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  #1  
Old 14 Apr 2011
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Causasus

I am planning my coming summer trip route part in southern russia and I am wondering if anyone know what is situation now in Caucasus area.

I have basicly planned to ride from Caspian Sea to Black Sea

Other road market with green would go through Dagestan which would be interesting road but i have understood Dagestan is pretty unstable at the moment and after extensive google using i cant find hardly anyone who recommends going there but most of the time advices are opposite:

Other route would be use more roads in north and stay away of Dagestan and also Chetsenia&Grozny.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-4...024/route1.jpg

I am in continue toward Krim peninsula and Ukraina and from there back to northrn europe, Kola Peninsula and Finland.

Has anyone been travelling that area during last few year and do you have any contacts or advices or good places to stay there?
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Old 15 Apr 2011
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I think at the moment, Chechnya is OK. Of the 3 dodgy areas in the Caucasus, Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan, I would be comfortable to go to Chechnya right now, but probably not the other two.

They have been doing all sorts of big international stuff in Chechnya so far this year. There was a big well publicised football match with loads of Brazilian internationals. Ruud Gullit, former world and european footballer of the year arrived there in February to take of the Chechen football team.

Keep your eyes on it, as things can change fast, and of course security in that region can never be taken for granted, but I think its maybe the best chance to visit Chechnya since 1991 right now. Grozny has been rebuilt in a pretty grand style from what I have heard from locals and would definately be interesting to see that.

Also looking at your map .... you can drop down through the Nogai Steppe from Yuzhno Sukhokumsk on your red line, south to Terekli Mekteb ... which is in the Nogai region of Dagestan. Thats an interesting part of the world and the Nogai people were very warming to me 2 years ago. So warm that I struggled to get away. It was endless hospitality.

But if it were me, I would probably avoid Makhachkala and Khasavyurt at this present time.
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Old 15 Apr 2011
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Thanks for information Walther. I actually had a look of your trip 2009 in that region and i would be expecially interested if you still have GPS track of your ride somewhere storaged.

What i am now doing is i am printing all kind of screenshots of maps of area and i am trying to get more familiar of interesting places and places to avoid based of information what i can found. Most likely i will stay away of Dagestan. I will try to see if Couchsurfing organisation have people living in that area and see if i can get some information from it. Unfortunately my russian friends in Finland are not from caucasus but from Karelia and Siberia so they dont have any idea of that area.

Hopefully i have change to see Mt.Elbrus and i think there are also some other interesting old historical places though what interest me most is to see different cultures and people.
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Old 15 Apr 2011
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Originally Posted by Tirpse View Post
Thanks for information Walther. I actually had a look of your trip 2009 in that region and i would be expecially interested if you still have GPS track of your ride somewhere storaged.
Here is my track thru the region:
Attached Files
File Type: gdb Caucasus 2009.gdb (324.5 KB, 99 views)
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Old 15 Apr 2011
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
I think at the moment, Chechnya is OK. Of the 3 dodgy areas in the Caucasus, Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan, I would be comfortable to go to Chechnya right now, but probably not the other two.
This is kind of interesting thing. I have spend few hours surfing in Couchfuring.org which is a organisation of travellers and people hosting other travellers searching information of Dagestan and there are some guys hosting people also there.

It seems like in last summer there were quite many travellers tralling in Dagetan and its mountains. It just makes me wonder what actually is situation there. My friends were in Kirgisia last summer and saw no violence. Here in Finland newschannels were showing that whole country is in civil war.

Ofcourse i like to stay safe and dont bypass any warnings or advices.
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Old 18 Apr 2011
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It seems like in last summer there were quite many travellers tralling in Dagetan and its mountains. It just makes me wonder what actually is situation there. My friends were in Kirgisia last summer and saw no violence. Here in Finland newschannels were showing that whole country is in civil war.

Ofcourse i like to stay safe and dont bypass any warnings or advices.
Well you also have to bear in mind the nature of the news "business". If you are a TV channel and you want news, then it is your duty to make that news as dramatic as possible. So if one news network makes a dramatic story about the situation in Dagestan then you have to do the same. If you dont, it looks like you are not paying attention or that you are missing the action.

I even heard news from a guy living in Cairo recently that he was shocked at how the egyptian situation had been painted in the west. He said that for most people not living in the centre of Cairo, life went on pretty much as usual during the recent "revolution" that had the western world focussed on their TVs. Because if you are a reporter working in Cairo, then you have to file dramatic stories. You have to interview people saying dramatic things. If you interview normal people who dont say anything dramatic, then you get fired! - because the producers, and the editors want drama. They want death, blood, protest, violence ... thats what makes the news. Interviewing a guy who says he isnt interested in whats going on, and is just going to work as usual, is simply not newsworthy. So everything is overdramatised in the news. That's just the nature of the business.

Remember that its a "business" and everyone in that business is trying to get more action and more drama than the next news company. That means the news can never be an accurate picture. It will always be an over-dramatised picture.
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