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Russia – Siberia

Russia - Siberia The Road

Miracle of Yakutia – Lena Pillars

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.

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Russia - Siberia The Road

Khakassian Wonders and the Road Between Them

Federal highways were not the roads we chose to hitch in Western Siberia. “Here I’ll stop to rest” said the driver of KAMAZ truck. We agreed to meet at 6AM sharp in the morning and went out into the mist of the night to look for the camping place. Next day we entered Khakassia – the Republic that remains close to our hearts. Igor – the boss of our truck driver, turned out to be as kind and helpful as his employee – we changed the rides, now sitting in his jeep. In Kop’yevo, his hometown, he explains how grass fires destroyed many homesteads and how many families moved into the new tract houses. Emotional and seemingly drunk he describes “All of it thanks to Putin. All new places to live for the families”. Later we toured through some villages, which are nameless in google maps. “Everything was here, people were busy and happy, now who will stay here” changing the tone for less positive one, he gestured at abandoned kolkhoz buildings and empty streets. Nostalgia for the Soviet Union was a common phenomenon occurring on our road, from the western borders of the Caucasus countries till Vladivostok. Although live might be not easy here, each village was surrounded by grassy hills dotted with dark needle-leaf forests, they looked like they come straight from fairy tale. We thought that reaching Sunduki will take quite some time since roads began to get worse and we didn’t see any other car. We were wrong, “No problem, I take you there”, it was hard to refuse Igor’s offer.

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