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.
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…)
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…
Our collection of the top 10 most memorable, but not always the best, wildcamps from 2013. Each was chosen for a reason and has a story behind it. There were many more like these often in similar landscapes but these are the pick of the bunch.
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…
No pictures, just musing in words.
For those who have missed the subtleties on the website and not on Facebook we are leaving the UK next month to drive to Siberia and then onward to Australia.
Considering the magnitude of our trip I have not been very vocal about its run up or preparation outside of our immediate circle of friends. A long time ago I had hoped it would not be like this, that I would have time to write and develop the website and keep everything fresh and informative. The truth is though, since letting work know we were leaving, handing in our notice, telling our landlord, packing up the house (still not complete), finalising utility bills, Visa applications, getting Christmas out of the way, seeing family and friends we have not had much time to think about it. (more…)