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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Dec 14, 2009.
Sadly there is a vested interest in the governments and media organisations of Britain and the US to always portray Russia in a negative light. You will NEVER see a positive news story come out about Russia. The only news deemed worth publishing about Russia is negative news. You saw it with the Georgia - Russia conflict ... 1st step is always blame Russia and accuse them of war crimes. 2nd step is to bother finding out who started it and who committed the alleged war crimes. 3rd step, is if step 2 conflicts with the "agenda" then ignore findings.
I think if anything this general propaganda battle will step up over the next decade as two conflicting geopolitical agendas over the future of Europe take place, with the American and British governments on one side and the Russians who will probably be joined by Germany and France and Italy as time progresses on the other.
Of course, the peoples of Russia, the US, Britain, Germany, France and Italy just all want to be friends ... but governments operate at different levels with different concepts about what is best for their peoples. There was something Tony said during this trip that really stuck with me ... if only our governments stopped trying to proscribe to us who are our friends and who are not, we could all just get on with getting along.
All the conflict and hatred around the place, even the Al Qaida stuff, stems from powerful people who have influence telling their 'people' who they should like, who they should hate, and why ... and then telling them to act accordingly. I for one am pretty sick of halfwits like David Miliband (Britains juvenile Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs) telling me who is "Britain's friend" and who isn't. That kind of propaganda should have died out with the likes of Goebbels.
I can tell you from experience, that pretty much everything we have been brought up to believe about the Russians, is utter crap.
I see, that you use a ZUMO Navi. Did it help you every time or why didn´t you use a GPS System with Topo-Cards?
By 2:15 we were ready to move from Chara, having eaten our fill. It was too early to pull up stumps for the night so we prepared to head on down the road. Only the next town was Kuanda, 150km down the road. It was a gamble, a risk we would not make it and get caught in the middle of nowhere, but we had to take it.
Also near Chara is a geographical anomaly ... the Chara sand dunes ... no-one knows how sand dunes have appeared through the permafrost, but they are there. I would have like to check them out, but we were a long way behind schedule on this trip ... the road had been a lot tougher than it had appeared on paper. We had to move on.
The scenery after Chara was particularly easy on the eyes. In fact ever since Khani the scenery had been really spectacular. Here we entered a particularly sandy stretch with impressive mountain ranges on the north side of the road / track. About 75km west of Chara we reached a lake district of sorts. The Leprindo Lakes.
Steep green mountainsides, littered with waterfalls that led down to picturesque lakes was where we found ourselves. The air and water were crystal clean. It even reminded me a bit of Montreux / Evian region. If this was Europe, the land would be worth squillions, but it was extreme Siberia and was deserted.
Bridges were dodgy and again it was an afternoon of considerable water crossings. Each water crossing added to delays. I have long ago lost count of how many pretty bridges, complete or broken we have crossed or skirted on this BAM road ... several hundred. I probably take the time to photograph 1 in 10, and post 1 in 5 of those that I photographed. The difficult crossings and bogs never even get photographed as I am always totally focussed on just getting through. So here is one of the good bridges on this bit of road.
It didn't help at all on the BAM road ... Navigation is not really a problem ... you follow the rail line. There are quite a few challenges on this BAM road, but navigation is certainly not one of them!
All the Zumo did on the BAM section of the project was record our track.
I didn't have it at the time, but I now have a copy of Topo6, the main Topo maps for Russia. I haven't had a chance to load them and overlay it with my track to see how accurate it is.
Quick Colebatch, I need another fix.
Will sit by pooter all night till it arrives.
Just a reminder ... a map of these places like Khani (Hani) and Chara is here:
Ok, thx. :)
I will report back when I have had a chance to compare the Russia Topo 6 map with our track properly and let you know how accurate it is.
To be honest, the GPS didnt have much of a job to do at all in Siberia except record our track - useful if we we got lost as we could backtrack. All through Siberia, the bulk of the navigation was by russian paper maps.
This RR is truly inspiring.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
This has got to be the best RR out there! My hat is off to you gentlemen! True adventurer's. I have read you're Road of bones RR and the other one too. Cant remember the title but they were very good. I have been following this one since the beginning and always come here every day to get my fix! Thank you for sharing and taking the time to post. I think you have quite a following! You can always tell how good the report is by the number of "noobs"(hate that word, why not "new members") joining to post.
Colebatch, PM sent.
Fantastic report! (understatement of the year)
Here in America we rarely get any media coverage of Russia. Aside from a rare National geographic film on Russian wolves or birds, or negative news broadcasts, we are never treated to the Russia you have seen. This ride report is much more than just a ride report, it's a lesson on Russia that has opened my eyes about the country. My views (although minimal) on Russian life have forever been altered for the better by this RR.
Thank you for a great RR! I don't care which one is the best or the second best on the site, but this one has changed our (the readers') attitudes, and that is remarkable!
By the way. I know that Vodka plays a big role (too big, actually) in many peoples lives in Russia (as it does here in Finland). And that it often creates lots of problems in families. Joking about it can seem funny, and it's only too easy to make you look boring if you don't play along.
Question: Do you think it would be difficult for an adventurer to be social and get friendly with the locals without encouraging the use of alcohol? Did you sometimes go down that path? How did it work out?
Looking forward to the next episodes!
I think the salient point here is there are people and then there are governments. People for the most part share the same goal, to live in peace. Governments, western, eastern, asian, etc. all have their own agendas and all will state that it is in the best interest of their populace. Sometimes this is true, other times, not so much.
The media is not much different from the government in that it also has an agenda and also gears their reporting towards that which will make ratings or, in the case of government controlled media, carry the party line.
I try my best to have an open mind and filter through the other crap. Ride reports like this just emphasize the fact that we must separate the people from the image portrayed by the media and government.
The human condition means that no matter where we are in the world, whomever we meet will have more in common with us than they will have differences with us.
We all eat, sleep, shit, love, cry, hunger, freeze, long, reproduce, protect loved ones, etc the same, regardless of who we pray to, where we work and live, castle or cave, or if we can afford a motorcycle or a donkey.
PS-spent better part of a night reading your threads Colebatch! Awesome stuff!
Ok, that sounds good.
I cannot decide if a GPS or Navigation System like the ZUMO is the better one. GPS Systems are more expensive but I don´t want to buy such a gadget every 2nd year. But if a Navi-System can do the same job, why should I buy the expensive one. And riding without a map is no opinion for me, the gadget is only to support.
can't wait to read up some more on yer trip lads, keep it comin.
I have no words!!! Great RR!!