Siberia’s Lena Pillars is a specific natural rock formation in the Republic of Sakha stretching for over 40 km along the Lena River. This unique nature park was one of the first points that we marked on our travel map and it kept us moving to get there on time. It was already early autumn – the end of the tourist season, it might be more difficult to find a boat we needed to see the Pillars. Ardently hitchhiking to the city of Yakutsk, we had huge luck to meet a driver, who actually knew a fisherman (Sergey) going to the Pillars with his relatives…The man had a space in the boat and with an unusually small fee he welcomed us to the tour! Early next morning, full of excitement, we travelled from our couchsurfing hosts to the Bulgunnyakhtakh village, from where the journey began.
The river system of Lena contains several petroglyphs and with our expert guide we had a chance to see some of them. We admired the art of our ancestors – thousands of years old painting of the moose family. Their faint silhouettes on the bare rock seemed to shed a great energy. A couple of hours later, after a constant fight with the wind and current, the long-awaited features of Lena Pillars appeared on the horizon. The chain of spectacular rocky cliffs reflecting in the river looked grander than on any photos we’d seen. The stunning beauty of the landscapes and the peaceful silence that surrounded us made an endless impression, which intensified when we walked the path from the park entrance to the top of the hill. The views of the river with the majestic wall disappearing far into the distance greeted us – only the approaching evening forced us to start the descent.
On the beach there was an old wooden house of a friendly park worker, he invited us inside to warm up. We enjoyed tea by the fireplace and listened to some interesting stories (as always wishing to know the language better). Soon we had to head back through the rain and darkness, from where we bid our lovely ‘tour group’ goodbye and continued to hitchhike in the night through the remote areas along Lena river. There, another unique place – the coldest city on the earth, waited for our exploration!