Even though man has ventured in to every nook and corner of the globe, there seem to some places even today where humans are a minority in the landscape and Kamchatka is surely one such place. In the vast peninsula which is spread over half a million km2, there are hardly a few cities and towns and the landscape is as wild as it could get.
As you perhaps know I am now in Kamchatka with a group that has just finished the last leg of the expedition which was a marine exploration around the eastern coast of the peninsula. We sailed south towards the Ruskaya Bay area where I have often found plenty of wildlife on the rocky outcrops of the picturesque seascapes.
I have probably not known of any other animal that constantly feeds for hours and hours and for several weeks than the ‘Ursus arctos’ – the Brown Bear (beringianus – in my particular case). An animal of immense size and power, it hibernates during the winter and emerges out in spring and awaits the arrival of it’s favourite meal the Salmon.
“Be nice to fat people. One day they may save your life” said a T shirt a friend/guide in Svalbard flaunted recently. The graphic of a bear chasing two people and the fat guy trailing was really funny. It also reminded of the quote “when you are attacked by a bear you don’t have to be the fastest to escape, you just have to outrun the slowest.”
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Designers – Fashion, Web, Interior, Landscape and artists who create beautiful things often draw a great deal of inspiration and ideas from nature. Being an UX designer in my past life and a person always interested in painting and creative arts, I have often stopped to appreciate the colour combinations nature offers.
I was talking to the customer service of my favourite airline – Emirates and the agent across generally asked me about my frequent travels to scandinavia. I was explaining what I do in that part of and the world and I was surprised to know how much he knew about Polar Bears, global warming, ice melting and climate change. Fantastic!
Ten polar bear sightings with 7 photo-opportunities, walruses, bearded seals, puffins, arctic terns, glaciers, reindeer, fulmars, gulls and lot more wildlife has treated our group for the last ten days and it’s time to bid adieu to Svalbard. Mostly indians on board with some americans and a danish photographer were a part of this batch that traveled to the archipelago.
It’s almost a week now that we are wandering around the fjords and glaciers of the arctic on the TOEHOLD – Svalbard Expedition. We have 3 good days / nights remaining as we plan to head back towards Longyearbyen. I still don’t have access to the internet and I am hoping to give you guys some updates on the 25 July morning.