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Pevek

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Chukotka : Pevek
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Pevek (Russian: Певек) is a town in Chukotka.

Understand[edit]

Being the northernmost town of Russia (at least, the northernmost settlement, considered urban officially), Pevek was founded in the early 1930s as the principal transport hub for the newly-discovered mining region. Later geological investigations revealed multiple deposits of tin, gold, uranium, and mercury, many of which were put into production.

Once an important naval base and port in the Arctic, this town have lost more the half of its population since the fall of Soviet Union in 1991, with most of the mines closed and their employees evacuated. There are today less than 4,500 residents left altough the future looks a little brigther with the opening of the Northen Sea Route.

Get in[edit]

There is a small airport, 18 kilometers northeast of Pevek with regular flights by ChukotAVIA from Anadyr, Bilibino and Magadan. The usual schedule is one flight per week. Flights to Moscow by Yakutia airlines occur once a week in summer and two weeks in winter. Flights to Mys Schmidta may occur once a month in summer.

The seaport sometimes in the navigation period (roughly from mid-july to mid-september) sees the ships coming from Vladivostok, Vanino, and the Kolyma river (the latter transport coal for the power plant), but the public transportation by sea is absent, unless you manage to hitch-hike a ship.

There is also a seasonal summer road from Egvekinot (on the Bering sea coast) with a branch to Bilibino. These roads generally lack bridges and are passable only on powerful 6WD trucks, if there's no floods on rivers (which occur promptly after any notable rains). In the midsummer, before the start of the navigation (which depends on the ice conditions at the Arctic Sea Route) through traffic of food caravans from Egvekinot may exist (one or few trucks in 1 - 2 days), the journey of 800 km takes around 3 days if you're lucky.

Get around[edit]

Pevek is quite a small town and can easily be navigated by foot. There even exists a single fixed bus route, circling the town roads once an hour or two. Unfortunately there is no bus line to the airport.

See[edit][add listing]

The local nature and history museum (Краеведческий музей, kra-ye-ved-ches-kiy moo-zay), located a bit south-east from the port administration building, is really nice and well featured for such a remote place, but undersigns are in Russian only. In front of the museum entrance there is a small "history park" with statues of Lenin, mine cars, and monuments from abandoned nearby settlements.

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Contact[edit]

Internet should be available at the post office in the house east from the lagoon lake. There is also a computer gaming club (near the Market ("Рынок") shop) which may also offer Internet connection, but it's often closed.

Mobile phones work, unless the transmitting equipment is blown away with another Yuzhak (extremely strong warm catabatic wind from the nearby hills). As of 2011, Megafon usually works, MTS sometimes does, but the GPRS is slow and unreliable.

Get out[edit]

Valkumey - small ghost town about 15 km south from Pevek. Established in 1941, served as the principal source of tin ore for the USSR, until more easily accessible deposits were discovered. One can see lots of abandoned houses, remnants of tin mines and the proceeding plant. Regular transport is absent, but locals sometimes go there for fishing in weekends.

Yanranay - small national chukchi village on the shore of Chauna bay, ~200 inhabitants. The road from Pevek to the airport continues another 17 km to there and is passable by any 4WD car.

Val'karkay - working polar/weather station with 5-7 personnel, the place where the movie "How I ended this summer" was shot. Nearby is the abandoned military site with remains of radars, watchtowers, lots of barrels, etc. Val'karkay is a good hiking destination from Pevek, if you are able to hitch-hike a car to Yanranay and walk another 25 km in the boggy and hummocky tundra (there is a road shown on maps, which leads there, but don't think it's a highway - most of the time pacing it is even harder than nearby untouched tundra, and only around the mountain pass it starts to resemble an extremely neglected mud road). Go there only if you're confident in your outdoor and hiking skills and have all the needed equipment, but if you want to familiarize yourself with the nature of the region, and touch the romance of the early exploration in 1960s - this is a good bet.




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