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Old 12-09-2009, 10:05 AM   #106
Colebatch OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pioter
Thanks for that Colebatch. Though you name yourself no guru, your pics are guru'ish for sure.
I myself tend to underexpose my photos too. You are right, there is this atmosphere when a bit dark. And yes, it was the cludy sky which gives kind of HDR feeling.
Thanks Pioter.

I should mention there are a few pics on the thread taken with the compact G9 camera by Tony, but I typically have to spend a bit more time editing these, to make them darker, and to try and get the colours to match. They still tend to suffer from burnt sky, as the G9 pictures were all taken without using filters.

[edit ... like the 3 photos on post 112, down by the sea in Magadan]
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:12 AM   #107
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Russia-Perm to Khabarovsk?

Hi, thanks for your great adventure website and accounts of your trip in Russia. I am curious to ask about potential routes from Perm to Khabarovsk. Are there some possible to dual sport routes between these points? The reason I ask is me and my twin brother have a personal connection to Russia, and I am thinking of re-connecting to our past via dual sporting.

My family came from France to Russia in the 1870'-80's to seek a living. They settled in Khabarovsk to enter into the trading business, such as sending furs back to France. My Great-great grandfather (GGGF) was also a photographer, who built several homes and a studio in Khabarovsk. In the 1880's he documented much of the indigenous live in that area, which borders China. However after the Russian revolution, my family fled to Shanghai China where my father was born. However my Great Grandfather (GGF) stayed behind, and he actually took on Russian citizenship.

The fate of my GGF was unknown, until uncovered by my father after several trips to Khabarovsk, and personal visits to the KGB offices. My father read the KGB files and found out my GGF was executed during the Stalin purges, and our family name is on a monument and several buildings in Khabarovsk. The Russian government issued a formal apology to my dad. My father just returned from a trip to lay flowers at my GGGF's resting place, and visit the local museum that houses original photos taken by our GGGF.

I have a friend that lives in Perm, works for the city, and we have friends in Khabarovsk (officials and such) who could extend formal invitations to me and my brother to visit.

So....I have the thought of me and my brother returning to our roots in Khabarovsk, to visit our GGGF's memorial and further complete the circle....by dual sport if possible! Of course, this would take several years to plan for.

Any thoughts or suggestions? What rough time/distance would be involved, and what routes might be best? Other issues?
Thank you!

Family pictures taken by my GGGF taken in his studio in Khabrovsk, c 1880's







My father after return from Khabrovsk, with Soviet hat. He was recovering from a bad flu caught there!


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Old 12-09-2009, 12:16 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Buell78753
I am curious to ask about potential routes from Perm to Khabarovsk. Are there some possible to dual sport routes between these points?
Its a fair way from Perm to Khabarovsk ... and the most obvious way is the Trans-Siberian Highway. It is full of 40 ton articulated trucks these days and by about this time next year will pretty much be all asphalted too. However, with the exception of a few interesting bits, the bulk of this main road is a little on the boring side.

There is quite a variety in Siberia of road conditions. The safe bet, if you are on a larger bike or uncomfortable about doing thousands of miles off road into tiny villages where no-one speaks English is to stick with the Trans-Siberian Highway.

If you want to get a bit more 'medieval' and challenging there are a couple more alternative routes across the country that I will detail in posts over the coming months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buell78753
What rough time/distance would be involved
On the main road, you could do it in 10 days if you push it, but you are better of taking a bit of time, seeing a bit of Siberia and taking 3 weeks or so. It's about 5000 miles you will need to cover, going the short way. But if you are seriously thinking of riding in Russia, finding out the rough distance between two major cities is pretty basic prep work ... you're gonna need to be able to do that stuff yourself!.
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:17 PM   #109
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Great story and pics!

Thanks for sharing!

Best greatings from Germany
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:34 PM   #110
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The Mask of Sorrows

As we rode over the top of the final hill and into Magadan, the Maska Skorbi (Mask of Sorrows) monument was lit up overlooking the city on our right. It had to be our first stop. The monument is a moving tribute to the 2 million people who lost their lives under the Gulag system. (thats about 6 times as many people as either Britain or the US lost in the entire second world war - to give it some sense of scale. Six times what the US lost in the entire WWII, in all theatres, and yet there is only this one monument to them all)

It carries a lot of weight, as indeed it needs to, to represent all those dead. It was a lot more moving than I expected it to be.

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Old 12-09-2009, 07:44 PM   #111
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Maska Skorbi

Like many Russian monuments, the closer you get to it, the more powerful it becomes. The ultimate power to move comes from the small bronze statue behind the concrete mask of a small girl on her knees, weeping.





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Old 12-09-2009, 08:55 PM   #112
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Pacific Ocean

The next day, we rode down to the Pacific Ocean. To ride out over the shoreline and onto the pier meant we had crossed two continents, both Europe and Asia, from Atlantic to Pacific on 2 wheels. While it wasn't the first time I had done that, it was the most interesting route I had done it by!


While down there enjoying the tranquillity of the bay, overlooked by hills still sporting snow, a couple of local girls started enquiring as to where we had come from.


We decided against their suggestion of doubling them both back to England with us, but I did give one girl a feel of what its like to sit in the cockpit of the mighty X-Challenge! No doubt it was a tremendous thrill.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:08 AM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch

We decided against their suggesting of doubling them both back to England with us
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:07 AM   #114
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Thank you for doing this Ride Report! The pictures are awesome! This part of the world has been interesting to me since I saw Long Way Round but your pictures brought out the beauty that TV could never capture. The pictures of the Maska Skorbi were very touching. Thanks again, Bob
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:04 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by pioter
Another question is the bear issue in Syberia. I know Motosybiera 2.0 guys met a lot of them. Did you? If yes, how often and what is the safe way to get along with them?
Tony saw one in the last hour along the Tenkinskaya Trassa, when were about 100 km from Magadan. They are all over Siberia but much more common near the coast. They feed mainly on salmon, so they are common near rivers within 100km of the coast. The one Tony saw had scattered by the time I rode past 30 seconds later.

Most of my 4 months in Siberia this year was inland, and though all of the country I rode through is bear country, I didn't actually see any, though I had one very scary experience knowing a bear was very close to me and watching me when I was bogged in mud ... but that's for another post as it was in another part of Yakutia not covered by this thread.

The MotoSyberia 2.0 guys were very near the coast for pretty much all of their summer (apart from one river cruise), and surrounded by scavenging bears when at a fishing camp on the coast ... so theirs was very much a different experience to mine.

Bears don't like engines. They don't like noise and they don't like exhaust gases / smoke. I have a very noisy exhaust, which can be heard a very long way away. Bears that hear the engine riding by are likely to keep a low profile. Talking to biologists in Magadan who are out in the woods almost every day, told me that on a good year for salmon, the bears are unlikely to be a problem. If its a bad year for salmon, the bears will be hungry, and anything goes.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:32 AM   #116
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The Pilgimmage

Dinner for the first night in Magadan was part of a ritual. There is a Chinese restaurant in Magadan, just around the corner from the Magadan Hotel which has seen a number of motorcycle expeditions sign its guest book. Sibirsky Extreme had dinner there so that we could peer through this said guest book, and add our names to the roll of honour.

We walked in, and the lady of the house recognised our jackets ... so her first question was "motorcyclists?".

"Yes" I answered in Russian.

"Polish?" She asked?

I dont know what it is about these damn poles, but a lot more of them seem to get up to these parts than any other nationality.

"No, English" I replied, but I understood the reasons for her question as I sat down and she handed me the guestbook, without me even asking for it. She smiled knowingly ... she seems to understand she is part of a Road of Bones motorcycling ritual now.

There were two recent entries from within the past 2 weeks ... scrawed in mad Polish scribble; one page from Mac, Mirek and Gregor - MotoSyberia 2.0 and the other one was the Motogryf boys a week later.

Tony and I scrawled our entries into the messy guestbook, and completed this Road of Bones riders ritual with a chinese dinner.

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Old 12-10-2009, 09:37 AM   #117
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Fantastic account of a great journey mate. Well done!!
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:46 AM   #118
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Excellent report and pictures.

Thanks!
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:48 AM   #119
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What a great ride report....well done you guys!
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:55 PM   #120
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The people you meet in Magadan

We met a guy in the reception of the Magadan Hotel who was very keen to say Hello. It was Gregor, part of the MotoSyberia 2.0 expedition. Gregor bailed out and returned to Magadan, leaving Mac and Mirek at the fishing camp by the coast where they had been holed up for two weeks. Gregor's return was a 5 day journey by boat and plane and was extremely happy to meet a few other europeans, let alone european motorcyclists.


He was just checking into our hotel when we met and we swapped numbers. Tony and I were still trying to cement our way out of Magadan, but we met Gregor again later in the day for a few beers...


And what was called "myasa po tropiisky" (tropical meat). It was a piece of pork with a flaming ring of pineapple on it. Tastier than it looks actually.


Mac called in from his satellite phone while we were having beers with Gregor; he was returning from the fishing camp. The plan was to find another way to Chukhotka, via Seymchan and the Kolyma River and he wanted to know would I want to join them.

I had to pass but I wished him the best. I thought to myself "if anyone was going to make it to Chukhotka by bike, it will be Swinarski". He is a crazy son-of-a-bitch, but he has a determination and focus like steel.

Tony and I had spent they last few days desperately trying to find a way out of Magadan. Air / Boat anything (its tough leaving Magadan in the summer) and eventually had found a ship to take the bikes to Vladivostok. We had bought our air tickets and the bikes were being loaded tomorrow. Our exit plans had already be made. We had a friend, Terry, from England we were due to meet in Vladivostok in a few days time and ride with back to England.

- - -

By way of additional information, at at summer 2009, there are pretty much daily flights to Vladivostok and Moscow, flights a few times a week to Khabarovsk - but spare seats are very scarce. Tony and i were both effectively "wait-listed" for a few days before we finally got seats. Cargo ships sail from the port here to the rail heads at Vladivostok & Vanino, and more rarely Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

There are no international flights, and I doubt very much there would be any international ships.

Realistically, the main ways in or out are (1) road, (2) flight to/from Moscow (3) boat to/from Vladivostok
.
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