If those who believe the prophesies—that out of the Russian Motherland will come hope for the planet—were to look for Russia's most magical and sacred places, they would choose ...

(revised May 11, 2007)

You are invited to join the First Cultural-Educational

“EARTH IS A GARDEN OF PEOPLES” International Expedition
ARKAIM June 30-July 1 • ALTAI July 3-18 • LAKE BAIKAL July 19-29, 2007
following the
11th International "Education for World Citizens" Congress, June 27-29, 2007

sponsored by
Siberian Center for Eurasian Projects
Galactic Research Institute of the Foundation for the Law of Time
Altai Mir University
Altai Books


Congress ItineraryArkaim ItineraryAltai ItineraryBaikal Itinerary
Costs & DeadlinesInvitation, Visa & RegistrationFoodInternational Airfare & Insurance
Cultural/Educational ProgramGuides/TranslatorsEnvironmental Consciousness2007 Trek Report
Packing ListRecommended ReadingMapHintsContact UsCost WorksheetRegistration Form

Set your compass on peace and join us in creating this miracle! Awaken your consciousness in three of Russia's highest energy places, supported by an international "family group" of light workers and Mother Earth herself!

The expedition is organized in modules, so you can customize your journey to perfectly meet your needs, joining us for all or any part of the Expedition. To optimize participation by non-Russians, we also offer customized guide/translator packages:

  • Turgoyak Lake, June 27-29: 11th International "Education for World Citizens" Congress (near Arkaim)
  • ARKAIM, June 30-July 1: an ancient, sacred round city in the southern Urals where Zoroaster is believed to have lived
  • ALTAI, July 3-18: sacred healing places in the Altai Mountains in southern Siberia
  • BAIKAL July 19-29: sacred healing places around the marvelously pure Baikal Lake


Congress/Festival - Turgoyak Lake - June 27-29, 2007

Join global citizens from all over the world! The 11th international "Education for World Citizens" Congress and the 12th international "Ural-Planet" Festival will be held concurrently at Turgoyak Lake tourist base near Chelyabinsk in the southern Ural Mountains.

As part of the Congress, you will have an opportunity to participate in "Peace-Mapping"—creating collaborative action plans to build peace with the joint resources you already have. Peace-mapping is a powerful new, archetypally-based peace-mapping model to create strategies for peace with an international group. This model comes directly out of the spiritual energy of Altai.


  • Tuesday, June 26: travel from Moscow to city of Chelyabinsk (in the Ural Mountains) by plane, or by Trans-Siberian Railway (25 hours). Overnight in hotel.
  • Wednesday, June 27: travel from Chelyabinsk to Turgoyak Lake by bus
  • June 27-29: 11th "Education for World Citizens" Congress and 12th Ural-Planet Festival



ARKAIM - June 30-July 1

The mysterious Arkaim archeological site is the most prominent of a number of ancient circular-shaped ceremonial cities along the Eurasian continental divide to the south of the Ural Mountains. On a map, the "Land of Cities" is located in Russian territory just to the west of Kazakhstan. The landscape is grassy, rolling hills (steppe). Some rivers originating in this region flow into the Caspian Sea to the southwest, and others flow north to the Arctic.

In the "Land of Cities" is a burial mound that is believed to be that of Zoroaster. On a hilltop above the archeological site of Arkaim, you will be able to walk a wonderful labyrinth. Thousands of people make a pilgrimage here to celebrate the Summer Solstice, but we, arriving a week later, will have the place to ourselves, to listen to the wind whistle hauntingly through the grass, and to build friendships and sing songs of hope and renewal from many lands, around a blazing campfire, while the Milky Way glows above us.

  • Saturday, June 30: Travel from Turgoyak Lake to Arkaim by bus. "Arkaim Legend" program
  • Sunday, July 1: Celebrate Arkaim sunrise. Visit the Arkaim ancient city (archeological site).
    Travel from Arkaim to Chelyabinsk by bus. Overnight in hotel.
  • July 2-3: Travel from Chelyabinsk to Novosibirsk, north of Altai, by Trans-Siberian Railway (36 hours)



ALTAI - July 3-18

The Altai Mountains have been a place of pilgrimage for millennia. Shamanism is believed to have started in these "Golden Mountains," fostered by the powerful energy vortices here, and the indigenous Altai people who will host our visit are the heirs and keepers of this magical power. A million Russian tourists visit Altai each summer, to soak up the healing energy.

But we will travel far from the crowds, through the "taiga" forests of pine, larch, and white birch, and across hillsides bright with wildflowers—deep into the mystery of Altai. We'll hear the lyrical Altai language in transformative words and song; absorb the wisdom of the elders and share the joy of the children.

We will meet with indigenous Altai people who are dedicating their lives to bringing forth anew the cultural power that is prophesied to be the hope for the world; and we will learn how we ourselves can contribute to this global awakening.


  • Tuesday, July 3: Arrive Novosibirsk.
  • Wednesday, July 4: In Novosibirsk, we will meet with representatives of the "Anastasia" movement that is transforming Russia. Travel to Chuisky Village by bus. "Altai Gates" Center. Russian Banya.
  • Thursday, July 5: Travel to Gorno-Altaisk, capital of Altai Republic, and on to Ongudai, by bus. "Argimay 3000" Center program. Altai and New Time evening program
  • Friday, July 6: Travel to Ust-Kan Village. Opening of an international "Earth Children" village in Oybok place, and visit the ethnocultural "Ene" and "Lad" complexes.
  • Saturday, July 7: Travel to Kirlik. Meeting with Altai terlikcha (white shaman). Transfer to Ust Koksa. "Unity of World Cultures" Meeting. Travel to Verkhniy Uimon village to visit Nicholas Roerich Museum. Transfer to Tyungur village.
  • Sunday, July 8: Visit Akkem former village at conjunction of Akkem River with Katun River.
  • Monday, July 9: Collective project work for an international "Peace through Culture" Center in the framework of an international "Crest 13" network.
  • Tuesday, July 10: "Children of the Earth" program.
  • Wednesday, July 11: Transfer to Nizhniy Uimon village. Eco collective work.
  • Thursday, July 12: Collective artwork for presentation in a joint project. Transfer to Ust Koksa.
  • Friday, July 13: "Earth Is a Garden of Peoples" and "Culture of Peace" international camp presentation at the Altai Republic at the ethnocultural "Source" celebration in Ust Koksa.
  • Saturday, July 14: 200th Anniversary celebration of Ust Koksa village.
  • Sunday, July 15: Transfer through Kirlik, Ust Kan, Gorno-Altaisk to Chuisky village.
  • Monday, July 16: Final Altai Gates meeting. "Golden Way" natural healing center meeting. Travel to Novosibirsk by train.
  • Wednesday, July 17: International round table "Earth Is a Garden of Peoples."

  • July 18-19: Travel to the city of Ulan Ude on the east side of Lake Baikal, by Trans-Siberian Railway (55 hours).


LAKE BAIKAL - July 19-29

Sparkling Lake Baikal, jewel of Siberia, is the largest body of fresh water in the world, creating its own ecosystem and weather patterns. Of course, such majesty invites company—many shamans and spiritual teachers live along her steep, forested shores.

We will purify our bodies in the pristine waters and crystal-clear air. We'll meet with many sacred stewards who embody the magic of this extraordinary ecosystem, and learn how we can participate in caring for this treasure and sharing it with the world.


  • Thursday, July 19: Arrive Ulan-Ude.
  • Friday, July 20: Visit Ivolginsky Datcan.
  • Saturday, July 21: Transfer to Tunka Valley of Buryat Republic. Meeting the head of Tunka Valley administration.
  • Sunday, July 22: "Baikal is a school for ecology and cooperation" meeting. Visit sacred places of Tunka Valley. Transfer to Oka region of Buryat Republic.
  • Monday, July 23: Meeting Hambo-Lama of Oka Datcan. "Call of Baikal" program, devoted to Memory of Danzan Samaev Lama.
  • Tuesday, July 24: Trip to Munko Srdik Mountain.
  • Wednesday, July 25: "Day Out Of Time."
  • Thursday, July 26: Transfer to Irkutsk.
  • July 27-28: Bolshoye Goloustnoye. Baikal. Return to Irkutsk.
  • Sunday, July 29: Depart from Irkutsk.


COSTS & DEADLINES

To provide as much flexibility as possible with both itinerary and costs, we are offering two tracks:
- Budget: meaning "standard" open sleepers on trains, and your tent wherever possible, or
- Luxe: meaning air travel or 4-person "coupe" compartments on trains, and hotel accommodations wherever possible.

Please see the cost worksheet for your specific dates. The trade-off for the flexible itinerary is that the cost worksheet is rather complex. Please feel free to contact Carol (by e-mail at Carol@AltaiBooks.com at any time, or by phone at 206-525-2101 until she goes to Russia around April 20).
All registrations must be completed and paid in full no later than May 15, 2007.


INVITATION, VISA, & REGISTRATION

From the US, Canada, and Europe, a 30-day tourist invitation and visa cost about $150. Apply for the whole 30 days, even if you plan to stay less time. First, you must get an official tourist invitation, which is available through a commercial visa agency such as www.waytorussia or www.gotorussia. Visa agencies can also get your visa for you, for an additional fee. Or if you wish to apply directly for your visa, go to http://www.russianembassy.org/CONSULAT/TOUR-VIS.HTM information and application.

For stays of MORE than 30 days, a business visa is required. Not only does a business visa cost more and take longer to get, the required in-country registration is more complicated and expensive. Please specifically inform us if you plan to stay more than 30 days.

From other countries, costs can be tripled and invitations and visas can be more difficult to get and take much longer (let us know, and we can probably help).

On the plane, before you arrive, you will need to fill out a "migration card" that will be used for your registrations and turned in when you leave. We will e-mail you specific instructions on how to fill out this card. Print the instructions and put them with your passport.

Russian law requires foreigners to "register" their visas in every location where they remain for three days. Practically however, if foreigners are not "registered" for most of their visit, even if they are traveling the whole time, they can be fined upon exit. Sometimes hotels will register visas for no extra charge, but still, you should allow $30/week of your visit for registration fees, and you should keep all your transportation receipts. Global citizens that we are, we must still cooperate with local authorities!

Apply for your visa immediately! Apply for the whole 30 days even if you don't plan to stay that long. Triple check every number and word on both your invitation and visa. (Errors are common!)


FOOD

You are responsible for your own food. Allow $25/day. Most places where we stay will offer a standard Russian cafeteria cuisine (which is wonderfully healthy if you avoid the sugar and white flour). Bring your own specialty foods, snacks, and comfort foods, plus emergency rations for at least a couple of meals each week. Boiling water is generally available, and we will have a water filter pump with us. Nuts, dried and fresh fruits, fantastic juices, vegetables, cheeses, chocolate, cookies/crackers, and great bread can be readily purchased. Bring a cup, bowl, spoon, and pocket knife. For Customs, it's best to keep vitamins and pills in their original containers.


INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE & INSURANCE

We recommend that you make reservations but do not purchase your tickets until you have your visa in your possession. If you are flying east from the US, you will lose a day to time zones.

There are two international major airports in Moscow. If you are connecting, allow at least four hours between flights for Sheremetyevo and three hours for Domodedovo. International Aeroflot flights use Sheremtyevo Terminal 2 and domestic Aeroflot flights use Sheremetyevo Terminal 1. There is a free shuttle between them, but it is hard to find if you don't speak and read Russian. So, if you a connecting and we don't have someone to meet you, be very assertive about getting help to get between the terminals from Aeroflot or a fellow English-speaking traveler (like, before you get off the first plane). Don't believe the reassurances that it's obvious. Make sure someone TAKES you to the shuttle. If you get in a bind, a taxi can cost you $50. Most other airlines use Domodedovo Airport, which has only one terminal for both international and domestic flights.

We advise you to include any flights inside Russia in your international ticket if possible, because they are likely to be cheaper, and you will get an international luggage allowance (usually two 50 pound bags, plus some carry-on) instead of domestic (total 44 pounds including carry-on). To book flights, try airtreks.com (phone them), or Aeroflot (phone them too).

We strongly recommend that you buy travel insurance, including cancellation, medical, and emergency evacuation, from HostelCare Plus; 1-877-233-7028; PRODUCT NUMBER: 007886-P1. NOTE: They usually sell this as part of a Hosteling package, but they do also sell it separately. If you get someone who says they can't sell it to you, call them back and talk to someone different. The insurance will probably cost about $100 per person.


TRIP ORGANIZATION & CULTURAL/EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM

This trip brings you the best possible opportunities, contacts, and programs for environmentally and culturally consciousness-enhancing travel—offered by Russians (including indigenous peoples) who dedicate their lives to offering profound and practical programs for the healing and enlightenment of humanity.

We will be walking a lot. You will enjoy the trip more if you are in good physical condition, although we will do everything we can to accommodate different physical capabilities.


GUIDE/TRANSLATOR

If you don't speak Russian, this service ($45/day) is required. At this price, however, your fees only cover the guide/translator's travel expenses. They will be volunteering their time to support our global spiritual work, so any tips you can manage will be very welcome. Depending on your arrival/departure schedule, we will try to have a guide/translator meet you at the airport and see you off, as well as escort small groups as we travel within Russia.


ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS

A group of conscious travelers can have an amazingly positive impact on both the condition of the places we visit, and as an example for locals. Culturally in Russia, private land is meticulously cared for, but public or shared land is frequently abused. As part of our gratitude to the land of Russia for her gifts to us, we will strive (both individually and as a group) to leave each stopping place in better condition than we found it.


PACKING LIST
  • Please make sure you comply with your airline’s baggage requirements, or be prepared to pay extra fees. The trans-Atlantic luggage allowance is usually two 50 pound bags, plus some carry-on, whereas domestic Russian allowance is usually 44 pounds including carry-on). If you plan to fly within Russia and have a trans-Atlantic flight, try to make the Russian flights part of your international ticketing, because you will then have international weight allowances that are significantly higher.
  • Put your name on everything.
  • Don’t bring anything you can’t afford to lose or have ruined.
  • We will be traveling constantly, so laundry drying time will be minimal. The value of clean clothes must be balanced against the weight of carrying them. Generally, shopping to replace lost or forgotten items will be difficult or impossible. I recommend that you bring clothing that is nice enough to wear to government meetings, but rugged enough to withstand the constant travel. Skirts are much more common for women in Russia than in the US.
  • We suggest that you pack everything in zip-lock plastic bags.
  • Weather is likely to be hot during the day and cold at night, so you will need layers. Rain is likely at some point.
  • If you have questions about gear, e-mail Carol before June 15th.

    1. water-repellent backpack or duffel large enough to hold all your gear (or two smaller duffels). Wheels recommended, but you also need to be able to carry your luggage.
    2. roomy day-pack, shoulder bag, and/or roomy waist-pack for daytime needs and airplane carry-on
    3. sleeping-bag, if you are planning to camp
    4. foam or air sleeping pad, if you are planning to camp
    5. rain-proof mountain tent, if you are planning to camp
    6. ground cloth, if you are planning to camp. I suggest using a mylar space/emergency blanket ($3-4 at any sporting goods store: they make a remarkable difference how warm you will stay at night)
    7. comfortable, solid walking shoes, waterproofed (we'll do a lot of walking)
    8. sturdy walking sandals or a second pair of shoes
    9. socks and underwear
    10. t-shirts or undershirts—2
    11. long-sleeved shirt cotton/poly/nylon, knit or woven—2
    12. long pants—2
    13. sweater—light wool or polar fleece
    14. sweater—warm wool or polar fleece
    15. shawl, or light jacket for city
    16. warm hat
    17. hooded rain jacket (un-reinforced plastic is not sufficient)
    18. towel, soap (both for self and clothes), shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, deodorant, etc. (hint: do not pack soap near food, because the perfume in the soap permeates plastic and can ruin the food)
    19. toilet paper or Kleenex—enough for the entire trip
    20. sunscreen and lipscreen
    21. sun hat
    22. pocket knife
    23. water bottle
    24. sunglasses (sunglasses that clip onto regular glasses are effectively unavailable in Russia. Be sure to bring these if you wear glasses.
    25. watch or small clock
    26. vitamins/medicines/personal first aid kit
    27. personal snacks and special food needs; emergency instant meals (at least 2 per week of travel)
    28. good, lightweight flashlight with new batteries (LED headlamp in the $35 range is a good investment)
    29. mug, and bowl; large spoon
    30. cash: $25/day for food, plus $200-500 spending money (new bills only, with no marks on them; travelers’ checks are useless; credit cards unreliable—bring one anyway, but be sure to let your credit card company know you’ll be traveling in Russia)
    31. concealed money/passport/ticket pouch

    Recommended items:

    1. *waist pack for camera, sunglasses, water, etc.
    2. *lightweight sheet or sleeping sleeve
    3. *waterproof pants
    4. *polar fleece or warm wool pants
    5. *shorts or swimsuit
    6. *notebook and pencils
    7. *camera & film; videocam
    8. *handkerchief
    9. *~20’ 1/8” rope (for laundry)
    10. *clothes-pins (4)
    11. *earplugs
    12. *lighter
    13. *small mirror
    14. *waterless hand disinfectant
    15. *mosquito repellent/sting-eaz/mosquito-net hat
    16. *small musical instrument
    17. *clothes for meetings
    18. *umbrella
    19. *a good book to read and pass on
    20. *memento gifts, such as pens, postcards, pins, CDs, crystals—whatever you'd feel comfortable giving
    21. *business cards


    RECOMMENDED READING


    MAP
    (Click for color enlargement)



    HINTS

    • Update your immunizations.
    • Tick-borne encephalitis is a slight risk in Altai at the time we'll be there. No vaccine is available in the US. The antiviral drug iodantipyrin is effective either preventively or immediately after a tick bite. It's not available in the US, but is available over-the-counter in Russia. We'll help you get it when you get there.
    • Daytime weather may be hot (with rain showers possible), and nights can be cold.
    • Plain bottled water can only be purchased in cities. Seltzer or mineral water is readily available everywhere. We'll bring a water filter to share.
    • You will need cash to purchase food. Your bills must be new or near new: wrinkled, torn, or marked bills will simply be refused—check them carefully. Travelers’ checks are generally useless, but in the cities credit cards are accepted and cash machines are available. Money can be readily changed to rubles in the cities, and not elsewhere. Opportunities will be few to spend money on items other than food. Unless you are a big spender, or are spending extra days in Russia (which can be expensive), I recommend bringing your food allowance, plus $200-500, and a credit card.
    • Leave jewelry, valuables, and breakables at home.
    • Public toilets in Russia can be awful, and generally lack toilet paper. Carry kleenex and hand disinfectant.
    • Be prepared for some mosquitoes and biting flies. Try out your repellent before you pack it, to make sure that you can tolerate the smell of it. A few years ago, some independent testing was done of currently available repellents. DEET is most effective for the longest time, but it is really foul. However, just as effective, but for a shorter time is Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent, available from REI. One 4 oz. bottle is enough for 2-3 people. Also, Ex Officio has developed a line of "Buzz Off" clothing in which permethrin insect repellent is chemically incorporated into the threads of the fabric so it doesn't smell and doesn't wash out—pants shirts, bandanas, hats, and socks. Expensive, but very nice!
    • A word to the wise (which all of you, of course, are): One effect of the high energy where we'll be traveling is that people who are normally high-functioning and competent can become disoriented and/or irrational. Another effect is that everyone’s most difficult personal issues (our energy blockages) come to the surface for healing. So, if someone is irritating you, it is an OPPORTUNITY for YOU. We will all be in this together, and we can come through it with a huge sense of camaraderie and accomplishment only if we take responsibility for ourselves and face our own shadows, and have complete tolerance, compassion, and respect for ourselves and for each other. However, if anyone’s physical health or mental state becomes a substantial risk to themselves or the group as judged by the leaders, they will be evacuated to a medical facility or sent home, and they will be responsible for the cost. The recommended travel insurance covers such situations.
    • A word about logistics: This is a group tour—stay with the group. Even if you go looking for a toilet, make sure someone knows where you are and how long you’ll be. Please do whatever is necessary to be ready for departures at or before the announced times. You are responsible for double-checking that your luggage stays with you. Please help pack and unpack if you are able-bodied. Organize yourself so that everything fits in your duffel or day-pack, and you can carry (or roll) all your stuff at once.
    • Make at 3 complete photocopied sets of your visa, front page of passport, and airplane tickets (for expedition organizers, to carry yourself, and to leave with someone at home). Also, bring extra passport photos.
    • Absolutely buy trip insurance—there are many, many uncontrollable variables.


    CONTACT US

    We are truly glad to talk to you, and address any questions you have. Questions can be directed to Carol Hiltner at Carol@AltaiBooks.com at any time, or by phone at 206-525-2101 until she goes to Russia around April 20).

    Please see the COST WORKSHEET for your specific dates.
    Please mail or scan & e-mail the completed REGISTRATION FORM

    All registrations must be completed and paid in full no later than May 15, 2007.

    Revision date is at the top of this page. Please check back periodically for updates. Details may still be added.