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Kemerovo - Tomsk - 218kms

A cruise day


View Ride Europe - East to West on Zamiam's travel map.

Next leg had us doing a short hop from Kemerovo to Tomsk. At only 218 kms this was the second shortest leg to date and was expected to a simple cruise through to our hotel.

First up here are some shorts of Kemerovo which certainly doesn't make our list as an attractive Russian city although I did visit the largest mall I have ever been in (again not a selling point for Kemerovo)

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The large pipes you can see are gas pipes. An interesting thing we learnt is that some Russian cities have a ring of hot water circulated from a boiler - this line is tapped into and circulates through living spaces as heating.

Here are some shots of us preparing to hit the road including checking in with the boss in NZ.

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And some shots from the cruise down to Tomsk

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Posted by Zamiam 20:11 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

TRIP HAZARD #1: Those Bloody Service Stations

Rest assured you will come to hate them

While the price of gas is great compared to NZ at around 39-41 rubbles or less than NZD1.00 per litre the service stations are a real challenge and continue to lead to much frustration.

As we have moved further west we are starting to encounter more and more service stations that you walk into like those at home. Some remain what we call the pillbox style where you walk up to a window, drop the cash in a slide out drawer, try to get across to them that you want 92 on pump x and walk back to WAIT and WAIT and WAIT for them to release the pump so you can fill up, often while you are being yelled at over the loud speaker in Russian. Some you need to push a button which can be located it appears anyway on the pump, others you need to ensure the pump handle is hung up (or hang it up again) and others just start straight away.

Here is a shot of a typical service station as well as a link to a brief video which also shows you how they are often completely isolated.

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https://youtu.be/jR5pCtX79aY

Posted by Zamiam 10:09 Comments (0)

Helpful tip # 3

Making Yourself Understood

We have been surprised by how little English is understood. Now we aren't arrogant enough to expect them to speak English but when much of the products they are selling a English branded you would think that they would have picked up some of the basics. Things like asking for Tea with Milk which I now know the Russian for initially led to Tea with foamed milk, then Tea with something decidedly not milk, then Tea with a glass of milk. This issue is also prevalent in the hotels and restaurants.

Truck stops are the only option when out on the road and they very rarely have staff members that understand English. Menus with pictures are a bonus so trying to decide what to eat when there is no cabinet food has led to a few Mars bar and Coke lunches.

We have been using translation apps but found them a little unreliable as the one we picked requires mobile data or wifi for internet access.

TIP: Use Google Translate and download the dictionary for offline access. You can type, or speak to it and it will translate it to Russian for you AND to read menus the camera function will convert Russian text to English in Real-time

Posted by Zamiam 10:05 Comments (0)

Tulun to Krasnoyarsk to Kemerovo - 650 + 432 = 1,082kms

The Long Road

So not a lot to report on these two legs - many miles across picturesque Siberia with its vast open spaces stretching to the horizon, thousands upon thousands of hectares of grass and forest.

Here some shots from the road.

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A truck stop, one of the better ones, where we stopped for lunches.

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Me sneaking off to the Tyanet (Toilet) which was thankfully a European style flush one. Many of those at the road side stops are long drops swat type toilets with the drop not being long at all in some cases. Generally there will be a little old lady sitting somewhere near by who you need to pay anywhere from 1030 rubbles to for the privilege

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We came across this chap on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere standing beside his bike which was lying on its side. So we stopped to help him - it was a bit of a coincidence as we had talked to him just down the road from our hotel in Vladivostok where we were shown the damage to his bike - he is from South Korea and had ridden up through Mongolia and was now on his way home. One pretty sorry, and loaded down, BMW F650GS. Check out his spaghetti of wiring.

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Posted by Zamiam 09:27 Comments (0)

The Bear (Beer?) Burglar caught on camera

I could hardly call it a Cat Burglar could i?

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View As the Crow Flies Russia 2019 on stevecrownz's travel map.

When I think of cats I think of sublimely athletic creatures of incredible grace and physical prowess.

It therefore follows that the term Cat Burglar refers to a physically adroit burglar.

Indeed Wiktionary states

"cat burglar (plural cat burglars) A particularly stealthy burglar, especially one who gains undetected entry through the use of agility."

I feel that this is a fairly accurate depiction of an 'average' cat burglar

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So when I spotted this somewhat suspicious and dodgy looking character scaling the fence of the Holy Odigitrievsky Cathedral in Ulan Ude for whatever nefarious purpose he had in mind, being of the sharp mind that I am I was able to quickly determine that I was not dealing with an average run of the mill Cat Burglar but that far more rare of beasts, the Bear Burgurglar (aka the Beer Burgurlar).

Photos have been submitted the the KGB and Interpol in the hope that this creature will be captured and incarcerated before it damages any more wrought iron fences.

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Posted by stevecrownz 08:49 Archived in Russia Tagged ulan_ude burglar holy_odigitrievsky_cathedral Comments (0)

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