Replies: 31 - Last Post: Nov 21, 2013 6:20 PM Last Post By: Asy1243
Jan 28, 2012 11:16 AM
Jan 28, 2012 12:55 PM
Jan 28, 2012 1:40 PM
stages because the cycling federation conducts summer tours in and around St. Pb and
Moscow and I think this is the route for one of them - would it be more scenic than the
one you are proposing? I like scenic and I like easy.
If you have more "sportive" target - then use the proposed route through Tikhvin. You can also bypass some portions of M18: e.g., you can get to Schlisselburg (along Neva), then take a road along Staroladozhsky Kanal (along Ladoga lake shore) till, say, Lavrovo or Kobona - and only then go to M18, you'll at least skip a half of local traffic. Schlisselburg, Kobona and Kanal by itself (with old granite locks) are quite scenic.
Jan 28, 2012 1:47 PM
Jan 28, 2012 5:34 PM
19Keep it coming!!!
This is incredible.
I went and registered on one of the cycling group pages mentioned.
What I need is English speaking help from areas along the route. As I mentioned I am trying to learn the language - my son who is a chess historian does speak Rusiian but tells me I am best to learn a number of phrases before attempting the journey in the short time I am giving myself - between now and April 24th.
So if anyone can give me contact info for places along the route that would be most appreciated
Jan 29, 2012 9:04 AM
I have not traveled further than the Baikal region, but from there and all the way to st Petersburg I can not remember a single instance when it has been a problem to roam with my Norwegian cell-phone subscription. I am sure there has been a few times when I have not noticed that there was no network, but as the Baikal region is so far ahead Oslo in time, i specifically remember several clients calling me around midnight in Arshan and Port Baikal. I have called, checked my answering machine and send / received SMS without any problems all over Siberia and european Russia.
This could differ from your provider, your cell phone and several other variables so plan for some obstacles, but I would expect a GSM phone with a subscription that let you rome would work just fine.
Jan 29, 2012 12:29 PM
21Re: the visa question - I can get a 180 day business visa and although you are supposed to go outside at the 90 day mark, if you can't (wink, nudge) you stay inside and take your chances - maybe be fined or have to pay a bribe.
I think I will look into the road that goes along the Neva - the distance along the M18 is 157KMs - that is more than I like to do in a day, especially with that intensity of traffic whizzing past - I've done it but starting out it is heavy duty.
Then again, the first of my cycling adventures was in 2003 and I had had little or no experience on a bike since I was a teenager - the first day, we left Cairo headed for Cape Town on a highway which ranged from 8 to 12 lanes at any given time - the trucks flew by, at first I was traumatized by the draft they created, then I got to appreciate the extra push - so, I should be able to summon the necessary physical and mental strength to get out of St. Petersburg!
Thanks again for the input.
Jan 31, 2012 8:21 AM
22If you have any questions on the route in the Irkutsk region and Buryatia republic can advise you. In these areas, crime is small, just above you will be surprised and take pictures, if needed my help I can meet you in Irkutsk, Lake Baikal show, he lived in Irkutsk.
Mobile communications covers both regions buy sim card MTS and you will not have problems with communication in Russia. The dirt road just in Nizhneudinsk. Be sure to buy a paper map (Atlas Road) if you do not find I can refer you to send Atlas for the trip. If you have any questions ask, always happy to see guests in East Siberia!
Jan 31, 2012 8:37 AM
Problem is not simply the border where you are likely to have your passport stamped such that you can't reenter Russia. Problem is more likely to be the road police or militsia who might ask to see you documents as you are traveling.
Personally, I would be inclined to get a 90 day business visa and fly out of the country to get a new visa and then return and continue my trip or see if someone, perhaps one of the cycling clubs, can sponsor you for a longer visa.
Jan 31, 2012 9:08 AM
24Thank you to Dimonirk and Ruth for your recent comments and offer of assistance.
The last day and a half I have been fixated on the threat of bears - Dimonirk, how prevalent are bear sitings along highways in the Urals, Lake Baikal and beyond? I understand there are approx. 12 fatalities on average per year from bear attacks in Russia - Kamchatka seems particularly dangerous in this regard and I am not going there. I am not going hiking into dense forest but I would be going through forests and would have to find camping sites off road. Any information you have on this please let me know.
Ruth, the cycling federation will sponsor me for a 180 day visa but even with that there seems to be some requirement to exit at the 90 day mark and re enter - not sure if that means just doing a U turn at the border crossing or something more substantial - I could take a break in Irkutsk and take a train to Ulan Bator - the timing should be in line with my projected schedule. Also, do you know the turn around time for a visa?
Jan 31, 2012 10:24 AM
25I live in '23 in Siberia and have never seen a bear. Bear can be seen only in the circus or the zoo. Do not worry! Strong taiga between Chita and Khabarovsk, I night in the month of August was freezing when sleeping in the car is very cold, even in the same place there is a section of road where there are no 300 kilometers of the city. From Irkutsk to Ulan Bator goes 3 trains two of them go to Ulan Bator, 49 and 55 hours of one of the trains is 26 hours. If you're interested I can specify the schedule
Jan 31, 2012 11:49 AM
Jan 31, 2012 4:23 PM
27Tonight I have a question about accomodation. First taking into consideration the European portion of Russia - I think for my purposes that is St. Pb to Krasnoyarsk - although I would like to consider as far east as Irkutsk/Ulan Ude - is it possible to find bed and breakfast establishments in most towns along the route - cities have hotels, hostels etc, but in most towns, perhaps villages, can you find accomodation.
In the Siberian portion - up to and including, Chita - is this the case as well?
Is there another terminology, if not B&B is there somethingelse to describe private residences' providing low cost accomodation.
I see where truck stops have rooms for rent - are these safe on the whole?
Is there a formal network of these types of accomodation that I could use to map my route?
Jan 31, 2012 5:56 PM
28*Is there another terminology, if not B&B is there somethingelse to describe private residences' providing low cost accomodation.
I see where truck stops have rooms for rent - are these safe on the whole?*
I cannot speak about every city, but there is definitely a hostel in Novosibirsk, Tomsk and, I think, Irkutsk.
There are private residences for rent, and it's normally not difficult to find one. In Novosibirsk, for example, there is an office offering private residences at the railway station and not far from it.
You can also find numerous offers in local newspapers, and in the Internet, of course.
And they are safe, don't worry. You are given a key for the flat, and you hand it in when you leave.
Feb 1, 2012 5:08 AM
29Big cities have hotels, rental apartments, and occasional hostels. Their quality varies. The best hotel resource is arguably www.komandirovka.ru (unfortunately, in Russian only), where both contact information and reviews are collected. Tripadvisor and booking.com cover big cities. Rental apartments are usually cheaper than hotels, although older or distantly located hotels may offer competitive prices. By the way, booking.com may have good early-bird or last-minute offers. It is worth checking.
You can also check CouchSurfing, Hospitality Club, and similar resources that are becoming popular in Russia. Recently, I saw a travel report from people who did the whole trans-Siberian trip with CouchSurfing. Another option is to ask local cycling federations or post questions on their message boards. They can either invite you to stay in a private apartment, or recommend cheap accommodation.
Big roads have motels attached to big truck stops. Although I am not familiar with the Siberian roads, I saw plenty of such places in Central Russia. Their quality varies from decent freshly renovated small hotels to seedy and noisy places with drunk truck drivers and whores. I don't think that any of such places may be really dangerous, but many of them are definitely unpleasant to stay in. Unfortunately, there is no database, and a very scarce online information in general. You have to read travel reports or ask people who are familiar with the area.
(5 star Hotel)
From US$332.68 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$20.91 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$207.06 per night