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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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  #1  
Old 16 Jul 2009
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Amur highway (other questions).

Anybody recently rode the amur highway , I know what the road conditions are like I am more interested in anciliary facilities, ie ATMs , food + water avalibility , ie how many roubles should I bring from Chita to Kharbarosk do I need to bring enough food for the duration of the trek etc? . I know fuel isn't a problem but Russia being russia petrol stations often only sell petrol.

On a side note anybody riding the amur within the next week? , I'm probably going to be in Chita Sunday (if all goes well with the visa thing) and will be having a crack.

Any thoughts?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 16 Jul 2009
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These guys just reached Khabarvosk this week.
transglobemoto
If they answer their e-mail, I bet you can get the most up to date information available.
I think I have heard there are cafes and magazines (shops) at least every 100 km. It may be a good idea to have one or two meals worth of food with you, but there is quite a bit of traffic on the road, so naturally there are places to eat.
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  #3  
Old 16 Jul 2009
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I rode that road last year, on a small tank (14l) and found a petrol station every 200kms with only one larger stretch of 250km. At these stops there is always cafe or markets. You will never go short of a place to eat. These petrol stations /truck stops are actually cheap places to stay. the cheapest I got was 100 roubles to 300 roubles a night. For a hot shower and a warm place to sleep after a few nights in a tent it is magical! You also normally have great entertainment with the truck drivers!
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Old 16 Jul 2009
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Thats excellent news , in that here was I thinking it was just petrol stations all the way for the uncompleted 1780km section. That reduces my shopping list significantly as I was considering buying a huge backpackers erm backpack to fill with water , a jerry can , and instant noodles (v easy to cook).

Will 15-20,000 roubles be enough for the whole section to Khabarosk? , the problem is the bank won't let me have more than 7500 roubles a day else they will stop my card meaning a session of stocking up a tad.

And does anybody know the general going rate in case the worse happens ie you need to truck the bike to the next town?.

As a side what is a realistic speed for this section (so I can estimate an ETA for Vlad) I managed the unsealed muddy (by drying out) section north of Irkusk at about 25-35mph. As with my other post I've become demoralised such that I want to get out faster than originally intended ie end of July.

Sorry for asking so much but I came so unprepared in Russia in the easy bits I don't want to get into trouble riding this most remote section.

Thanks for the help so far folks.
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Old 20 Jul 2009
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I'm trying to remember how much I spent over that section, but I can not remember. I was camping most of it that saves a lot of money. it also really depends on the food you want to buy / eat and how much fuel you use over the time.

As for a time period, I hooked up with an older guy - he likes to do long days so we were averaging around 500kms a day where I normally took it a bit slower. So if that's what you end up doing its only a three day ordeal. But its not as bad as you think if your on the right bike and love off road - if that's the case (for me it was) its an easy road. Really bumpy, possible muddy - but a great fun road.

If you break down, you will be able to put your bike on the train or go to a truck stop and flag down a truck driver. I had numerous offers of putting my bike in a truck... but I think that was more for some thing else than being helpful!
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Old 20 Jul 2009
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Last year, my daily living costs along that section were the cost of fuel (around 20 roubles per litre) and food (I only ate 1 bowl of borsch, 1 cup of coffee and 1 Mars bar each day - total 80 roubles). I camped the whole way so average daily expenses were only around 400 roubles.
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Old 20 Jul 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farqhuar View Post
Last year, my daily living costs along that section were the cost of fuel (around 20 roubles per litre) and food (I only ate 1 bowl of borsch, 1 cup of coffee and 1 Mars bar each day - total 80 roubles). I camped the whole way so average daily expenses were only around 400 roubles.
Hah...you had the same diet as me...except I preferred Snickers on that route.

Gas and bottled water can be found every 250km....during daylight hours. You do NOT want to be near these stations when the sun sets...the Russian vampires come out then...

The road is fine...and the direction you're heading, there isn't much traffic heading that way...so you're lucky.
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Old 21 Jul 2009
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Russian Vampires??

When it got too cold for me to camp I stayed in truck stops all the time!
There is always a guard on duty - I put my full trust into these guys. This was after we tried to chat for awhile. My bike was playing up so generally, I needed them to help me push start it in the morning!

As for the traffic, there are hundreds of people taking cars from Vladivostok to there destinations all over Russia. They tent to travel in packs as they are pulling long hours and speeding! Just be careful. I saw some of these guys having terrible accidents.
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Old 22 Jul 2009
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Hah...you had the same diet as me...except I preferred Snickers on that route.
Well truth be told, I did purchase the occasional snickers or bounty bar too.
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Old 22 Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by maximondo View Post
Russian Vampires??

When it got too cold for me to camp I stayed in truck stops all the time!
There is always a guard on duty - I put my full trust into these guys. This was after we tried to chat for awhile. My bike was playing up so generally, I needed them to help me push start it in the morning!

As for the traffic, there are hundreds of people taking cars from Vladivostok to there destinations all over Russia. They tent to travel in packs as they are pulling long hours and speeding! Just be careful. I saw some of these guys having terrible accidents.
Yes...trucks stops are safe and truck drivers are the ones to trust...but you still need to be careful of some of the locals at night...they get drunk, and things happen.

Also, K-chi is travelling West to East...not the other way...there's very little vehicular traffic heading in this direction.
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Old 22 Jul 2009
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road update

A mate in Magadan drove that road last week ... and said its almost all paved now to Skovorodino ... less than 500 km unsealed between Chita and Skov - and what is unsealed is in very good condition. Its sealed all the way to Chita from Ulan Ude. Not sure how much on the other side is still unsealed, but probably by the end of next summer the whole lot will be paved.

Petrol stations and cafe's all the way. I wouldnt worry about it mate. Just do it. Your risk is getting too bored rather than feeling too challenged.
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  #12  
Old 23 Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by MotoEdde View Post
Also, K-chi is travelling West to East...not the other way...there's very little vehicular traffic heading in this direction.
Except for the guys overtaking on blind curves or over hills. Well, they are headed west, but are sometimes in the lane for eastbound traffic.
Slow down and keep an be aware when you can't see too far ahead. Most of the ones I met were nice people, but you never know what tricks those car traders will play when behind the wheel. One couple invited me to stay at their place in Irkutsk, but there was no way I could keep up with their pace...
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Old 24 Jul 2009
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I took a fist full of Rubbles from an ATM in Chita and didn't look for another ATM until Vlad .... not a lot to spend your money on along the Amur (Unless you're feeling needy and stop at one of the smaller Cafe's at night ..... when some seem to transform into brothels).
As said, plenty of Cafe's, Fuel stops, Shops etc., and you'll be pasing villages with small stroes that don't appear on the map (well, not on my map at least).
Tried to get off the road to camp before sunset and avoided riding the road in the dark. Camping was usually well away from the road so we just looked for suitable camping grounds within an hour of wanting to stop. This avoided 'People', but involved some 'Bear Activity' ... and I'm not talking about naturism.
'Weather' will be the deciding factor on road conditions. A little rain kills the dust, a lot of rain kills the road and when the sun blazes .... it's bloody hot.
All the best .... you'll love it.
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