This is the first descent of Europe’s longest river by kayak from the source in the Valdai Hills northwest of Moscow to the river’s delta at the Caspian Sea. The Volga traverses 2300 miles (3700 km) through western Russia’s most beautiful countryside with some of the richest history known to man.
TOTAL MILES TO DATE: 2130.09
TOTAL DAYS: 59
MILES COUNTDOWN: 0.00
May 23, 2014
As noted yesterday, the team met up with Valery Sokolov in Khvalynsk where they were hosting an adventure race on the ski slopes. I'm not quite sure what kind of adventure race it was but hope to get more information from organizers soon.
Valery was waiting on the banks of the Volga River and called the team over. Once off the river, Valery put the boys in the capable hands of Constantine, who drove (very fast) up to the resort. Once at the resort, they met Mikhail (who spoke English). Mikhail is a young geologist who explained that the mountain before them was actually made of chalk. That's right, chalk. They also were escorted around the resort and saw a hot springs pool, the ski lodge (where they ate a great lunch) At the resort, they met Sergei (looks like Tim Robbins), the boss, who is either the manager or owner of the resort. We aren't quite sure which one. He showed them around his soon-to-be-opened brew pub in the basement. They sampled the different beer, which was really good. Sergei's daughter, director of the resort hotel, speaks English as she studied in the US for a year. She was very nice. She acted as translator through the rest of their visit. West & Jeff asked if any of the people they spoke with had every skied in the United States. None of them had. The ski resort, just as in the US, has lifts, bungalows, ski lodge, etc. and the population grows from about 15,000 to 40,000 during the peak season. Also, like the US, the summer months are becoming just as popular.
After their tour of the resort, lunch, and a quick trip to the store, they were interviewed by Nikolay. Hope to have another Russian article for you soon. I have requested pictures from all of our gracious hosts. Hope to see some soon.