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Old 12-17-2009, 04:55 AM   #11
Colebatch OP
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Location: Schmocation
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Several times in the night, we were gently reminded that we had camped 10 metres from a BAM railway bridge, and boy do the Russians put together a long train.

By 8:30am we were all awake in our tents, talking to each other about getting out. But each of us just sat in our respective tents, staring at the mosquitoes waiting in the tent 'lobbies'. About 9:30 we finally got enough resolve to decide that mosquitoes would not defeat the Sibirsky Extreme Project, but it was definately a close run thing.

Here is Tony after packing up the campsite:

We made good progress on the graded gravel road until just after 1pm, when we hit a bridge under construction, over the Amgun River. The bridge didnt reach across the river and the river was too deep and too fast to cross. Suddenly ... we were going nowhere.

We walked over to the railway bridge where there was an armed guard watching over the rail bridge, but he just barked at us to get away and waved his Kalashnikov around to show he was serious. The road bridge constuction guys, if there were any, were no-where to be seen. I tried to walk across the river but the current was too strong. We had little option but to wait.

An hour or so later, right on 2pm, the construction gang appeared back from lunch (we had seen a work camp a few kilometres back, I guess that was where they had been hiding). We met a few of the guys and were introduced to the boss man ... head of the construction team. He reckoned a Ural truck, which lives in the first village on the other side of the river, will come over in 2 hours and we should be able to buy a lift with him. And with no other option, we waited.

4pm came and the bridge workers finished up for the day. The boss man walked past us saying the Ural will be here soon. By 4:15 the site was deserted again, just the 3 crazy English motorcyclists waiting.

Terry and I walked over the 3/4 constructed bridge to see if there was any way to survey a route across the river. But it was too deep and the current too strong.

We did see the track leading away on the other side of the River though, and it was not at all encouraging. Completely overgrown, and where no grader had been in decades, the BAM road ahead of us was looking like hard work.

From here, it wasn't a road anymore. From here, it was clearly going to be tough. This was "grab the balls, clear the throat and remind yourself you are a man" time.
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Colebatch screwed with this post 12-17-2009 at 05:01 AM
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