The Ay river

January 1, 1970

by Anastasiya

The Ural

If you don’t know what to do with your life or cannot look on the bright side, I would advise you to visit the Ay river of the Southern Urals, the Russian Federation. You will relax surrounded with gurgling water, listen to the silence of the nature and the most important thing: you will sleep very comfortably with fabulous dreams!

The Ay was named by Bashkir tribes who has been living here for a long time. The name of the River in translation from the Bashkir language means “moon” because the Ay river is very quiet, beautiful and has a lot of places with shallow water. In the past the Ay reached the depth of 200 m, but situation has changed and the river reaches now the average depth of less than one meter.


 Let’s start travelling!

We were rafting for 3 days and 2 nights. It happened on 26-30 August. My friends run essential organisation tasks of our rafting adventure and I always helped them. The first day we slept in the bus, we got acquainted with our team which was composed of 40 people. We were driving  from Kazan to the Urals for 12 hours. During our journey we were sleeping and once in a while we stopped to have some meal. We arrived at 10 a.m, cooked  lunch, after that we unpacked our rafts and pushed them into the water at 12 a.m. Team had 5 rafts. We were rafting for 6 hours, when we saw the sunset and stopped on camp to cook dinner.  The food cooked on the camp-fire was marvelous! Also, we looked at the stars with the cheapest wine we had bought and sang songs to a guitar. Our team was happy and friendly like a large family! We also told interesting stories to each other. After some evening activities we went straight to the tents.

Our team

Our team

Unfotgettable feelings: caves, cliff  jumping and natural sauna!

On the second day the evening was planned because we wanted to visit a lot of caves and collect stones. Part of those aims we would achieve, but we didn`t have enough time for everything planned. I woke up early that day, maybe at 6 a.m. Although one woman, whose name is Larisa, had woken up at 3 a.m! I was shocked! I asked her whether she had insomnia. Fifty years old woman responded to me that she had meditated in silence and done some yoga exercises in the forest. Larisa and I washed the dishes and tried to make a fire. We couldn`t do it. That’s why Andrew from Ukraine gave us a helping hand. When tea was bowling, people started to wake up and have morning shower. Although we had only some wine to drink, travelers of our team had brought with them some home-brew vodka. Despite this fact, none of them felt sick or had hangover. When all food was cooked, our team had breakfast. We packed up and drifted to the first cave. Several times we drank hot tea and slept on rafts. The weather was so unstable. When there were clouds in the sky, it was getting cold and rainy. However, when the sun came out, it was getting hot and I wanted to swim in the river. We stopped by the fist cave but we didn`t stay there long, so we moved on to the second one. There there was cliff jumping.  At the end of second day it was so rainy, but our men went to collect some stones to make natural sauna from it. It really was unfotgettable! After that we had a pilaf and lots of mulled wine. All people sang to a guitar and we were hugging each other like real friends. At last we slept in the sleeping bags in tents.


Cliff jumping



Unplanned stop and geyser secret.

On the third day, a girl fell from the raft into the water! It was awful because it was rainy and cold. I helped her to dress warm and dry clothes. The team ate a little and drank some wine to get warm during this unplanned stop. On the third day we were drifting along the river only with a single stop by a magnificent geyser. The geyser looked so beautiful in the sunlight. We saw that the geyser formed a rainbow. It`s known that geyser does not freeze in winter even in thirty-degree frost, that’s why I thought that it should look very nice in winter! Our team also drunk mulled wine and sang songs because the weather was so cold and nasty! Sometimes we saw animals from village or forest! We saw wild horses, ducks and geese from the village! My friends presented the local residents wine and food. They gave us the local home-brew vodka! We were delighted!


The cungur cave


The geyser

New friends

The team was so tired after the journey. We slept more than on the first day in the bus!
We returned to Kazan very happy and content! The team has become my real friends and now we are deciding on a new destination for our rafting adventures. We are thinking of visiting Karelia! See you in my next journey, my friends!





By Anastasiya

I`m just a student.


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