Saturday, 5 February 2011

Altai Mountains, Chuya Road and surroundings. Part 2

I've been pretty silent for nearly a month.
A lot of work...
But the sun is shining brighter and brighter and it's the right time to start planning the next travel.
And to remember the past summer, of course.

Well, I started to describe our Altai travel here: http://mytravelog.blogspot.com/2010/12/just-to-remember-summer-in-middle-of.html
And I stopped on Seminsky Mountain Pass.
So I'll continue.
Seminsky Pass is high, 1700 m over the sea level, the road to the top of it and down is almost straight, hardly any bends, so it's not so easy to get on top even by an off-road vehicle. But the way down the pass is quite easy.


We did it easily.
Soon after Seminsky Pass a traveler has to get over the next one - Chike-Taman Mountain Pass 633 km of Chuya Road from Novosibirsk. It is much lower than Seminsky, only 1270 m over the sea level, but it's a little more difficult to get to the top, especially if you are here for the first time.  The pass has a lot of sudden bends, the road goes between the rocks, which makes it quite dangerous to get over the pass. But for the car engine it's simpler. Somehow I don't have any good pictures of the pass, but maybe this one: http://pisum.bionet.nsc.ru/kosterin/landscap/altai/chiketaman.htm
may give you an impression of it. As for me, I didn't like it there, though I've heard that the pass is amazing. But perhaps it was just because of dark, rainy and windy weather. We are going to go there this summer, I hope we'll be more lucky!

By the time we passed by the Chike-Taman Pass, it was about the time to think about the night and to start looking for a camping or something. It started to rain heavily, and we wanted to find some place as soon as possible. And we were lucky to find it in 50 km from Chike-Taman. The camping is called Kur-Kechu (don't know what it means, but it's certainly some Altai word).

We didn't like it there much as we arrived there, but the children were tired and hungry, my husband was fed up with driving along the difficult road, so we stopped there.

The camping is for people. who don't care about comfort much, as there are only small wooden houses without any heating and ails, national Altai houses, also wooden. Toilets and washstands  are only outside, no kitchen or some other place to cook, only fires and tables with sheds beside the houses.
 There is a summer shower. A little difficult to explain what it is. Imagine a shower cabin without any roof, located in something like a wooden frame. Even no hooks to hang your clothes. But somehow we did it, as water was warm, even hot! Quite a strange feeling - it's about +10 degrees C outside, raining and you are having a shower rather quickly, otherwise you'll be frozen.

After that we cooked dinner in a cauldron. Quite a simple one,  buckwheat with canned stewed meat, but our children ate it as if it were ice-cream or something)
This is how food is cooked. A labour-intensive process! 

A house. With only two beds, but fortunately with electricity!

The shed and the fireplace.
The next day the weather was gracious towards us. It was about +15, not always sunny, but not rainy. Wу didn't want to drive that day.
That day we liked the place much more. It was by the Katun River again, but here the river was stronger, with a lot of great rapids. We saw about 10 rafting teams that day. It was astonishing! I did a rafting tour about 10 years ago and didn't even think about that since then, but that day I wanted to do it desperately. It's a real adventure!
We walked a lot that day. On the camping territory and near it. Huge rocks, boundless steppes, wild nature... And hardly any people. A real dream for urban people tired of traffic and crowds...


  

Perhaps the only disadvantage of that place is that it's rather expensive. We paid 900 rubles (about 30 USD) for one night (for the house, not per person), but I suppose it's much for a small and quite a cold house without any conveniences. But the place itself is so nice that I'm not sorry about the money at all. But later on we stopped in much more comfortable houses for a smaller price. Kur-Kechu is 680 km from Novosibirsk along Chuya Road.

To be continued...

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