Traveling back to his beloved Kamchatka Peninsula after an absence of a number of years, writer Rene Limeres finds that that you can’t stop what you love from changing. And while Russia seems a different place to him now, what he truly loves — the fish, the fishing, the landscape — has remained.

It is a long and wearisome trek from the United States to the Kamchatka Peninsula these days—nothing like the mid-’90s when you could board an Aeroflot or Alaska Airlines flight in Anchorage and be in Russia a scant three hours later. But, as with any great pilgrimage, it is the journey, not the destination that is most important. At least this is what I’m telling myself in the middle of a two-day ordeal of long flights and layovers en route from the American West Coast to Russia’s Promised Land in time to lead a group of fishermen down one of its fabled riv

Seoul, South Korea—boarding a new Airbus A330 here, the flight attendants of Vladivostok Air seem more like models with their svelte, sky-blue outfits, perfect smiles, and sexy broken English. Maybe it’s my age or my recently wrecked marriage, but the Tanyas, Lenas, Katarinas, and Nadias are looking especially good. It’s comforting to be surrounded by their culture once again, as it has been almost a year since I was last in Russia.

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