Pumpkin, Onions, Potatoes, Iranian copper tray, Persian copper tray, Turkmen Carpet

November 2020 Blog Recap

I’ve somehow miraculously managed to put two of these quick little blog recaps together two months in a row. This is probably only owing to the fact I haven’t had much going on to distract me seeing that 2020 has been the least travel-y-est year I’ve had in a decade.

Mostly this month was spent working on more behind-the-scenes stuff on the website, optimizing here, and speeding other things up there. However, I did manage to get back to publishing new blog posts again more regularly. 

Speaking of new, I decided to start a new series of posts that feature some of my favorite camp cooking and snack recipes that I’ve learned after all these years on the road and out in the backcountry. I’m hoping to be able to add a couple of recipes a month to it.

This is a project I’ve had on the back burner for at least three years now. It was actually fun to try something new out… and also to photograph the samsa I made and the process of making them, though I think I enjoyed eating them more.

If you want to get these new recipes delivered straight to your inbox rather than having to remember to come back here every so often, you can drop your email in the box below.

Gianluca Pardelli, Circassia, North Caucuses, Russia-3
Photo courtesy of Gianluca Pardelli of Soviet Tours

More Info On The Upcoming 2021 Circassia Tour

I’ve been working with Soviet Tours to put together a bit more for this Circassia tour in 2021 to explore the mountainous regions of Adygea, Cherkessia, Karachay, Kabardia, and Balkaria, located in the North Caucuses. We haven’t finalized the dates just yet (although we should be releasing them any day now!), but we are tentatively planning for a start date sometime in late May or early-mid June. Below you’ll find an outline of our itinerary.

12 days

Culture, history, nature


Day 1: Krasnodar

We will meet in the morning and spend the day getting to know the group as we explore the beautiful city of Krasnodar. Highlights will include a gastronomic tour of the buzzing central bazaar, visits to city memorials, and a chance to learn more about the Kuban Cossack culture.

Day 2 & 3: Adygea & Lago-Naki Plateau

In the morning we’ll depart Krasnodar toward the autonomous republic of Adygea to visit the Adygean capital of Maykop to learn more about Adyghe culture and the Soviet and post-Soviet history of the area. In the afternoon of day 2 we’ll continue southward toward the Lago-Naki Plateau, an area known for its gorgeous alpine meadows and robust flora and fauna. We’ll spend day 3 trekking around the Lago-Naki Plateau to take in the beautiful scenes.

Day 4 & 5: Cherkessia & Arkhyz

In the morning of day 4, we’ll depart the Lago-Naki area bound for Cherkessia, where we’ll explore the Arkhyz area for the next two days. We’ll head to the village of Arkhyz to explore the Nizhnearkhyzskoe Gorodishche archeological complex and the impressive Arkhyz Astrophysical Observatory. We will spend day 5, trekking in the nearby Circassian Mountains.

Day 6: Karachay & Dombay

On day 6 we’ll make way toward the Karachay resort town of Dombay. We’ll take a mountain valley route to get there making scenic stops along the way.

Day 7: Bermamyt Plateau

Day 7 will start early to give us the entire day to explore the Russian spa towns that surround this mountainous area of Karachay, taking time to appreciate the beauty of the region. By early afternoon we’ll descend to the Bermamyt Plateau for a picnic and further exploration of the lush meadows

Gianluca Pardelli, Circassia, North Caucuses, Russia
Photo courtesy of Gianluca Pardelli of Soviet Tours

Day 8: Kabardia

Today will start with a visit to Terskol, a Soviet-era resort town that lies in the shadows of Europes tallest peak, Mount Elbrus. From Terskol we’ll take a ride up the aerial tram to the Gara-Bashi viewpoint to hopefully take in clear views of Mount Elbrus. The remainder of the day will be spent trekking around the Elbrus area.

Day 9: Nalchik

On day 9 we’ll head down to Nalchik, the capital of the autonomous republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. Getting to Nalchik a bit more, we’ll take off on a walking tour to see the highlights of the city.

Day 10 & 11: Balkaria

Days 10 and 11 will be one of the more exciting of the trip, allowing us to take two days of trekking in the Balkaria area, exploring Chegem Valley and the village of Eltyubyu. Our first night will be spent tent camping under the stars (hopefully under clear skies allowing us to go stargazing), the second will be in a guesthouse.

Day 12: End of trip

We’ll enjoy a final Balkar-style breakfast together before heading back to Nalchik to wrap up the trip. We can help arrange transfers to Nalchik International Airport for those flying out, as well as to the train and bus stations for those continuing to further explore the region.

For more info and questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to info @ soviettours.com or adventuresoflilnicki @ gmail.com.

What I Published This Month

About mid-month I started publishing posts a bit more regularly again, some of these I dug out from the archives even- things I had been meaning to write about and just had never gotten around to…

Updated Posts

What’s To Come In December

With no travel on the horizon (for quite a while it’s appearing) I’ll probably be slinging out some more posts from some of my past travels. I’m hoping to get more out there from my travels through southern Africa and some more content on the American southwest, and South America (like that time I sailed the Beagle Channel… who lets me do these kinds of things?!). 

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