Russia : Kamchatka : #20 Kozyrevsk to Petropavlovsk

We had a long nine hour drive ahead of us today from Kozyrevsk back to Petropavlovsk. But as there were no tents to pack up, some of us decided to get up early and go for a walk around the town before breakfast.  It seemed a good idea to stretch the legs before such a long drive.  And we hadn’t really had a chance to explore one of these small frontier villages before.

The area around Kozyrevsk is in decline, as, indeed, are many of the places we’ve stayed in or passed through on the Kamchatkan Peninsula.  There was once a collective farm here growing vegetables on the rich volcanic soil, but that has gone.  There was also a small airport on the outskirts but it was closed in 1995 because of  low flight volumes and growing maintenance costs.  All that remains for the economy seems to be a helicopter base and the surrounding volcanoes that bring groups such as ours to the area.


P1120537  © Dy  of  jtdytravels

P1120537 © Dy of jtdytravels

It was another clear day and we had a good view of the volcano that we had seen spurting out molten lava the evening before.  Now, in the daylight, all we could see  was the steam belching forth from the top.


P1120530  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120530 © DY of jtdytravels

It was obvious from the state of many of the houses, that people are leaving this small town to try their luck elsewhere.  There is certainly not much to keep them here.  I know, I wouldn’t like to live here . This house was having some work carried out on it – and not before time.  Perhaps these owners do have a job.


P1120532  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120532 © DY of jtdytravels

This is the traditional log method of construction – there’s a plentiful supply of logs in the forests.  Some of the caulking used between the logs to keep the place weather proof is coming loose on this building.


P1120541  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120541 © DY of jtdytravels

Maybe this house is beyond repair, but it gives an idea of layering construction.


P1120531  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120531 © DY of jtdytravels

Doors are often made a feature of a building.


P1120540  ©  Dy  of  jtdytravels

P1120540 © Dy of jtdytravels

A general view down the street.


P1120539  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120539 © DY of jtdytravels

Not all houses were derelict.  Some were obviously the pride and joy of their owners.


P1120542  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120542 © DY of jtdytravels

On the better maintained houses, intricate carved wooden decorations have been used.


P1120546  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120546 © DY of jtdytravels

This one added a trophy of antlers.


P1120555  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120555 © DY of jtdytravels

With a long, very cold winter ahead, many houses had stockpiles of firewood.


P1120549  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120549 © DY of jtdytravels

As usual, I found a plant to photograph; this one a delicate clematis sp.


P1120552  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120552 © DY of jtdytravels

The glorious colours of this clematis stood out against a brilliant blue sky.


P1120553  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120553 © DY of jtdytravels

And I couldn’t help myself… there was yet another mushroom photo for my collection!

But this was to be the last one…

Our adventure in Kamchatka was coming to an end.


P1120561  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120561 © DY of jtdytravels

Back at the resort, I noticed their well stocked vegie garden.

The good volcanic soil here helps people to be at least somewhat self sufficient.



After breakfast, we hit the road… with a final salute from the volcano!


P1120563  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120563 © DY of jtdytravels

Within an hour of being on the road, we stopped.  The driver’s side of the split windscreen had been shattered by a stone.  To our amazement, Toly climbed onto the roof and took out a spare one!


P1120564  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120564 © DY of jtdytravels

Windscreen in hand, the job was all but done.  The whole operation took just forty-five minutes and we were under way again.

It stands to reason that a spare should be carried since there is no possibility of getting one repaired on the road.  I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to drive in the wintertime when temperatures drop to below -30°C – definitely brass monkey weather!


P1120565  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120565 © DY of jtdytravels

Although not a lot of vehicles travel these roads, each one poses a stone-throwing threat.


P1120568  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120568 © DY of jtdytravels

With clearer weather, this time we did see some of the volcanoes that lined our route.


P1120571  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120571 © DY of jtdytravels

There doesn’t seem to be anywhere too far from a volcano on this peninsula.

Here, we were just coming back towards civilisation and Petropavlovsk.


P1120579  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120579 © DY of jtdytravels

An orthodox church amongst a group of small houses.


P1120572  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120572 © DY of jtdytravels

Finally, at 18h30, we arrived back at the Geyser Hotel and that view of PK Harbour.


P1120575  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120575 © DY of jtdytravels

The fishing fleet was in. I looked forward to enjoying some of their catch for our dinner.


P1120577  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120577 © DY of jtdytravels

After a much needed shower, we walked up the street on our way to dinner.

The sky over the bay was particularly attractive.


P1120582  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120582 © DY of jtdytravels

And there, in view as always, were volcanoes!


P1120583  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120583 © DY of jtdytravels

This most certainly is the land of fire and ice.


P1120584  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120584 © DY of jtdytravels

Our walk took us to rather nice restaurant which did indeed serve lots of seafood dishes. We enjoyed our meal, which apart from breakfast the next morning, was our last meal together as a group.

Dessert was a rather fitting, local concoction – ice-cream with ‘bear berries’, a blend of lingonberries and crowberries.  This dish encapsulated the tour for me; the red of molton lava, the ice capped volcanoes and, of course, bears and berries.  And I’m sure there was a mushroom or two in our main meal as well.



All Photography Copyright ©  David Young of jtdytravels

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