Thursday, October 13, 2016

Uson Caldera

Day 14 Sept 25, 2016 (part 2)

After spending about an hour and a half in the Valley of the Geysers, we moved on to  Uson Caldera. When we alit, right in front of us was a mother bear and two cubs.  We were accompanied in both places with forest ranges who had rifles (used only to scare the bears if they approach).   For about 10 minutes we walked parallel to the bears, across the toxic acid lake.   Again the scenery there was magnificent, flatter with the lake, fumaroles, and mud pots (one that looked like a decorated cappuccino.  

After having a picnic lunch, we took off as soon as possible because of the winds, which are very intense in the Kamchatka peninsula.   It was a bumpy ride, but he flew close to the ground (great for viewing the bears and vegetation) between mountains for protection.   We arrived back near Petropavlosk 6 hours after we departed; a memorable experience.

After relaxing a bit, we went to the food court in the shopping center across the street from our hotel, and had a very nice dinner of stuffed cabbage, kabobs, and potatoes; very Russian!   We also saw two of the guides from our ship there; nice to see them and thank them again for a great time.  As we were returning from our hotel, we started up a conversation with a man who was originally Russian but now living in Denmark who was here with his Danish wife to attend a festival honoring Vitus Bering; 250 years after Bering was shipwrecked on what is now called Bering Island.  He was a pianist who accompanied the Danish Ambassador (it was the Danes who found Bering’s grave in the Commander Islands) to the celebration to play at the ceremony in Bering Island of the Commander’s.   He and his wife were very interesting to talk with.

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