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The pupils of the Melitopol Boarding School (orphanage) and foster children have closed the walking tour season with an amazing trip along the southern shore of the Crimean peninsula. Although the children had to pack bags of warm clothes, they were in a great mood. As we arrived in Simferopol, we met our guide who told us that we’d have to endure quite a long route. Our route went through the village of Perevalnoye to “The Partizanskaya Polyana” (The Partisan Glade), then to Soat, Ay-Leksi and the “Dzhur-Dzhur” waterfall, to the village of Heneralskoye, and finally back home. We reached the village of Perevalnoye by trolley coach (trolleybus) and continued 9 km to “The Partizanskaya Polyana” on foot.
During our walking tour, we stopped for lunch and admired a beautiful autumn landscape of the Crimea. The mountains covered with forests, were painted with the spectacular autumn colours, ranging from dark-green to golden-orange hues. Our walking tour was rather challenging at times. The higher we climbed, the colder it got, and on top of it all, the rainy weather further tested us. Even though our exhausted little tourists started to grumble about the nasty weather, they did not give up and obediently followed our guide. Our smallest ‘tourists’, Sasha and Alina, stumbled and fell down with their bags several times, but we helped them get up and continue their tour.
Finally! We set camp!!! Although it was raining, the boys collected some wood for the fire while the rest of the group pitched tents with the help of the our volunteer Kolya. Our guide, Serhey Valentinovich, quickly and deftly made a fire and soon afterwards we enjoyed our dinner. After getting warm and drying our wet clothes, we went to sleep in our tents. The continuous drum-roll of rain beating against our tents did not disturb the sweet dreams of the tired children.
Early morning…fresh mountain air and the wonderful smell of our delicious breakfast made on the fire. (Thanks to our great guide and cook Serhey Valentinovich!). While the breakfast was being prepared, some guys climbed up to the mountain. The kids had a great opportunity to see a real cannon and the shelter of a radio operator there. When they came back to camp, our porridge was ready. Following breakfast, we took down the tents and continued our tour.
Our walking tour became easier as the rain stopped and the sun smiled down on us with its warm rays. Three hours later we reached our destination. The boys collected wood, this time in a more skillful way, and wisely pitched the tents, while the girls were busy cooking. After lunch, we finished drying our wet clothes and shoes.
Late in the day it got really chilly. The night promised to be a cold one, so we made some large sleeping bags out of several individual, so three kids could sleep in one bag to better keep warm. So, one more night passed and in the morning we decided to end our walking tour and return the same way back home. We did not venture on with our tour since the weather conditions were getting worse and worse. Our guide even predicted that we could be simply “blown away” by stormy winds at our next camp stop.
The way back went much faster. There was no rain or fog, so we could not only listen to the captivating stories of Serhey Valentinovich, but also enjoy the beautiful scenery. At 5 p.m. we reached the village of Perevalnoye and started our way to the village of Sosnovka. When our tents were pitched, we had great fun listening to the long, wonderful stories of experienced tourists while we ate our dinner by the fire.
In the morning we said goodbye to our guides and headed to Simferopol. Since there was still a great deal of time before the train, we decided to visit the Children’s Amusement Park, and we surely did not regret it! We enjoyed lots of amusements and fun, a lively zoo, and Pushkin’s “The Glade of Fairy Tales”. However, it was soon time to come back home. The children had a good dinner together at the railway station and then we boarded the train home.
Despite the fact that we could not finish the scheduled tour, the children made friends with each other, learnt a lot, saw a marvelous nature of the Crimea, met many interesting people and gained many vivid impressions!
By the way, with only a small donation, everyone can help kids from orphanages and large families experience and enjoy mountain walking tours, the beautiful places of Crimea, and sightseeing of our Ukrainian capital!
The cost of participation for one orphan in a five-day walking tour is only 200-250 hryvnyas ($31), and the trip to Kiyv just 80 hryvnyas ($11)!
The employees of “The happy Child” Foundation will be glad to answer all your questions.