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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 12 Mar 2005
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Practical details on driving through Russia and Mongolia

Hello fellow travellers.

Last year myself, my wife Kienny and a friend Tom travelled from Vladivostok in Eastern Russia to Murmansk in North West Russia. We have finally updated our WEB page to include a lot of the practical information such as border crossings, visa, camping, gps, maps, road conditions, shipping, costs, money etc. etc. Hopefully this information will help you to plan your trip and answer many of your questions.

Main WEB page:
http://overland.dreamers1.com

Practical details on driving through Russia and Mongolia page:
http://dreamers1.com/russia/Practica...ticalities.htm

If anyone has any corrections or additional items that should be added then please let us know.

Geoff..

[This message has been edited by kingsmill (edited 30 March 2005).]
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  #2  
Old 14 Mar 2005
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This is really a wealth of information. Thanks a lot !
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Old 16 Mar 2005
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Another heartfelt thank you for posting this incredibly useful and detailed information. I greatly appreciate the time and effort you expended to put it on your website. I've printed out most of it and will have committed much of it to memory by the time I leave for my trip across Russia in mid-July.

One question - how frequently did you encounter the type of gasoline pump which would not shut off until the ordered amount of gas had been pumped? Boorman and McGregor had considerable difficulty with these, McGregor being squirted in the eye with gas, and I'm somewhat concerned about this situation since I will be filling a relatively small motorcycle tank with little margin for error. I'm considering installing a translucent tank on the bike so as to be able to better judge how much gas to purchase.

Thanks again.

Mike
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Old 17 Mar 2005
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Filling up with fuel in Russia (especially Eastern Russia) and Mongolia is not up to the standard we have at home. On at least three occassions we had fuel overflowing on the ground because we could not shut off the pump. Many pumps do shut off but some don't and unfortunately you never know which one is not going to work. After a few fills you can pretty much gauge how much fuel to buy based on the distance travelled. My advice is to buy slightly less than you need. This means that you might not be able to fill your tank to capacity but at least you won't have to worry about getting fuel all over your bike. Also, make sure you place the hose in the tank before you go and pay for fuel, otherwise if the lady behind the counter hits the button too soon or if you press the button on the side of the pump too soon fuel will go everywhere. This happened to our friend who was travelling on a motorbike. He had unclipped the hose from the fuel pump and had it pointed in the direction of the bike when the lady behind the counter hit the on button and fuel sprayed all over the bike.

Part of the fun of travelling is to experience new things. Ordering, paying and filling up with fuel in Russia is certainly an unforgettable experience.

Talking about experiences, I remember one day we were filling up with fuel and a car drove off with the nozzle still in car. The hose ripped staight off the fuel bowser. Needless to say the driver was embarrassed and the shop owner was not impressed!

Geoff..
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Old 17 Mar 2005
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Our solution to the problem was two fold. Our range on the Tigers was 500 Km given normal riding. We always refuelled some where between 300 and 400 km. When we came to refuel we under estimated our consumption and requested that amount of fuel per bike (we had two bikes). Then we had a 4 litre jerry can which we then ordered a second amount of fuel (4 litres) and toped the tanks up with the can. As we had a mulit fuel stove we then used the remainder of the fuel in the can for cooking. That way we always had a full fuel tank and the maximum range if we ever miscalculated the distances between stops. But we never had any distances in Russia its self greater than 500 km.

As others have said most of the fun was working out the system at the stations and the fun of communicating through reflective glass. I ended up always having a pen and writing the litres we wanted for each bike on my hand and pressing that up against the window with a pathetic pleading grin on my face saying “Da?”

The other problem was how to activate the pump.

Cheers and enjoy Russia. Great place to travel

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  #6  
Old 17 Mar 2005
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hello

i put some practical info on my website, i was in central asia russia mongolia iran pakistan in 2002, it may have changed a bit though :

http://vincent.danna.free.fr/infos/index.html

good luck, enjoy
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Old 18 Mar 2005
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By the way, the most important word to get fuel in russia is 'polno'. That means 'fill up' or 'full'. You give the nice lady behind the counter enough money, put a smile on your lips and say 'polno' in the sweetest way possible. That will release you of the problem that you can never fill up the whole fuel tank.

Don't forget to ask for the rest of the money you gave before. With a smile :-)

Marco
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Old 20 Mar 2005
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Thanks guys for the info on fuel pumps, etc.

Good to hear from you again, Marco. Where are you now and how's your bike?

Mike
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  #9  
Old 5 Apr 2005
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Hi Mike

I'm in Buenos Aires but will leave back for switzerland in a few days. I park my bike here and return later. By the way, on my homepage (although it is in german) you can find on the upper left part a section called 'wegpunkte' where you can see where i am. if you click on it, you get directed to mapquest.com

Marco
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