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Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
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Northern AsiaTopics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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Have you already done cycle tours in winter in northern countries?
I haven't, but would not chose Chukotka for the first tour.
I applied last year for a permit, but do not know if I would have got one. For me it was a too high risk of just beeing returned on the airport and the flights aren't cheap.
I ended up in cycling to Magadan, what was also a good experience.
Probably you know Dimitri Kieffer, he got through Chukotka on his nexus expedition, but did not use a bike then.
Planning trip to northern Scandinavia this Feb as a trial.
I know of Dmitri Kieffer and tried emailed but got no response a while back. Maybe I'll try again.
Met Karl Bushby last year (he did similar to Dmitri) and discussed a little. Have also been in touch with a Japanese guy who cycled it a few years ago - he was very helpful and positive (but he did it without a permit, which I think was easy enough for him because he cycled across the borders whereas I would plan to fly in to Yakutsk so I'm not willing to risk it).
Chris - how did you go about applying for the permit?
Dimitri is currently in Mongolia and seems not to be often online.
The problem when trying to get info about the border permit was, that few people wanted to give an answer, usually they want to sell it in a package. I was told that for Chukotka you need two different permits.
For the border permit we just wrote a mail to FSB, but got no answer. But in the end the permit was there (strange story, but as I said I would not count on it, when a flight is related to that). This was for Tuva.
PS with flight I mean a flight from Yakutsk further to Chukotka (Yakutia has flights, but they are lot more expensive than a flight from Moskva to Magadan, btw it is really bad for people there that they charge so much for the flights, I met cyclists from Yakutsk, that flew back from Magadan and the direct flight is as expensive as a flight from Yakutsk to Novosibirsk and then to Magadan, same applies for the flight Ust-Nera to Yakutsk), it is difficult to reach Chukotka by land. You can in summer take a boat or try in winter what Dimitri has done, but he split his trip over several years.
...a Japanese guy who cycled it a few years ago - he was very helpful and positive (but he did it without a permit, which I think was easy enough for him because he cycled across the borders whereas I would plan to fly in to Yakutsk so I'm not willing to risk it).
Ha, I can't say that I would think it is easier to ride to Yakutsk than fly! And why the fixation on Chukotka? You can fly to Yakutsk and if you don't get permits for Chukotka you could ride to Magadan instead?
Just to be clear, are you on a bicycle or a motorcycle?
Thanks for the links. I'd not seen the WayToRussia one before...
Someone had already mentioned getting in touch with Mac so looks like time I did - I've just sent him an email so here's hoping for a reply.
Jeepers, I just can't imagine anyone getting to Anadyr by road - there ain't any friggin' roads up there!
I regularly fly from Anadyr to Magadan (overnighting in both places) when I deliver turboprop aircraft, which is my day job. I've done that route about 5 times in the past year.
There are a few logging roads and a few trails in the Anadyr area, but once you get about 100 km southwest of Anadyr, you have reached the part of the world where the map says "here be dragons". There are very few settlements of any kind for the first 2/3 of the route to Magadan, and certainly no bridges over the rivers until you get quite close to Magadan. It's not unusual for me to fly for 150 km and see no evidence of human presence (now or previously) up in that area.
FWIW, if you are interested in riding in that part of the world, you might want to investigate riding in Alaska, perhaps travelling from Anchorage to Nome. Nome is not that far away from Anadyr, and it's basically the same kind of town as Anadyr - a remote settlement near the Bering Strait. The difference is that in Alaska, the people speak English, and relatively speaking, fewer permits would be involved.
As for Anadyr - normally, I overnight in Ugolny, which is the small village (about 2,000 people) beside the Anadyr Airport. Earlier this year, I thought it might be worthwhile to visit Anadyr itself, which requires a ferry ride (in summer) or helicopter trip (in winter) to reach from the airport.
Anadyr was not all that impressive. It was expensive. The tourist-oriented businesses there know that any tourist who visits will only pass through once, so they really put the screws to you so far as pricing is concerned. The old church is nice, but jeepers, for the price of getting to Anadyr to see it, you could go tour the most magnificent cathedrals of Europe.
As for any 'traditional way of life' - forget about it. Anadyr is a resource town, its economy (outside of the presence of government) is almost entirely based on supporting mineral exploration and mining development in the area.
Here's a photo I took this summer from the ferry - this shows the whole town
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