We sat where the river entered the lake and waited for the bears to come out of the woods and start fishing for salmon. Within a few minutes there were three bears a short distance away. After a little while one ran towards us catching the fish about three metres from us – I think our hearts missed a beat! Then Valisi, our warden, with his hand on his rifle and flare as normal, indicated to us to turn around: a bear was crossing the spit a few metres behind us, perfectly framed in front of the most wonderful volcano.
That evening there was a commotion outside the banya (sauna and washhouse). Clad in a towel, I rushed out to see two bears playing with the markers on the helicopter landing pad right outside the door! Bears, reindeers, warm, friendly local Russian guides and a magnificent country are my memories of this year’s trip to Kamchatka. And of course, the truly wonderful volcanoes, many of them still active that rise from the forests are the best of all…. but then as a geologist I am a bit biased.