Sunset at 821st, Altai Republic, Russia by Sergey Zinets

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I discovered the 821st by pure luck! It’s a 821km of Chuyskiy Tract – The main road that connects South Eastern Russia with Mongolia, an ancient route dating back to 1700s. It’s one of the top 5 most scenic roads in the world! So, you can imagine, it’s a gem of a road for photographers! There are hundreds locations around it in Altai Republic. I visited Altai many times before but never on a solely photo mission.

I did a bit of planning, but I was still confident that I would be able to figure out what to shoot right on location and 5 days will suffice. Well, needless to say that I was mistaken! This time I decided to go a bit farther, to the border with Mongolia, far from the main touristic part of Altai. That’s where the gems started to pop up right and left. In the end, it took me twice as more time to get to my base camp. I was at a loss what to do. Shall I go back and continue working on the spots I discovered along the way and spend at least 3 days on it or continue with my original plan? I ended up taking a local guy’s advice who gave it to me with a smile on his face: “Go and see the 821st!” So I did! The 821st is not on any attractions list which is truly amazing as it’s just a few feet away from the main road. It was close to the camp and it allowed me to try a sunset, sunrise, and even a midday shoot without ruining my original plan. I satisfied my craving for something new and unplanned! And then…The time came to head back, but that’s a whole other story.

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