Time Traveler: Land of Fire and Ice

Looking for adventurous tourism? Try Russia's Kamchatka, one of the wildest places on earth

If you hike through Kamchatka, in Russia's Far East, you will probably meet more brown bears along the trail than foreign tourists. The first bear we encountered, a ragged eight-footer, ignored us as it lumbered squarely in our path while foraging for blueberries. Our guide fired his rifle into the air to no avail. After an hour's wait in cold drizzle, we crept past the munching behemoth, which glanced at us indifferently. A mile or so later, a mother with two cubs charged at us from the far side of a stream but lost interest as we scurried away. "Only if...

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