A sunny Sunday in Vladivostok - what better way to spend it than to go hiking on Russky island? With the new bridges in place, it is easier than ever to reach, and after I get off bus 15, I walk the road back to the trailhead. A dirt road takes me up hill, where I meet a couple of friendly Russians who are out to pick mushrooms. They claim this is the best place to find them, and 2018 apparently is a very good mushroom year. We soon see other Russians in the forest, some of whom come out to offer beautiful mushrooms to my new friends. I leave them to walk up to Fort 12, Velikogo Kmyazya Vladimira Svyatogo, which turns out to lie in ruins. It does offer great views over the ocean and Novik Bay which cuts straight into Russky island. I follow the dirt road that skirts the coast, cautious not to step into the muddy parts of the road, until I reach another viewpoint just above the main road running south on the island.
For a few hundred metres, I follow the road, then turn south where the Pacific Ocean stretches to the horizon. Right ahead of me is Vyatkina peninsula, a narrow strip of land jutting out into the ocean. The beaches are full of cars, and I also see cars parked on the tracks running through the landscape. I climb the highest hill in the neighbourhood, where I find yet another small ruined fort. From here, the views are splendid, all along the coast, with the Tobizina peninsula, my goal of the day, right ahead, Shkot island, and other islands beyond. I now get a better picture of the archipelago that lies just outside Vladivostok. The couple in the car I pass on the way down are making love with a view, and I now follow a trail all along the coast. Finally, I leave the dirt roads behind, so there are no more 4WDs and very few hikers. The trail hugs the edge of the cliffs, and I see several pebble-stone beaches below.
The trail ends on the beach of Karpinskogo Bay, and even though it is October, I see people lying in summer bathing clothes enjoying the sunshine. Once on the other side of the beach, I find yet another trail following the coastline and the cliffs through high grass. After a few more kilometres, I reach a hap in the peninsula. I clamber over boulders just above sea level, and then up a steep section with ropes. A few minutes later, I reach a cross on top of the last cliff, and below me, rocky Cape Tobizina and the Pacific Ocean. Lots of people are sitting and lying on the rocks here, a photographer is doing a photoshoot with a bride, kids running around, fishermen waiting for a catch beyond the small lighthouse. After hours of hiking, I feel I also have deserved a break; I eat and drink while enjoying the feel of a warm sunshine on my skin, and watching the people around me enjoy their Sunday afternoon. From here, I hike back to the end of the main road, where I am lucky to find a bus back towards the city. I get off at the last stop before Russky bridge and walk to Novosiltsevskaya battery, one of the many defensive installations on Russky island. More hiking takes me to Pospelov Fort, which I reach at sunset. After watching the beautiful red skies set Russky island, I walk back to the bus stop in darkness. The mushroom hunt has inspired me to have a meal with mushrooms that evening, and I just imagine the mushrooms were taken from Russky island.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Russky island (Russia). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Russky island. Read more about this site.