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Sunday, September 25, 2011

In Ytyk Kyuyvol, cycling forward in the snow....

Current Location:

Ytyk-Kyuyol (Ытык-Кюёль) , Sakah Republic (Yakutia) / Russian Federation
N 62° 20.497
E 133° 34.289

Monday Sept 26th 2011
Day 45th
1734 kms completed. Approximately 265 kms until Yakutsk.

I was able to successfully row on Thu Sept 22d, the Aldan river on a small boat with Gulnara on board and loaded with our gear and bikes.

Thereafter we camped one night on the left bank of the river and proceeded the following morning on our bikes towards Yakutsk on the federal road.

We covered the next 150 kms on a sandy/muddy road which in a way "thankfully" became covered with a good layer of fresh snow after our 2d night camping.

Indeed, the snow packed by the driving cars and trucks made it easier for us to travel on that surface than having to partially push our bikes on what would have been otherwise more kilometers of sandy federal road.

Along the way, we came across a few charming abandoned wooden villages which were previously inhabited by nomadic yakut cow and horse farmers.
We also came across a few inhabited farming communities where we saw a few "wild running" yakut horses and cow herds coming across our way.

We were also overwhelmed with Sakha/Yakut hospitality!

Indeed we spent one night in a very welcoming dairy farm ran by Roman and Alexandra, a great sakha/yakut couple who invited us to spend the night in their warm abode and fed us some of the delicious local Karas fishes pan fried, as well as local berry jam and yakut fried bread.
Early the next morning while watching Roman and Alexandra hand milked their cows, we were able to share more stories and learned a bit about what hard sakha/yakut rural life entails.

Along our way, we were also intrigued to learn and see how so many rural yakuts keep their water supply throughout the year in frozen blocks of ice, 3 meters below their houses @ permafrost level!

Finally, last night, upon landing in Ytyk Kyuyol, we were welcomed by fireman Ivan who invited us to his banya and to spend the night in his local fire station!

Mahtal Roman, Alexandra and Ivan!


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