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Kamchatka >Thermal and Mineral Springs
Thermal and Mineral Springs
Kamchatka's aboriginal people have always considered hot springs, geysers, volcanoes and even waterfalls somewhat inauspicious. The natives were reluctant not only to swim in these "dwellings of the evil spirits," but even to approach them. But the explorers, the pioneers, and the first Russians were immediately attracted to the healing powers of Kamchatka's springs.
Almost 300 sources of mineral water with therapeutic properties capable of treating many ailments have been discovered on Kamchatka. However, the majority of thermal and mineral springs is located in the remote, wild, and undisturbed corners of this land, and remains hidden. Those springs that have been found and developed now welcome visitors all year round. The best known and easily accessible are the Khodutkinsky, Nalychevsky, Bystrinsky, Timonovsky, Opalinsky, and the Nachikinsky Springs. Two major areas famous for their spas and resorts have been created. One of them is Malkinskaya (where the popular mineral water has been bottled for many years); the other is Paratunskaya, a mineral spring known well beyond Kamchatka.
Kamchatka enthusiasts will always ask recent visitors to the peninsula if they have swam in the Paratunka River.
Today the picturesque Paratunka River valley is home to over 20 resorts and lodges. They are located approximately 60 km (37 miles) from the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and are close to a great number of therapeutic and relaxing hot springs. The climate here is milder than in other parts of the peninsula: in the winter the temperatures are not very harsh, the wind is not so strong, and the ground is covered with a deep and soft blanket of snow. The natural hot springs in the valley are grouped in several clusters: the Upper Paratunsky, the Middle Paratunsky, and, the most popular springs, the Lower Paratunsky. The village of Paratunka is located near the Lower springs. The river and the village were named after one of the toyons, the Koryak and Itelmen family clan leaders.
Some of the underground waters have been reached by drilling and are as hot as 92°C (198°F). however, most of the springs are not thot hot, usually 35 to 45°C (95 to 113°F). The mineral content of the water here is about two grams per liter and is composed primarily of chlorine-sulfate, sodium, and quartz. The gas here is nitrogen-based.
Health conditions that are successfully treated at the Paratunka hot springs include cardio, dermatological, gynecological, urological, neurological and non-tuberculosis respiratory system disorders, as well as problems with joints, bones, muscles, and the upper-respiratory system.
Another attraction of this place is the therapeutic mud of the Utinoye Lake.