A few months ago we were lucky enough to be invited to attend a podcast recording with Andrew from The Overlanding Podcast. It was great to sit around his virtual campfire and chat about all of our overland travels from Morocco through to our big trip getting to Australia. I had to dig deep into the memory to recall some of the details but it was great to discuss all things overlanding. If you have a spare hour, pop the kettle on, plug in the headphones and give it a listen. Apologies for the sniffles, I was quite ill the day of recording.
How we took on the infamous Road of Bones during one of the wettest years in history, finally reached Magadan and then headed for Vladivostok, our final port of call.
After the Pamirs and Afghanistan, Russia’s Far North East held the next greatest allure for me personally. Motorbike accounts of the Old Summer Road and Magadan, the photos bringing to life the generosity of the people, the isolation, the remoteness, the raw beauty of the Taiga, the history, the Gulags, the ghost towns… I had to be there myself. I had to experience this.
We are very pleased to announce that our second published article is now up on the Expedition Portal for viewing and can be found here:
This was a typical view for much of our journey from Yakutsk to Magadan; crystal clear rivers, beautiful autumnal forest and piercing blue skies. Camping here was a dream come true. The only thing missing from the picture? We never glimpsed a single wild bear, so synonymous with Siberian wilderness.
We are very pleased to announce that our very first published article (other than interviews) is now up on the Expedition Portal for viewing and can be found here:
The article was written in whole by us using several of my photos to tell the story.
How we travelled 1000km by freight barge up the Lena River, visited one of the worlds largest and most isolated diamond mines, had the fright of our lives and traversed the Vilyuysk Trackt to reach the coldest city on earth.
While retreating back to Severobaikalsk from the Vitim Bridge, we noticed a knocking noise and an unsettling aroma of exhaust fumes in the cab. Moments later the exhaust noise ramped up and we pulled over immediately. Upon closer inspection Griff discovered the exhaust had sheared off at the manifold and needed urgent attention. Typically we had a stainless steel system installed so not only did we need to find a welder, we needed someone who could weld stainless and more importantly had the gear to do it. (more…)
We have been working on this little project for sometime now. Compiling all our time-lapsed footage from the GoPro, video from Lisa’s camera and also the DSLR. We have put together the best bits that represent the 10 month trip we undertook last year. There was a big learning curve with the GoPro, a lot of the time-lapse stuff we tried didn’t really work, some were better than others and often when times got tough we simply didn’t film (like the time we tipped the truck into a snowdrift at night in Finland and had to winch ourselves out of 5 feet of snow).
It is a short little ensemble and we hope you enjoy it.
Don’t forget to watch it in HD and full screen. Let us know what you think below.
Yakutsk in Russia has the coldest winter climate of any city in the world, and is built on ground that is permanently frozen all year round. It is the biggest city to be built on permafrost which obviously (more…)
We left Kazakhstan and crossed into the Russian Altai region on our way to Mongolia. Rather than head north to Barnaul and following the main road, we decided to cut east across the mountains by Sentelek and join the road south of Gorno-Altaysk. (more…)
On our way from Yakutsk to Magadan, we crossed several degrees of latitude. This meant we left summer and crossed into autumn/winter rapidly within a week. One day we would be among Birch trees in their full green and silver dress, the next we would be in awe of the many shades of red and gold shining out from amongst the endless pines. We would move north east, leaving (more…)
On our way from Lensk to Yakutsk, we stopped in Mirny after an unfortunate event with our car window. What was meant to be an overnight stop turned into a five day sightseeing spree when we were invited to stay with a local policeman, Andrey (more about that in our next blog post). He took us to see the local ‘zoo’, which (more…)
You see a lot of ‘Hammer and Sickle’ symbolism around Russia, especially in Siberia where whole communities, towns and even cities formed under communist leadership. This one was probably the biggest one we saw outside of cities. Usually they are tied in with town or city names as you enter the outskirts but this one was in a small town with very few people present. I like it because it is simple and stands bold. For me, in a town like this in deepest Siberia it no longer represents communism but the unification of industry and agriculture and people working together to better their future.
How we took on the infamous BAM railroad, swam in the world’s deepest lake and experienced true Siberian hospitality… over and over again.
Getting out of Mongolia wasn’t really an issue but our third entry into Russia had me on tenterhooks for the first time since leaving the UK. The border official had questioned the fact that the vehicle and trailer had the same number plate/registration. I tried to explain that this is standard for UK vehicles but she was suspicious, and rightfully so. Although I was telling the truth about UK laws, I was presenting less than honest evidence…
It has been 10 months since the initial launch of the photo shop on our website. At the time there were only a select few photos on display and as we were on the road we didn’t have much control over what we could offer. The best we could do was to email a high resolution copy for you to sort out yourselves. For the tech savvy this wasn’t a problem, maybe only a minor inconvenience. Now that we are in Australia and I have finally sorted out 95% of the photos we have taken over 2013 (from over 7000 images) we can finally get some control back…
Good news folks, we got two of two submitted images into the 2014 Expedition Portal Calender Competition. I didn’t post anything here on our website but I did put a link on our Facebook page during voting. Thank you to everyone that voted, appreciated. (more…)
How we tried to fill in the missing piece of road for the shortest crossing of the Altai, bumped into Adam in the back of beyond, flouted permit laws and immensely enjoyed the non-corrugated gravel roads of the southern Altai.
After we crossed through the Russian border we said goodbye to Andrew and Jon as they sped off to Barnaul to find a TIG welder. As we perceived the border to take some time we hadn’t planned anything further than Rubtsovsk so we rolled in early to find a hotel and a good welder to put our awning back on for us. After yet another night in a cosy hotel (we were only there to register!) we hit the road east. Back in Almaty Michael told me about a track he had found using Google Earth that linked the existing road with another 30-40km further east making it the shortest possible crossing of the Altai to Mongolia. Our Russian Atlas showed something similar with a ‘path’ also linking these roads which ran for some 60km. Advice from other adventure bikers was to take these small roads anyway as they passed through traditionally Altaic villages. So a small detour to see if this route was possible seemed like a good idea.