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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 26 Mar 2008
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Kamchatka East Russia.

Has anyone visited Kamchatka. Looks an awsome place worthy of a visit, remember seeing a documentry which said you could only acsess by hellicopter. However looking on some sites I came across photos of a built up town so acsess must be possible. Will be driving an 8x8.
Any info will be greatly recived.
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Old 26 Mar 2008
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My information is very dated, but since no once else has posted, I will give you my experience. In 1995 or 1996 I flew into Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski and did a week or ten day long adventure vacation--three or four days rafting (have forgotten which river). The river was fine--very dense vegetation and mosquitos, very remote. We encountered probably 2 or 3 hi-end (ie, Western clients) salmon fishing trips while on the river. It rained almost incessantly during our visit, but I remember our Russian guide starting a fire by rubbing two wet sticks together. Two of our guides were women, which I thought meant we were in for a pretty tame trip, but these women were TOUGH. By the end of the float trip, one's eye had swollen shut because of a mosquito bite (or something), and the other one's jaw had swollen to enormous proportions for the same reason. Needless to say, the bugs there are pretty serious.

Probably more relevant for your trip, we also took a 3-4 day trip into the volcano region (again, I forget exactly where). We had a Russian 4x4 truck with enormous wheels (which looked more like a lunar rover than anything) and just drove up the road a bit, and then cross-country into a valley between two volcanoes, which were partially covered by glaciers. Hiked up the volcano/glaciers, very cool. A spot amid the glaciers where geysers had melted the ice was marked by a handful of crosses where unfortunate hikers had fallen into the scalding geysers and perished.

We hoped to go the "Valley of Geysers" but that particular location was supposedly only accessible to helicopters, and the weather during our visit kept us grounded, so we had to scratch.

Bottom line, very cool, but be ready for some rainy weather and to adjust your travel plans accordingly.
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  #3  
Old 26 Mar 2008
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Only over sea/by air

As far as I know you can only get there over sea or fly in. I'd be interested in any attempt to get there overland though... .
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Old 26 Mar 2008
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I am reliably informed (her indoors is Russian and we are currently visiting her parents) there is no way you can get to Kamchatka by any form of road transport except possibly in winter when everything is frozen and will support a suitable eqipped vehicle. Air or sea links only.

Once there there are townships with unmade but useable tracks between them.

The entire peninsular used to be 100% military only, apart from the indidginous peoples there, and non-military personnel were forbidden.

Now it is more open, but the authorities do all they can to discourage tourists because of the safety consequences arising from the natural dangers from volcanoes, hot gysers and earthquakes (at least one a day).

A friend of ours comes comes from there and I will ask her for an update when I see her in 2 weeks time.

Interesting sounding place though. One of the last real adventures?
I could look at being among the first group of motorcyclists to get there - keep in touch.

Edit - And I know a couple of highly experienced UK based riders who would also look at a serious attempt

Last edited by Tony P; 26 Mar 2008 at 21:50.
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Old 26 Mar 2008
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Looks like this is going to be an interesting one. Tony sounds like you may be able to get the info. At the moment I'm looking at getting across in a 8x8 next year late summer. But I'm sure many would be interested in bike acsess.
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Old 26 Mar 2008
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Good Post!

This is also a trip I am interested in attempting with my other half and the dog!! We would be in a Ural outfit, not a bike: perhaps best by the sounds of it....

I'll keep reading with interest.
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  #7  
Old 27 Mar 2008
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You could try checking with these guys

Kamchatka travel

Sounds like a pretty awesome place - if it is navigable I would be interested in thinking about riding up there from Vladivostok next year.
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  #8  
Old 27 Mar 2008
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kamchtatka is russian iceland you know and obviously the promised land for extreme people - volkanos, hot springs, unbelivable hunting and fishing.
there are to way of getting there: from Vladik it'S BY FERRY ( ferries are regular and normal transport there) or BY LOCAL AIRLINES. from other parts of russia there are regular flights too to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the capital of the region.
the region itself is rather civilised and that's why - it our pacific military base. i mean ALL THE ISLAND. of course it's not covered all over whith marines, but all the settlments ( which are rather numerous) are in some way connected to army.
so any forigner must get a permission and, if allowed to come, a strict route.
my father served there and still lives as well as my bro-in-law. if anyone seriously interested i can ask questions, but details needed - dates, purpose and route.
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Old 27 Mar 2008
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Motobelka
Thanks.

Maybe if this idea becomes more serious with some of us, we can meet to talk about it over a one day, later in the year - at the Bikers Club or elsewhere. I will contact you in due course.

I am in Moscow right now, and come regularly (appartment close to Kuntsevskya Metro), even sometimes by bike from London, but not this visit. It is still a little too cold, although it is very nice here this week.
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Old 27 Mar 2008
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really apreciate all the info guys and thanks Motobelka looks like you're a great contact to have. Going to meet up with a mate at the weekend and discuss this more. Just need to find someone whos driven/ridden through as the milatry must of laid some good off road tracks over the years from the mainland.
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Old 27 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookey View Post
really apreciate all the info guys and thanks Motobelka looks like you're a great contact to have. Going to meet up with a mate at the weekend and discuss this more. Just need to find someone whos driven/ridden through as the milatry must of laid some good off road tracks over the years from the mainland.
Feel free to post anything you find out....
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  #12  
Old 28 Mar 2008
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Tony,
we travelling people have weekly wensday meetings in Picasso pub ( Mikluho-Maklaya 15/16 on RUDN territory). sometimes therу are very interesting persons and next week i hope we welcome back our bro from his two-months south america trip. gathering time is about 8 or 9pm. look left from entrance u'll see a big table with noisy guys (the pub is really a student cafe so it we'll be easy to find comarades). if coming let me know
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Old 28 Mar 2008
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Motobelka
Thanks for the invitation. I know the road.
Unfortunately I am leaving Moskva on Wednesday evening. I will be back in a few weeks time and I will contact you with a Private Message.
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  #14  
Old 28 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookey View Post
Has anyone visited Kamchatka. Looks an awsome place worthy of a visit, remember seeing a documentry which said you could only acsess by hellicopter. However looking on some sites I came across photos of a built up town so acsess must be possible. Will be driving an 8x8.
Any info will be greatly recived.
куря острова - "The Smoking Islands". Amongst the first Russian words I learned (can I smoke here etc. etc.) and I've been interested in this place ever since. What 8x8 truck would you use? I hope to get to Pevek and 180 east in a Zil 131 but it has to be a winter passage for me.
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Old 28 Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by Fastship View Post
êóðÿ îñòðîâà - "The Smoking Islands".
nonononono!! your translation is not correct sorry you're using wrong verb form.
"smoking" is ehhhhh.... a kind of Contineous i forgot the right termin, you should use the same tense in russian "êóðÿùèå".
but mind the double sense of the word(both russian and english) 1. tobbaco fume 2. fire fume. in russian name of islands corresponds with second meaninig and in this case you should surplus "ñÿ" to the verb which is verbal form for "self". so the better translation for "smoking islands" is "êóðÿùèåñÿ îñòðîâà" Êóðèëû, The Kurils.
but those islands are very far from Pevek
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