Siberia 2013 - From Irkutsk to Altai and back

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by bob66, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. bob66

    bob66 Been here awhile

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    Hello everybody

    I would like to announce our next trip: from Irkutsk to Altai mountains via Tuva Republic and back via north of Mongolia

    We are 4 guys from Romania. Our bikes are on their way to Irkutsk with Kajman (kajmanoverland.pl).

    We leave on 13 July by plane / on 16 August we return. The route is like this

    stage 1. Bucuresti – Irkutsk (by plane).
    stage 2. From Irkutsk we get our bikes and leave for Krasnoyarsk. From there we go South to Ergaki mountains, Tuva Republic and then, Altai Mountains. We hope to explore Ukok plateau (we are waiting for our border permit).
    stage 3. After exploring Russian Altai, we cross border to Mongolia where we wand to explore a little the Mongolian Altai (Tavan Bogd national park).
    Then, the middle route via Lake Hovsgol in the north.
    stage 4. We arrive in Irkutsk, leave bikes at Kajman and get back in the plane for Romania.

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    Until we come back and we write here an RR, you can follow us here
    - https://www.facebook.com/wildwalk.ro - we will upload pictures from the road and update status from the SPOT
    - http://wildwalk.ro - you can see the live tracking from SPOT

    See you at the end of August,
    Cheers
    Cristian
    #1
  2. Pickup man

    Pickup man Been here awhile

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    Can't wait for this one. These Siberian RRs get me so stoked!
    Hope you have an awesome adventure.
    #2
  3. bob66

    bob66 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Bucharest, Romania
    So let's see what happened last summer

    We were 3 x KTM 990 Adv and 1 x BMW F800GS

    The bikes left Romania with Adam - KajmanOverland.pl (reccomended by Sambor) and waited for us in Irkutsk. We left by plane.

    This is the map of the track, each day = different colour; total = 6400 km

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    Day 0, Saturday, 13 July 2013

    At 6 o'clock the plane departs from Bucharest. First stop: Warsaw. We have enough time for a quick visit to the center of the town.
    In the evening we arrive to Moscow from where we leave to Irkutsk.


    Day 1, Sunday, 14 July 2013

    We land at 11 o'clock. After we get our luggage, we take a taxi from the airport to the meeting point with Adam to get our bikes. Adam awaits for us with a bikers team ready to go riding Mongolia. We get our bikes, load all the luggage in the taxi and go to Nina's house. Nina is a Russian lady in Irkutsk who receives tourists in her house. We don't have the courage to enter the yard because of the stories we read here on advrider.com about her big bad dog (thanks Walter:D). The truth is they release the dog in the yard only in the night (at least when they have tourists). We ask the taxi driver to give a phone call to Nina.

    After we enter the yard, we put all the luggage in the rooms and we go to eat. Very close is a restaurant. After eating... some sleep is the best we can do.

    Happy because our vacation just started
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    Walking in Irkutsk
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    Bruce Lee beats Van Damme
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    In the evening we go to a Japanese restaurant. We come back to Nina before midnight. Nina's husband checks every room to see if everybody's there before releasing the dog.


    Day 2, Monday, 15 July 2013

    Russian breakfast at Nina
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    Nina's yard
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    One of the 2 or 3 Nina's cats lying on the ledge
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    In the afternoon we go to visit the town
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    Day 3, Tuesday, 16 July 2013 (600 km)


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    At 10:30 we leave Nina's house. There are 1000 km to Krasnoyarsk. We have in plan to do the first 600 and stop to Alzamai.

    The traffic is crazy. It takes one hour to get out of Irkutsk.

    After a few hours we are hungry. We stop at a roadside cafe. Cheap and good. It cant be compared with the huge prices from Irkutsk. At Gigi's bike the fuel light strangely comes on. We notice that the interconnecting hose is disconnected. We put it back but without verifying the fuel tap :)

    All day long the sun and the rain are chasing one another.

    For folks who don't know? this is the fueling procedure in Russia: you stop the bike, go to the pay-office; you are asked how many litters you want to buy. If you want to fill up to full, they ask you how many litters is your tank. You pay one full tank and after that you fill with gas. After filling you go back to the pay-office and get your remaining money back.


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    At Gigi's bike, once again, the fuel light comes on. Until we take a look the others go to buy some strawberries. The fuel tap was closed.

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    We arrive to Alzamai at 23:30. It's full (there are two divers motels). We go to eat something (to the motel on the right side of the road). They have good food. We sit in the dining room and we think of what to do. A guard tells us to put the tents in the back of the TIR parking. The rain just stopped so we are happy that we will sleep. Unfortunately we are near a truck whose engine starts every 15 minutes. But it doesn't matter, at least we don't have to stay in the dining room. We sleep until 10 AM.


    Day 4, Wednesday, 17 July 2013 (440 km)


    We pack everything. But we move very slowly. We leave Alzamai at 13:00.


    This is the tent place. Is good that is a little sandy.
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    A little break and we are full of mosquitoes bites. As we walked a few feet from the asphalt into the woods the mosquitoes attack begin.
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    Andrei goes to the toilet behind a tree :)) Not a good decision. He says: "I
    made oral sex with the mosquitoes".?
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    Later, in a gas station, Bogdan with Gigi begin talking with a local guy ... and they go to a test drive?
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    At 10 PM we enter Krasnoyarsk. The sun is still up. We go to "Garage" hotel. Near the hotel there is a little store so we are happy.


    Day 5, Thursday, 18 July 2013

    The breakfast is between 9 and 10. I barely get off my bed. We get some eggs and cookies.

    With a taxi called from the hotel reception we go to the center of the town. We walk on Lenina street. There are some pretty wooden houses. About Krasnoyarsk Cehov wrote that "is probably the most beautiful town in Siberia". I was a little disappointed.

    At the postal office they don't have postcards. I want to send home.


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    We are ice cream fans.
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    Old wooden houses
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    And a big church
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    Andrei trying some glasses
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    And then some underware
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    Andrei and Lenin
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    The central park in Krasnoyarsk
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    Gigi is more daring and stops people to take photos
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    Riding the wheel
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    Good Bye Lenin
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    to be continued...
    Cristian
    #3
  4. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

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    Been waiting for this one :clap
    #4
  5. BIKE-R

    BIKE-R Been here awhile

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    Good start, subscribed:lurk
    #5
  6. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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    Awesome, looking forward to this!! :lurk
    #6
  7. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    in :norton
    #7
  8. niktm

    niktm nikvfr

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    I wish you to have good trip and till then you have the time for good preperation of everything needed.
    #8
  9. dhamzea

    dhamzea KRONSTADT BIKERS

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    just waiting :norton
    #9
  10. EyeCake

    EyeCake Adventurer

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    looks great
    Subscribed
    :1drink
    #10
  11. mrwwwhite

    mrwwwhite Been here awhile

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    Keep it coming Bob!
    I know it's an awesome report ;) not to mention this is The Place to share it.
    #11
  12. RokLobster

    RokLobster Far from sanity

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    Cool....in
    #12
  13. bob66

    bob66 Been here awhile

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    [SIZE="+1"]Next part: From Krasnoyarsk to Kyzyl with a trekking stop in Ergaki Mountains (806 km)[/SIZE]

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    Day 6, Friday, 19 July 2013

    10 AM we are ready to go. Outside there is heavy rain, so we think of waiting a little more. After 45 minutes the rain is still heavy so that decide to leave. I don’t think that Krasnoyarsk has a good sewerage system or maybe it was too much rain, but on the streets were some little rivers. We stop on the outskirts of the town in a big gas station.

    From here to the big dam there are about 40 km. The rain subsides when we arrive at the dam. We take a few pictures and go on.

    A few facts about the dam: it is on Enisey river; it has 124 m high; it was built between 1956 and 1972; it supplies 6000 MW of power; the reservoir has 2000 sq km; it is depicted on 10-ruble bill; it is equipped with a canal inclined plane to allow passage of ships.

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    As we go south the landscape becomes more interesting.

    We stop to take lunch at a rest stop on the roadside where they sell a lot of souvenirs. I see fridge magnets here :D. Don’t knowing if I find again (because in Irkutsk I didn’t find) I buy from here around 10 pieces.

    Andrei notices that his boots sole is broken.

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    But we have emergency kit with us

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    We enter Khakassia Republic. There is not too much left to Abakhan.

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    10 km before Abakhan we stop to a Cafe to have dinner. It’s better to search for accommodation with full stomach :)

    We arrive in Abakhan around 9 PM. The hotels are very expensive. We find a hotel with a parking place, but no fence. They have a video camera and a barrier. There is a night guard, but he tells us that he’s not watching the parking place. Some of us including me take all our luggage up in the room, some leave it on the bikes.
    After we check-in we go out in the town to drink a beer. We find a place with many people. When sitting in queue for the beer somebody asks us where are we from. Don’t know if they ever heard of Romania. They mention to us that we are in Khakassia Republic. The people are relaxed. After one beer we go back to the hotel.


    Day 7, Saturday, 20 July 2013

    We break our record. At 9:40 we leave the hotel. There are 200 km to Ergaki Mountains. We arrive in a pass from where one can see the mountains if the sky is clear. That’s what we see now

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    We arrive at visitor’s center at 1 PM. Before departure, when I was making plans, I had a email exchange with Sergei about Ergaki Mountains. Sergei did a map of the mountains (http://shandl.narod.ru/map.htm; http://ergaki.krasu.ru/).

    Here at reception we meet a nice lady who speaks some English. She asks me if I’m Cristian. I’m a little surprised, I don’t understand how she could know my name. I find out that she is Sergei’s wife. What a small world. Sergei didn’t tell anything about his wife working for visitor’s center. We can leave the bikes and the luggage here and they take us with a minivan 8 km down the road where the hiking route begins.


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    The hiking begins from Tushkanchik tourist base. There is a little cafe also, where we can eat something.

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    “Ready to Race”
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    At 16:30 we begin hiking; almost 4 hours later we install the tents at Svetloe Lake.

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    We are not in a hurry at all.

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    We arrive to the lake (N52 47.621 E93 24.790). From here we go around 15 min around the lake to find a good camping spot. We meet a Russian alpinist from Novosibirsk, alone here. He even built a little “bania”

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    The first aid kit
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    And then we cook some “plescoi” sausages.
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    Day 8, Sunday, 21 July 2013

    Gigi likes to wake up very early. So he takes some pictures at 5 AM. The others wake up at 8 when the sun begins to heat my tent. We had in plan to hike up to “Ptitsa” peak (The bird), but we change our minds because there is a 6 h round trip.

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    When we leave the lake the clouds begin to appear.

    Lake Svetloe (N52 47.621 E93 24.790)
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    There are many people hiking here. The weather is changing, but is good.

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    We are happy, there is not too much left and we eat

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    We go straight to the Cafe to have lunch.

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    There we ask if somebody could take us back to the visitor’s center. There is a lady who offers to take us. She is driving very fast (about 130 km/h max speed).

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    We pack very fast. We are eager to ride again.
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    We leave to Kyzyl. Today; we enter the famous (from Walter’s RR) Tuva Republic.

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    Somebody needs some oil?
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    Not long before Kyzyl there is a little detour, the old road. At about 15 km after “Turan” village we go to the right. The detour is around 40 km of empty beautiful road.

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    Arrived in Kyzyl we go to gostinitsa Ondujan. Very expensive and very low quality (I think we payed 4800 rubles for that 4 people room). Is the worst so far. The room is bad, the shower is army style in the basement, and the wifi is not working.

    In the Russian style - they don’t have mosquito net on windows. And there are so many mosquitoes outside so that we have to stay with window closed.

    Day 9, Monday, 22 July 2013

    After breakfast at the hotel, we go to buy some sim cards for our mobile phones. They have very good data plans. It takes 45 mins for 2 sims.

    We go to the border permit office (N51 43.053 E94 28.526) to get our Tuva papers. They have our papers, but they are registered with 6 June (processing documents take 2 months). At first, we sent mail to a wrong mail address (taken form FSB Russian site). We show them the first emails. The lady there seems very nice, she make a lot of phone calls. She tells us to come in the afternoon.
    (you can find here on page 2 some details about Tuva and Altai permits - http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/northern-asia/tuva-track-and-altay-57161)

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    We go back to the hotel to prepare. Gigi and I go to Tuva Museum. Unfortunately it is closed on Mondays. After that we eat a very good shashlik near the hotel, at Khan Club.

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    Our hotel is right on the street with the “Center of Asia” monument
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    We arrive at the border office. In 10 minutes we have all the papers. Near the office there is a little grocery store. We buy from here what we need for a few days in the wild.

    Here is a topic of Walter where you can find some history and more details about Tuva - http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=519357 - post nr#60.

    To be continued…
    Cristian
    #13
  14. LuisLourenco

    LuisLourenco Blue orange

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    Hope to be there in the near future, thanks for sharing!
    #14
  15. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    Enjoying ti the max. Keep it coming. :clap:clap:clap
    #15
  16. EtronX

    EtronX Been here awhile

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    In :-)


    Don't look back, you are not going in that direction :-)
    #16
  17. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Fantastic ride and pics!! Don't make us wait six months for the next installment. :lol3

    :lurk
    #17
  18. dragos

    dragos Belzebut

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    Felicitari, e excelent!
    #18
  19. AteamNM

    AteamNM Wonna Be ADVrider

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    Oh the Altai. Mongolia..........:norton

    :*sip*
    #19
  20. Prutser

    Prutser Long timer

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    In.:wings
    #20