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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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11. Posted by Adri204 (Budding Member 82 posts) 6y

I have no problem with more and I think that would also make it fun. As ive said im not set on an exact leave date so am fluid on that, I hope it works as im keenly interested :)

Adri

12. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 6y

It's looking good and I'm genuinely surprised at the interest. I thought the whole idea might have been a bit too off the wall in the greater scheme of things.

Seems I now need to get busy - mainly on the car. It's been parked up for quite a few months now so there's batteries to charge, brakes to fix (still a bit spongy from the Alps) and a thorough service and going over. It's actually 50 miles away at a family place. I'll be going down there for a few days to get started on it. Also, there's logistics and getting back up to date with it all - paperwork, latest fuel prices en-route. What have I started?

By the way - no-one needs tents or cooking stuff, just personal stuff. I travel exactly as I would if I was flying in somewhere and staying at a hostel with a modest sized rucksack. There's just not the luggage space for big bags. So small and light means more comfort, cheaper fuel cost, etc, and (if the worst should happen) we can kiss the car goodbye and walk away as backpackers. Thanks.

13. Posted by Adri204 (Budding Member 82 posts) 6y

That works for me I travel with one backpack that can go on a plane with me and not have to be checked and my daypack can be placed inside it as well and thats all I got. Also if anyone is interested who is taking the journey im toying with the idea of seeing Japan and then taking a boat/ferry from Japan to Alaska and then takeing the Alaska Marine Highway transportation system(thats a mouthfull and means a Ferry) probly to Homer, AK and then taking a bus back to my home in Alaska. Anyone interested in this let me know it would be an adventure and right now its only an idea,

Adri :)

14. Posted by lakers6902 (Budding Member 70 posts) 6y

Hey!

Just saw your post. Sounds like a great idea, and I am jelous that I didnt think of this first :P

Did you have an idea of what day you were thinking of starting this?

Last summer I spent 8 weeks in Russia. Slowly took the train from Vladivostok towards Moscow on my own. And this year, my plan is to go to Russia again, but this time doing a new route. Something more adventerious :P But so far I am planning on heading towards Russia on the 13th of June.

Oh yea, I speak... basic Russian. I've studied for a few semesters in Uni for it. Thats another major reason I am trying to head back. Get the opportunity to practice more =D

15. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 6y

Hi laker. I'm reconsidering the whole thing with the original sponsored 'solo' approach in mind. It also fits in with a personal work commitment that needs me body and soul for the next five or six months. A trip this big involving other people needs total commitment from me and it just wouldn't be fair to prospective passengers if I couldn't give it the attention it deserves. Thanks for the show of interest though. It's appreciated. Good luck.

BTW - I have noticed one or two other threads recently with very similar ideas. ;)

16. Posted by Aleexx (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y

Hi guys,

to be honest I'm impressed by your plans. sounds like you are ready to hit the road strait away
i wish i could join you. anyway, let me get to the point... there are actually several highways leading to Vlad-k,
one of them through Perm (Ural). guys, if you have any problems on the way feel free to contact me, i'm a Perm
resident.:)

happy journey !

17. Posted by Tory-Vic (Budding Member 87 posts) 6y

1. petrol here is about USD0.80 per litle
2. sleeping in the car is not a good idea if near towns or cities, really not safe
3. did you get the prices of the hotels on your way? i haven't traveled much in Russia, but my experience tells me that very bad a dirty hotels in small towns here cost amost as much as a 3* hotels in Europe, but service just like in the worst hostels possible.
4. do you speak any Russian? cause in big cities you can find some ppl who can understand you, but it would be a surprise to me if you meet many of them somewhere in deep Russia.
If you dont speak Russian, and dont have any1 with you who could translate, please lern Cyrillic alphabet, it will help you a lot, as you will be able to read notices and recognize such words as HOTEL, CAFE, and RESTOURANT. the sound almost the same but will be written in Russian, Its not so difficult, just 33 letters and some of them are similar to latin letters :)
5. I didnt want to scare you, the idea itself is really great, but needs some knowledge.......
please contact me if there is anything i could help you with.
Best regareds,
Tory.

18. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 6y

I have a phrase book that contains the Cryllic alphabet and should be enough to buy me food, get directions, etc, but I'm open to any ideas you have. Might leave getting a map in case there's a better one in Russia - probably Latin/Cryllic.

Apart from its sheer distance, I believe the trip is relatively easy to do, especially now that the road is practically complete. The main problems I'm concerned about are the police, but that seems to get better the further east you go, though I'll still need to drive carefully.

I expected fuel prices to go up after the previous election, but I'm assuming USD 0.80 litre reflect St Petersburg prices and western Russia? I've been expecting it to be cheaper towards the east, so I'd appreciate any information if this is now not the case. I know most Russians haven't traveled the highway, but maybe you have, or know someone who has recently.

Also, I would like to stay in St Petersburg for more than just a day or two. It would give me a chance to have a proper look at it. I would be grateful if you know of any reasonably priced accommodation with safe parking. Moscow too if you know it.

Sorry. I've asked a lot - but don't worry if it's too much. Thanks for your help so far. ;)

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Feb-2010, at 08:24 by fabyomama ]

19. Posted by Aleexx (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y

Hi,

Guys, I'm not sure whether I have right to give you any dos & donts...However, I will...Sorry in advance.

1. I confirm mostly the information given by Tory. That's true. Sleeping in the car is not a good idea at all.
Mere 10 years ago there used to be an awful criminal situation on russian highways. It's getting much better recent
years but not everywhere ... watch out, at nights in deserted places in particular !!!
On the other hand, I'm afraid you won't be able to avoid sleeping in the car entirely as you hardly know decent
road hotels network, so I'm afraid you will. The less the better.
2. Meal on the highway. There's a good meal, bad meal and, as sad as it may sound, disgusting meal. I do hope you keep
out of such a place. According to my experience, I always survey beforehand the parking in front of a road cafe or restaurant -
if it's tight parked by natives and long-distance truck drivers, it's a good sign. Go ahead.
3. English. I agree with Tory 100 %. Unfortunalety, there are only two places where you can come across more or less
english speaking russians. MOS & SPb. The rest of the Russia doesn't speak English at all. In case you have to, try to
bother teens and younger people on the streets. Hope it helps.
4. Traffic policemen. You most likey to encounter them more than you expect. Watch out !!! Some of them are really nice
helpful guys and I'm proud of them. But people different... There are some officers who most likely to take advantagies of you,
screwing money out of or ... even worse. Tips here the following: do your best not speeding, not breaking traffic rules...
toe the line in other words. I doubt knowing Cryllic alphabet will help you in a fix. Having a decent phrasebook and knowing some
useful phrases by heart will do you much more good.
5. Lastly... Moscow. Guys, inspite of everything, I highly recommend you to avoid visiting the city, at least by car. You can hardly
imaging how crasy the traffic is, plus how bad the parking situation there, particularly in the city center. If you can't help coming
there, the best thing would be if you leave your vehicle in the outskirts, getting in on the subway. But... it's up to you.

Anyway, I gave you some precious tips. Everything I was typing is for your own good. Hope it helps.
The devil is not so black !!!

Alex

20. Posted by Tory-Vic (Budding Member 87 posts) 6y

hi,
here am I again.

I have a phrase book that contains the Cryllic alphabet and should be enough to buy me food, get directions, etc, but I'm open to any ideas you have.
- think its good to do both: learn Cyrillic alphabet and some phrases as Alex adviced.

Might leave getting a map in case there's a better one in Russia - probably Latin/Cryllic.
- Latin map will not help a lot as all the marks and notices on the road will be ONLY in Cyrillic and i am not sure is you could correlate russian and latin letters, thats why its good to learn Cyrillic alphabet.

Apart from its sheer distance, I believe the trip is relatively easy to do, especially now that the road is practically complete. The main problems I'm concerned about are the police, but that seems to get better the further east you go, though I'll still need to drive carefully.
- yes, the police is getting better but you never know when you meet bad ppl. you have to be ready for everything and always have the ways out. for this just follow normal travellers rules, such as: dont keep all money in the same place, dont trust strangers and so on.
Besides the police i would recommend you to be just careful on the roads as russian drivers sometimes .... or often.... just do not care , or how to call it? i mean you never know what to expect from them, and such a thing as going on a red light often is just a normal thing.... There is one more rule on the roads, right is the one who has a good car, i know it might sound strange, but if some1 in a very good brand new car wants you to let him go, you better do it.

I expected fuel prices to go up after the previous election, but I'm assuming USD 0.80 litre reflect St Petersburg prices and western Russia? I've been expecting it to be cheaper towards the east, so I'd appreciate any information if this is now not the case. I know most Russians haven't traveled the highway, but maybe you have, or know someone who has recently.
- I cant get exact prices from different towns, but i have checked a bit, and yes, in Novosibirsk for example the prices are a bit lower, but you can be sure only when you are there.

Also, I would like to stay in St Petersburg for more than just a day or two. It would give me a chance to have a proper look at it. I would be grateful if you know of any reasonably priced accommodation with safe parking.
- you are very welcome to S-Petersburg, sure i can help you to find a hotel , just let me know what you need it to be like. I often have guests here from abroad, so i think i can help you with this.

Moscow too if you know it.
-I am not so good about Moscow, but sure i can look for somthing, tho I agree with Alex, going there by car is not a good idea at all.

there are 2 more things i wanted to tell you.
1. once arriving please get a russian cell phone number so you could make calls, please get the numbers of all consulates on your way, and learn how to dial. learn how to ask for help in russian.
2. as far as i know you need registration when you stay for more than 3 days in one city in Russia. In your situation i am not sure as you are not going to stay for so long in the towns on your way. But what i know, the first policeman checking your documents will ask for it and it would be hard to explain why you dont have it.
here is my advice:
a. please keep all the hotel bills and registrations to be able to prove where did you stay.
b. please keep all the tickets if you buy any.
c. please ask the hotel for registration once you plan to stay there a bit longer.
d. when you go to russian consulate to get visa, please tell them what are you going to do and ask them how to get the registration if you stay for less than 3 days, in what cases you need it and so on, as i dont know those rules in details, but I know this is very serious.
hope this helped,
Best regards,
Tory.