Only a couple of days left... I fly to Moscow on Saturday and overnight there for an VERY early flight on British Midlands to Heathrow airport, London... then on to Edmonton and Yellowknife via Air Canada on Sunday...
Just got back from an excursion to the Russian countryside... I was told I was going to visit with my host's friends (one who turned out to be an ex-border guard and Russian army Ranger and the other that had something to do with the design of rockets that are shot from 'choppers.. the kind that fly.. not the two wheeled bikes one rides) and would be treated to a "Russian Bath"... their version of a sauna that adds being beaten around the body with birch branches (leaves still attached) while sweating in a sauna... Indeed that did happen... after food.. so much food I wonder if the airlines seat belt will still fit on the return trip... vodka of course..
But all that started rather later in the evening after sunset because almost as soon as we got there.. there being the tiny Ural mountain home village of the ex-army guy.. he got us into his second car (a Chevy Neva 4X4) and we zoomed around the hay fields between villages until we got to a local pure water natural spring... here he collected about five gallons of spring water.. had us taste it... wash our faces in it... and then have a vodka and apple to celebrate that... then he pulls out a rifle from the back of the car.. lays it across my lap and his in the front see (barrel pointing towards his door.. thankfully...) and we once again roar off along muddy field tracks across the steppes of the Urals... before I can figure out what the heck is going on... he slides to a stop grabs the rifle and starts taking aim at a set of three little elk that are running across the field but disappear before he can get a shot off... he revs the car to action once more and we're off on the hunt anew... nothing till he spots a young buck in the remains of last year's corn field at about the same time the buck spots us ... the chase is on until the buck takes a breather by the edge of the forest... our ex-Ranger stops.. grabs the gun... takes aim and in one shot... during a hazy dusk fells the three year old buck ..
Pictures of the hunt later...
Needless to say it was an interesting trip into the Russian countryside for a sauna..
Lots of great pictures of tiny Russian village to come...
CESO-SACO VA # 11799
Follow my Russian trip on my Overseas Blog at
See my interview on Russian TV here
See my pictures here..