An old (2003) Russia Journal article about the dacha and horses project

http://russiajournal.com/node/16309

So that it does not get lost should Russia Journal get rid of its archive I’m reproducing the article below. PLEASE NOTE THAT PRICE INFO IS OUTDATED AND THOSE EXPECTING $25/DAY FOR EVERYTHING.. WELL, FINE, JUST GET US SOME SUPPLIED AT 2003 PRICES. The project is still pretty much alive and active under Dima’s management. I am no longer involved with this silliness but will be glad to step in if required. A stopover in Staritsa is a natural part of a Moscow to St. Petersburg trip through small towns and villages.

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Refresh Your Mind at Uncle Pasha’s Dacha

Thu, 2003-09-18 19:32 — admin

Issue Number:
543
Author:
Liz Fudge
Published:
2003-09-19
Does Moscow have you wondering if there is more to life than pretentious restaurants and clubs with go-go dancers and diamond-encrusted walls? If so, I have the perfect antidote: A weekend at Uncle Pasha’s. After a three-month stint of not leaving the city, a came across a curious Web site offering the chance to experience a “genuine Russian dacha in a deserted village” and decided, what better way to regain my sanity than to head for the Russian countryside.

The owner of this dacha, as you may have guessed, is Uncle Pasha. His operation is pretty much a bed and breakfast, located in the village of Dubrovka on the upper Volga, halfway between Moscow and St. Petersburg. To get there, you can either drive or, as I did, take a bus from Moscow to the village of Staritsa, where you will be met and taken across the river in a boat.

Dubrovka is set on a hill overlooking the Volga and provides pristine views of the river valley. For me, though, the real draw of Uncle Pasha’s was the horseback riding. There are three horses that you can choose from to take out on your own, or for the inexperienced rider, you can request lessons for $5 an hour. The location allows for some of the most enjoyable riding I have ever done. There are several trail options to choose from. To the back of Pasha’s property are acres of open fields, or you can take the horses down to the Volga and ride for miles along the river.

For those less equine-inclined, there are caves to explore and forests to hike around, or you can arrange for a boat trip down the Volga. In the winter when the river freezes over, there is ice fishing and “ice-dipping” (which may only seem like a good idea after copious amounts of vodka, which serendipitously, is included in the cost of your stay).
Uncle Pasha’s is truly a family affair. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by his wife (who speaks fluent English) and their adorable 3-year-old daughter, as well as his wife’s mother and brother. Although I never met the famous Uncle Pasha, my hosts while I was there were wonderful. They were friendly and attentive, but pretty much left me alone to soak up the Russian countryside. 

As for accommodations, the Web site makes it seem a bit more rustic than it really is. Yes, the bathtub is in the kitchen, and yes, there are outhouses, but there is electricity and heating, and the outhouses are actually really nice. The rooms are comfortable and spacious, and the main house can accommodate up to seven people.

The cost of a weekend at Uncle Pasha’s is more than reasonable. The basic fee for each night, including unlimited use of the horses and three meals a day, is $25. Excursions and other packages can be arranged. Uncle Pasha’s is a highly recommended destination for a weekend getaway, or, as it is located between the two capitals, a great place to stop over for a night or two on your way to St. Petersburg. For more information, check out Pasha’s fabulously entertaining Web site at www.unclepasha.com.


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