Saturday, February 28, 2009

Project update before departure

From Paris, Feb 28th 2009

Dear friends, business partners, and family members,
The last weeks have been dedicated to intensive preparation of my project and have given me the opportunity to:
- Improve the itinerary to better fit the local climate conditions,
- Arrange meetings with inhabitants and WWF experts’ teams,
- Find guides for trekkings in main nature parks,
- And complete the equipment necessary for travelling through Siberia in late winter, where lakes and rivers are still frozen, snow is lying, and temperatures can still fluctuate around -20°C.

Below is the updated and detailed program that you will be able to follow through my regular postings. The objective of this blog remains to make you discover with me an alternative Russian Federation, its cultural heritage and modern challenges, natural wonders and developing cities, through the presentation of endangered animal species specific to each region.

Flying from Paris and via Moscow, my journey in Russia will start from the Far East with Vladivostok at the corner with China, Corea and Japan territories, and close to the natural reserve of Sihote Alin (1).

Bus and train following the mythic Trans-Siberian railway will then take me to Severobaikalsk, at the top Northern corner of Baikal lake (2), where the first part of our ecological project will take place: develop the website.

The beginning of April will be dedicated to run educational programs with the children from 15 local schools. I will be based variably between Irkutsk and the buddhist capital of Buriaty region Ulan-Ude (3).

Heading west, the cities of Krasnoiarsk, Tomsk and Novossibirsk will be my base camps for the trip to the wonderful mountains of Altay territory (4) at the border with Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

Already mid May, the next stage of my trip will be Ekaterinburg, sadly famous for the tragedy of the last tsar family of Nicolas II, and the Ural mountains (5) with the protected Taganay park.

Leaving the mountains and cold for more exotism and warm, I will reach the muslim capital of Tatarstan region Kazan and start from there a few days boat trip on the Volga river (6) that will take me to Astrakhan, the city of caviar at the delta with the Caspian Sea (7).

Going back to Moscow early June, the last 3 weeks still need to be defined. They will be dedicated to:
- Either a trek in Kamchatka (8), that should take me to Nalychevo and Bistrinsky nature parks and match with the June 20-22 annual celebration of summer solstice by the indigenous populations.
- Or a trip to the far North East of Russia, up to the Arctic Polar circle and the cisties of Mourmansk and Arkhangelsk at Barents Sea (8). It is also the ideal region to enjoy never ending days and aurora borealis, and discover the wonderful nature and architecture of Kiji and the Novoletsky islands.