Wednesday 11 May 2011

Work starts

Work started in earnest today to tidy up the Lower camp. Two new guest houses have been built; I saw them being started in August, the building work stopped for winter and now that the snow has just about gone there is the usual rush to tidy up.

I’ll get some photos for you of the new accommodation as soon as I can. It overlooks the river and has en-suite bathrooms with showers, all now with mains electricity and water from two bole holes rather than pumped out of the river. This must be the most comfortable fishing camp on the Kola.

The view from the new accommodation
I went up to the village in the morning to start topping up the camps with all the supplies needed for the season. Marina runs the huge village warehouse which is now full of the fishing season’s supplies and those needed by the village over the summer. Marina is a wonderful store person as she knows where everything is but prefers to store things than give them out. Watching us leave with a car load I thought Marina looked like a fretful mother very reluctantly watching her precious five year old go to school for the first time.

Anna, Marina and Misha in the warehouse
A cold downstream wind yesterday, the odd snow flurry but mostly bright. The river rose 1” overnight, was steady all day and is still 3⁰C. No fishing yesterday sadly, as a bit busy getting things sorted out for the camps.

For those interested in the drive up here. It is 2,351 miles from Hungerford (plus the UK to Demark ferry). Driving time at the wheel - 45 hours 20 minutes. The Scandinavian roads are great - no pot holes, road works or mad drivers (a pleasure compared to our crowded island) until you get to Russia when the roads can be ‘less good’, but that is the challenge of a decent journey.

The road from Kirkenes to Murmansk
Tomorrow we move Hugh and Jemima up to Middle Camp so I’ll have a chance to see the river there. Will try and get a photo of the river.

Christopher Robinson

P.S. Wednesday morning – snowing and cold. Don’t forget hat, gloves and warm undergarments. Water temperature still 3⁰C. But, in the snow, the first real sign of spring - a pied wagtail has arrived and sits on the roof of the office looking for stone flies.