A unique experience that bears the signature of a decade of experience of Selene Calloni Williams in Altaj.
Journey led by Selene Calloni Williams and Michelangelo Chini
Altaj is a place of great magic, archeology, wild nature, soul and beauty. Countless times SCW with his son Michelangelo, a student of Russian language and literature at the University of Cambridge, and their friend Irina ( Originally from Altay) visited Altay, weaving a network of precious contacts with local shamans and mystics. Hence the SCW books "Il Profumo della Luna" and "Discorso alla Luna" and the adventure in Altai was born, which Voyages Illumination is happy to offer today in absolute exclusivity with Irina's incomparable guide and unique privilege to be admitted to the interview with extraordinary shamans: Svetlana, the great protagonist of the novels of SCW, Rosa, trance teacher, Olga, the spirit huntress, Margherita the Kazakh speaking with the ancestors, Valentina, the healer and, perhaps, Kazimir , the shaman from the silver pipe.
Then the adventure continues with the exploration of Ukok one of the most amazing, mystical and surreal places on the planet, where you are closer to heaven and where ideas inspire you the most. "No one returns from Ukok without a precious treasure of creative inspiration!" (Svetlana in "Discourse to the Moon").
Staying a week in Ukok is regenerating for body and spirit: the purest waters of the rivers purify the intestine, the immune system is reinforced, you buy in health, beauty and peace more than in any spa. Nature is the real doctor, the true teacher, the true guide.
The adventure in Ukok is proposed on horseback because it is the best way to enjoy the beauties of the place. Ukok, the "Heavenly Pasture", is one of the most mystical places in the world, where beauty immediately becomes creative ideas. It is not necessary to know how to go on horseback to face this adventure. In fact, on site, all the necessary instructions for riding will be provided. The horses will almost always move "in step", never "at a gallop", rarely "at a trot". The fascinating routes are not simple, involve the crossing of swamps, streams, climbs and descents, but, under the expert guidance of Irina and of the grooms that accompany the expedition, even the absolute beginner can make it with great satisfaction. A sincere increase in confidence in itself, the feeling of making it in any situation and the certainty of being able to achieve one's own goals make this journey a masterpiece of psychological coaching and personal growth.
The trip Provides credits for the Forest Therapy Driving School. We will practice the Shinrin-Yoku in a wonderful natural environment.
First day. Arrival in Barnaul. Transfer to Gorno-Altajsk. Hotel accommodation. Visit of the National Museum of the Altai Republic. Overnight at the hotel.
Second day. Transfer to Kosh-Agach. Overnight at the hotel.
From Third to sixth day. Meetings and rituals with shamans in the Kosh-Agach region. Overnight at the hotel.
Seventh day. Transfer to Giazator. Preparation for the riding part of the journey. Overnight in the hut.
Eighth day. Giazator - Gizator river - Sudobaj stream (2-3 hours on a horseback)
In the morning the horses will be assigned and provided the necessary instructions to ride safely. Everyone will have to bring some of the supplies and equipment of the group into their saddlebags. It starts from the Kazakh village of Giazator and then cross the homonymous river and leave its wide valley by the narrow gorge of the Sudobaj stream. Further ahead the view will open on the entire Juzhno-Chujskij mountain range with its highest peak, the Iktu (3936 meters). On the banks of the Sudobaj stream we will put the camp. There will then be the opportunity to climb, on foot, on one of the nearest peaks to enjoy a wonderful view of the village of Giazator and its valley. Overnight in a tent.
Ninth day. Sudobaj torrent - Kara-Bulak pass (2800 meters) - Kara-Bulak river (6-7 hours on a horseback). You will arrive in the morning at the source of the Sudobaj stream and then face the steep climb to the Kara-Bulak pass, 2800 meters high. On the top of the pass you will see a breathtaking view: before you the mysterious Ukok plateau bounded by the five peaks of the massive Tabyn-Bogdo-Ola, while behind the back you will see the high peaks of the Juzhno-Chujskij chain, with the possibility to see in the distance, the clouds, the three peaks of Mount Belukha, the highest in the Katunskij chain and all the Altai. We descend from the pass along the picturesque banks of the Kara-Bulak river, with their extremely flower-rich flora. The lake at the source of the Kara-Bulak river shows a curious shape and color. We will put camp on the banks of the river, not far from a wonderful waterfall. Overnight in a tent.
Tenth day. Kara-Bulak River - Akkol River - Ak-Alakha River - Kyzyltash - Kalguty River - Ak-Alakha River (7-8 on a horseback). Full and exciting day. We will continue the path along the Kara-Bulak river valley until it enters the Ak-Alakha river. On the banks of the latter we will meet the first archaeological remains. To enjoy a view on the top of the whole Ukok plateau, we will maintain a height of 2600 meters. A plain strewn with innumerable dark alpine lakes, among which white-milk streams meander, will be presented to you. It will open an even more spectacular view on the massif Tabyn-Bogdo-Ola (the Five Sacred Peaks, as they were baptized by the same Genghis Khan), which form the southern limit of the plateau. One of these peaks, Najramdal (4374 meters), is the highest in Siberia after Belukha. Many think that this mountain massif forms the gateway to the legendary Shambala. The plateau has always been considered sacred by the Altai populations. Important archaeological finds have been made here that attest to the presence of turkish, scite, unne and sarmate populations. In the area of Kyzyltash it will be possible to see petroglyphs depicted animals and dating back to 4700 years ago. In the valley of the Kalguta River you can see the remains of a Kazakh cemetery from the late nineteenth century. We will follow the same paths traveled through the centuries by warriors, nomads, merchants and Genghis Khan himself. We will camp at the Ak-Alakha bridge. Overnight in a tent.
Eleventh day Ak-Alakha River - tomb of the "Princess of the Altai" - Bertek barracks - Kalgin-Kul lake (6-7 hours on a horseback). We will continue our hike to the plateau which is a true open-air museum. We will meet by the way archaeological remains of various eras, including kurgan, menhir, stems, other types of funerary monument. We will finally arrive at the place where one of the most sensational archaeological finds in Russia took place, that of the mummy of the "Princess of the Altai", a young woman who is buried in a monumental tomb. We will then pass by a barracks of border guards to check documents, then proceed to Lake Kalgin-Kul, on which blue seagulls fly, thousands of kilometers from the sea! Optionally, you can then go up a nearby hill (2624 meters) to admire the surrounding lakes and mountains from above. Overnight in a tent.
Twelfth day. Lake Kalgin-Kul - Akkol River (6-7 hours on a horseback). Crossing the Ukok plateau, climb up to the Karsulu pass (2500 meters). From the pass you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Tabyn-Bogdo-Ola massif and the whole plateau, the last one, in fact, before leaving Ukok. From here we will begin to descend towards the Akkol river. Overnight in a tent.
Thirteenth day. Akkol River - Bugymuiz pass - Ildeghem river (6-7 in the saddle). For the steppe we will climb up to the Bugymuiz pass (2843 meters). The ascent is not steep and offers sweeping views of the Juzhno-Chujskij chain and the Shenelju massif. We will start an accident before camping in a forest on the banks of the Ildeghem river.
Fourteenth day. Ildeghem River - Giazator (4-5 hours on a horseback). Through the woods we will descend to the valley of the river Gizator and then cross the river itself and return to the village of departure. Well of the ride on horseback. Russian sauna. Overnight in the hut.
Fifteenth day. Transfer to Barangol. Visit historic sites and natural attractions on the way. Farewell dinner. Transfer to Barnaul (850 km). Overnight at the hotel.
Sixteenth day. Return
To know to travel with us
We organize study and research Journeys respecting nature and the cultures we visit. Books and documentaries are born from these trips. We take a lot of time to prepare these trips and still at the last moment before leaving, we reserve the possibility to change the program in line with the movements of the shamans or the characters that it is our interest to meet. Since our itineraries are not touristic, sometimes it is not possible to find accommodation of a high standard but it is necessary to adapt to sleeping in a tent, for example.
The preparation of a journey often requires years of work and we work with a lot of passion. Coming back from our journeys you will extremely enriched and with great inspirations in your heart, with new energies to do, to think, to create. Our travels have given a lot to many people. Sometimes you have to walk, sometimes sleep in a tent, sometimes travel the night because the ritual ceremony that awaits us at dawn is unmissable. But always what you receive in return exceeds a thousand times the effort that required.
Who wants to come with us should accept all the peculiarities of our travels, should have a spirit of adaptability, and be seriously interested in the object of our research.
Who wants to travel with us should appreciate our ability, certainly unique and valuable, to trace paths to discover authentic characters able to give a lot on a human and spiritual level, such as great masters of yoga, shamans, tantric oracles, sadu, budo, etc. Our journeys require love for the earth, for Man, require enthusiasm (en-theos = being in God), intelligence, sensitivity, respect.
A trip with us can give a lot to anyone, but not everyone can come with us. For these reasons we carry out a telephone call or Skype interview with the interested parties before accepting them in our small travel groups.