A Journey to a Far-Away World

We are traveling from Maine to the Russian Far East to a remote mountain village in a forest populated by a huge variety of creatures, including elk, wild boar and the Siberian tiger.  Most of the people who live in the village are members of an indigenous tribe called Udegeh. This is the village where my wife, Svetlana, grew up. She has not been home to her  village in 17 years. We will be traveling with our 16-year-old daughter, Ihila.

The village is some 8,200 miles to the west of our home in Yarmouth, Maine. But we will be traveling the other way around the globe, eastward, a distance of some 12,000 miles. While the journey is longer, it’s less expensive because air travel within Russia is less expensive. We will leave Saturday on a bus to NYC and then fly nine hours to Moscow and then another eight hours to Khabarovsk, a city of nearly 600,000 in the Russian Far East. Then we will travel by car about five hours to the village, Kransy Yar. Seventeen years ago, it was impossible to reach the village by car in summer, when the Bekin River was not frozen over. But a new bridge now makes summer travel by car possible.

Our daughter, Ihila, will also be contributing to this blog.

Tom Bell

4 thoughts on “A Journey to a Far-Away World

  1. lori stevenson July 30, 2012 / 11:00 am

    interesting… following this from cambodia via virgin islands on line forum…… if you are from yarmouth then you might know some friends– michelle and bill clarke or liz and tom armstrong or charlie humphries?… anyway… Siberia sounds awesome!!!!! how did you get to your destination?


    • thomasbellphotography August 1, 2012 / 11:14 am

      We know Liz and Tom Armstrong. My daughter, Ihla, is on the ski team with Tara Humphries, who is one of my favorite teens in town because she’s involved in global action stuff and politically aware. Great skier, too! My wife, Svetlana, is from Siberia. We will be traveling to her village, which she has not seen in 17 years


    • thomasbellphotography August 2, 2012 / 11:55 am

      Ihila: Hi there, I do not know the Clarkes but I do know Liz and Tom Armstrong (I’m friends with their daughter, Allie). I also know Charlie Humphries (I’m friends with his daughter Tara and her cousin Kellan.)


  2. Julia McCue August 3, 2012 / 5:26 pm

    Travel safely. I will follow your journey here and look forward to hearing about it in September.


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