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Exploring Siberia’s Smoking Volcanoes by Army Truck

When you think of of Siberia do you envision a vast, frozen wasteland? As a baby boomer growing up during the Cold War, that was my impression.

Exploring Siberia's Smoking Volcanoes by Army Truck

Exploring Siberia’s Smoking Volcanoes by Army Truck

Well, baby boomer travelers, do I have a surprise for you. The Kamchatka Peninsula in far eastern Russia is a beautiful land of smoking volcanoes and abundant wildlife. Since it’s not on the regular tourist circuit, one way to visit this off-the-beaten-path location is to sail from Alaska to Asia on a cruise through the Bering Sea.

When ships tender near Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia, passengers choose from activities that include visiting a dacha, touring the local museum or taking a helicopter ride for a birds-eye view of the volcanoes. Instead, Alan and I pick a truly unique adventure, the Regent cruise excursion, “Petropavlovsk’s Home Volcanoes by Army Truck.”

 Nalychevo nature park

The peak of Nalychevo nature park

After tendering from Seven Seas Mariner to the dock, we stepped up into the six-wheeled, enclosed vehicle for a two-hour ride to Nalychevo Nature Park. The tour description warned of “travel over bumpy surfaces.” When the truck turned off the pavement and up a dry riverbed, our information proved to be correct. The vehicle lurched up, over and through deep trenches formed by snow run-off. Soon, we could see the smoking cones of both Avachinsky and Koryak volcanoes.

Once the truck climbed above the tree line, we arrived at an alpine village for a simple lunch. Sitting at long tables, our group (approximately 20) enjoyed a family style lunch of grilled salmon, slaw and rice served by a woman who spoke no English. Later, our young Russian guide, Svetlana, led a two-hour hike. We walked uphill to a viewpoint that was ideal for taking photos of both volcanoes. Those who wished, hiked farther up the hill while others returned to the alpine village.

nalychevo nature park

Perfect place for a great landscape photo!

Alan and I highly recommend this excursion. The scenery provided excellent photographic opportunities while the hiking levels offered something for everyone.

Have you visited the Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email to ask a question or share your experience.

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