Monday 9 May 2016

Welcome to the 25th year on the Varzuga

Welcome back to the Varzuga blog!  This year marks our 25th season on the river and we hope it will be a vintage one.

After a relatively easy bus journey down, we are now here on the river.  “We” is myself, Maryke (our cook at Lower), Terry and Donna (manager and cook at Middle), Ollie (manager at Kitza) and Glenn, our brilliant mechanic.

Unloading supplies at Sobacci Rapids
We got to the village around lunchtime yesterday to be greeted by Misha and Feoder who so many of you will have met in the years gone past.

They told us that the river had begun to break on the 28th April and that it took three or four days to fully clear out which is as we would expect.  Apparently they had much more snow than usual during the winter and beyond the tree line there is a lot of snow still waiting to melt.

Boats in the water and ready to go
Having said that, it has been a very warm week and it continues to be – it feels bizarre to be opening up the camp in shirt sleeves when we are used to digging paths out of the snow in order to get to the lodge.

The river is relatively low for this time of the year but we all know that predicting weather patterns, rainfall and almost anything else up here is a fool’s errand so we will see how it all unfolds.

Glenn, Misha and Nikolai sorting through the supplies
It was Victory Day in Russia yesterday so we probably were not as productive as we might have been but it was a great opportunity to catch up with everyone and the real work starts today.

I will keep you updated throughout the week and I might even manage a cheeky cast today – it looks perfect.

Bill Drury