Thursday, August 9, 2007

Hike to Peschanaya Bay

In addition to tours on Petrov Island, Lazovsky Zapovednik staff also take visitors on a 2 ½ hour tour to Peschanaya Bay. This is a much more laid-back tour – the zapovednik staff are really just accompanying the visitors. There are some amazing views, and at Peschanaya Bay everyone gets to go swimming. This first picture is a view of Petrov Island from the tops of one of the cliffs along the Peschanaya Bay hike.

Here visitors are ascending that very cliff. I went on the Peschanaya Bay hike twice, and the second time we saw deer grazing on this cliff.

This memorial is like a reminder or warning. In the 1970s a ranger at Lazovsky Zapovednik decided to take some tourists on a tour of Petrov Island in January in bad weather. (The bay here doesn’t freeze. In the 70s there were tours even in the winter.) The boat flipped over and the ranger and 9 tourists all drowned.

More cormorants! Drying off in both good and bad weather.

Here are some tiger tracks in the sand at Peschanaya Bay. Nadya estimated that these tracks were about 3 days old. There is a family of Amur tigers (mom, dad, cub) that live in this area of Lazovsky Zapovednik and roam the beach not infrequently. But I did not see any live tigers on this trip – these were my first fresh tiger tracks! The Amur tiger is an engendered species, and there are only around 400-450 left in the Russian Far East (most in Primorsky Krai, some in Khabarovsky Krai). It is estimated there are 10-12 tigers in Lazovsky Zapovednik.

Here are some flowers growing right up out of the rocks.

This is Peschanaya Bay from above.

More scenic pictures below.

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