So guys, here our story… It was incredibly great! We really enjoyed the trip and want to repeat!

Even though we are used to make day-trips in the Alps of Bavaria, this was the very first time we vanished for such a long time in the deep nature and with such big bag packs…

 

Welcome to Russia!

We had started in Germany a few days before the tour with Pushtrail itself as we wanted to visit friends of Yana and the village “Bobrovka” where she grew up.
To this there is not much to tell. Only that it was nice to meet the people and to talk about now and the past.

After three days hanging around the Pushtrail-Team fetched us in Barnaul and the adventure started…

The size of Russians landscape, with its forests and fields pasted by. We were in a happy mood, talked about this and that and enjoyed the ride on the legend of a car, the “Buhanka”. An off-road monster, which drives slowly but everywhere!
All this gave you a hint what awaited us, which wideness to be crossed…

All this should become reality, this vastness which is unreachable by a normal car…

– Ancient roots of Altai –

With deep impressions our visit of the biggest museum in the republic Altai passed. The visit there prepared us to what that awaits us…

We heard about the cultures of this mountain region, about legends of ghosts and shamans who inhabit the local nature.
With respect towards these natural powers we had not searched for any contacts to them actively. Because, if a shaman wants to meet you, he will call you.

But, as told before, without searching actively for such contacts, we were visited by a horde of mountains ghosts. More about this, later…

– Ride on a cannon ball –

Via the highway which follows the trails of the legendary silk road, we finally reached the mountains. Well, almost, as the highway does not go directly to the starting point of our tour. So, somewhere in nowhere we turned and reached a small village.

And there, well, we changed to an another legendary post-soviet vehicle. A truck GAZ 66 which has the nickname “Shishiga”. This monster of an all-terrain truck thrilled us 2 hours on roads where any other car would just vanish in the next pothole.

So, after this ride on a cannon ball we finally reached the starting point of our hike.

 

Nature is calling!

The first day of our breath taking impressions was still accompanied by day tourists. These ones we left behind latest on the second day of our hike and after passing the first crest. This second day welcomed us with absolute silence, the croaking of cedar crows and by a mystic whistle of an undefined bird in the morning. We drank crystal clear water out of lakes and also bathed in the cooling rivers which come directly from the glaciers. We ate berries and herbs which we collected on the way, in addition to the food we carried with us. Together we cooked and ate all this great stuff while our breaks or while walking to the next destination.

It was like to be a small Hobbit who was fed every regular hour with sweets and other tasty stuff…

– A visit from the other world –

Beside all this we were totally overwhelmed by the vastness and the age – which you could feel – of this region. Because, these mountains counts to the oldest in the world. And so, there are also a lot of legends about them…

One night at the campfire we started to hear a swoosh time by time, which became louder and louder. A noise which we as “modern” people would compare with an approaching train or a plane. At least the windy noise of them…

When we asked our tour guide what this is, he explained that these “eclipses” out of wind, are something unique and can only be found in this region. These eclipses, so the legends, are roaming mountain-ghosts…

Then you hear another swoosh, clearly delimited, not like you are used to a normal wind phenomenon, which is heard everywhere and continuously. No, you could clearly locate where the eclipse is, which flies from left to right, forth and back. And sometimes, it hit us, thrilled the trees, the tents and whispered to us. For a few seconds only, until it continued its flight through the valley…

To all this, in the certain night when we met the mountain ghosts it was full moon and some of us experienced strange dream…

No worries, no one of us got lost, only our feeling for time vanished somewhere. Directly at the beginning of our trip you forgot about who long you are away and of course you had no clue where you were.

– The power of nature –

You blurred in the landscape and tramped as a small dot in the shadows of these eldest mountains.

Most of the time we had luck with the weather. IT was sunny and comfortably warm. So, ideal for a hike. Only short before the end of our first big hike the weather changed dramatically. Thunder, rain and hail covered us. Hasty, we we passed a pass and tried to find a location to stay and built up our tents. The whole afternoon and night it rained and while we slept we started to understand, that it becomes very frosty…

At 5 o’clock in the morning we dared to peer out of our tents and saw not only the greeting sun rising behind distant hills but also an ice layer on our tents… This fact clouded our mood only a little.

We lit up a fire, ate and pursued the last kilometers.

Exhausted but happy we reached after 70km foot march the Shishiga which brought us back into the civilization.

A small part of our impressions we captured with photos you see here…

Be excited to our next story!

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