Pleasant off-road: how to enjoy the wild nature, but not to get your boots dirty too much

Have you been in nature for a long time? Just to be honest — the May barbecue trip last year does not count, weekly outings to the country — too. We know that you drink wine there for days. Have you been sleeping in a remote, almost fabulous forest for a long time, have you put up a tent for a long time — and have you put it up at all? Have you seen waterfalls with your own eyes for a long time and met the dawn over the surface of a wild lake?

"Oh, come on, where will I get them," you say. It seems that for such beauty you either have to run somewhere to Kamchatka, or go to other countries altogether. Meanwhile, waterfalls, emerald forests and those wild lakes begin just 4 hours away from St. Petersburg - in Karelia. Not that far away. We understand that the home sofa has powerful dark magic. His gentleness sucks the energy out of people, the craving for adventure. And it inspires a lot of fears: Karelia, forests, lakes, the devil knows who is found in these forests and lakes (a lot of people!), where to put this tent (a lot of places!) and which way to go in general to see such beauty.

We explain.

Pleasant off-road: how to enjoy the wild nature, but not to get your boots dirty too much

There is such an off—road festival called "Ladoga Trophy" - it is considered the hallmark of Russian off-road sports. Firstly, because there is no off-road festival of this scale not only in Russia, but also in the world. Many companies will offer you off-road routes, but no one has repeated the scale of Ladoga since the Camel Trophy. And it is unlikely to repeat: every departure is a well—honed organization, a well-thought-out route and navigation tasks: holding such an off-road festival is possible only with many years of experience in creating departures. Whether it's good or bad, we don't know, but so far only the guys from the Ladoga Trophy can boast of such experience.

Just think about it, for 22 years in a row at the end of May, people from all over the country are going to storm the beauties of Karelia. Some programs are more tourist than sports. No accidents, mud seas and moral stress. You can come in your own civilian car (the main thing is that there is a four-wheel drive), even with friends, even with a child, even with your beloved cat.

any four-wheel drive car, a camera, a good traveling companion.

We agree, not everyone is ready to run headlong into the deep forest and sleep in a tent for a week. It's not scary: in Karelia, in addition to waterfalls, caves and abandoned royal red brick manufactories, there are many forest hotels hidden. They are mainly the route for crews of the Grand‐Tourism Lite category. This program is most like a family country quest: you not only perform navigation tasks, but also learn the history of the region. The routes and tasks are made up by historians: the route is laid out in such a way that participants willy-nilly get acquainted with the history of the Karelian Front during the Great Patriotic War. Neither a guide nor the Internet will lead you to those abandoned places — so say hello to your schoolboys and be sure to take them with you. In addition, the whole family will receive a lot of knowledge in the field of terrain orientation and geography. And if, after leaving, someone will tell you with an important look from which side the moss grows, you will have something to answer them.

The good thing about the Grand‐Tourism Lite route is that you can spend the night both in hotels and in a tent camp. We gathered slowly in the morning, drank coffee and drove along the ready-made route, looking around.

Pleasant off-road: how to enjoy the wild nature, but not to get your boots dirty too much

In addition to the history of the region, you will fully enjoy the untold treasures of the Karelian forests without prejudice to the psyche. There are bound to be countless lakes and waterfalls on the way (locals call them paduns). Perhaps the most impressive of all is the White Bridges waterfall: a quiet river suddenly breaks off with a basalt ramp and falls down from a height of 19 meters. Competition to him is, for example, Kivach, sung by Derzhavin, and Ruskeala waterfalls, where the famous film "And the dawns are quiet here" was filmed.

Pleasant off-road: how to enjoy the wild nature, but not to get your boots dirty too much

Pleasant off-road: how to enjoy the wild nature, but not to get your boots dirty too much

The Ruskeala Mountain Park, by the way, is a place of extraordinary beauty. This is a former marble quarry with a length of almost half a kilometer, filled with groundwater. A year and a half ago, the quarry was improved — paths were laid inside the marble caves, and now you can see a whole light performance around the underground lake. In general, do not forget high—power cameras - such beauty is rarely seen anywhere.

Ruskeala quarry is a real holiday for photography lovers. A picnic at the edge of the quarry is likely to be the culmination of the entire off-road marathon for you.

Pleasant off-road: how to enjoy the wild nature, but not to get your boots dirty too much

a four—wheel drive car, in fact, driving ambitions, a tent, a sleeping bag, foam, a camera, a good traveling companion (it's okay if there isn't one - before the start of the route they will pick up a pair for you).

If the wild beauty of Karelia attracts you more than dirt scares you, and there is a prepared car with a winch in the garage, you should choose the Grand‐Tourism Pro category. The frightening Pro console does not negate all the charms of wild Karelia. You will have to travel around the Karelian expanses, swim in waterfalls, walk along the lake shore at sunset and fry sausages on a campfire, listening to the stories of those who perform in sports categories and got into some kind of trouble again the day before.

Pleasant off-road: how to enjoy the wild nature, but not to get your boots dirty too much

Pleasant off-road: how to enjoy the wild nature, but not to get your boots dirty too much

Only in this group the cultural program will be heartily seasoned with the competitive part. On your four-wheel drive iron horse, you have to go through three special stages with time control. While you wade through thickets and "beginner" swamps, you will definitely feel like a conqueror of the off-road. This category is not for professionals, but it is still worth evaluating your strength - some "lucky ones" stayed overnight in the forest a couple of times. So, if you are aiming for an extreme trip for the first time, it is better to choose Grand‐Tourism Lite.

Pleasant off-road: how to enjoy the wild nature, but not to get your boots dirty too much

If you have problems with time control, and the winning instinct is not asleep, you can earn extra points for the tests. That's what you can brag about in front of the men in the bath! Go through the track with figure driving, overtake everyone in a sprint, climb into the wilderness and successfully take yourself and all your fellow travelers out of there. Every primitive unrealized gestalt will be closed here, no matter what it was connected with.

Maybe you didn't even know you could do that.

Pleasant off-road: how to enjoy the wild nature, but not to get your boots dirty too much

Although they go to Ladoga, in general, not for victory, but for bright emotions that they will hardly be able to find in some other journey. A few years ago there was a funny story: three Italians came to the sports competition and on the first day they were stuck in a swamp, the equipment broke down, they could not continue. But they were not sad, but, on the contrary, they were so delighted with the Russian dirt (they had never seen so much dirt) that all the remaining 7 days of the marathon were enthusiastically slapped on it and filmed from all angles. By the way, the French also got stuck and went off the course, but reacted somewhat differently — they were offended by everyone, including the mighty Russian dirt. Probably, the difference of mentalities.

This year's race starts on May 26 and will last until June 3. Every year before the start, the organizers hold a solemn ceremony on St. Isaac's Square, and then the caravan goes to the base camp on the shore of Lake Ladoga. There will be a hot shower, a cafe, a souvenir shop, a medical center, a kindergarten, round-the-clock security and even a movie theater. There will be only three base camps. This mini-city moves from place to place as the festival moves deeper into the route.

Applications for participation are still open. And those who decide to show up for the race after reading this particular post are promised special conditions for the codeword BIG PICTURE. The code word must be written in the application for participation, in the field "Comments, question to the organizers".

Pleasant off-road: how to enjoy the wild nature, but not to get your boots dirty too much

Keywords: Off-road | SUVs | Karelia | Rest | Vacation | Partner post | Rally

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