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Old 04-03-2013, 01:12 PM   #1
duroturk OP
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Project Russia 2012

Last week I had a ACL surgery. ACL refers to the front cross ligaments of the knee which in my case was totally torn in a skiing accident.

Thankfully I am recovering good but seems like I'll be at home one more week, so I thought this might be a good time to share our last summers ride to west Russia.

We have started from Kayseri, Turkiye and after covering 8500 kms we have finished back there. Our trip took 18 day in total with 13 days of riding. My wife, our bike and yours truly.

This was our well done "Introdution to Russia". And our stops were as follows: Kayseri, Findikli, Kazbegi, Volgograd, Balakovo, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow, Glubokiy, Goriachy Kluch, Dombay, Vladikavkaz, Kars, Kayseri.

Here I give some teaser pics, rest to follow.









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Old 04-03-2013, 03:11 PM   #2
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:31 PM   #3
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Cool!!

I am in
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:39 PM   #4
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Thumb I like it already !!

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Old 04-04-2013, 07:24 AM   #5
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Actually this was our last years plan but due to many reasons we had to alter the trip to Georgia&Armenia. You can find that RR here.

We haven't done much preparation for this trip. Main prep was drawing a rough line and doing couchsurfing. We really wanted to go untill St. Petersburg and may be more north but starting the trip ten days late was making the things difficult. We thought that it is always easy to go St. Petersburg by plane, so we had to cut it.

So here we are on the departure day.



I was very psyhed for this long waited trip and I thought some little reminder of being calm would be good.



We rode NE and passed many great scenes through Turkiye.



After a silky smooth 750 kms, we reach our old friends Ceren&Guclu's house at Findikli. Findikli belongs to Rize and it is very close to the Georgian border. Here is heavenly Black Sea region of Turkiye; Black Sea is on one side and deep green forest&mountains on the other.















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Old 04-04-2013, 07:40 AM   #6
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After spending 2 nights with friends we were ready to start the real trip. We moved early and passed the Tr-Geo border without hassle. Weather was very hot, traffic was bad and we wanted to push untill the Russian border.



Georgia



Some lunch...



We carried on and started to climb towards Caucasus. This time we felt familiar with Georgia, good feeling.





Some parts of the roads here were protected by half tunnels against avalanches.



As we got higher road become gravel.











Then we rode down and reached Kazbegi Village and camped here. All was fine but camping area was filled with some groups who are already drunk and noisy but we had no problem with sleeping.

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Old 04-04-2013, 10:39 PM   #7
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Next morning weather was cool but very nice and it was beautiful to have our coffees in front of Kazbek Mountain.






We wanted to start early as possible as todays target is passing the border and rode as much as possible towards Volgograd.







Then it doesn't take too long to reach the Verkhny Lars border and the ride is really nice. Somehow this part was one of the most enjoyable for me.



After leaving Georgian border there is a long strecth untill the Russian border. I was riding without gloves thinking that Russian gate is close and we have entered this tunnel. We hit a huge pothole in the dark just before the exit and my gloves fell over. I stopped and took my gloves.



Then when we reach to the border there was a huge que of cars, vans and trucks. The drivers were waving hand us to pass, mentioning that we do not need to wait as we were with the bike.

Actually it is not a matter of vehicle, here as long as you can pass the ques, you can just push forward.

As we rode forward a military vehicle came closer to us with full of armed soldiers. My initial thought was, we were in deep trouble because I overtake the que. But it wasnt the case and they came to us to find out why we have stopped after the tunnel.

So guys, big boss is watching you.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:54 PM   #8
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At the border we had to fill some forms. Agi is fluent one Russian so she handled everything and I had the privilage of playing the "king" this time. Just sat somewhere and chat with truck drivers.

They are giving you some papers here, indicating your details and yoru point of entry. In Russia you have to register yourself in a police station or by a hotel if you stay in the same place more than a couple of days.

This thing is very tricky and everybody is saying something different. This was our biggest (?) before the trip, how to do it but in the end, somehow the last day before we leave Russia we have made it in Vladikavkaz but nobody asked us these registration when leaving the country. It was raining very heavy and we were wet badly. May be they just wanted to not to hold us too long.

This is the completed registration we made by the hotel. they have not asked this to us but we strongly recommend to have this peace of paper if you do not want to have problems. May be we were just lucky.



The first big city after the border is Vladikavkaz.

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Old 04-04-2013, 11:21 PM   #9
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Vladikavkaz is an old and characteristic Russian city. Wide long boulevards with trees.



Here we stopped for some "really cheap gas", food and local sim card. If you think that we pay aorund 2,70$ per liter in Turkiye, you'll understand what does this cheap gas mean to me. That's the reason why I come to Russia. One single entry to the country and endless riding, you can cover the half of the world.



Yes we got a local simcard to stay in contact with family and friends on less costly way. We were posting photos and some words to Facebook every each stop and it was really a nice n easy way to stay in contact with loved ones. Thanks Facebook.

On the other hand there was one more interesting fact that we found out. as we carried on our credits were flying off quite fast and we have found the reason after a couple of days. Russia was having its own "domestic roaming" for network operators. So as you change your place your charge was also increasing. Eh, we understand that... Huge land!

After entering to Russia we have immediately welcomed by war monuments. They were everywhere; in the cities, roadsides...





Just in front of this monuments there were some roadside fruit sellers. We wanted to buy some apples but we were granted by a big bag full of fruits with no charge. Famous Russian hospitality started here for us, we are thankful for all those beautiful people.

And the houses... All the houses during the roads ar the small towns are very cute and beautiful. They are well kept, clean and they all have the sprit of children stories.






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Old 04-05-2013, 03:57 AM   #10
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I am in too. Thanks for sharing your RR.

"Gecmis Olsun."
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:02 AM   #11
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Fantastic!!!
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kobold View Post
I am in too. Thanks for sharing your RR.

"Gecmis Olsun."
Tesekkur ederim.

As we rode up north we again came across many World War II monuments. From now on I will not mention but share the photos. Here is Georgievsk.






Then we reach Elitsa, the center of the Russian Buddhists.























The ancestors of the Kalmyks, the Oirats, migrated from the steppes of southern Siberia.

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Old 04-05-2013, 09:48 AM   #13
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:59 AM   #14
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At the end of a tiring day we reached Budennovsk.





We looked for a place to stay but the situation wasn't very bright. We could find only one hotel but it was overpriced and we decided to take our chance. We got out to look for an another place and our luck was waiting us outside.



This guy is taxi driver and mixed language of Turkish/Russian he helped us a lot. Just a hundred meters away from the hotel, there was an old couple who are renting their rooms. The house was surrounded by big walls and this was also perfect to protect the bike. After having some food shopping, we listened the stories of the old man and went to a deep sleep.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:08 AM   #15
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