Tuesday, 08 August 2006 00:00

Tuesday-vtornic 08.08.06 Russia

Tuesday-vtornic 08.08.06

Another promise of a rest day, but not for us all! Pat stayed at the hotel to do some writing and Tony was too sunburnt to face the heat again, but the rest of us think they were just being lazy!! Natasha took Killian, Peter, Ruth and I for a walk. We set of from the hotel so we didn't even have a bus journey to wake us up! We stayed on the road for a long time then took a turn in by some buildings, which are used as a type of camp for children. I would have liked to just stay there to play with them, but that wouldn't give much training, so on I had to plod with the adults! We walked through a wood along by the raging river. It was nice and cool in the shade. We sat on some rocks and watched the river for a while. It flows so fast and bubbly! After the wood we walked through high grass and over lots of rocks. It was so so hot, I thought i'd melt away! We came to a place in the valley where soldiers guard the border into Georgia. Natasha said there was a nice little lake a bit further on so she spoke to the soldier and he said if we gave him our passports we could go to the lake and he'd give them back to us on the way out. So on we went, it was a very shallow lake so we went paddling in it. The water wasn't all that warm but it was nice on our hot feet. On the way back to the hotel we stopped for ice-creams and watermelon-arbooz in Russian. It was just what we needed after a very hot hike!
Monday, 07 August 2006 00:00

Monday - ponedelnik 07.08.06 Russia

Monday - ponedelnik 07.08.06

Today we were meant to have a rest day-we planned on going to Cheget then taking the chair lift up and getting a good view of Elbrus. Well we did go to Cheget but we only got the lift up to the first station, then Pat got a burst of energy and we hiked up to the top of Cheget mountain-3461m! But it was worth the climb, we had a cool view and it was really sunny up there. Back to the hotel then for some swimming and a dip in the jaccuzi! Ice-cream means marozhena-ye in Russian, very good to know especially on long hikes!
Sunday, 06 August 2006 00:00

Sunday - vaskryesyen'ye 06.08.06 Russia

Sunday - vaskryesyen'ye 06.08.06

We woke up still feeling tired and a bit woosey! We packed up and headed back to civilization! luckily we got the snow machine to bring us back to the top of the chair lift. It was cool going down hill in it. From there we got the chair lift then two gondola's back down into the valley. We were very glad to get back to our nice hotel and have a good wash! My Russian word today is zavtrak meaning breakfast.
Saturday, 05 August 2006 00:00

Saturday - Suhhota 05.08.06

Saturday - Suhhota 05.08.06

Awake at 3.30 am! We had our breakfast then got the snow machine to the bottom of the pastukhov rocks, then we set off walking. It was still dark so we had our head torches on. It wasn't all that cold but we were wrapped up well! We saw the sun rise, the sky was beautiful, but we were to busy walking to take pictures of it! We firstly came up through the rocks, then up to a path which ran along the side of the smaller peak. This path was quite narrow with a big drop down on one side so we had to be very careful. it was up hill all the time with no break. Then we came around the side of the mountain and had a little less of a climb into the col, this is a flattish space between the two peaks. Here we had a little rest and got a drink. The sun was really getting hot so we didn't sit for long. From here it was another 2 hours to the summit. After our rest we had another steep dangerous climb. We were all really tired by now and getting hotter and hotter! The next section was through more rocks, there were lots of people going up and down and there was almost a traffic jam! We sat on the rocks for a few minutes trying to get enough energy to go on! i've never felt so tired as I did then! But somehow we managed to struggle on. After the rocks we had another steep narrow bit to get along. It was quite scary but I had the team with me to help me. At last we got onto a safer path, it was still steep but it was a wide area. Then we got our first view of the very summit! I nearly ran to it I was so happy to see it! We got to the summit at 12am. We all had our photos taken with our Irish flag. It was amazing to be so high up again, right at the roof of Europe! There were big groups heading for the summit after us so we left it and began to make our way down. We were so tired it took us a long time to get down and a lot of sliding! I tried sliding on my bum to save my legs but the snow was too soft and just matted up my fur! Eventually we got back to the huts, very tired, hot and thirsty. We all had a nap then got up for dinner around 8pm, we didn't really feel like eating but we had to get our strength back up. Straight after dinner we collapsed into bed again! Vnizu meaning down.
Friday, 04 August 2006 00:00

Friday - Pyatnitsa 04.08.06 Russia

Friday - Pyatnitsa 04.08.06

Today we had to pack up and move. We took the gondola up. We met our cook, Olga, then we all went up on the chair-lift. We had to load our bags and boxes of food onto the chairs. From the barrels we got a lift in a snow machine up to the priut huts where we are going to stay for the next few nights. We dropped off our bags and hiked up to the top of the pastukhov rocks. Again we had to wear crampons. It was very hot. We came back to the camp for our lunch. Then Pat decided we'd be best to summit tomorrow so we all went to bed!
Thursday, 03 August 2006 00:00

Thursday-chetverg 03.08.06 Russia

Thursday-chetverg 03.08.06

Porridge and eggs for breakie-yum! We set off on the cable car again, and then we took the chair lift to the barrels, so we could save some energy for going higher. We set off through the snow, past diesel hut where we stopped yesterday, after about an hour it started to get icy so out came the crampons. It was really steep and icy but we took our time and walked for another few minutes. By that time we were due our lunch, so we sat on some rocks to eat. We had lovely peace juice, a chocolate bar, some dried fruit and a biscuit. All good to keep our energy up! It was really cold up there, and I was glad for my fur this time! Then it was time for my favourite part, coming back down! We made it back in time for the chair lift and then got the cable car back. Then it was time for another chill out in the sun!
Wednesday, 02 August 2006 00:00

Wednesday-sreda 02.08.06 Russia

Wednesday-sreda 02.08.06

Today the real walking began! We took the bus into the end of the valley, and then got a cable car up the mountain to the Krugozor hotel, 2805m. Once we left in our bags and got on our plastic boots we set off. First we had to get a cable car up a little further then we began walking, first we were walking on loose stones, and just a little snow. We arrived at the Barrel huts; these are huge barrel shaped huts where some people stay. Here we had our lunch then it was into the snow! It was very deep so I hitched a lift on Ruth's back pack! We climbed to Diesel hut which is where we'll be staying for a few nights towards the end of the week. Coming back down was fun; we were sliding and running through the snow! We just caught the last cable car back down to our hotel. Then we sat out in the sun. Can you imagine sunbathing 2805m up a mountain! Russian word for today - spokoynoy nochi this means goodnight.
Tuesday, 01 August 2006 00:00

Tuesday-vtornic 01.08.06 Russia

Tuesday-vtornic 01.08.06

Today we took another acclimatisation hike. We began at the Narzanov mineral springs, there was a spring of water and as I was thirsty I decided to take a drink but the water was horrible! It was fizzy and tasted really weird, it has a lot of iron in it and is meant to be very good for you, but I wouldn't fancy drinking too much of it! We set off up through a forest, which kept us nice and cool but it was very steep. I would have liked to go climbing some of the trees or to play hide and seek but we needed to get higher so we could get used to the altitude. After the forest we came to the valley of flowers. It was really beautiful. There was every type and colour of flower. It was so hot though, we took a little break on some rocks and had a much needed drink. Then we continued higher up the mountain, we had to cross a snow bridge over a river, it was really cool. We got to about 2850metres then we sat to have our lunch. I put my paws into a little stream to cool them after all the walking. When we came back to the hotel we went swimming again and had our dinner. Then we all had to sort out our gear because tomorrow we move to another hotel further up the mountain. My Russian word today is Shashlyk which means kebab.
Monday, 31 July 2006 00:00

Monday-ponedelnik 31.07.06 Russia

Monday-ponedelnik 31.07.06

Yippee today we got out onto the mountain for some acclimatisation! After breakfast we took a little bus trip to the Cheget region, there were lots of people taking the easy way up on a chair lift but of course we had to walk! We set off nice and slowly, with our walking poles helping us over the rocky bits! I just thought to myself Dora The Explorer would love this but Barney wouldn't have a hope! It was very hot and as our team peeled off their layers I was wishing I had had my fur shaved before I left home! The views were amazing. There were rocky slopes with lots of ice and snow on them, yet we were walking through a lovely alpine meadow. We stopped for lunch and sat on rocks where we had a clear view of Mt Elbrus. It made my fur stand on end to think we would be walking through its snowy slopes in a few days! When we got back to the hotel we chilled out in the pool and Jacuzzi for a while then our friend Natasha took us for a little walk which turned out to be a very long walk! We took a road which followed a big river into the mountains.

The river was very strong and fast and I was glad I wasn't canoeing on it! Then it was back to the hotel for a lovely dinner and a well earned rest! My Russian word for today is naverkhu which means 'up'.
Sunday, 30 July 2006 00:00

Sunday-vaskryesyen'ye Russia 30.07.06

Sunday-vaskryesyen'ye 30.07.06

Not much happened today apart from travelling a lot of miles! We got an airplane from Moscow down to Mineral Vody, which is down the south of Russia. The airplane was very old but it got us there! Then we had a long bus journey to our hotel, but at least we got to stop for ice-cream! We have a lovely hotel here in the woods. My Russian word for today is pozhaluyata, pronounced pazhalsta and it means please!

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