speedygonzales From Norway, joined Sep 2007, 697 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6270 times:
After a few months of procrastination, I've finally pulled myself together to post a tripreport from this amazimg trip.
I went on the 'Active Volcanoes of Kamchatka by ATV Truck' with The Lost World this summer: http://www.travelkamchatka.com/atvtour.htm
I and some others from our group decided to spend some extra mony on a helicopter trip to the Valley of Geysers and Uzon Caldera on day 2, instead of touring Petropavlovsk, and it was well worth it. This was also my first ever helicopter flight.
Price: 25000 RUR
Duration: About 09:00 to 19:30, from pick up to return at the hotel.
Total flying time: About 3 hours.
Flight number: No idea
Aircraft: Mi-8 Passenger, 26 seats.
When we arrived at Avachinsky Heliport in Yelizovo, Kamchatka's second largest town which also is home to PKC, our guide told us that we had to pass security, and colledted any pocket knives etc. we might have.
Atfer waiting for the clouds to lift for a while, we went to a small bird park next to the heliport.
We were told that the falcons were threatened due to illegal capture and smuggling to arab countries as hunting falcons.
After we were done watching birds, we got some food, and were waiting for what seemed to be an eternity for the clouds to lift. I walked outside for a while, when I heard the sound of turbines starting, when we suddenly were rushed into the helicopter, with no time to spare. We didn't see anything to any securitycheck.
I managed to snap a picture of this cute little chopper we passed on our way to ours:
While approaching the Valley of Geysers, we could see another Mi-8 already parked on one of the heilpads: Kamchatka 2010 069 by Ssppeeeeddyy, on Flickr
We landed in the valley of Geysers after flying for about 1:20.
The landscape in the valley is not as good as it used to be, due to a large mud slide in 2007. Some of the mud is ssen here: Kamchatka 2010 072 by Ssppeeeeddyy, on Flickr
Comfort: Noisy and a lot of vibrations, but quite good seat. Honestly, who cares about comfort on a trip like this.
In-flight service: Water. Again, who cares. We were sereved a nice hot luch while stopping at Zhupanova River.
View: 11/10, impossible to beat.
Over all experience: 11/10
Conclusion: Quite expensive, but absolutely worth it and highly recomended!
JL418 From Italy, joined Jun 2009, 493 posts, RR: 6 Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5651 times:
Thanks Speedy for this fabolous TR!
I've checked out the photos about Kamchatka on your Flickr photostream, and I'm more and more convinced that I should give a look to that wonderful corner of Earth. The TR was really interesting as well, it must have been quite an experience to admire such a glorious scenery from a Mi-8!
gabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 2811 posts, RR: 13 Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5573 times:
Whoa, that looked like one great day out (albeit, a very expensive one!). I'm meant to be going to Khabarovsk and Yuzhno Sakhalinsk in December, so out in that neck of the woods. I think that it'll be a bit too cold to go up to Kamchatka though.
speedygonzales From Norway, joined Sep 2007, 697 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5117 times:
Thank you for the feedback everyone
Quoting N178UA (Reply 7): I would like to know whether you got time and attempt to take pic at PKC (Yelizovo) and which flights you took to/from PKC?
I didn't get much time at PKC to take any pics. I flew Transaero DME-PKC, but would problably chose Aeroflot the next time, as the intereior of their 767s (ex Gulf Air DME-PKC, ex EVA PKC-DME) was really tired.
I will upload more pics to flickr from the rest of the trip in the coming days, so keep watching.
Here's another aviation related photo from my trip to Kamchatka:
This Mi-2 suffered double engine loss due to ash ingestion during the 1975-76 eruption of Plotsky Tolbachik. Our guide said there was no fatalities due to that eruption, so I guess it autorotated to safety.