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YEP 7 Exp Kamchatka Day 11

The rain pounds down on our yurt roof and walls. We are back at the dog-sledding base, Snow Dogs. The weather has taken a turn for the worse and once again Mother Nature has reminded us who is boss. All around me clothes are hanging up to dry and I feel as though I am sitting amidst a rainforest made of wet pants and dripping gloves. I haven`t brushed my teeth in about a week. I`ve been wearing the same underwear for 5 days and showering or washing my hair is a distant dream that I left behind in the hotel in Yelizovo on day 1. Now multiply that by 13, the number of people on our team, add a good rain-soaking and you get some sense of what this rainforest smells like!

The bad weather is here to stay and the sudden downpour and rise in temperatures meant that we couldn`t attempt to summit Avachinsky again and so we opted to hike the 27km back down to our yurt.
The hike was incredibly beautiful. We passed over the same route we took up with the dogs but things looked rather different on foot. The rain had changed the landscape a lot and there was less snow and a lot more ice and slush. Along the way we stopped and saw bear tracks and ate some delicious red berries that were growing all along our path.

As I walk I look around at the landscape. Having a chance to move more slowly through it, the utter beauty of it all hits me yet again. The contrasts: icy white landscape and skeletal trees. Puddles of still water that shiver as drops of rain bounce up off them. Red berries, black branches and snow.
The rain is here to stay and so are the “warm” temperatures and so no one is really sure what the next few days will hold. Whatever it is I can be sure that, as every day in Kamchatka so far has been, it will be another opportunity to be stunned by nature, push myself, feel tiny and insignificant and yet feel so alive and happy.

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