Photo Story: Travelling Yakutsk in Summer

‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.’ – Neale Donald Walsch

Last summer, I went kayaking together with an amazing group of nine adventurers from Germany and Switzerland. Our main destination were the Lena and Sinaya rivers. We stayed for ten days in nature, far away from the noises of modern life. Conditions were difficult at times, but the nature is it absolutely worth! On our trip we took more than a hundred pictures. I thought it would be a great idea to share some of them with you.

Travel Group
We were a group of German, Swiss and Yakut travelers.

First days in Yakutsk

Before heading towards wildness, we spent some days in Yakutsk. The first thing you will notice when arriving in Yakutsk is that the entire city is built on piles that are anchored in the permafrost. Winter in Yakutsk is long and cold, lasting for more than nine months and with temperatures regularly falling to minus 40 degrees. Lucky enough, the summer is quite warm with temperatures around 30 degrees and not much rain. Apart from the extreme climate, Yakutsk is actually a rather modern and ‘normal’ city with high rises, shopping malls and everything modern life offers. It is the indisputable economic, cultural and political center.
A shopping mall in Yakutsk.

Into the Wild

In contrast to Yakutsk where almost half of the roughly one million inhabitants of Yakutia cluster, the wider area of the republic is virtually unpopulated. This unpopulated part of Yakutia was the destination of our tour. We started our tour in the early morning. Getting to the starting point of the kayak tour takes an entire day and is already an adventure itself.
The starting point is far away from any sealed road. Around lunch time we changed to another special vehicle taking us deep into the virtually endless forests.
On the way.

The Sinaya river

The starting point of our kayak tour was not far away from the main source of the Sinaya river, literally in the middle of nowhere. Located some 200 kilometers south of Yakutsk, the area is one of the most remote and untouched places in the world.
We chose this location as nature has formed there stunning stone formations along the banks, making this place absolutely enchanting and mysterious. The stone formations stretch over a length of more than 100 kilometers and reach a height of up to 300 meters.
We took a lot of breaks for fishing, swimming, for exploring the wider area and of course for cooking.
One of the spots where we were camping. Sinaya is the Russian word for blue. The Sinaya river is known for its clean and clear water. There is nothing better than taking a bath in the morning in such a stunning and untouched place.
Another break for fishing and swimming.
Hiking the Sinaya pillars.
Preparing the food for the evening.

Reaching the Lena

After seven days of kayaking, fishing, hiking and just having a great time together we reached the Lena river. The Sinaya meets the Lena close the the village of Sinsk. This was first time we met other people after seven days of pure wilderness.
The Sinsk village. We were sleeping at the opposite side of the river at friends of our guide.
‘A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.’ – Tim Cahill
Kayaking the Lena is quite different from kayaking the comparatively tiny Sinaya river.

The Lena Pillars

Climbing up the Lena pillars. From here you have an absolutely stunning view on the Lena and the endless taiga behind.
What a sunset!
Camping on the banks of the Lena river.

Thank you all for reading! If your are also interested in joining one of our kayak trip you should have a look at this page.

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