Mongolia to Magadan: Any which (the hard) way

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ChrisUK, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Big thanks for the kind words Adam.

    Jon, Andrew, Pete: If you do read this, please contribute. This isn't meant to be a monologue by me!
    #41
  2. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Seb
    I'll definitely have some serious explaining to do! :norton
    #42
  3. PHILinFRANCE

    PHILinFRANCE Long timer

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    Keep it coming Chris :clap
    Phil
    #43
  4. Ratdragon

    Ratdragon n00b

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    Fantastic stuff! First thread I've subscribed to, and man did I choose a good one! Look forward to the next installment!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #44
  5. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    I'm honoured that my RR is the first you've subscribed to! :clap
    #45
  6. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Thanks mate. Will you be home in France from your Black Sea jolly in late July? I'm doing an Albania to Gibraltar offroad ride on my X-Ch this summer and might try to repeat that Dordogne loop we did with Charles a few years back. Ride together?
    #46
  7. PHILinFRANCE

    PHILinFRANCE Long timer

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    Albania to Gibraltar offroad !!!!!! very interesting .

    Anyway, yes i'll be back Chris and be great to see you again , i'll PM you my details:clap

    On a down side there will be a hell of a lot of walkers/tourists/pilgrims on the trails in July and bloody hot

    Phil
    #47
  8. P@vlos.B

    P@vlos.B Stuck in an Island

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    I am in!!!:lurk
    RR in Mongolia and Siberia are my favorites!
    #48
  9. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Ch 6 Toasted clutch river to Taksimo


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    It wasn't completely plain sailing for the others either



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    The final hurrah of a blowing a clutch



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    Posing for the photo. The face ain't smiling. I'm seriously up (in?) sh!t creek



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    Not posing




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    Jon and Andrew having time to see the funny side while they give me a pull




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    A local biker taking the bridge. Bollocks, did I feel small! Stupid effing tourist!




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    A more suitable vehicle than my bike, especially if you take the bridge!




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    Todor and Yevgeny arrive




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    In a video further down I describe how indebted I was to Yevgeny and Todor, 2 Russian truckers for helping me change my clutch. I was carrying a (used) spare that my mechanic had swapped out for a new one before I sent off from England.




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    They had the tools and skills and I knew what needed to be done as I toasted a clutch in the sands of Morocco and had the opportunity to watch a Moroccan mechanic and his son in Rissani change one in 2005. The fact they spoke no English and I spoke only 7 words of Russian (Da, Niet, Piva, Vodka, Borscht, Shashlik, Gastiniza) made no difference. In 4 hours we had it done, including an oil and filter change.




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    After they fixed my bike and didn't want any money (I did try to give them a little, but they flatly refused), they also fed me!



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    Monument. I'm surprised I was even in the mood to stop to take a picture. Maybe I was looking for excuses to stop to catch my breath






    This video shows a little of my emotional state and gratitude to Yevgeny and Todor



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    Welcome to Severomuysk




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    Very good condition for a BAM road bridge




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    A not so good bridge: The previous summer in 2012 much of this region was ravaged by forest fires






    We are not enjoying this! Wrong bike Bright, get it?




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    A famous bridge that's been in more than one ride report





    Wakey wakey! The railway is never far away. It also allowed me to extract myself from here back to Lake Baikal and the easy road to Irkutsk. More of that later though.




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    Locals enjoying a sunny day (honestly, there weren’t many) by the river


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    The Seaplane monument in Taksimo getting a clean and paint




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    A close-up in case you missed the detail ;)
    #49
  10. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

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    "....swapped out'' - WTF!!!! You're English for f*** sake. Speak English - not septic. :deal

    You'll be using other grammatically appalling words and phrases like 'From the get go' and 'Winningest' next :D
    #50
  11. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

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    How "awesome" would that be? :puke2

    Standards, dear boy. Standards! :wink:
    #51
  12. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    :D


    Reply option 1: And I work in a Public School, not the sort of public school a septic thinks is a public skool. :shog (No wonder the crusty old duffers in the Common Room think I'm uncouth. Or it's possibly because I park my rusty, old and dented panel van amongst the Jags and Mercs in the car-park).

    Reply option 2
    : Yeh, teachman, whatever. Gonna throw us board-rubber a mi ed? Gimme da cane?:y0!

    Which witty retort is better? :evil
    #52
  13. DustyRags

    DustyRags Idiot

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    Chill, dudes. It's all good. Nobody wiggin, jess mellow an hug it out. :rofl
    #53
  14. Harty

    Harty Bloody Good Bloke!

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    Great report Chris, I didn't realise Jon Boulton (very near neighbour of mine!) was tagging along, even though I was following his Facebook.

    Itching to get out to the Balkans in 7 weeks time now!!

    Keep it coming........:deal
    #54
  15. tee bee

    tee bee Been here awhile

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    Looks like you had an easy time Chris :rofl
    #55
  16. bob66

    bob66 Been here awhile

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    Hey, what a small world. I met this guy last summer at Nina in Irkutsk. He told me that he's going to Magadan.

    Also I've seen that 3 wheels scooter there in front of the hotel, and I was wondering what trip is he doing if he stays at that expensive hotel.

    Regards,
    Cristian / Bob
    #56
  17. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Hey Cristian
    Very small world indeed! Adam was one of the few who made it to Magadan in 2013. I also stayed at Nina's after my return to Irkutsk to swap the Transalp for the X-Challenge. Even smaller world is that I'm visiting eastern Romania and Bucharest next week. Drink a beer and talk Siberia?

    Dates at http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/europe/eastern-romania-mid-april-75498

    Best wishes
    Chris
    #57
  18. bob66

    bob66 Been here awhile

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    Hi Chirs,

    of course we'll meet; we will talk about the STANS too, because this summer Tajikistan is on my list :)

    I will pm you to establish the details,

    Cheers
    Cristian / Bob
    #58
  19. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Ch 7 Taksimo to giving up and back to Irkutsk

    I bumped into the other lads at the Seaplane monument. They were heading east towards the Vitim Bridge and the real fun beyond. And Me? I needed some time sleeping in a hotel bed! I wished them bonne route.

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    After 2 nights and a day (most of it spent trying to fix the Shed's still leaking radiator) I set off. These 2 young chaps were coming the other way




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    I was regularly topping up the radiator. By now it was 33.3/33.3/33.3 swamp water/sparkling mineral water/rad-seal!



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    Oh joy!







    Turning around: Wise words, or words of a demented man?






    On the way back to Taksimo. Possibly in a slightly emotional state?

    "Come back again another time on a little bike" I wouldn't have guessed in my wildest dreams that the "another time" would be a week later. I was expecting it to be years later.



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    6.30am, waiting for the trainÂ…

    Back in Taksimo I tried to arrange a train for me and the bike to Tynda at the end of the western BAM and on the good Chita/Yakutsk road. No train with a baggage/post wagon for 2 weeks. Bo!!ocks! However, on Tuesday (in 2 days) a train all the way to Moscow. I actually considered going that far, but only went for the 500km option back to Severobaykalsk and the bike ride back to Irkutsk.



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    The shed in the baggage wagon.

    Despite my 7 words of Russian and the freight lady's zero words of any language I understood, but with French/Russian translation on the phone from her mate/colleague/boss/daughter (no idea!), my Russian/English phrase book and newly downloaded translation app on my smartphone I got the ticket for me and the bike sorted. There were 60 bucks of extra "loading fees" that didn't appear on any receipt, but she did have captive audience ;)

    Her sidekick ended up with an extra 20 litres of petrol which we decanted using 2 cola bottles from the Shed's tank into his car. In fairness, he did pay me for most of it.



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    Other baggage being loaded



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    It was funny seeing the road I had ridden from the inside of a train carriage



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    Unceremoniously deposited on the platform at Severobaykalsk 6 hours later



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    The road more travelled



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    Somewhere before Ust Kut I met this German couple who refused to pay the (apparently) high fee for the vehicle barge to Lensk to join the Vilyuisky Trakt to Yakutsk and were intending on driving the BAM. I never met them again, but there's no way they would have made it all the way on 4 wheels

    Overview sketch from when I was planning my trip in 2011 below:


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    The BAM sign I forgot to get a picture of when riding west-east


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    The forest takes back the town


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    Back to Zhigalovo


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    Kind of pretty



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    Guess what they're doing?






    Watch the video for the answer.


    (Clearing up litter)



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    I met this pleasant Russian biker when he stopped to check I was ok. I was reattaching the bash plate back onto the bike using borrowed (from a fence next to the road....) fencing wire


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    Still time to take in the view



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    Getting closer to "civilisation"



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    Entertainment at lunchtime



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    A cafe that was open and sold stuff...



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    Where the paved road started I meet Joe Stather a.k.a JoeDakar and his partner Corinna ( HARD WAY EAST - JOEDAKAR GMBH - THE MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE COMPANY ) who were also attempting the BAM. On BMW (F800gs Adventure) sheds (a different variety of shed to my Honda Transalp Shed). Their sheds were also unsuitable for the terrain and they didn't make it. From Joe's description in the link above, he turned round at the same place as me and dropped his bike off the bridge where I only fell over (filmed in the second of the 3 videos above).

    Myself and Felix had a really pleasant evening with Joe and Corinna a week later in Taksimo when we returned on the XCs and before Joe's mishap.
    #59
  20. REALGRAVEROBBER

    REALGRAVEROBBER LEAVING GRAVES EMPTY

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    Fantastic work Chris! Very cool that you are mates with Adam. I've not met Adam personally yet, but hear great things about him from Tradey (ADV name), and have sent some emails and USD to his fine journey.

    #60