lake shore (pic 27) in Elmus. Near village Yustozero I turned on road to Porosozero. There was metal road which run through the beautiful places: red and yellow forest and pines under blue sky (pic 28), red swamps (pic 29), elegant wooden bridges (pic 30) over scenic small rivers (pic 31), countless shallow lakes (pic 32). All that I had seen on 33km between Ustozero and Sovdozero (pic 33). That metal road had one interesting feature. On the top of each hill was stone which stuck up just car front. Every time I feared that it knocked bottom of transmission. But never had happened. There were not many cars and I liked this part of trip. I turned back from Sovdozero and was droving with stops to admire views of nature.
Then sky was becoming gray with clouds and wind became to blow. I turned to asphalt road towards Medvezhegorsk Narrow strip of road, turns, raises and slopes (pic 34), bridges above narrow brooks (pic 35), forests and sometimes lakes (pic 36). I took fellow traveler and we talked about life in Karelia. People live here despite the fact that poverty and shortage of job had place there. My fellow traveler left me when we reached Medvezhegorsk (pic 37). I visited shops there and had bought some presents for my hosts, have a meal in cafe on the cross-roads and returned to Girvas. My start back to home was fixed on the next evening. I didn't know then that ordinary trip would be another adventure for me. Last day I spent walking all along environs of Girvas under drizzling rain and made own portrait amongst boulders of Poor-porog (pic 38).
5. Along the way home or 560 miles without brakes.
5. Along the way home or 560 miles without brakes.
Have a look on the map of Northwest part of Russia.
Find there republic Karelia and then its capital - town Petrozavodsk. I
started my way home at settlement Girvas, which is situated in
seventy kilometers up North from Petrozavodsk It was Friday evening - 9
p.m.. It was dark and rain
drizzled from sky. I shall have to drive about 1300 km to reach
When I had driven about 100 km I heard a knock at bottom of my car. I thought firstly that was a stone, which stayed on the road after repair. But when such knock repeated I stopped and went away to see what is happened. Of course, I found nothing. Because it was too dark and rain continued to drizzle I didn't do anything else besides onceover and continued my way. I had lost about forty five minutes waiting when road repairmen allow to drive through the repaired part of the road. That delay had place not far from town Olonets. Knocks were continued from time to time and I knew exactly that problem was with right rear wheel. I decided to continue trip till morning and to seek garage after working day will start. Also I decided to rely on luck and havens. Fortunately, knock had place rarely.
I passed town Lodeinoe Pole at two a.m. and then reached town Podporozhie where filled up my car at 2:30 a.m. At five past three I heard crackle then car had glided away and after that I understood car hadn't brakes. I stopped at the edge of metal road and went away from car into deep dark with slightly drizzled rain. When I took away right rear wheel and remove the brake's cover I had seen the medley of brake parts which was poured with brake's liquid. Of course, I knew what was needed to do but I had not any idea HOW to do that. It was very dark and forest murmured around. No car drove along that road at that night time. And it seemed that were never cities and towns and only I and my broken car left amongst the wild nature.
Two men who drove Russian jeep "NIVA" helped me to solve that problem with hammer and nipper at 5 a.m. They cut brake pipe and pressed it with hammer. I filled up brake's liquid, drank coffee and resume my trip. It was six o'clock and sky had become gray. I drove along wide metal road and began to fall asleep. I stopped car at the edge of road but front wheel fell into ditch. I tried to get out on the road with reverse but rear wheel fell into ditch too. I took spade and started to dig. After digging I tried to get out once more. It was wrong attempt too. The car tipped and can fall on the side. I took tow-line and stood near my car. Two cars passed me but timber lorry stopped soon and helped me to return on the right way. I thanked my savior with good words and alcohol. Of course, I didn't already want to sleep.
Though brakes worked badly I drove faster and faster and had learnt how to brake my car. It was needed to push pedal as strongly as it was possible and turn steering wheel a little to the left. After releasing pedal turn steering wheel to the right. It was not very difficult. Thank havens there were not many cars on the road that day.
The first garage where I could get a help was in settlement Belousovo. They hadn't necessary components to repair my car there. Therefore mechanic soldered part of the cut pipe and tried to settle brakes. Then this work did two mechanics. Then foreman joined them. They worked about two hours but brakes refused to work properly. As result - they didn't take any money from me. They said because work didn't complete. (pic. 39) I thanked them and continued my trip.
Good asphalt road changed metal one soon. I wanted to arrive home the same day and drove as usual, i.e. had speed about 100-110 km/h. Only single difference was that I had to keep long distance between my car and car that drove ahead of me. And I spent too much time to choose time and place for outrunning.
I arrived town Vologda after three o'clock and drive at the by-pass road. When the town had ended I came to big car repair garage. Foreman said me that if I want to repair my car I must go to the shop through the town and buy there some components. I was afraid to drive through the unknown town without brakes. Also it was enough late and garage can be closed before my returning there. Because it was not too hard traffic I decided to drive home.
Next big town on my way was Yaroslavl. The distance between Vologda and Yaroslavl was about 200 km. I spent two hours and twenty minutes to reach Yroslavl. But next twenty kilometers I overcame in about an hour. Though road has a name "by-pass road" most part of it runs through the town. There is the splendid bridge across river Volga just on that road. But traffic was too hard there and I looked only the bus was going ahead me. Sometimes I drove with speed no more than 10-15 km/h. I passed Yaroslavl when was getting dark but next part of way home didn't very difficult.
It needed three hours and a half to reach home. I was lucky and returned home even without brakes. My trip and my adventures had successfully ended. Way home took twenty six hours. I drove 1284 kilometers totally and 895 kilometers without brakes. My vacations turned out well!