Geysers in Siberia

On a tour of the Kamchatka Peninsula, Siberia, Russia, with Betchart Expeditions (Cupertino, CA; phone 800/252-4910 or visit www.betchart, we flew by helicopter to the Uzon Caldera and the Valley of the Geysers.

Uzon Caldera, the large, fairly flat-floored crater of a collapsed, long-dormant volcano, is largely open meadowland with many wildflowers and several ponds. The first things we saw were a mother brown bear with two of her cubs frolicking on the far side of a large pond.

There was a boardwalk that looped past different types of terrain and plant communities beside another pond. In one place it crossed a narrow fissure with steaming hot springs and bubbling mud pools. Both the valley and the surrounding scenery were truly spectacular! Geysers erupted constantly.

Richmond, VA