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Old 01-12-2010, 03:20 AM   #796
Tony P
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Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Moscow, Russia.
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Visas

To endorse Colebatch's comment above, I copy a recent post of mine on HUBB (am I allowed to mention them here? ).

- - - - - - - - -
Considering the amount of money it takes to equip then do such a trip, it always amazes me that people piss about trying to save a few pounds on short visas.

The additional cost of a longer one is insignificant in the scheme of things and allows flexibility for delays, forced or self induced if you wish to stay a little longer and explore somewhere more.

Russia is Russia - and things seldom go to plan.

Remaining and exiting after a visa has expired can bring you problems, more delays, fines and possible denial of future visas.

If things go wrong and involve delays you must still leave within visa validity dates even if just to get a new one.
You cannot extend a Russian visa and you can only apply for a new one from outside of Russia.
- - - - - - - - - - -
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:20 AM   #797
oz_mick
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Ahhh yes it would be foolish to ruin a trip to such an amazing location by messing it up with visas. Worse would be not being allowed to reenter the country because of trying to save a few quid. I mean you have spent money getting there, no point stuffing it up.

Multi entry good advice.

I can relate to the non shearer populations of Longreach in comparison to the towns along the BAM.

I really have a strong desire to one day ride these roads but just need to wait a few years but already formulating a plan.

The population of the smaller towns do they head back to the major cities during the winter months or do most just tough it out ?

I know the winters in Moscow are extreme, how does Siberia and the BAM compare to this and are they of a longer duration in Siberia ?

I guess what I am trying to find out what is the weather Window of oppurtunity for travel on the BAM

So much good information in this thread from your experiences hope I do not pee you off asking to many questions
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Reccy/Charity Ride 24OCT10
Dorrigo 13-15 August 2010

Ride With My Kids 24OCT09
Ravensbourne 18OCT09
Orange & Green 03OCT09
Duck Creek Road
Head Gate rd and more
Almost Border Ranges
Monsidale Rd

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Old 01-12-2010, 05:35 AM   #798
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P
Time? Agreed - but you make your own time.
Time, that's the huge obstacle. Raising and educating 3 kids and saving for retirement makes a 3 month excursion virtually impossible for most, especially in these economic times. In a few years the last one will be out of college ... tick ... tick ... tick ...
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:40 AM   #799
Colebatch OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oz_mick
The population of the smaller towns do they head back to the major cities during the winter months or do most just tough it out ?
They tough it out. Most of them work on the Railways. For many, its the only home and only life they know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oz_mick
I know the winters in Moscow are extreme, how does Siberia and the BAM compare to this and are they of a longer duration in Siberia ?
Moscow is mild. Moscow for Russians is almost tropical. A typical winter temperature in Moscow is -10, -15. If it gets to -20, Moscow people start complaining about the cold. Along the BAM towns and in Yakutia, -35 is normal and -50 when a cold spell moves in.

And absolutely yes, you can feel the difference. I was in Irkutsk at the beginning of December, and while it was hovering around freezing point in Moscow, it was -35 in Irkutsk already. Some days were -18, some -25 and some -35. And the difference is notable. -18 is fine. You dress in a warm coat, put some gloves on and walk around the streets in jeans. No problem. When its -25 you wear the same stuff, but after 30 minutes, you start feeling cold through your shoes, through your gloves and through the exposed skin on your face. When its -35, you feel cold within one or two minutes of stepping outside, and the fleece gloves feel like they are not even on. Hands get very very cold. The -35 degree air on the face feels like it cuts like a knife. You walk down the street praying there wont be even the slightest gust of wind. If there is one, it stings the face.

(Thats all in celcius)

Quote:
Originally Posted by oz_mick
I guess what I am trying to find out what is the weather Window of oppurtunity for travel on the BAM
June - August. June will still be chilly, and there may be ice and snow in places (like Severomuisk pass and near Khani ) July will have a lot of mosquitoes. August probably the best month. Lowest water levels, fewer mosquitoes (though still a lot), though we noticed while it was hot and stick at the start of August when we began, it was getting chilly by the end of August when we finished). There is also a tick called the Ixodes tick that carries a high risk of "Siberian TBE" (Tick Borne Encephalitis) particularly around the BAM area and Yakutia ... its particularly active in May and June, another reason to avoid that time of year.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:33 AM   #800
Tony P
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The End of the BAM ... for me

Next morning we collected the bikes and while loading them outside the station we asked about the road. The general opinion ranged from absolutely impassable to might just be possible for bikes. Apparently there was a bridge under construction at one point that would be impassable. We rode to the edge of town where the road branched off and filled with fuel. A tanker driver delivering fuel confirmed the bridge construction and doubted we would get through.

Terry and I decided we would at least give it a go. We had come so far, done so much, that it would be silly to give up and turn round just on rumors and hearsay. We set off on good tarmac that after 20 kilometers became good graded gravel. This was encouraging, the road led nowhere other than our destination so if it was being maintained it was for a reason – could that be traffic?



After 70 kilometers we reached the bridge construction. Work seemed to have stopped some time ago. There was a deviation down to the left. Although quite muddy this was no real problem and we continued on. A few kilometers further we passed logging areas where the road had been churned into muddy ruts by logging lorries entering and emerging from the felling areas. This continued over the next hill and down into a valley where the earth became a bright red clay.

This became more and more muddy and sticky. Slowly we weaved along the water filled ruts, picking lines sometimes in the wheel tracks, sometimes on top where they were firm enough to support bikes. There were no sign of it getting better and after an hour or more covering 2 kilometers we stopped. The bikes and our legs were caked with the clinging red clay.



We walked forward to check over the next hill rise. The cleared route through the forest was wide and straight, but across all the width deep muddy tracks, created by the logging trucks, continued down to a soggy looking valley bottom and up and over the next brow about a kilometer away. We returned to the bikes for a conference.



We thought we could get through this next valley but we had no idea how much further these conditions continued. Terry’s SatNav showed the track we were on but there was a long gap several miles ahead, before the next village shown. Did that mean it got worse? With much reluctance we took the decision to turn round and head for the Trans Siberian Highway.



We had given it our best.

While finding somewhere to turn the bikes round we heard a strange yelping sounds in the forest. I thought it may be a dog, but it was not quite like that. Terry suggested it was a young bear calling its parents – presumably a regular sound in the wild mountains of north Cambridge, England. Being a ‘townie’ I wouldn’t know! To be safe, without investigating further, nor a ceremony to mark the end of our attempt, we quickly turned round then and retraced our muddy route.



We skirted Vikhorevka to rejoin the main road south to the Trans Siberian Highway to head towards Moscow. Once on it we stopped only for food, fuel and accommodation other than at Taishet where we made sure the town sign was suitably SibirskyExtremed ahead of Walter.



We stopped for a couple of nights in Krasnoyarsk to see Dima and get Eugene to change oils, filters and sort out a few other things on the bikes. Terry finally had proper motor bike oil again.



Our final call was to Stas in Novosibirsk to collect my road tyres that I had used riding out from London and left with him nearly three months, and a lifetime, ago. He was also holding new road tyres we had ordered for Terry.



My BAM, and SibirskyExtreme was ended.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:01 AM   #801
Raoul83
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Such a great ride report ...

Thank You !!!
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:04 AM   #802
Coachgeo
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It's human psyche I think. When one person exits something... it not just makes it so much easier for others to do the same. It sort of pulls you to exit as well. Interesting human dynamic.

Not that we can call any of you three human

great ride and writing about the remainder Tony.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:06 AM   #803
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Awesome! Thanks so much for bringing us along. I can't wait for the book, dvd, whatever...
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:34 AM   #804
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Awesome report!!!
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:35 AM   #805
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I'm fer damn sure in for the DVD!
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:36 AM   #806
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Awesome finish Tony and Terry. Man, that road was a mess from looking at the pictures. Thanks for all the work and time to share this ride with us mere mortals. Now, for your pardners story after departure from you two.
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:21 PM   #807
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Thank you for sharing this adventure of a lifetime with us!!

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Old 01-12-2010, 12:25 PM   #808
Purcell69
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Absolutely incredible! Thank you all so very much for sharing the adventure of a lifetime and taking the time to share the Russian culture with those of us who have been mislead through our lifetimes.

-Joe
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:04 PM   #809
CodyY
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Aaaaannnndddd.....

I'm spent.
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:14 PM   #810
Mika S
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Awesome!!

Thanks for the RR. In addition to the great pics and fantastic writing (including Tony's), tons of information on the people, culture, history, sites, nature, motorcycling travel, you name it!

Looking forward to the next episodes!
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