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UK to Vladivostok (Amur Highway) June/July 2010.

Travel Forums Travel Companions UK to Vladivostok (Amur Highway) June/July 2010.


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1. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 7y

Straight to the point. I need help with fuel costs. The road from St Petersburg to Vladivostok is the longest highway in the world within one single country (about 6500 miles) and I had the trip planned for last summer but ran out of time before I could get all the cash together. It's not definite, but if there's an interested party, then it could still be on.

The road is good and could actually be finished by now. It was officially declared 'open' some years ago in true Russian style - rumour had it Putin did the deed while snow covered the mud and gravel, but there's plenty of petrol stations and truckstops, so nobody's gonna die in the middle of Siberia - except of boredom maybe? Wanted to camp/sleep in the car with occasional stays in cheap hotels, or houses if invited. Possible detour from Lake Baikal south to Mongolia was in the original idea, which I still think is worth doing.

Been researching this for well over a year now and have spoken to several people who have actually done it. General consensus was your granny could do it if she can handle the distance. So, if anyone's interested and fancies seeing what the ex-Soviet Union has to offer, we could give it a try. Basically it'll be your trip. All I really want is to drive the Trans-Siberian Highway. Everything else is flexible.

I've avoided direct sponsorship (charity stuff) - too complicated, plus I wanted to keep it independent. I originally allowed myself around 6/8 weeks as I liked the idea of stopping when interesting people and places came up. I was originally asked to do a photodoc along the way, but those plans might have changed so basically it's your call.

The car is a good Russian built machine - I personally think it's beautiful, but I'm in the minority - and if you're interested, the engine is designed by Porche, has a bomb-proof gearbox and suspension like a pram (made for poor Russian roads). I've already driven it over 2000 miles around Europe, including over the Swiss Alps (twice) and the Italian Dolomites. I've 'tested' it through forests and over cross-country tracks that even motorbikes couldn't keep up with. But enough of that.

So, if you can adapt to change and want something a little different, I could drop you off at the Sea of Japan. ;)

edit: Ought to add that ongoing travel is possible, but without the car. Cheap ferries to Japan/South Korea, or fly out.
All questions welcome, even just to chat - private or in the thread. Thanks.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Jan-2010, at 20:46 by fabyomama ]

2. Posted by mim (Travel Guru 1276 posts) 7y

This looks like a great idea, have you got any rough thoughts about cost?!


3. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 7y

Basic (total) fuel cost for the most direct route would be in the region of £800 with a small safety margin, but wouldn't allow much in the way of detours through expensive Europe - though Amsterdam, Hamburg/Berlin could easily be taken in, along with the Baltic coast. (heard it's nice along there). £1000 total fuel costs would rest easier on the mind, allow bigger detours if there's a mind to and still probably leave something over.

If the shortest way is chosen, then it's across Holland, northern Germany, northern Poland, up through Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, then across the border towards St Petersburg and the start of the road to Vladivostok. Nothing's nailed down though.

edit: ...except the road to Vladivostok. ;)

[ Edit: Edited on 18-Jan-2010, at 10:40 by fabyomama ]

4. Posted by Adri204 (Budding Member 82 posts) 7y

Im very interested in doing this with you. I think that would be a kick and what a fun adventure. I have no problem sleeping in the car and staying even at hostels/hotels along the way as well. I do want to see Lake Baikal and spend a few days thier exploring. Would defently be up to a side trip to Mongolia as ive always wanted to go. However I will be straight up I dont want to drive the vihicle. I can pay for my share of Gas, oil and reasonable expenseses. I will be arriving in the uk at the end of April. If we are going to do this I have to start getting my Visa's in order and all that. Are you looking for more then one person? Because the more people we have the better it cuts down on the expenseses. Im an easy go with the flow type person and I do like to explore and hike and check new places out. Anyway thier ya go,

Adri :)

5. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 7y

I should add that the figures above represent total fuel costs - only half is expected to be available from interested parties. Possibly very good value considering time spent and distance covered.

Should add that a friend of mine pointed out that the description I gave of the car made it sound like a 4 wheel drive, which it isn't. It's a front wheel drive Lada Samara. I know someone who professionally races the exact same model in the Australian outback without any modifications other than safety bars. Be in no doubt that this is a very tough car designed to keep going in the worst conditions. Tested everywhere from the Kara-Kum desert to Siberian winters at -40C, it just works. Pretty comfy too! At least, I think so. ;)

Open to any ideas of how you think things could be. Thanks again.

edit: Sorry Adri, I was writing this off the thread and just spotted your post.
Let me get back to you later. April may be a bit soon for me. Talk soon. Thanks.

pm sent

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Jan-2010, at 06:03 by fabyomama ]

6. Posted by madpoet (Respected Member 413 posts) 7y

Just curious, but what are you going to do with the car when you get to Vladivostok? Drive back or sell it?

7. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 7y

Quoting madpoet

Just curious, but what are you going to do with the car when you get to Vladivostok? Drive back or sell it?

You got straight to the part where the proper plan ends and the unknown begins. ;)

Highly unlikely I'd have the money to drive back - Mongolia maybe, as selling it in Russia understandably involves a mountain of red tape and no little money - plus they wouldn't let me leave without it. Would most likely poke around Vladivostok for a while to get my bearings and see what turns up. Important thing is, my passenger would have left, so my problem only.

8. Posted by Adri204 (Budding Member 82 posts) 7y

Wanted to let you know that Im open to June and have things to do in May before heading out. Im very interested in this trip :)


9. Posted by mim (Travel Guru 1276 posts) 7y

I'm pretty interested too, how many people will you take? I'm a driver btw :)


10. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 7y

Seems to be taking on a life of its own now. Have no idea how it will all shape up. Should add that if more people are traveling, the fuel estimate is going to be at the top end due to extra weight (no offense anyone). But with equal shares, it would still work out cheaper.

Appreciate the show of interest mim. I'll get a proper pm to you tomorrow. Need to sleep. Thanks. ;)