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On August 1-9, 2013 a group of thirty children from large and foster families of the Zaporozhye region and nine adults made a fascinating trip to the Carpathians with climbing the highest peaks of Ukraine - Hoverla and Petros.
Based on the experience of our previous climbing Hoverla, we expected wet and rainy weather in the Carpathians, but this time the mountains pleased us. During the entire trip there wasn’t a single drop of rain! It is pretty unusual for the Montenegrin mountain range, where Hoverla is located.
For children a trip is a unique life experience and memories to last a lifetime. This is perception of the real world! Children mostly learn about the Carpathian Mountains from textbooks, and while hiking they can perceive amenity of nature, the majesty of the mountains and the joy of communication.
Here are impressions of Zhanna, a trip participant:
"These were the best 9 days of my life! Really, I cannot even properly describe how good I felt out there. How I love my friends, who are like brothers and sisters to me!
Albert, Aunt Galya, Uncle Kolya, you are the best! You have supported me in a difficult moment and always knew how to cheer me up.
Alina, Oleg (musicians), thanks to you every evening by the fire was just unforgettable, noisy and cheerful!
Thank you for the delicious food".
What we remember the most:
We had been preparing for climbing Hoverla (2,061 m) so seriously, when we finally reached the peak, we were a little disappointed! Everything was much easier than we had expected! A lot of people meet with rain and cold, but it was quite the opposite with us – it was hot and we saw a bunch of people there!
We were as well surprised with the climbers we had met there. The oldest one was from the Czech Republic and she was 73 years old. The youngest one was just a toddler of one and a half years old.
In spite of the fact that Petros is 40 meters lower than Hoverla, climbing it was much more difficult. Any structures on the top of this mountain are destroyed by lightning, wind or ice. A small chapel "lost" its turret, and the cross was bent to the ground either from a lightning stroke or icing. It was very interesting to watch the flocks of 500-600 sheep that daily go up to the top of the mountain and come down. They are followed by a shepherd and dogs. Just think, climbing Petros is a very special event for tourists, and for sheep it’s just a daily walk!
From the Montenegrin ridge we could see the Romanian Carpathians in the distance. These mountains are higher than the Ukrainian part of the Carpathians, their heights reach 2,600 meters.
The children visited one of the highest lakes in Ukraine - Nesamovytoye lake, which is 1,750 meters above the sea level. According to a legend, those who wash their face and hands in this lake will be lucky to find their soul mate in the coming year.
It turned out that there are many lakes like the Nesamovytoe in the vicinity of the Montenegrin mountain range, but less known to the general public. For example, we found the most beautiful lake and clearing in the woods just below the Turkul mountain with two streams flowing next to it and a waterfall. Unlike Nesamovytoye lake, which is always crowded and quite dirty, the area near that lake was empty and impeccable clean! Maybe the next year we will set our base camp at that clearing.
Our hike turned out to be a very musical one - Alina and Oleg, the students of the Zaporozhye Music School simply charmed all the children with their playing the guitar and the flute. Thanks to our volunteers musicians, many of these kids heard and felt the beauty of music and bard songs for the first time, especially when they were performed by the campfire under a starry sky in the friendly company.
We would like to thank Roman, a Zaporozhye citizen, who donated 10,000 hryvnyas (1,250 US dollars) to arrange this trip. This allowed the children of large and foster families to take part in this trip by paying only the minimum payment - 290 hryvnyas (36 US dollars) for a child from a large family and 450 hryvnyas (56 US dollars) per a child from foster families (meaning 30% and 50% of the trip cost).
We’d like to show our appreciation to Natalia Sh. from Kiev, who supports “Klubok” educational and travel programs on a monthly basis.
We’d also like to say thank you to all the other contributors!
We are grateful to our regular volunteers - Nicholay and Galina Litavyh, musicians Alina and Oleg, Lida from Donetsk.
We thank the parents who managed to find funds for a charitable contribution for their children’s participation in this trip and equipped them with all the necessary stuff.
Photos and comments of the children who participated in the trip can be found here - http://vk.com/gzp2013
If you want "Klubok" to keep helping the children stop being glued to the TV, discover the beauty of nature and the joy of communication - you can support our tourist program right away:
The trip was arranged by the "Happy Child" charity foundation in Zaporozhye and its "Klubok” tourism project. Thanks to the donations of caring people since 2006 the Foundation has been organizing exciting tourist activities for children from orphanages, large and foster families. Every year "Klubok" organizes more than ten trips to the Crimea and the Carpathians, excursions for children to Sevastopol, Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, tours to the Khortytsya Island, tent camps, winter skiing trips to Bukovel. For the children from orphanages such trips are completely free of charge, for the needy children - for a token payment.
The fund has professional camping equipment for hiking - tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, an inflatable boat, a GPS navigator.