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Old 01-03-2012, 08:47 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Xdream View Post
to be continued.... promise

I'm waiting you arrive at Magadan to start my report
Luis Lourenco
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:31 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by LuisLourenco View Post

I'm waiting you arrive at Magadan to start my report
haha yeah - great idea. I am afraid you have to wait longer in front of your computer than you had to wait in magadan. I am by far a better motorcyclist than a writer. Well, maybe not better, but at least faster.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:12 PM   #63
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lets go on.

So I finally got out of Moscow. My goal this day was to get to Kazaan. I heard itīs quite a nice city so I wanted to do some sightseeing there.

The temperature was quite hot, around 35 degrees celsius, but clouds were building up quick. The road was good and the traffic was ok. There was a constant change between highway and country road. The scenery was mainly flat and boring, just a few hills. In the beginning there were some trees, later there was only farmland, similar to Oklahoma.

Something I have seen in every part of Russia, no matter if it was near cities or in rural regions. You can buy just anything right at the roadside. Coffee, Tee, Mushrooms, Berries, but also stuffed animals, fishing equipment and rubberboats. Somethimes there were hundreds of people at the roadside selling stuff, but I have not seen any customers for hundreds of kilometers.

I did not take much photos at this stage of the journey, so please excuse that I do not have more of those.

Also something I started to recognize is, that the houses along the roadside were very nice at all times. Even in the muddiest and smallest towns, the place around the houses were clean and nicely taken care of. I travel a lot in the US too, and if you see houses in rural regions there are at least 3 rusty cars, 5 rusty motorcycles a washer and a dryer and lots of other stuff around the house. I did not see any of those in Russia. (maybe they do not have anything to throw in their backyard.

Something Russians like too, are memorials and war stuff. You see them just about everywhere. I liked this one, you could ride on ground, flip it over easily and continue on water. (it might need 2 persons to flip it over).

Getting meal was funny too. The restaurants I have been to never had a menu in english. I knew a few things but mainly I just pointed at things other persons had to eat and what looked good. I mean, you always can order shaslik, but you also want to taste other things right?

So here I ordered a Salmon steak. I pointed at it and the waitress asked me something. I did not know what she meant. She did not stop asking, but I had not a clue what she was asking. It took about 15 minutes. The cook was there already and other guests and 2 other waiters. I was nearly crying, because I just wanted to have this tasty peace of salmon.

Suddenly the cook disapeared and apeared again from the kitchen with a piece of bread. They were asking me since 20 minutes if I wand bread to my salmon or not. Russians

Here is the salmon


and after

soon after noon it started to rain again.

It was not raining, it was pouring for hours until i reached Kazaan just at sunset. The rain stoped and I got into town, found a nice and cheap hotel and went to bed.

Xdream screwed with this post 01-05-2012 at 08:20 AM
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:27 PM   #64
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gald to see you back at it...writing this report that is cheers, and great video!
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:53 PM   #65
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Awesome story so far - looking forward to the rest. You will also have to give us some information on how easy it was to get Visas and to navigate with very little Russian language.

Vielen Dank!
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:57 AM   #66
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Visa and other Information

Visa itselfes was not a problem at all. I was able to choose between a 1 month tourist Visa or a 3 month business Visa. One month would have been enough for my trip. But I took the 3 month business Visa. I will tell more about the reason later.

Getting the Visa sounds complicated, but isnīt too much if you know what to do.

A business Visa ist just called a "business Visa" it has nothing to do with business. You can obtain it as a normal tourist too.

What you need beside your passport and the application form is an invitation from a russian travel agencie and a hotel reservation for the first nights.

For the invitation and the hotel reservation I googled a bit and found some sites that offer invitations and pro forma reservations. Means you get a voucher, but itīs nothing booked. But this is enough for getting the Visa.

On your application form you have to mention your route. I wrote just anything. Moscow and Novosibirsk or something like that. Nobody ever cared.

You also need an approval that you have an health insurance. Thereīs a list for every country, which insurance is valid.

Most important thing was, to PRINT the application form right. The application form goes through a scanner-thing and so you have to make sure that itīs the appropriate paper size and the boarder of the application form is exactly 8mm from the boarder of the paper. Otherwise the Visa will not be issued.

My printer always made som adjustments, so I was not able to print the form in the right style. I had to ask somebody else. That was the biggest problem with getting the Visa.

As by the law, you have to register your Visa within 7 days after arriving in the country. That means, just going through customs and get your Visa stamp is not enough. Your Visa has to be registred by an Hotel. If you donīt stay at a hotel you have to go to the local office to register.

Hotels normally only register if you stay more than 3 nights, because ist some serios work for them. I was lucki in Kazaan. There was a very friendly receptionist that registred my Visa. I think I would not have done it, if it would have been more difficult to get the registration.

I had to stop at 3 police checkpoints overall. Nobody ever asked for that Visa registration. Also when I left Russia nobody ever asked. I donīt know what itīs for, but its better to have.

Some also say, you only have to register, if you stay more than 3 nights at the same place. Did not find out if that is true. At some point you might have problems to proof that you did not stay more than 3 nights at a place, especially when you are travelling 3 month.

Some Hotels wanted some money to register and told me, that I need this registration when leaving the country. I refused and nobody asked about hotel registrations when leaving russia. Not sure if they just aim for some extry bucks in the hotels.

More about Motorcycle registration in Russi later
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:38 AM   #67
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This is great info, more please!

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Old 01-04-2012, 09:23 PM   #68
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I'm in.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:52 PM   #69
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Glad to see you back posting!
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:50 AM   #70
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Good report, thanks for posting.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:28 AM   #71
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Bollocks! That's another ride added to the bucket list.

Cracking video and report, thanks for taking the time to share and lure us in
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:20 AM   #72
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I'm in... great video and story so far
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:12 AM   #73
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Day 4: Kazan to Chelabinsk

I got up very early after just 6 hours of rest. I did some sightseeing but it was to early to get right into the Kremlin of Kazan. This is a wonderful piece of history and architecture. within the Kremlin you find churches of different religions and its absolutely stunning. You see a Mosque a Church, lots of towers and sandstone walls.

As it was Monday morning, the roads were extremely jammed and busy. I did not feel very comortable and decided to find a quick way out of town. In my rush I did take a wrong road, but I recognized that it also leads to the M5 road I wanted to go to. So I just followed that road. There was nearly no traffic and I made good progress.

That day was extremely windy and I had to fight against strong crosswinds. After I returned home I found out that there was a hurricane near the place I rode and that there was a whole village destroyd that day just about 20km from whre I was riding.

I had lunch at a nice graveyard. Itīs nice to have lunch at graveyards in Russia. Itīs peaceful and quiet and they have already set up chairs and tables

Soon after I crossed the Wolga River at the confluence with another river. I have never ever in my live seen such a huge river. (I have crossed the Mississipi, but it was dark and I think I was sleeping and I can not remember how big it was - but this would be a whole other story)

I reached the M5 Highway in early afternoon. The M5 leads to Chelabinsk and it was packed with huge trucks. The road surface was sometimes really really bad. I needed lots of concentration while riding. And guess what - it began to rain again. It rained so hard, you could not see a thing at times.

The thing with the timezones

Another important thing you have to know is, that I rode eastwards of course, so riding around 1000 km a day means, that I cross one time zone per day. So I loose a complete hour daylight per day. Between Kazan and Chelabinsk there was 2 hours time difference. So I checked my cloch - 2 PM 400 km to go. Ok, thats doable. 5 minutes later you check the watch again and itīs 4 PM, but you still have to go 400 k. thats feels weird sometimes.

Then I hit the Ural Mountains. The wet road was slippery as hell, the trucks did not help either. Sorry I did not take many pictures that day, but it was raining so hard. I was tired and cold. It was defenitely the toughest day so far. Suddenly another motorcyclist appeared on the road, I overtook him and stopped a few km after. He stopped too and i found out that it was Juri from Moscow who was riding to Lake Baikal. He had a Hotel reservation in Chelabinsk for that day and we decided to ride together for the last 200 kms to Chelabinsk. We reached Chelabinsk at midnight in pouring rain, had a good dinner and went to bed. I would not have made it to Chelabinsk without Juri that day. Thanks mate!

This was the hotel we stayed in: Ever seen "shining"? It somehow reminded me on that one.

4 days / 4.000 km

Good night

PS: Only 4 days to go for the ultimate BMW Advrider secret

Xdream screwed with this post 01-06-2012 at 12:49 AM
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:13 PM   #74
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Awesome! I love those older communist style hotels - maybe 'love' isnt the right word, but there are definitely strange. Those are some long days you are putting in, i'm curious to see if you get burnt out.

Thanks for the info, I'm hooked
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:22 PM   #75
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Great story
I want to do this journey this year
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