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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 24 Oct 2002
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Russia

Hello, Can anyone give me any tips about travelling in Russia. I want to go to Archangel but not sure whether this will be feasible. Tips about fuel availability, weather, what currency to carry etc etc. Will be going next July. All the best to everyone.
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  #2  
Old 24 Oct 2002
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Hi,

first I had hoped to have a go and ride around the Black sea. But I am afraid recent developments in Chechenya nad Georgia are making that a bit to adventurous.

So the idea now is to ride south-east from Belgium to the Black sea (Oukraine and Russia) and then head straight north going as far north as we can before we need to head West again to get home in time. All this in about 33 days, september october next year.

I have tried to get info together. Up up to Roemenia you can find plenty of info and most of the info seems to say the same thing.
But once you head into Oukraine, Moldavia or Russia...
Besides how to get a visa there ain't much info on how to travel through Russia out there.
I will meet up with some Russians from Tsjouvachia (about 300km east of Moscow) and with the help of a translator I hope to get some first hand info.

Questions are:
* state or the roads?
* reliable maps (that I can read)?
* fuel?
* go's and no go's?
* stay on the main roads or venture of on the little roads?

Maybe it might be helpfull if we exchange the info that we get together? Although I do realise you are going North while I go South.
What draws you to Archangel?

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  #3  
Old 25 Oct 2002
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Hi Fireboomer, why Archangel? Not sure it is just a name that leaps out of my chilhood memories and no one I know has ever been there. Am I correct in thinking a Transit visa is the one I want. I will enter from Norway or Finland and exit into Estonia. I will defo keep in touch and swap any info I can get hold of. Take it easy: Richard
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  #4  
Old 25 Oct 2002
usl usl is offline
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Hi ;
Answers to your questions ,with recent information( I made a tour from Sochi to Petersburg and back in August )

Roads: All paved road ,
Maps: Realiable maps are sold in bookstores.Since they are thick as a book its quite normal.Price is around 10 EU.
Fuel : 95 octane is everywhere. Distance between fuel stations is sufficient.( even for my 9 lt.tank it was )
Go & no go's : No limitation what so ever.
Main or little roads : Main roads have heavy traffic. Little roads are better. And no problem of security.

But keep in mind that english is not know by almost anyone.So its useful to learn some russian.

If anything else you would like to know ,i will try to inform you as much as possible.

Both ,take care

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  #5  
Old 26 Oct 2002
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Huh, all roads paved? Do I get this right? Hmmm, I have this image of Russia wich includes endless unpaved dirt / mud roads. Crossing little villages from time to time... That is if you stay away from the main roads. And that is also what I would like actually.

I know about the language barrier. There are 2 Russians staying at my dads place and the only speak Russian ;-)
Trying to get some info from them is close to impossible.

Right now the plans looks like:
Riding down to Rostov at the black sea. From here start following the Wolga inland all the way to "Cheboksary", 300km east of Moscow. From there see how much time is left over and then head back west.

Funny thing. The Russians say it is a 2 day trip from Kiev (Oukraine) to Moscow. Thats understandable. But at the same time they say it takes them a day to ride from "cheboksary" to Moscow....? Hmmm, I wonder if the roads there are paved.

Two questions:
Does this seem doable in a month without always taking the main roads? I would rather like to follow the arrow on my GPS as close as possible? Thus taking little roads.

Is fuel no problem along the little roads?

Is it worth considering Micheling deserts from somewhere in Roumania? And use them to cross Roumania, Moldavia, Oukraine and Russia.

Richard, how long do you think to do over your trip?

Thanks already for the info.

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  #6  
Old 26 Oct 2002
usl usl is offline
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I agree with you about riding in secondary roads.Its more fun and therefore prefered. But except for little-little roads almost every road is paved.But dont worry they are sometimes very curly and there holes scattered here and there.Only at little (x 2) roads ,you will find dirt ,of various kinds. Still the trip was well worth the effort.

I havent been to Cheboksary ,but was in Sergey-Posad ( ~ 600 km ).And the roads are ,most probably ,as i mentioned.The russians are right : its about one day trip.If you pick the side roads and stroll around.. hmm .. 3-4 days at most.

Between Pskov and Novy Oskol i rode in little roads only ,even tried tiny roads when ever possible ,and my 9 lt. tank and 5 lt. jerrycan was enough. ( ~250km.range )

I dont know the pattern of Mich.desserts but i have equipped my Husqvarna with Mich.Karoo, with the same hope as you : dirt and mud in tiny roads, and it was way too much. I think a tire with the patterns of Mich.Sahara will be sufficient.

Ahh ..dont know about 1 month .. its from where to where ? ... but 40 days were enough for me. 3000 km. in roads which can be considered as little, 500 km. no road, 2500 km. normal road .So it might give you an idea.

Two things although you didnt ask.
1- No mechanic or spare part can be found what so ever.You can consider your self as alone as if in a Moroccon desert.:O)
2-Rostov was a biig town. Why there among all the others ? I can recommend Pereslavl - Zalesskiy for example..very cute village

Hope its been helpfull

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  #7  
Old 27 Oct 2002
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OK so maybe Micheling Deserts will be a bit too much (they are for ex. used by most Paris Dakar riders).
But It is almost impossible to puncture them... that's a good point. If I go for road bikes I would choose Michelin T66.
Find it quite unbelievable that those Russians managed to pave so many roadmiles... Hmmm, too bad ;-)

Fuel seems to be no problem, that's nice.

About mechanical problems... I know I'll be out there on my own (or our own). It's a risc you take. For a part I just hope my trusty transalp will stay as loyal as it has been. And I'll take spares with me for minor problems (fuses, sparkplugs, fuelfilters, chain stuff, inner tubes...)

Why Rostov, because that's where the Wolga comes in the Black Sea and we hope to follow that river upstream to Cheboksary.

I think we will go well over 10.000km. That will be part of the challenge to get the distance covered without taking the main roads. We see the trip as a sort of roadtrip. We ride as long (or as short) as we want. If we have to we turn west earlier, doesn't matter. And if one place really gets us we'll stay there.

Thanks for all the info. Looks like we just have to start looking at the map. Any places we should really go?

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  #8  
Old 27 Oct 2002
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I will keep that information about Mich.dessert in mind ,about how hard to puncture them. I really dont like changing tires ( just like everyone ).Even if it means wearing out the tires faster.

I havent been to many places on your route

* Nova Chearsk-susatkiy-trofimov-morozovsk ... nice little roads ..and even nicer people .. pull over to any place ,ask for shelter .. and you got yourself one already.Wonderful people.

After that ,we started to get away from your route .. you plan to go further east while we went almost directly north.If you can try Pskov-Straya Lagoda-Novgorod triangle. Tiny tiny roads .. lakes .. heaven for off-road lovers.

But i want to recommend you Sergey-Posad also.Very close to Pereslavl-Zalesskiy.Both very nice places.Rostov was also very very nice.

Take care ,

Ps : Wasnt that famous river Don ,which reaches Black Sea at Rostov-on-Don ?


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  #9  
Old 30 Oct 2002
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Thanks for the info. I'll hold on to it.

Ask around for shelter??? Do you mean verbally? Hmmm, guess I'll have to use hands and feets and express myself visually. ;-))))))

If I have any more questions I'll put them out here. For now I can go and start planning a bit more.

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  #10  
Old 30 Oct 2002
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Why don't you simply learn a bit Russian.
You can buy CD-rom lessons for € 45,--.
I learnt a little bit Polish that way.

People will respect you for trying to learn their language.

Freek(nl)
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  #11  
Old 31 Oct 2002
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A friend of me speaks fluently Russian. Might ask him to give me some lessons.

Freek, very true, locals respect it when you do an effort. I'll try to do so, but still hand and foot work will be needed from time to time I believe. That's half of the fun! ;-)
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  #12  
Old 9 Nov 2002
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hello
i was in russia this summer for one and half month

visa made with www.ryh.ru, reliable, cheap

it was great great , amazingly nice people

i ve been from st pet to moscow, ekaterinburg, novosibirsk, altai, tuva, baikal lake, irkutsk, ulan ude then ulan bator (mongolia)
and back to russia irkutsk, novosibirsk, semipalatinsk (kazakhstan)

roads : almost asphalt everywhere, not always good quality, offroad in altai, tuva
fuel : almost everywhere 92 or 93 or 95, i had to put once 76
police : i had no problems they tried to get some money but i managed not to have to give, smile, be sorry, etc ...

i did it with metzeler enduro 4, perfect almost all the time on my r100gs

if you have problems, which i don t wish you, they know to repair bikes nicely, i experienced unfortunately

learn a bit of russian, it s an excellent idea

more info on my website
http://vincent.danna.free.fr/

i ve also been 4 months in central asia, if you need any info, email me please

happy trails
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* www.va-project.com
Sept 2008 - dec 2009 : Voyage et art contemporain en Amérique du sud.

* http://vincent.danna.free.fr/
2002 - 2004 : Un tour du monde en moto.
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  #13  
Old 30 Dec 2002
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Quote:
Originally posted by Owain G:
Hello, Can anyone give me any tips about travelling in Russia. I want to go to Archangel but not sure whether this will be feasible. Tips about fuel availability, weather, what currency to carry etc etc. Will be going next July. All the best to everyone.
Hi there, seems you and me think along the same lines. i was thinking of messing about around scandinavia and just popping over the border in to Murmansk, sometime this summer.
It would be good to share info ( not that i have any....) or maybe meet up somewhere.
I plan on doing it on a Aprillia Pegaso so abit of dirt would be a welcome relief.
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  #14  
Old 31 Dec 2002
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Seems we al are turnig towards the North.
We decided to forget about Georgia this year because situation too unstable. So we took up the plan B circumnavigate the Baltic Sea.
Up North to Murmansk and then back.

Two quick questions:
* what is the best time: june or September. how should one prepare (clothing wise) for each of the months?
* around the baltic clockwise or counterclockwise. is one of both preferably and why?

thanks for any info.


Fireboomer.

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  #15  
Old 31 Dec 2002
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by fireboomer:
[B]Seems we al are turnig towards the North.
We decided to forget about Georgia this year because situation too unstable. So we took up the plan B circumnavigate the Baltic Sea.
Up North to Murmansk and then back.

Two quick questions:
* what is the best time: june or September. how should one prepare (clothing wise) for each of the months?
* around the baltic clockwise or counterclockwise. is one of both preferably and why?

thanks for any info.


Fireboomer.
Hi fireboommer
I reckon either June or July would be the premium months to travel, if the winter comes early, september may be a bit wet in the far north. It will be lighter for longer also.
Your plan B sounds good, i had not given the southern Baltic states much thought because of the paperwork aggro. I,m quite new to travel outside western europe and it seemed much easier to go through scandinavia.
As for clothing, normal fabric jacket, heated waistcoat. Leather pants, Waterproof overtrousers with rubber overboots, two pairs of gloves should cover it nicely..
Should leave lots of room for tent, maggot and a handfull of spares.

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