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.
I rejoined Griff in Munich after a week in the UK, but camp sites are hard to find in the Bavarian capital, especially in winter. He had discovered the town of Landshut just outside Munich, and it had everything we needed – an open campsite, good pubs and good beer! We had fantastic food in front of a cosy fire before walking home through the snow. The peaceful walk back to our tent was just what I needed after a busy day’s travel.
Alesund, an ‘out there’ port town in the Fjord region of Norway. It took us a fair while to reach this place, catching a multitude of ferries and crossing many icy mountain passes. It was worth it though, the air temperature rose to about -4c so it was a little warmer than the previous week. I had to climb around 300 icy covered steps to get this photo and there wasn’t a handrail at all times. It was pretty tricky as the sun was setting and our parking ticket was expiring. Worth it though as I am sure you will agree.
Probably the first big milestone of the trip, something I am very proud of. Reaching Nordkapp in northern Norway. At 71 degrees North, Nordkapp sits as the most northerly point in mainland Europe a 1000km drive within the Arctic Circle. Days spent driving in short daylight hours and nights spent camping at minus 20 degrees C. It was bitterly cold the day we arrived and the wind was howling as we stood on the precipice looking out over the Arctic ocean into nothingness. Nothing between us and the North Pole. A beautiful day.
Huskies at Rest and keeping warm during our sledding activities last winter in Arctic Finland.
Seeing as the UK and Europe may be expecting snow this Xmas l thought a little winter scene might be in order. Back in 2007 when we had the old Land Rover 90 we took a week off work and devised a route from south to north Wales encompassing as much off pavement as we could. The forecast on the run up to our time off didn’t look favourable with plenty of rain and low temperatures. The forecast was correct and we battled our way through mud and self recoveries all alone in the Welsh countryside.
Mixed in with our 4×4 plans was a walk up Cadair Idris and Snowdon. Even though it was spring, recent weather had brought the snowline down to 600m. We didn’t know the mountain particularly well, but we pressed on anyway. This photo is of Lisa on the south side of the cwm about 1 hour from the summit.
We made it back to a sodden roof tent just before it got dark.