Archive | June, 2007

Altai in the news today!

The Chicago Tribune ran a story¬†today on the small but thriving maral deer horn industry in Altai. While I’m not a huge fan of the stuff myself (it’s mostly aimed at men), I recognize that it’s a reasonable industry for people in the region. It’s only major downside (that I can think of) is that […]

Kalbak Tash deer hunting petroglyph

Ongudai to Chui-Oozy (isn’t that a great word?)

(It means “at the mouth of the Chuya River”) On what we thought was our last day in the Karakol Valley, we woke up to warm sunshine. Very exciting after all that rain. We didn’t really have time to get out and enjoy the morning, b/c we were expecting several folks to arrive for a […]


We had a pleasant, safe (read “reasonable speed”) trip to Ongudai. We were a bit stressed out, b/c we were trying to meet up with the film crew and they kept changing their schedule such that they were ahead of us. At this point, we could catch up with them IF they didn’t set out […]

Chemal and onward

Despite attempts by a shady cab driver to take advantage of us, we paid a fair price for a hair-raisingly fast taxi ride to Chemal, about an hour from Gorno-Altaisk. Chemal is, as always, stunningly beautiful but is more and more built up. It really does look like Switzerland, albeit with smaller mountains. It has […]


I forgot to mention that on our red-eye flight from Moscow to Barnaul we sat across the aisle from a group of four men traveling together. It seems that three of them had traveled from Barnaul to accompany the fourth home from Moscow. It seems he had recently been released from prison. Note: Russian airplanes […]

Back in Altai

Our late and complex arrival at an amazingly bad hotel in Gorno-Altaisk prompts me to catch up on the travel diary…but first a recap of the initial days. We arrived in Barnaul at 5am Saturday morning only somewhat haggard and sleep-deprived. A’s friend and architect colleague Lena N (and her stodgy but friendly boss) met […]