In Altai, at every step along the road, in every village, where there are more than two houses, and at each camp site - souvenir shops. They have all kinds of wooden and clay products: spoons, combs, mirrors, whistles, masks and traditional juniper stands, which I meet at every resort, wherever I go.
Sellers selflessly tell how one whistle differs from another, than one instrument with a howling sound (called “komuz”) differs from another, which howls even louder. With one string on the string, this is a talisman for the left hand, and the other for the right.
From the experience of past trips, I know that all this will settle in the trash around the apartment, at best, it will be distributed to friends, at worst - cats will play football with the next talisman of abundance.
Therefore, the advice to practical persons (romantic ones will still buy something for “eternal love”) - in Altai it is better to buy the following:
1. The famous Altai balms on mountain herbs and with antler hood (this is from the horns of the deer, which are bred here in maralniki). Balsams are there for everything and from everything, those of antlers are good for men. Not so that the horns would grow, but so that, as the saying goes, “the buoy was standing and the boats floated”. We had a 75-year-old grandfather at the recreation center, so he already bought five pieces of balms and took a course of antler baths. As he explained: “So that the grandmother didn’t seem a little!” Balsams should be taken from Gorno-Altaisk, not Biisk, based on the principle of proximity to raw materials. And in general, their action is better - verified. And it is better to take in rural pharmacies (it is certified there), and not with it.
2. Honey, of course. Honey here is also sold along the road, in every house, all the staff at the recreation center where I rested (massage therapists, administrator, maids) also trade in honey. It is better to take honey on personal apiaries. We had one trip to Askat to artists who also have an apiary. In my opinion, in the owner of the apiary the artist is much inferior to the beekeeper, which you can see for yourself by sniffing and trying a delicious miracle smelling like a flowering meadow.
3. Mead is an alcoholic drink made from honey, hops, spices and something else, sometimes with the addition of alcohol. Excellent cough remedy. Even tasty and intoxicated. It is also better to take on apiaries.
4. Cheese Chergin. All Altai cheeses are very tasty, but "Soviet" and "Dutch" are sometimes taken to other cities, and "Chergin mountain" is eaten on the spot. We had an excursion to the fur farm (not really, I must say), along the way we brought it to a creamery in the village of Cherga, where we bought the freshest "Cherginsky mountain". I regret that I took a little.
5. Local fish - grayling, taimen. We were a little out of season and very much persuaded the lazy local population to save us fish. Local smoked fish is considered a whim because they just freeze it. But our men found the same person who had accumulated a kilogram of 15 grayling for the whole group (before that he had been fishing for a week). Ah, there is no such keyboard to convey the taste of this fish!
6. Local apples, sweet and sour with a pronounced ascorbic taste. True, we got them again with difficulty. The local population does not sell apples: apples crumble and fruits rot on the ground. Bought apples from the maid from the personal garden.
This is my fourth trip to Altai, and the first, when everything bought was not given away as useless, was not lost in the apartment, did not replenish the contents of the garbage cans, but served a useful service, even if only to the stomach.