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Old 02-24-2013, 11:30 AM   #4066
ROD CURRIE
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Day 72

In the morning I came down and threw the gear on the bike ,it was dry but overcast.
My target for today was Ekaterinburg which was only about 400Ks-so an easy few hours.
Skinny came out and was eyeing the bike as I loaded it up-his eyes looked like dogs balls so doubtless he'd got lucky with the barmaid and had been engaged in horizontal gymnastics all night. No wonder the little fuck's so thin....not that I'm bitter. Much.

As I left I decided to give the bike a squirt and I hit some gravel/diesel and the back stepped out a mile and nearly had me off...serve you right you silly old bastard.

Alas the weather gods decided to make me suffer just a little more today and it absolutely threw it down all the way to my destination. I had the usual dicing with trucks experiences in Tyumen with the added delight of being in 3 inches of water and the trucks and cars taking it in turns to rip past and drench you. Strangely this doesn't improve with repeated attempts, and I was bloody grateful to get out in one piece


Maybe we were now in the rain shadow of the Urals and it'd be like this until I got through them.. but I was very glad to get in to Ekaterinburg later in the day.

I chose a hotel at random from the GPS choices and the Bolshoi Ural Hotel sounded great and was located next to the city centre.

The hotel staff were delightful and I used a phone in reception to call home.

The hotel had pictures of having been a communications centre in the war and uniformed staff sitting next to radios in the dark, waiting for the news from the front, but was alas was a poor shadow of its former self, in an appalling state of decay with large public areas empty of furniture, decrepit windows and decor, and tiles peeling off the bathroom walls.
It clearly hasn't had a bean spent on it since the 60s and I was one of perhaps 10 guests in a hotel that probably has 200 rooms. Such a shame to see a lovely building in that state.

The hotel had secure parking in a compound guarded by a huge dog that went insane when I walked past the shed it was in-with a security guard-I hope he loved it and more importantly it loved him! It was let loose in the compound at night . Clearly no one would get near my bike...unless the dog wanted it of course-and if it wants it that badly it can feckin' have it.

ROD CURRIE screwed with this post 02-24-2013 at 03:35 PM
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:01 PM   #4067
sonnyboy
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ROD CURRIE Sorry I didn't post yesterday guys. I was hit by several low-flying beers whilst watching the England-France rugby match. In a spirit of fraternalism I was in a pub with a Frenchman and and Englishman ands alas we ended up fraternally stoated. . I'll post 2 days today in payment. Youre just the clown


What does this mean/stand for ?



Fantastic stuff!!
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:02 PM   #4068
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROD CURRIE View Post
Sorry I didn't post yesterday guys. I was hit by several low-flying beers whilst watching the England-France rugby match. In a spirit of fraternalism I was in a pub with a Frenchman and and Englishman ands alas we ended up fraternally stoated. . I'll post 2 days today in payment.

My own side-Scotland are playing the foul, gay and orc-like Paddies :ymca today so I may yet have to recommence the Battle of the Beer in support of my own Shining, manly and Brave paragons of the great game.
Any comment Fray Bentos?
No. Honkytonk. Bastards. Fuckin' lot of them.Still though, well done The Scotch. Anybody but The Auld Enemy..;-)

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Old 02-24-2013, 12:21 PM   #4069
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Originally Posted by sonnyboy View Post
What does this mean/stand for ?

I believe that it's a monument to the coldest temperature ever recorded in Tomtor, and for that matter, any other place inhabited by people.

This article claims that it's Oymyakon (**edit: Same place??) - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...an-hamlet.html
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:15 PM   #4070
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igormortis View Post
I believe that it's a monument to the coldest temperature ever recorded in Tomtor, and for that matter, any other place inhabited by people.

This article claims that it's Oymyakon (**edit: Same place??) - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...an-hamlet.html
Oymyakon and Tomtor are neighboring villages in the Indigirka valley about 20 km apart. Which is this part of the world where towns are often 300 km apart, makes them practically the same town.

Weather is recorded at official meteorological stations which are usually airports. Oymyakon used to have the airport in the region. It was a key stop on the Alaska Siberia air bridge (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALSIB) in WWII. These days the regional airport is in Tomtor.

For most intents and purposes, Oymyakon and Tomtor are pretty much synonymous.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:22 PM   #4071
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Congratulations Team Sibirsky Extream!!!!!!

I count twenty-three FRONT PAGE photos recorded by Team Sibirsky , A tribute to a colossal effort and outstanding RR

Well done W.C. & Co.

More to come I'm sure
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:55 PM   #4072
Sphene
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Count me in!

I'm a fan. I've been enjoying this report from day one. Walter, can you please post a link to a ride you did a year or two ago. I think it was when you rode with Sheri Jo, the young lady from Australia. I recently bought the best map of Russia I could find to follow your adventures. I am interested in a bit you did solo after a lengthy ferry ride north from civilization to stretch of road that didn't seem to lead to anything but more trees and bad weather. Thanks from a loyal reader.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:47 PM   #4073
revmaaatin
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Comrad, where is Mother Russia's map source?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sphene View Post
I'm a fan. I've been enjoying this report from day one. Walter, can you please post a link to a ride you did a year or two ago. I think it was when you rode with Sheri Jo, the young lady from Australia. I recently bought the best map of Russia I could find to follow your adventures. I am interested in a bit you did solo after a lengthy ferry ride north from civilization to stretch of road that didn't seem to lead to anything but more trees and bad weather. Thanks from a loyal reader.
Please name your map source.
Enquiring minds want to know. grin.

I have not looked at National Geographic as a map source yet, but imagine that they would be 'reasonably' useful.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:41 PM   #4074
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You can never have too many maps.

I bought an International Travel Map at Barnes & Nobel. It was the only one in the store. It does not show road numbers, but it does show rivers, mountain ranges and small towns. It was published in Canada in 2011. Their web site is www.itmb.com.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:46 PM   #4075
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Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post

Whats your take on that debate? If you were at a zakusochnaya somewhere and had a choice of belyashi or pirozhki s myasom, what would you choose, and why?

Let me please fill in here aswel. I love all of them but it would depend on how hungry I am. Belyash is bigger and juicier therefore taste better. But a thin-doe cheburek always wins...
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:07 PM   #4076
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROD CURRIE View Post
Sorry I didn't post yesterday guys. I was hit by several low-flying beers whilst watching the England-France rugby match. In a spirit of fraternalism I was in a pub with a Frenchman and and Englishman ands alas we ended up fraternally stoated. . I'll post 2 days today in payment.

My own side-Scotland are playing the foul, gay and orc-like Paddies :ymca today so I may yet have to recommence the Battle of the Beer in support of my own Shining, manly and Brave paragons of the great game.
Any comment Fray Bentos?

Rod - I love your commentary and keep it up! This yank just needs to find an interpreter as to what this means. Best of luck to your team. Creeker 747

Tell me about it! I've been trying to understand him since 2006!
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:47 PM   #4077
Colebatch OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sphene View Post
Walter, can you please post a link to a ride you did a year or two ago. I think it was when you rode with Sheri Jo, the young lady from Australia.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=602168 ... but it may not be what you are looking for (see below)

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I recently bought the best map of Russia I could find to follow your adventures.
Try legendary London map shop Stanfords - they ship globally, and have a very broad selection of maps and road atlases. http://travel.stanfords.co.uk/search...iew=list&srt=0 (400 maps, atlases and travel books specifically of Russia)

The one I use the most for general planning is this one: http://www.stanfords.co.uk/Home/Prod...9854090993.htm

Note that for Russia, Google Maps is pretty bad. Online maps in Russia are best via the Russian Google clone, Yandex. But its in cyrillic. http://maps.yandex.ru

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sphene View Post
I am interested in a bit you did solo after a lengthy ferry ride north from civilization to stretch of road that didn't seem to lead to anything but more trees and bad weather.
That sounds like the Anabar Road. Which is here:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=569243
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:53 AM   #4078
mario33
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Online maps in Russia are best via the Russian Google clone, Yandex. But its in cyrillic. http://maps.yandex.ru
Walter, you're a star ! Took a quick look at the parts I know well and its remarkably ACCURATE ! I believe theres a way to design a track on this site and dowload it later, right ?

I wonder what maps they used as 'base'...

So far I've been using those services, based on Russian military maps:
http://www.topomapper.com/ (mix of topo maps with other vendors' maps, eg Google; shows how deficient Google Maps are :) )
http://loadmap.net/en (downloadable maps, already Ozi calibrated)

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Old 02-25-2013, 08:40 AM   #4079
ROD CURRIE
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Day 73

The day started damp and grey, but I wasn't on the bike today but having a day off in Ekaterinburg.
Boris Yeltsin had in 1997 demolished the house where the Tsar and his family were murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1917, ...no idea why but maybe the new Glasnost spirit engendered a little collective guilt? No idea. I hoped there was still enough architecture and history to interest me for a day.
First job was to go out and see if I could buy a camera to replace the one dropped off the bike in Mongolia.
I wandered off towards the town going past a beautiful Opera house a through a little park with a statue that I think was of Felix Dzerzhinsky... but I couldn't see any identifying script on the plinth. It was maybe Trotsky but Felix has the edge as T fell out of favour and paid the price. Didn't they all to that nice Uncle Joe ....

This bar was on the main street...for those too young to recognise it, it's the Beatles Yellow Submarine.




Just down the street I found a very modern shop packed with iPhones, Cameras and any other consumer device and staffed by bright young things in corporate livery ,very pretty girls and smart guys.
I asked one of them if someone spoke English...bingo..the first one did. Not only smart but savvy and educated.
He showed me some cameras and I selected a Lumix and went to pay -surprise...they only take cash! ? It was no problem as I had cash on me but they aren't quite where we are yet in their ability to get money out of your bank. maybe not a bad thing as it makes you consider just a little longer when you're parting with the green and folding.
I took the camera and wandered away poking the buttons to find out how it worked.
The menu was all in Russian which is a problem...because I can't understand the menu to get out of it and into a language I do understand...because don't understand it. Round and round. :
I sat on a bench and eventually I poked enough buttons to get the English menu up...result.

Off to investigate.

This is I think a theatre and just a beautiful old building. The arts were always well regarded by the soviets and maybe fared better than many other disciplines in terms of financial support.

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Old 02-25-2013, 09:07 AM   #4080
ROD CURRIE
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Lenin and The Party

Just down the road was this statue of The Man.

No irony intended here but it is a little ironic that he's standing in front of a sign for a supermarket -perhaps one of the ultimate symbols of commerce.



Lenin is understandably still regarded with great respect by the Russian people. For those who are thinking "Goddam Commie" or the like, once again you have to put this into the perspective of the time, when there were "the haves" and the "have nots" and the latter -the enormous majority-were regarded as little more than cattle.
Lenin was looking for some fairer redistribution of wealth....I suggest most of us in that situation would have been similarly minded -he isn't to blame for hijack of the revolution that soon occurred and the terror and purges that lasted 50 years.

Presumably this was Communist party headquarters back in the day and the Town Hall now



Complete with the usual Boris and Nina and the gang, idealised worker heroes of The Revolution. I used to have a six-pack like that. Now I have the full gallon..




And just in case you'd missed the message. "We're in charge and don't forget it"
Not sure what "Gorsovet" means but maybe someone will chime in.





Religion was banned until 1942, when during the siege of Stalingrad the Party decided the poor sods needed all the moral support they could get and it was never proscribed again, though never quite supported either. These beautiful Orthodox churches are quite common and even as a non-believer I love the architecture.




And the new. The Russian are indeed coming, but the tanks will this time stay behind, we'll get the bankers instead. FFS...I think I preferred it before.


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