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Old 10-30-2009, 04:01 AM   #31
Colebatch OP
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Tuvan smiles

Back on asphalt near Solchur / Khandagayty, and it was a relatively quick run up to Chadan. The main road west from Kyzyl runs through Chadan.

All business seem to be run by women in Tuva, because the men are permanently drunk. There are a lot of reports from foreigners (quite alarming since almost no foreigners get there in the first place) of being robbed, mugged or assaulted by drunk Tuvan guys. We were warned extensively in the Altai that sane people dont go to Tuva - its too dangerous.

Here are a couple of shop girls in Chadan ... (they dont smile much in Tuva, this is about as good as it gets)

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Old 10-30-2009, 04:36 AM   #32
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Well, if this aint front page material, I don't know what is!

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Old 10-30-2009, 08:02 AM   #33
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i got those same dire warnings about the dangers of tuva before i went this past spring, but saw none of it. the only drunk i encountered was an overly friendly russian dude. i felt very safe there.

thanks for the photos, they are fantastic
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:26 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missadventure
i got those same dire warnings about the dangers of tuva before i went this past spring, but saw none of it. the only drunk i encountered was an overly friendly russian dude. i felt very safe there.

thanks for the photos, they are fantastic
I felt an 'edge' out in the west ... where most of the muggings etc happen, (Mugur Aksy is edgy!!) but it was definately less edgy and more normal by the time we got to Kyzyl. Nothing really to note happened to us apart from a physical altercation with a group of drunk guys just as we were on the road north out of Kyzyl to Abakan. Last town in Tuva in fact.

And drunk Tuvan and Russian guys who kept pestering us to buy them beer while we tried to eat our shashliks in Kyzyl

- - -

Here's the road into Kyzyl coming from Chadan

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Old 10-30-2009, 08:57 AM   #35
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missed one from earlier

This is what an idiot looks like when he thinks its too icy and cold to wade through the water first ... so skips that step and plunges in with the bike ... and it turns out to be deeper and faster than he bargained for.

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Old 10-30-2009, 10:00 AM   #36
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Fantastic photos
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:00 PM   #37
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Kyzyl

The town was the most run down regional centre I had seen in Russia. It was the capital of a republic yet was in dreary shape. You could kind of see why from the combination of two things, the combination of a tendency towards alcoholism that I found quite alarming, and the obvious lack of employment there.

Looking around the town there were dozens and dozens of abandoned soviet era factories. The soviets had clearly invested a unusually huge amount of effort and money to modernise and industrialise Kyzyl, so the collapse of the Soviet Union would have hit here even more dramatically than in other parts of Russia where factories were not so heavily subsidised. There was no reason for the soviets to locate factories in such an out of the way (and uneconomical) place, apart from to improve the lives of the people. It was subsidising Tuva, heavily. Like Mongolia, the place had obviously become completely dependent on soviet subsidies.

Mongolia when I first rode across the place in 1994, was similarly alcoholic and gloomy, following the Soviet collapse. Up to 3/4 of the Mongolian economy had been soviet subsidies, but recent mineral finds have changed the picture incredibly. Mongolia is now a booming mineral hub with billions of dollars pouring in from western, Russian and Chinese mining companies each year. Tuva clearly has found no replacement yet for the soviet subsidies that ended almost 20 years ago.

Here is one abandoned factory, emblazoned as many are, with "Slava Trudu" a soviet kind of equivalent of 'arbeit macht frei' to encourage labor. Work is glorious it means. Yeah, rock on ...



After Kyzyl, its not so interesting. Just a federal asphalt highway north to Abakan in Khakassia, and on to Krasnoyarsk.

A final view of Tuva from the highway:
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:38 PM   #38
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Tuva or Bust!

Thanks to you and Wikipedia, I now know more about Tuva than I ever wanted to know.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:45 PM   #39
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Subedei "the Valiant"

If you are interested in military history, and no doubt many will be, I suggest you read up about one man ... probably the greatest military man in history.

The greatest general the Mongol empire produced was Uriankhai. Subedei "The Valiant" ... aka Subeedei, Subotai, Subutai, Subodai.) was the man behind some of the most brilliantly planned and executed military victories in history. Were it not for the unexpected death of Ogedei Khan in 1241, Subedei (then at the gates of Vienna and having just destroyed the Poles and Germans at Leignitz, and the Hungarians at Mohi) would surely have conquered the whole of Europe.

The enormous countries of Russian and China have each only ever been successfully invaded and conquered by outsiders once in their history. In China's case, a 5000 year history. In both cases it was by the Mongols, and in both cases Subedei was the military brains behind the key victories.

Subedei, along with Jelme, Chepe (the arrow), and Qubilai, were christened "the 4 Dogs of War", by Genghis Khan; effectively his joint chiefs of staff. The term "The Dogs of War" that Genghis gave his senior soldiers, is still used today.

Unlike other great Generals like Alexander or more more modern equivalents, Subedei didnt campaign for a 5 year war, or a dozen year period. He was a General of the Khans from his late teens till he was over 70, and the most senior General since his mid 20s. Over 50 years of almost constant warfare, and constant victories. He conquered more land than any other commander in history.

There is simply no peer. Strategically, or in terms of track record.

I read the military biography Subotai the Valiant before going to Tuva, and it was a fabulous primer.
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:32 PM   #40
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Incredible photos - thanks for taking us along!
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:51 PM   #41
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Out of my world pictures!

According to Wiki, there are 9,000 rivers in Tuva!

Wiki fails to give the number of bridges. By the looks of the pics, a good number less than 9,000!

Keep us posted Colebatch.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:30 AM   #42
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Couple more interesting Tuva Pics I found in the vaults




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Old 11-17-2009, 09:49 AM   #43
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absolutely gorgeous
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:50 AM   #44
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wow..........
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:53 PM   #45
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Truly amazing photos. I have always wondered about the key component in getting such great color and sharpness. Obviously my $200 Elf isn't up for the job, but with your D90 can you get results like yours using the "point and shoot" setting (I assume it has one)? I have way to many hobbies to be taking on photography, at least in really learning f-stops and shutter speeds, etc, but I really want to capture the better moments in life with the quality that you have.

I am not trying to derail your thread, a simple "yes, the auto setting gives these results" or "sorry, not that easy" will be helpful.

Thanks,
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