After three weeks of navigating through the lack of infrastructure and bureaucracy we decided that for one day we would treat ourselves to an organized helicopter tour to Kurilskoe lake, home to 1000 brown bears and spawning grounds for salmons, and to the near by volcanoes and hot springs.
Eager and keen we inched our way from our low-budget hostel popular with seasonal workers in the fishing industry on their way back home (Crimea, Siberia and Uzbekhistan) to the flashy hotel where tourists stay. From there at 9am a bus would take us to the heliport. In true Kamchatkan style: we had to wait. Not for the bus which arrived at 9:15am but for a decision whether the helicopter would set off or not. The weather seemed to be uncertain. We would know by 9:30 which soon became 10:30. Luckily the final decision from the 10:30 weather forecast was that after all the fog wasn't too bad and we could set off to Kurilskoe lake, Ksudach volcano and Khodutka hot springs.
Most guidebooks on Kamchatka don't list hotels or restaurants but places and years where tourists were eaten by bears. Lonely Planet warns travellers that this "ain't Disneyland"... but our trip to Kurilskoe lake was a fun ride!