Dave Mills Continental Drift Days 170 - 171....Altai

 Altai Holiday Days 3-6

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Day 3

After a good nights sleep we had a breakfast in our little hut and headed off to do that days activities. Firstly we drove to a small lake that has the most crystal clear water in it and some really beautiful patterns on the bottom that look like eyes (see pictures), we then pushed on again through the rolling tundra to see a place called “red Mountain’, which is a geological formation that is some beautiful shades of red.

It was whirls driving here that Constantine asked me if I still had my key with me from the room the night before. I told him I had and he informed me I should have handed it back before we left (all in broken English). I had left all of my kit in the room which was apparently the wrong decision as we were not supposed to be going back there!!! This was just one of the issues from the communication problem, but hey……if that was the worst to happen, then its not really a problem. The rest of the day we moved between different locations seeing lots of the area and its unique sights.

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We did a circle and passed the location where I had left my stuff so that problem was solved and the late afternoon turned into a bit of a singsong on the wagon, as Sasha and Yulia 1 went through the entire back catalog of Russian classic national songs. It was a mellow and fun day but by the end I was tired and Sasha’s non stop talking and singing slowly moved from ‘quirky and entertaining’ to ‘annoying and deserves a throat punch’. I think I got my revenge later though, as we were all  sleeping in one room and I think I went into full on snore mode, which I’m sure everyone will have found to be as much fun as the 373rd rendition of a Russian nationalistic Ballard.

Day 4

Today was white water rafting day.

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After a mellow breakfast we mover a few kilometres to the point where we were going to Launch the the rafts from. A couple of instructors had driven out in from Mazherok in the early morning and bought the boat and all kit required. The guy who was going to be in charge of our boat was a chap called Ivan and he was built like a brick shitehouse and looked like he could rip your face and arms off without even thinking about it and then use your fingers to pick his teeth with (of which a fair few were missing). He was however an excellent bloke and handled the boat through the rapids with expertise of someone who knows them like the back of his hand. I can say without reservation it was a truly marvellous day and one I will remember until I pop my clogs. The river, rapids, company and overall beauty of the area was mesmerising.

We had no dramas and successfully navigated all the rapids we went through, under Ivan’s instruction….’he would shout “russ”, which I eventually figured out wasn’t him shouting to his mate Russell, but the order to Row!  If we were going through a tricky rapid his shouts would have more of an edge to them…”RUSS!!” And trust me we ‘russed’ for all we were worth, before arms went missing etc.

At the end of a great day we ate a meal on the banks of the river then drove back to Mazerok arriving tired but happy just before midnight.

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Day 5

A well deserved lie in was followed by a light walk into the hills around the Mazherok area which we used a speed boat to get to. A nice and easy day yet still incorporating some beautiful scenery; we also visited a cave system in one of the nearby mountains and then went on a cable car to the top of one of the winters ski slopes. Pleasant and chilled day after the few previous days full on.

Day 6

Another drive today of 200km to get to lake Travisi (I’m saying it how it sounds, the spelling may be incorrect), which is the second biggest fresh water lake in Russia after lake Baikal (which I’m currently heading to as I type this...as i finish this I’m at Baikal lake and trust me Travisi lake is a puddle compared to Baikal!!). Once there we went in fast motor boats out onto the lake to a location on one of the distant shores. Once there we alighted the boats and went for a short walk to a waterfall where we posed for the customary pictures. It was a nice and pleasant afternoon powering around on the lake and was a really nice and relaxing way to end a very enjoyable week.

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Onwards.......