Exploring the Anadyr River

A memorable journey in 2009 with Heritage Expeditions  that began in Petropavlovsk-Kamchtka (PK), via Commander and Kuril Islands, Wrangel Island – ended in Anadyr, Chukotka.  Upon our arrival at Anadyr – an unexpected opportunity arose – to explore by boat the Anadyr River which winds for over 1,000 km through Chukotka. Usually frozen from October to May, the rest of the year it flows into the Gulf of Anadyr. Now it was summer and our group of five, including the captain, began our 400 km navigation up the river. Every night we camped at a different location, in old fishing camps that were in a state of collapse or disrepair. Every day was different as the 5 of us glided through the most awe-inspiring, pristine wilderness for 10 days – to revel in the unique character of the tundra fauna, flora and migrating species of birds, as well as the constant changing light and colour….We met the friendliest Chukchi and Evenki people in their isolated yarangas and villages where we enjoyed the most extraordinary hospitality and generosity.  Surprisingly, we discovered that we were the first non-Russian visitors to those remote villages – only accessible by helicopter or by boat.  Lack of transport between villages seemed a real challenge for this scattered population of about 11,000 in this autonomous region of Chukotka: a vast, largely inaccessible area of tundra with a sparse population of some 50,000 Chukchi, Evenki, Koryak, Yupik and Russians living in a harsh climate.

Victor from Chukotka (pen & wash) 17 x 23cm – 2009
Genya from Chukotka (pen & wash) 17 x 23cm – 2009
Misha Aretagin (Victor’s son), Chukotka (pen & wash) 13 x 18cm – 2009
Oliana from Shneznoye village, Anadyr river (pen & wash) 13 x 18cm -2009
Olga & Anatoly’s yaranga, Anadyr river, Chukotka (pen & wash) - 2009
Shipwreck on River Anadyr, Chukotka (pen & wash) 19 x 13cm – 2009
‘Penthouse suite’ (overnight fish camp), Anadyr river, Chukotka (pen & wash) 18 x 13cm - 2009
"Penthouse suite", Anadyr river
"Penthouse suite", Anadyr river
Intrepid skipper Alexander
Boating and camping expedition on Anadyr river, Chhukotka
Sunset from "Honeymoon suite"
Silken light on river Anadyr
Sasha – feeding ground squirrels, "Honeymoon suite"
Sasha feeding ground squirrels
Sasha Kapitsa
Victor Aretagin, Main + Anadyr river confluence
Victor's family
Dr. Leo Mertz and Oliana
Dr. Leo Mertz
Wild iris
Wild iris
Ust Belaya port and village, Anadyr river
Shipwreck on River Anadyr – Chukotka – 2009 – 18,8 x 12, 6 cm