Cancel

Log In

You have not registered on Goodsurfing yet? Register

We do not publish anything without your consent

Password recovery


Password recovery

To the password reset link was sent.

Cancel

Registration

I accept the Goodsurfing Privacy Policy by clicking Register.

We do not publish anything without your consent

Volunteer

Opportunities and Benefits

Search on map Reviews from volunteers Hosts Quick application

Host Organization

Opportunities and Benefits

Volunteer base Reviews on volunteers Many applications Qualified volunteers

Registration

You have been successfully registered
Please fill in your profile to apply for projects

Contact us



Volunteering in the Caucasus. Project of Russian Geographical society in Kabardino-Balkarski Nature Reserve

August 2, 2018 / Nature reserves and national parks

From the 2nd to 15th of July 15 volunteers and 2 camp leaders participated in the volunteer project of Russian Geographical Society in Kabardino-Balkarian reserve. And I was among the members. By the way, it was the first volunteering project for me so I didn’t have any expectations and didn’t imagine how it is going to be. But this experience I will certainly remember for a long time.

Волонтёрство на Кавказе

© Anna Toropova

 

My travel started with wearisome waiting for other guys in a really good and comfortable airport of Mineralnye Vody in order to go to the camp as organized group. Interestingly, there are no so many people, who knows about comfortable waiting hall and almost everyone is sitting on the first floor.

I had luck that my curiosity helped me to pass long waiting time at the airport combining comfort with enjoy the amazing views from big glass window. Next, there was not so weary waiting for a driver who was supposed to pick up our group. All these long minutes and hours certainly worth what we’ve seen in the close future!

 

Волонтёрство на Кавказе

© Anna Toropova

 

The road to the nature reserve was long, half-sleepy and silent, but when good roads were over – the atmosphere has suddenly changed: we started to speak with each other, sing the songs bumping along over the cobbles. It already got dark and on both sides of the road, we could see just the outline of the mountains, but we couldn’t even imagine how it will look like in daylight. We drove in to the nature reserve singing one amicable song called “Blues of the mountain bums” by Yuliya Scherbakova. The bus stopped, we landed on the hard warm ground and saw unfamiliar buildings, a couple of trees and a Balkarian man who happily welcomed us. “Eating first, resettlement later” – said the director of the “Bezengi” alpinist camp, Aliy Huseevich. It was 12 p.m. So, we just had a quick dinner, unpacked our stuffs and fell asleep immediately.

Morning: girls are bursting into the room screaming, “Look at those mountains!” It was an unbelievable beauty, so we distrust our own eyes: majestic mountains were surrounding us and all land around was covered by flower carpets and numerous herbs. And what were the smells! It is hardly describable with words. The mountain river rustled in the front of the camp and we were deeply breathing the pure air realizing ourselves “here and now”.

Волонтёрство на Кавказе

© Anna Toropova

 

The main sphere of our work was connected with clearing ecological trails. We cleaned up the small territory of alpine camp as well as huge area of whole nature reserve. We took away the grass, dry branches and stones from trails. Together with our friendly united team, it was pretty fast and fun.

Beside that we also went to see mountain goats and feed them with salt because they don’t get the enough amount of it from nature sources. There were 3-5 kg of salt in our backpacks. Guys helped each other to put it on backpacks while girls were lucky - their stuffs were not so heavy. We stopped every 10 minutes, the breath was knocked off, it was harder and harder to walk further. We made some breaks, build up strength and continued our trip. We began to empty our baggage on a half way and started with those who lagged behind on the road. We put salt into special places: deepening near the stones. We would never guess where we should do it exactly, if there weren’t our attendants with us, namely Alim the deputy director of reserve, and workers Magomed and Mitya.

Волонтёрство на Кавказе

© Anna Toropova

 

All our trip took about 3 hours and we climbed from 2,100 to 2,800 meters up. It was just a feeling that we did not go so far, but no, a lot of time passed actually. When we were on a football field in the mountains, we had such a good resting time. We played snowballs because a small place with snow was occasionally found there and we even had a bit sunbathes. It was much easier to go back. The sun shined in different way and the view of mountains has immediately transformed. It seemed like it was in haze and we cannot see the outline of front facing ridges, but mountains, which were rising on either side of our path became so bright that we could see every crack on it. The river was roaring under our feet and the trail led us forward across the bridges to our camp.

Волонтёрство на Кавказе

© Сhristina Yakovleva

 

We had an eventful cultural program: we visited the museum of Balkar culture, the Dead City in the Upper Balkaria, and the "blue" lakes. There is several number of such lakes. For instance, one is located at the foot of the mountain, the other one is on the mountain itself, and they differ. The lower lake really corresponds to its name and has a deep blue color and there are lot of shadows from the trees around it. There is also a fair where you can buy anything you want: national clothes, ornaments various in form and beauty, gifts of the Caucasus, sweets and many other bright interesting little things. The second lake has blue color only in its name, but in reality it is grey-brown with a lot of insects all around. On the other hand it is completely quiet and calm place with very few visitors.

Волонтёрство на Кавказе

© Сhristina Yakovleva

 

The road to the Upper Balkaria started with returning for forgotten passports in order to pass the checkpoint, but after that, we raced forward without stops. On the way, we talked on wide variety of topics, made the pictures of the winding road and views of big and small mountains. Everyone just enjoyed beauty of Kabardino-Balkarian nature. In the Dead City we climbed round a lot of ruins which used to be houses of Balkarians a long time ago.

Волонтёрство на Кавказе

© Сhristina Mihaleva

 

We even got inside one of signal towers stepping on flimsy wooden boards and climbing through a small window. There were a couple of incomprehensible artificial hollows, which apparently had their special function in the past. By the way, climbing down was rather scarier than climbing up. Signal towers are located on whole territory of Republic, but not everywhere it saved its original appearance, somewhere only ruins remain for nowadays.

Волонтёрство на Кавказе

© Anna Toropova

The weather was unpredictable, in one day it might rain strongly, then the sun starts warming your chilled body and then a fog comes down from the mountains and wraps you around. When the weather was rainy, we gathered inside our rooms, when it was sunny – just reated near living houses. We played different games - mafia, cards, jungle speed. Also we sang songs to a guitar and talked a lot. Once the Australian guys joined us in jungle speed game. They were trekking in mountains there.

Волонтёрство на Кавказе

© Сhristina Mihaleva

 

Also we swam in cold waterfalls and lay under the stars. Some of us tried to wish on star while one or another is falling, but of course we couldn't catch the moment. Often, tufted and fleecy clouds came down to us, hiding the view of the majestic mountains.

© Сhristina Yakovleva

 

During these two weeks team members became real friends and it was so sad to leave everyone. Especially I remembered the farewell party, which was organized for us by nature reserve workers: we ate lamb barbeque while sitting near huge hot fire and singing soulful guitar songs.

Unfortunately, even the best things are to end once. And the time to say goodbye to the nature reserve came for us no matter how much we want to stay here longer!

© Marat Gazaev

 

When you arrive to the volunteer project, you understand how wonderful is the life and people around you are the best in the world. So don't be afraid to take a risk and hit the road! It is rich experience and pleasant impressions!

© Anna Toropova

 

Enjoy! Live! Smile!

 

 

Author of the text - Сhristina Yakovleva

Photo:
Сhristina Yakovleva
Anna Toropova
Marat Gazaev
Сhristina Mihaleva

Edited by - Kseniya Guschina

Translated by - Anastasia Kravchenko

Date of event2-15.07.2018

Date of publication - 2.08.2018

Only registered users can write comments

Comments (0)