Taganay and Zyuratkul National Parks, Urals, Russia Week 24 26th - 28th September 2011
North of Zlatoust is Taganay National Park. In the southern part of the Urals.

We found a park entry at N55.2211 E59.7311

There was a large display on the roadside which included a map. It didn't have all the tracks marked but was sufficient to get us headed in the right direction. 

Left the truck in what looked like a parking area with a couple of accommodation places.

Apart from being vehicle sized the track had white with blue rings fairly frequently on trees.


After about 3 km we were at a campsite (hiking only) and crossed the creek on this bridge.
A pleasant, clear, mountain creek with pine and birch trees.

We are more used to beech trees in the NZ bush and gum trees in Aus.

This sort of forest is a bit of a novelty for us.

We haven't yet mastered the art of wild mushroom hunting as well as the locals have. For starters we haven't figured out which are the edible ones!

The track changed from a bit muddy to a bit stony.

Large, sharp, granite stones.

Odd, as we are used to granite being more rounded.

At 6 km we were at another camp. One with buildings and banya (sort of bath house cum sauna).

For us it was more useful to have found this steel staircase going up.

200 steps, though someone had written numbers on all of them. Spoils the fun somehow!

Though they left us a bit by starting at 1 at the bottom.

We probably climbed another 250 m after the steps to get to the top of the ridge.

Relatively steep, and we have become a bit out of practice (we'll ache tomorrow).

The Urals in this area seem to be more a series of ridges than mountains.

We think its granite, very fine grained, which has weathered into smallish broken rocks.

Looking East across the ridges.
Looking South East.

The town between the lakes is Zlatoust. We drove through it to find the park entrance.

Almost tors. 

Just the way granite weathers to form core stones and tors.

But a bit sharpish, a bit unlike the rounded granite boulders we are used to. We'll have to find a way to check that it really is granite.

Shortly after this the sky darkened a bit, the wind blew a bit more (and was a bit colder), and it looked like rain.

We beat a retreat to our previous night's campsite and were only a little bit damp. Just reminding us that Siberia isn't all sunshine.

Leaving Zlatoust, on the way to Zyuratkul National Park, about 100 km away, we crossed a railway line.

A fairly big yard.

There's a bit of mining and industry somewhere near. 

The lake we saw from the top of the hill.
Time to stock up with food at the supermarket.

Just before this stop we'd found a Bankomat. The withdrawal limit seems to be 5000 Roubles per day, about A$160. Thus, a bankomat every couple of days.

Before that we'd stopped at a small shop to get bread and milk in case of no supermarkets. 

We followed the M5 then turned south for about 20 km.

The last 12 km, from the park entrance, was potholed.

Kitova Pristan is some sort of amusement park on the lake at Zyuratkul.

Complete with galleon flying the skull and crossbones.

We are a bit late in the season and it looked a bit closed. Not our cup of tea anyway.

The lake has been formed by a dam.

There's a walk to be done, we think up one of those hills.

But before that, some rest.

The lake was useful for cleaning the rear window so we could see the lake.

Temperature is about 11 degrees C. Take off a few more degrees for the brisk wind. Not very warm for sitting outside.


"Computer said No!"

At the most inconvenient time the loo stopped working. The red cassette full light came on and stayed on. Even with an empty cassette. It stops the vacuum pump and thus flushing.

So I've now wired the vacuum pump directly to the power supply switch next to the pedestal, bypassing all the electronic logic. The logic - basically switches for cassette present, cassette full, vacuum ok, and some logic to turn pump and indicator leds on - is still powered and indicating. 

Since the pump doesn't start when I press the cassette present switch by hand (it normally does) the problem is probably the cassette full switch. It looks like some sort of enclosed magnetic switch.

There has now been a problem with all three switches in the last 12 months.

And overnight the lights are working! Though I don't believe in magic! The photo is just to convince myself it really happened.

Methinks the loo designers have tried to be too clever! Some things can be automated too much, and too often are.

Overcast and cold. We set off along the 4km, with a rise of 500m, walk.
We surprised a flock of birds.

We were a bit surprised we could see a bird in the photo, and more surprised at its colours.

Nicely camouflaged in the autumn birch trees.

They looked plain ordinary brownish when we saw them flying.

We haven't seen much wildlife all the way through Siberia and into the Urals.

There were quite a few nests visible.

Perhaps they liked the idea of all these red berries ready to eat.

The top is a pile of rocks.

Not granite. We could see the layers of sedimentation but the rock is fairly hard.

Beautiful but cold.

There is a bit of snow on the pine needles.

Impossible to photograph, its also snowing on us.

Just lightly. Just enough to know its snow.

A quick picture of the lake before we turned back to the warmth of Tardis.

The dam wall is at bottom left of the lake.

Our campsite is just beyond that, on the triangular spit of land pointing out into the lake.

That weak sun is sufficient to give us 10 amps into the solar. Much more than expected.

A little bit clearer as we descended out of the clouds and snow.
Not surprising this tree fell over given the lack of depth in the root system.
The couple of km near the road is on boardwalk.

Its about 1.5m wide, the boards are about 40mm thick.

The Russians haven't used the New Zealand trick of putting chicken wire over the boards to stop people slipping. Wet wood, mud, and leaves is a bad combination.

It happens to me rarely but I lost my concentration and ended flat on my back.

Another reason to spend the rest of the day in the warmth of Tardis. No bruises, just back muscles that pulled while falling.

We enjoyed our walk in the cold (that A$49 Aldi down jacket paid its way) but we keep reminding ourselves we are getting older (but not old!).

Perhaps not as cold tolerant as we used to be. We'll move on tomorrow.

Samara Bend National Park, Russia Week 24 29th September - 2nd October 2011

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