Archive for May, 2011

May
31st
2011

A Night On The Trans Siberian


A night on the Trans Siberian

Despite the hassle of packing our bicycles in boxes yet again, our second Russian train journey (this time between Perm and Novosibirsk) was much more relaxing than the alternative of cycling 2,000 kilometres through mosquito infested swamplands. Besides eating a wide range of snacks, gazing out the window and playing a mega champion game of Gin Rummy (Emma won) these are some of the other highlights of our short Trans Siberian experience. – Posted by Justin

May
30th
2011

Banya To Banya


Banya to banya

Leaving Kirov our cycling aches and pains have been eased after enjoying a Russian banya (sauna) at Hotel Sputnik, however as we failed to locate any bike mechanics during our stay the niggles and noises from our bikes are still in the fronts of our minds. We had calculated a rough 400km distance to our next major city Perm so were surprised when the first road sign we see reads 520km to Perm. With another steamy banya and a friendly host waiting for us in Perm we figure that a string of 100km days is required to arrive on or near our agreed dates. – Posted by Justin

May
26th
2011

12,000 Kilometre Photo


12,000 kilometre photo

With light long into the evenings and a desire to get out of the lowlands before the mosquitoes ate us alive, we passed the 12,000 kilometre milestone on our second to last day between Kirov and Perm on 26th May 2011. This 1000 kilometres flew by so fast that we had to double-check it! – Posted by Emma

May
24th
2011

Day Of Food – Russia


Day of food - Russia

Our cycle tourist diet in Russia has swung between feast and famine as we adjust to the growing distances between amenities, the further east we cycle. To counter lack of regular shops, we have started eating lunch out at Russia’s roadside cafe’s and this day was no different with a small snack of left-over lunch ingredients followed by second lunch not long after. From our extensive survey of Russian cuisine, we can report we like it very much! – Posted by Emma

May
21st
2011

Into The Wild


Into the wild

With a week of cycling ahead of us before the next sizable town of Kirov, we’re firmly off the tourist map and have only the forest to distract us. The thick wooded tranquillity is sporadically interrupted by lines of long distance truck traffic, but there is still plenty of time to appreciate Russia’s natural beauty and daydream about the next truck stop cafe meal. Distracted by contemplation of bandana making (Emma) and buying a second pair of sports socks (Justin), we put our heads down and do some serious pedalling. – Posted by Emma

May
15th
2011

In And Out Of Kostroma


In and out of Kostroma

Needing a decent wash of ourselves and our clothes after a week of cycling and camping, we had finally crossed the mighty Volga river after our dead-end detour to Ples, and cycled around the central part of Kostroma searching for a cheap hotel for the best part of an hour before giving up. – Posted by Emma

May
13th
2011

11,000 Kilometre Photo


11,000 kilometre photo

On the 13th May 2011, our seventh cycling day in Russia, we passed the 11,000 kilometre mark on our way into the town of Kostroma. We have been gradually getting adjusted to the long straight Russian roads, the variable cycling surface and the fact that even a 100km plus day makes little dent in our map of Russia. – Posted by Justin

May
13th
2011

Golden Circle Wonderland


Golden Circle wonderland

We are heading out of Moscow towards Kostroma on the Northern rim of Russia’s Golden Circle region, a recently-coined named for an area rich in Russian history, gilded onion-shaped domes and restored historic buildings. Despite deciding not to buy higher quality maps in a Moscow bookstore, we hope our 1:2 000 000 map aided by high detail on our GPS will make navigation easy. – Posted by Justin

May
7th
2011

Meandering Around Moscow


Meandering around Moscow

Our arrival into Moscow by train is in the early evening but after assembling the bikes and locating our first night’s hotel its already 9pm. At least the long daylight hours mean the sun is barely setting. Making a hasty dinner we review the route to our Warmshowers host for the following morning. He has asked that we arrive before 10am and with 30km to cover through Moscow city streets in rush hour we plan an early start. – Posted by Justin

May
3rd
2011

Getting Mongolian Visas


Getting Mongolian visas

Its not so difficult to get a Mongolian tourist visa allowing 30 days to visit the country, and its extendable without hassle in Ulan Bator. Easy right? But while researching cycling routes we caught wind of another visa, so unreported that even the official embassy websites don’t list it as an option. With spectacular cycling to be had in Russia’s Altay mountain region which borders the western road into Mongolia, we decided to give the fabled 90 day Mongolian tourist visa a shot. – Posted by Emma