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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 Oct 2009
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Palana, Kamchatka

I gather Palana is a fairly modestly sized place with a port and two airports. When I arrive in Magadan next year I have my eyes set firmly on getting onto Kamchatka. If I can find a way I'll explore for a few weeks and then aim to fly out of Petro-Kam back to Moscow, which I hear is fine.
Does anyone have any information on crossing the Shelikhov Gulf or know someone who does?

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Old 27 Oct 2009
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I have never heard of any anyone going to Palana - or of any transport there. I would be wary of thinking it will be easy to get there from Magadan. I suspect it will be very difficult (because they are different provinces - and that makes a big difference in remote Russia), and I also have no maps that show there is a navigable road from there to the south-east side of the Peninsula. Even if you get there you probably wont be able to get to Petropavlovsk except by boat or helicopter!

A couple of polish guys went to Kamchatka last year (on Africa Twins) ... their pics are at

Picasa Web Albums - robert - Kamchatka 2008

Pics #105-#370 are in Kamchatka I believe.

They rode pretty much all the rideable roads connected to Petropavlovsk. I can give you the guys email if you need it. They flew in to PetroPav and then took a boat to Vanino also from Petropavlovsk when they finished with Kamchatka.
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Old 27 Oct 2009
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Fair enough

CB - I've got a heap of respect for your travels and regularly check up on your progress.

There are tracks/river crossings clearly visible from Palana to the "roads" the Africa Twin guys used on Google, for example, and these match up with another Russian online resource (hopefully not zimniks). I've also studied the route those guys took and from experience of man-handling Africa Twins through the Congo, there's only so far you can take an Africa Twin before you lose your sense of humour .

The 666Team have put me off trying the overland route to the peninsular but I'm determined to get my WR250R there somehow - seems a shame to drive to all the way there and not try...
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Old 27 Oct 2009
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More info

These Russian 4x4 offroad guys seem to have the right idea...

Picasa Web Albums - robert - Kamchatka 2008

GT-Kamchatka.ru Àâòîñïîðò íà Êàì÷àòêå -> Ïðîåêò: Êàì÷àòêà-Ìàãàäàí 2008-2009
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Old 28 Oct 2009
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definately try the Kamchatka 4WD guys

There was a big expedition earlier this year which I guess that poster is referring to when the Kamchatka 4WD club drove from Petropav to Magadan. They did it over the frozen swamps in March in very heavily modified vehicles and it took them 2 weeks. (or was it 2 months ... I cant even remember now).

Dont know if they made it in 2008 ... because the Magadan 4WD guys I spoke to were impressed they had made it this year.

As you say, there are limits to how far you can take an Africa Twin, and Robert and the Polish XRV guys pretty much push that limit. They are quite hard core, and absolute Africa Twin extremists. They would never even consider other bikes. I was astounded at the section of BAM road they had also ridden that we rode this year.... It was tough on 650 singles. On Africa Twins my personal thoughts were they must be insane to have done what they did on those bikes.

The reason its hard to get anywhere that is not the same province or 'oblast' is everything to the remoter towns is supplied with help from the state. So it comes from the regional capital, not from the nearest town. An example was in the older days, it was allegedly easy to get from Magadan to Okhotsk by ship. They are only 800km apart. Now its impossible. There are no ships. Everything going in and out of Okhotsk comes from Nikolaevsk or Vanino - smaller towns much further awayb... because Okhotsk is in Khabarovsky Kray, and so are Vanino and Nikolaevsk. I would imagine that similarly with Palana, everything going in and out comes from PetroPavlovsk. Similarly the new road built to Ust Nera from Kyubeme was built because Ust Nera is Yakutia and needs Yakutsk as its main connection with the world. The old summer road from Kyubeme to Kadykchan served neither the interests of Magadan Oblast or Yakutia under the post soviet political architecture and so has been abandoned.

Happy to hook up in January and share maps and ideas of Siberia as I may be returning next year. Just read your Africa pages. Nice report!
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Old 28 Oct 2009
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planning

High praise indeed The Africa trip was just a bit of fun but taught me a thing or two about packing light. We weighed the AfrcTwins in CapeTown on fruit pallet scales before we shipped them and with half a tank of fuel mine was over 300kg.

You're right about the 4x4 guys - I'd already ruled out March in Siberia! Seriously impressive effort - loving the bloke with the 4mini-catapillar tracks.

I'll continue scavenging for info in the meantime and post what I find up here but I'd love to meet up in the New Year to discuss plans. Have you made it out of the Stans yet without being turned into an iceblock?
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Old 30 Oct 2009
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Just so we know it's possible...

There is a scheduled flight about 1 weekly to Petropavlovsk-Kamchaka from Magadan.

Flight schedule

Worst case scenario is Kamchatka "Без мотоциклов" [without bike]...
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