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Old 13 Sep 2002
Ian Ian is offline
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Carnet for Russia, Zilov Gap and Siberia

First question, do you need a carnet for Russia? Looking at other traveller's tales I guess not but it would be nice to confirm.

Secondly, in which month(s) is it tolerable to cross the Zilov Gap, and indeed Siberia?

Thanks in Advance,

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Old 13 Sep 2002
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See Greg Fraziers story on crossing Russia. (Travellers Stories, Greg, 'what's new' on his page)

To answer your questions, No carnet, and the middle of the summer only!

Grant Johnson

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Old 13 Oct 2002
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no, you don t need carnet for russia
they give you a piece of paper with the records of your bike at the border when you eneter
and you have to give it back when you leave the country
keep it with you for police checks

happy trails in russia
it s really great very nice people

i don t know sorry about the rest of your question
Vincent Danna

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Sept 2008 - dec 2009 : Voyage et art contemporain en Amérique du sud.

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Old 20 Oct 2002
usl usl is offline
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In august 2002 you didnt need any carnet ...
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Old 27 Oct 2002
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Hi Ian,
You don't need a carnet. You get a paper at customs when you enter Russia. Make sure you don't loose this, because you need it to leave with your bike.
We rode the "zilov gap" in august 2002. The only time would be june-september. The road workers are building the Trans Siberian Highway that connects Tschita with Chabarovsk. Depending in which state the construction is you will be riding on sand, gravel or rocks. If you are not allowed to use a part of the highway road workers will tell you. At time of travelling there were no signs to the villages to get petrol or food. Ask the road workers. The longest part is about 190 km without fuel (Mogotscha-Tschernyschewsk). There are no river crossings to make. All the bridges are ready to use.
We found the Siberians the most friendly people. Have fun and say hello to the mosquitoes...
for some pics see our homepage: www.geocities.com/bikebrothers

See you on the road...
The BikeBrothers Harald and Udo.
See you on the road...
The BikeBrothers Harald and Udo.
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Old 10 Dec 2002
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I went across the 'Zilov gap' (be aware no one in Russia calls it this) in late October - it wasn't that bad a time to be there, but might have been due to a later than normal winter. Damn cold but water levels at the bridges (most of them on the new road are still under construction, there is always some kind of bypass road) were lower than what it sounded like in summer. I think the best time conditions wise would be early fall. The amount of people driving Japanese cars back from Vladivostock at the time seemed to confirm this.
I used part of the new road and parts of the old road as the locals directed me...this is one country where you NEED to speak some of the language. Talk to the drivers of the Jap cars, the guys working on the road are trucked in and trucked out, and often know very little about what is going on past their own worksite. They have their own diesel dumps so don't need to know about petrol. They didn't tell me which roads I wasn't "allowed" on, just interesting facts like there wasn't petrol for 600km (the next fillup point was 40km away and had been there for years). There were "no entry" signs on some sections but like most roadsigns in Russia they refer to an imaginary concept only.
The signs I saw said something about 2003 completion...while this might be ambitious there are a LOT of people out there working on it and some sections are ready to be paved now, so not sure how long it will stay dirt anyway...
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