Kamchatka – Russia’s wild East
Kamchatka (Камчатка) needs no further introduction for people playing the board game “Risk”. It is the tail at Russia’s Far Eastern end, an appendix of the Eurasian contintent kissing Bering Sea as well as taking Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk by the hands. It is the very same offshoot of Russia that made Alaska’s gouvernor Sarah Palin considering to be an expert for foreign affairs. Kamchatka is rough, mountainous and authentic, is almost impassable as well as pretty remote. Attributes undoubtedly being capable to prompt the next photo session of topless Vladimir Putin.
More than 50 years Kamchatka was a restricted military area and even Soviet citizens needed a special permit to enter the peninsula. More than 50 years Kamchatka was top secret and everything approaching without notice got shot down, like for example a jumbo jet of Korean Airlines. Since 1990 that inglorious episode of hospitality is over now and everyone is allowed to explore Kamchatka. Most attracting ist its spectacular landscape with more than 160 volcanoes spread over 800km and currently 30 of them are kind of active. Its remoteness takes its toll and drawing a parallel between a Rolls Royce and a Kamchatka travel as speaking out loud both words already costs money. The following stories emerge from hiking through the Russian peninsula between regional capital Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and the fire mountains, a travel that fortunately didn’t become all too expensive as to some extent local photographer Denis Budkov helped to get to the most interesting places.