Lake Dolotzo is 3 km long. The widest part
of the lake is 500 meters. One end of the
lake is "sharp". I think this is the reason
why the lake got its name. Doloto is a sharp
metal instrument, Dolotzo is a small Doloto.
The lake as deep as 30 meters in some places.
The color of the water is brown-black Put
your hand into the water and hold it 10
inches down you won't be able to see it.
The water in the lake has healing qualities.
All your cuts will be healed if you washed
them with this water. Tea made in Samovar
is very tasty, especially if you add some
local flowers in it. But only those who
tried this tea can appreciate it.
back in history this lake and my village
was local center. Russian Orthodox monastery
was situated at the lake. Lutvanians destroyed
it in 17th century (o, these Lutvanians!).
My Grandma Nastia told me that monks hid
all monastery treasures in the big church
bell, then sealed the bell and hid the bell
itself. According to the legend they dropped
it into Dirt Luka silty, swampy part of
the lake. What got into Dirt Luka lost forever,
people say. It was a rumor though that the
bell was not sank but buried under the crooked
(curved) pine tree on the village cemetery.
Giant pine trees are still growing. That's
all what's left of that old monastery. I
remember very vividly that old crooked pine
tree, hanging over the dirt road. I always
shrivel walking that road at night. Big
trees waiving their heavy branches like
claws they are mourning and groaning and
Shanevo is elevated high on the hill. The
entire area is a big hill called Valdaisky
Height. It is known in Russia as the Zone
of Anomaly. You can feel the presence of
special energy in steep old hills and abrupt
cliffs. These curves of the land remind
me of a woman's body. When I'm in Shanevo
I always feel the presence of woman origin
of this land. As you can see on the map
Shanevo village is situated on a plato.
Rivers are going down to North and South
from this elevated area. Famous river Volga
the symbol of Russia takes the beginning
a little further down the map, only 60 km
from the village. Shanevo is surrounded
by marshy land. A very small lake Yaichko
("An egg") very well known in this area
for the great quantities of blueberries,
cranberries and "moroshka" berries. Several
rivers take their beginning from this vast
marsh area including Yavon River, mother-river
for Dolotzo lake.
Famous Russian pilot the hero of the war against
Germans in 1942-1945 had his plane crash in
this marsh. With his legs broken he was crawling
through the marsh for several month eating
only pinecones and drinking water. For a long
time the fuselage of his plane was seen stuck
out of the marsh, locals say. Other sight
of anomaly is in 1 km from the village an
old mine. It housed a strategic weapon with
the atomic warhead. From my best estimation
this head aimed toward to North Carolina,
I have to say that Shanevo people didn't have
electricity until 1970s. They were using oil
lamps, they were making bread in mason stoves
and washing themselves in old style bath houses
with firewood heating and no ventilation (method
"po-chernomu" or "black method" because of
the color of the bath house walls).
Civilization came to Shanevo on the wings
of a military rocket. This rocket was a big
secret, so everybody was told about it. To
insure the secretness of the object they build
a bus stop at the sight. Once I saw that secret
rocket! They lift it up for maintenance, and
the nose of the rocket stuck out threatening
USA! Once a week they were delivering new
team of service men to the sight by helicopter.
The helicopter was flying low above the village,
roaring to the amusement of locals. In the
middle of 80th this secret rocket was disassembled
as part of demilitarization agreement with
US. The only left was that old mine. Parts
of the equipment soon were taken apart by
locals to be sold for color metal scrap. Then
30 meters deep mine was filled up.
For the unemployed locals roaming around the
village former military base is the source
of all kinds of treasures and often the only
source of income. They sell scrap metals to
those "city guys" who buys up. The repertoire
of "goodies" can easily be extended by aluminum
forks and spoons stolen from the houses of
"dachniks" people who goes to the city for
winter and leave their houses unattended.
- Natalia Tuchina
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