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The Japanese Sea

I still had to stay until noon in Vladivostok before sailing to S.Korea. Although I was eager to leave, the company of Катюша made me enjoy my very last hours in Vladivostok. I met her in the restaurant at the hotel and the day after she was so kind to offer me a lift to the harbour. Катюша symbolized the whole 4 weeks I spent in Russia. Russians may seem cold, distant and also a bit scary to us, but they are nothing like this. On the contrary, they are among the kindest peo

Customs.

Rendez-vous at 9:00 AM with Mr. Yuri Melnikov and his lovely and adequate assistant Svetlana to clear the motorcycle whit the Russian customs. A task that couldn't have been achieved without their professional assistance. After completing two or three documents in their office, Svetlana drove me to so many different places, I don't even remember where, to meet the local officials and to finally deliver the motorbike at the pier for shipment. At the end of this Odyssey ther

Trenchfeet

Vladivostok is sometimes called the San Francisco of the east. And there are certain similarities. Like the fog, the bridges, hilly streets, both a seaport and pretty cold. Only SF won't go down to -25°C in wintertime. So I went for a ride in the City center and close neighborhood. The weather, after a foggy cloudy morning, turned into blue skies and sunny. And Grigory showed me around. A lovely city I must say, it reminds me to Europe. Nonetheless it is a full bread Rus

Vladivostok

Preparing myself this morning to get a USA visa I found the following notice on their website: Dear visa applicants, We are currently experiencing a longer than normal appointment wait time period, which may continue into the summer. First Available Appointment Is Monday June 19, 2017. Not much I can do now, as I take the ferry to Donghae only two days later. Everything is always a last minute decision the way I travel, and changes are continuous. That is just how it is! An

Vladivostok

This pretty sign next to the road pictured perfectly my last three weeks on my motorcycle. It showed my Eurasian trip and the final destination. At least until this evening. Apparently a place on the ferry Vladivostok - Donghae had become available. I only needed to decide quickly. No problem, it meant that I can drive whole the way to Seoul through S. Korea. And I have the whole week to do the necessary to get an US Visa. Every little bit is falling together. And so I wi

Khabarovsk or "The Grand Hotel Prestige"

Early birds! I was thinking to be the only fool to get up early to complete my 1200km rather soon. Instead, the courtyard was already crowded with Indian bikers, all dressed up and with humming engines. Whatever happens, I will never, ever be the first at morning dew. It is just not me. The Indians, 5 of them all from Mumbai except the one from Delhi, had traveled from India, Myanmar, Thailand, China and all other countries between in. And now traveling Russia from East

Chita

5 hours of track + 400km of bad roads and 1 hour lost to CET. Tired and late. See you tomorrow..... Anyway, I survived worse. I arrived in Chita at 23.00, and again I dropped the bike in front of half the town. With me on it. Fourth fall in a three week time period. No big deal. Steep curve, slightly uphill and in gearbox neutral (by accident). No way to keep this 350 kg of steel upright. Above Ulan Ude, up high on the hill, there is this Buddhist temple, founded by the

Ulan Ude

How can there be a difference in temperature such big? Today, I had both 12° and 36° at the end of the day. The reason is simple, Lake Baikal is still so cold after the Siberian winter that this mass of ice-water has an enormous influence on the local climate. Lake Baikal stretches from north to south for about 650 km and 80 km wide. It is a rift lake, where the earth's crusts slowly pull apart. It is also the worlds deepest lake. And it has a monster, what did you aspect?

Irkutsk

I left early this morning, after all I had more than thousand kilometers ahead of me. I had a tank full of petrol and also the weather collaborated. Until some rain stopped the good feelings. Luckily it only lasted for a short while. My boots where still soaking wet from the day before, so in the morning I had the bright idea to wrap both my feet in plastic bags to keep my socks and feet dry. A measure for nothing, I arrived in Irkutsk with the same wet feet. I should buy m

Krasnoyarsk

Life isn't easy! This morning I remembered to check my ESTA account for entrance in the USA. Totally confused I got to read: >>> TRAVEL NOT AUTHORISED!!!!!!<<< Most probably I got refused because I traveled Iran in 2014. And I was brave enough to declare this in my application. Honesty is the best politics I was thinking. There are exceptions! Now I need to apply for a visa. Luckily there is a US embassy in Vladivostok. It is not a lost cause yet, and then there is alway

Kemerovo

I slept until 10:00. I guess I needed it. Slowly I woke up, had a shower and breakfast and then I hit the road at about midday. On my way to Kemerovo. Back to bogland! I have always had a strong admiration for the NASA's first six. But my devotion to the Russian cosmonauts has always been stronger. Hence my visit to Baikonur last year. The place where everything started. Totally unexpected, and how strong are the odds, I arrived in the village known to be the birthplace of

Kosh-Agach

This is Kosh Agach, 2000 meter above sea level. And I can see Mongolia at a distance. But before getting here I still had to fight off millions of white butterflies. They only disappeared when I was gaining altitude. It is a sheer joy ride through the Altai Republic. A mountainous area under the personal protection of Vladimir Putin who invested a huge amount of money to develop this area by building roads, activate tourism and build new infrastructures. There is clearly a di