I went on the hike together with Oleg, his wife Galina Nikolaevna, her father Nikolai Alekseevich, and Elena Viktorovna, a teacher and employee of the Institute for Teacher Qualifications in
The whole waterfall and hike concept really reminded me of
Oleg is the Lazovsky District representative for the political party “United Russia,” which is by far the most dominant party in
There is often a problem in
When the hike started it was plenty warm, and since spring was just beginning here, there was plenty of new green and flowers all around. This hike involved crossing a small yet rapidly-flowing mountain river (the Elamovsky) a number of times, and although the water was never too deep, there were plenty of rocks to complicate things. We were lucky that someone before us had made a lot of “bridges” across the river out of fallen trees. Although, I would still not call these crossings safe! Good balance definitely required.
Where we hiked is an area where tigers, sable and goral (an animal like a large black mountain goat) can certainly visit, which we could tell by the surrounding landscape (cliffs for the goral, for example; we also found sable scat) – but we did not see any wild animals (besides ticks, of course). We did get to see some really cool plants, particularly ferns and very pretty wild rhododendrons with lavender flowers. We also passed a handful of 500-700-year-old yew trees, a very unique tree here, which Russians also call “red tree” due to its red bark. (Despite their old age they were not too tall or enormously wide – yew trees aren’t.)
You gradually go uphill on this hike, and at the waterfalls itself – and particularly at the top of the falls – the end of our trip – there was actually still plenty of snow. Apparently in the winter the outside edges of the falls freeze over, but the water still runs through the center, and it sounds like music. Above these falls the river keeps going, and Oleg says there are another 25 waterfalls ahead, but of course, we didn’t have time to check out any more on this day.