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Главная » 2010 » Сентябрь » 3 » Russian River Quest 2010 by anonymous author from the UK with Russian accent
Russian River Quest 2010 by anonymous author from the UK with Russian accent

Annotation from administrator:
The report was written by the our guest from UK who is not get used to severe Russian reality . And his point of view may not be consistent with other participants feelings. In any case anyone may leave his/her impression about the trip in the comments below. Ilya magnanimously agreed to give his comments.
More photos from the event are available in the event's gallery.

Ilya: I'll try to fill some gaps and provide a few comments to those reading this review but who hadn't seen everything with their own eyes, as I afraid that an wrong impression of the past event may occur.

Sasha: Although, there are not many suitable places in the vicinity of Sarov and after 6 hours in the Chinese bus that was broken several times during the trip, we already felt as the adventure has started. It continued on an open water with unpredictable thunderstorm with some unable to swim and others looking for clues at the bottom on the river. A number of dead fishes floating tummies up and panicking instructors ringing each other to consult what to do were not very encouraging.

Ilya: All in all, the way to the place took approx. 6 hours. This included 1 hour of collecting people inside Sarov and at Technopark, and an hour spent on fixing the bus. A few people compensated not working air conditioning by ice-cream and cold beer (which I actually tried to keep until the evening barbecue). It's worth mentioning that finally we got to the destination place with just a few minutes delay and did not have to adjust our schedule. The bus was fully fixed on the way back, the driver and the transport company apologized for all inconveniences and compensated a part of money paid for the bus.

The first competition 'River Quest' started after the lunch. The whole group was split into two parts (with my minor instructions) and brave leaders were chosen (Oksana for one team and Anna for another). Everybody were warned to left their cameras and phones as they could be damages (as appeared, this was a reasonable warning), so not many photos were made during the quest, unfortunately. The boat race started at the same time with a heavy rain and thunder! This created unforgettable atmosphere of real adventure. Some unable to swim people were feeling uncomfortable in the boats, but that was more caused by the thunder, as obviously, the 1-1.5 m depth can not frighten people. Dead fishes? Hmm. I did not see them. But why not? This is a river, and fish live there. Sometimes it dies...

Our instructor Masha was calm and confident (at least, for a young girl being asked various questions constantly by several worrying people). And yes, she called several times to another instructor to coordinate commands actions (before here phone was wet and broken down in a rain).


Sasha: The search for ‘treasure’ has continued on an abandoned river platform with clues mixing with rubbish left 20 years ago by drunken members of staff. This was dangerous in places and some have been literally wounded with no First Aid available. Luckily (for us and the organisers) the most serious blood losses were due to ant, flies, mosquito’s and other animals bites.

Ilya: For another team, the quest first started on island and continued on river platform (landing stage). The tasks on the landing stage was a real test! A combination of logical quests and physical challenges did not left anybody indifferent. Though, the safety of some tasks could be better organized, and the stage itself could be cleaned, but will the contents still remain so memorable and will it be discussed the next days? And will participants feel like winners even loosing contests but overcoming difficulties and even themselves?

Sasha: To exit the nasty platform the teams must compete with silent masters, who gave clues on how to find a treasure, when they were beaten. Unfortunately, to do the latter literally was not easy due to obvious good physical condition of the masters, so we had to go the honest way and suffer our way out.

The two teams met on an island in the middle of the river, where some food was provided. By that time the hunger was stronger than the smell of the nearest self-organised toilets. After mutual self-abusing conversations, one team has moved deeper to the island and another back to the platform to find even more disgusting details. It is worth mentioning that this team of ‘future loosers’ has stolen a vital tool from the ‘future winners’ boat. The latter has played a key role in the final humiliation that will be described later.

The island has been guarded by even stronger silent masters who continued to exchange clues for humiliating middle-aged tasks. Unfortunately, we have left our modern day money in the camp and were not able to bribe the masters, who apparently showed no mercy to so unresourceful people.

Ilya: The island contests were: to burst a balloon with a self made arrow and bow, to hammer a nail faster than a 'master of game', to collect a deck of cards hidden in bushes and trees, to climb a tree and get a message, and finally to assemble a puzzle pointing to the treasure, etc. Probably some people may call (hopefully with a sense of humor) such contests as 'humiliating' and jokes between commands as 'mutual self-abusing conversations', but I don't agree (most likely, because my English is not so perfect to feel this humor). One thing, which I don't like was mosquitoes and ants. Others were adventures.

Sasha: Nevertheless, some clues have been hard-earned and the ‘future winners’ had to go back to the big land and look for hidden chest, which surprisingly contained a big bottle of ‘Cutty Sark’ whiskey. After opening the chest the winning team was so overjoyed that extra force to swim to the river platform was easily found.

On arrival, some active members of the winning team has professionally created a small sabotage by stealing all the other team boats and watching from the safe distance, how the loosers had to perform songs and dances to earn forgiveness. It is worth to mention that by that time we were not yet drunk and no one wanted to swim to the boats in the green water (the swims did take place later around the midnight).

Ilya: Nice joke was this sabotage (I was not in the team of winners)! Comparing to this, such a innocent trick with stealing 'a vital tool' (actually it was a hammer, which was easily replaced with a ax for a task with nails) looks like nothing. Moreover, stealing a command's flag next day was a revenge not mentioned here.

Sasha: The happy end has been celebrated by drinking the whiskey together and artificially created enemies becoming friends very quickly. The friends became best friends shortly afterwards in the free bar watching together a beautiful sunset and eating an outstanding barbeque. At this stage I am not able to proceed due to a sudden memory loss.

Ilya: Sharing a bottle of whiskey after exciting contests was a kind gesture from the winners and really the happy end! But for the first day only (frankly speaking, the day ended with extraordinary sauna (photos were deleted following some personal applications) and a bar with beer, vodka and even some dancing.

The next day brought more competitions. The same teams (now they had to invent teams names: Gudok (Hooter?) and Smile and corresponding motto) competed each other in different sports: relay race, shooting, etc. Team members had to help and support each other, so the best motto for the day could be 'no one left behind!' A few of events were held in water and a small pool, which was quite exciting taking into account the hot weather! Gudok team won with a little advantage and was awarded with a Cup which can be seen in the office now.

The victory as celebrated in the bar with some free beers (to the delight of those sportsmen who spend too much time in a bar the day before and, as a consequence, felt thirsty from the very morning). The rest of time after the lunch and before the bus was spend differently by different people. Some (probably more exhausted after the sport events than others) - in the bar, some in rooms, some played football, some rode horses, some rode bicycles, some jumped on trampoline, some were towed to the middle of river on an inflatable 'banana'. So, everybody had a choice depending on remaining strength and desires.


Sasha: I have deliberately pointed your attention to the scary points and left out a number of enjoyable and literally team-building events.

For example, when the bus was broken and you are locked in with 20 intelligent people, this can not be a problem anymore. You should have heard the jokes flying in the air. This was certainly a joy, not a technical problem.

Yes, certain River Quest places were rough, but this was a truly unique experience! You can not find anything similar in the UK or anywhere in Europe. It is worth to mention that tasks that might sound silly, have been well organized and the teams participated quite seriously with desire to win.

The place in located on a river/lake bank. All the facilities are new and nice. Sauna was very good. Drinks were fine. Alexander was a star by playing guitar and I have o mention again preparing excellent barbeque. He also was a true star next day, when we had sport competitions, bicycles, horse riding, football, etc. I do not have time to describe the next day activities, but there were plenty, if not to say too much.

Ilya: To finish, I should say that as usual, I conducted a small survey after the event and the event scored very high marks (for the food, accommodation, and the venue itself) and most of feedbacks were positive (I'll announce them later). I have a feeling, that some (minor for optimistic people) drawbacks, kindly noted by Sasha in his review, did not spoil the whole event and no one regrets about a weekend without their families!

All people did the best they can, and showed their best and, sometimes, unknown sides and features of character, the ability of overcoming difficulties (expected and unexpected)! Wearing a unique corporative t-shirts added to the spirit of unity!

There are more photos in the event's gallery. Camp's web site: http://www.vmestehorosho.ru/ .

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