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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Oct 18, 2012.
What happens when the train comes unexpectantly. My Kruger Park Rence Ride
We got up in the morning after an interesting nights sleep. Just by the station where we slept there was a side track that the trains used to wait at in order to pass each other. Especially one of the trains made a very special noise. The engine must have been a big turbine engine. I know the sound of one, and this one did not have a diesel engine. I thought about checking, but I was to tired.
We got our kit together and fortunately everything had dried during the night This was a good start of the day. We saddled up and headed for the Olyokma bridge a few hundred meters away. The bridge was long and it was guarded on the far side. We had a quick Council of War about how we should do the crossing. Should we walk over and ask permission first, or should we just go and ask forgiveness after? We decided on the last option. I got ready, and to make sure we had no problems, I had 3.000 Rubles ready in my hand. I would give this to the guard when on the other side.
We had a quick lookout for trains and off I went. Due to a turn of the rail road immediately after the bridge the trains go very slow here. That's a good thing Due to the turn immediately after the bridge you can't see the trains before they are on the bridge. That's a bad thing :huh
It took me a very long two minutes and fifteen seconds to cross the bridge :eek1 When I got over a man came smiling towards me. I got of my bike, took of my helmet and greeted him with a 3.000 Rubles handshake. If it weren't for his ears his smile would have gone all around his head I told him two others were coming and asked if that was OK. "Nje prablema". I waved at the guys and they set course across the bridge.
Now I can't remember the name of this fine man , but he was really friendly and invited us in for something to eat and drink. Note, this was around 0800 in the morning
He was very talkative and wanted us to stay. He spend four weeks here in his little cabin and then a few days at home. We had some tea and biscuits with him and he also offered us Cognac to celebrate. This was the first one along the BAM that we saw drinking something else than Vodka. He had style We politely said No and took the tea.
We spent maybe 30 minutes with him. It was a good 30 minutes. It is very nice when you meet a man like him. Friendly to his heart. I start to believe in the human race again We took our farewell pictures and drove the short distance into Yuktali.
First off in Yuktali was to get gas. The "station" is not in the centre of the place as you would expect, but rather in a rural area outside the centre. Well, rural might not be the correct word here We followed the instructions from Mr. Zumo. He led us to some typical old Russian houses with fences around and a small garden where they grew vegetables. Didn't look like no gas station to me. Then a guy came over to us. We asked and he confirmed that this was indeed the gas station :huh We just had to drive around the estate. So we did and there we met Yura. Waiting for us with a big smile
We got our gas and Steve got his side stand fixed. Yura's friend scooted off and came back with a spring. Put it on the bike and Voilà side stand OK again
After getting gas, not a hair over 72 octane, Yura jumped on his scooter and led the way to the local Supermarcado.
We bought some food and new dry thick socks. What a luxury We were now ready for the last stretch in towards Tynda and the finnish of the BAM
More coincidences from 2009.
After another train on 'my' nightmare rail bridge and the Norwegians, Colebatch and Terry meeting Rim again - this is the same guy.
He also gave us tea and biscuits while busy drying mushrooms, waiting for District Office clearance to let us cross
Thanks Geir! This is such a great story, thanks for your time.!
This picture is worth a million words. He just looks so delighted to have had your company that morning. Well done Geir.
Hey Geir, why did you give him the money before he was asking for some? He looks so kind that makes you think that he dosnt want money to let you pass, only some company for an hour.
Ya'll are CRAZY!!!
When we tried to cross the Kuanda bridge we had big troubles. With this fresh in mind I didn't wan't any trouble when I came across this bridge. And I would rather give some money to this nice fellow than to a greedy bastard demanding money.
I see you're wearing a GoPro camera; did you have it running when you had to lay the bike down in the turnout and the train went by!?!?!?
PS. Thank you for being my continued lunchtime entertainment!
No train on this one ;-)
That picture is fucken awsome ! Big up to the photographer, whoever he or she is
So here we are. In the middle of Siberia. Miles from the civilization. Then I can go into a store and buy bananas. Maybe from Ecuador. Probably they were shipped by boat initially. Then by truck to the train station. Reloaded to a train and off they went to Yuktali. Where I could buy them. Isn't that pretty amazing? I mean, we are in the middle of Siberia
Note to self: Don't hire this guy for the bomb squad...
Is that blood around his eyes? :eek1
Holy Rider is universal
Thanks for the report and you are welcome for the bananas
After the refill of food, socks and gas we were now ready to twist the throttles again. For a long time we followed the Nyukzha river. The road was nice and we could keep a good pace.
We hit the occasional iffy bridge, but nothing to serious
Some we checked a bit :huh
Then we rode it
We had some lunch
After a while we traveled a bit North East of the rail road tracks. Going up and down over the mountain ranges. It was especially fun going up the steep hills. You could really crank it open going up. Letting the bike dance below you. The only issue was if you pressed the engine to hard it started knocking. Probably due to the low octane gas we got in Yuktali
Suddenly we came to this bridge in the middle of nowhere i guess that someone had a great idea at one time, or at least the guy in charge of the road was from the district
The road got better and better. After the settlement of Loptsa we could steadily do 100 to 110 without problems sitting down. We made good distance and Tynda was within easy reach that day.
As we rode I felt my luggage was a bit loose. I stopped and retightened it. Letting the guys ride ahead. I got back in the saddle again, but rode a bit slower. No rush catching up with the guys. On a fairly straight stretch of the road I saw a Lada 4X4 coming against me. It was an elderly couple in the car and they flagged me down. I stopped and both got out pretty excited. Then they explained that they had sen the flag on my bike and that last year two Swedes had stopped by their house while they needed some help with their bikes. I asked if that was Staffan and Victor. Their jaws dropped and they said yes. It's a small world
Before I left, in addition to Walter, I also made contact with Staffan who rode from Sweden to Magadan and back in 2011.
<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/30032234" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/30032234">Vitim River 2011</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user8787258">Staffan Johansson</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
After this little meeting I revved it and caught up with the guys. We stopped and had a little discussion. Should we go all the way to Tynda or should we camp one last time along the BAM. The decision was unanimously. We would camp We found a great camp place by the river Larbi.
Got the fire going and made some food. Here Erik is enjoying himself
Me, I felt happy and a bit sad. Two years ago I had gotten the idea of riding the BAM. Now it was done. It was an anticlimax. I had waited so much for this moment. Planned for so long and now I had done it. The trip had been an adventure and I had loved every second of it. But now the BAM was over.
We ate the food. Had a few beers and just enjoyed the beautiful night. It was a great ending of the BAM
That picture is from the net, and is also seen in link Walter gave, and there's the photographers name in vertical writing - I have not been there myself.
However, when I do end up in Chara, to go there would be my upmost priority, it is just so beautiful and surreal.
That's why I was hoping the guys went, even if by a local truck if need be due to river sweeling too much for the bikes...
Terry and Walter, is there somewhere we could read on that?
There's still BAM left for you to Vanino!
Well, after Erik saw the train Steve and I had some troubles putting his eyes back in their sockets