Our first biking km in Siberia

the 22 April 2016 in Uncategorized

This is August 6th, 2014 when we leave finally Ulan Bator by train for Sukhbator , the last town before the Russian border. On the station platform, we meet a teenager who speaks French, he had lived 7 years in the Parisian suburbs before returning to live in Mongolia. Arrived at destination at 4:30 am, he invites us to have a tea at his place and prepare our bikes quietly. We will take the morning to put everything in order. Our bikes being ready, we take the road towards the border, 30km away. The Mongolian side, nothing to report, we park the bikes in front of the offices, go inside, queue up and two stamps later left we are off again. A guy went out all the same with us to take a peek at two saddlebags on the eight... A few meters later we reach the Russian border and here we are told that it is not possible to pass by bike, we need to get in a car !!!!! I insist but nothing works. Two trucks later a Mongolian couple with a small empty truck, charges us and here we are crossing the border. Nothing complicated, once the immigration papers filled and the stamps affixed, we enter finally Siberia, feeling hot and sweating, we are so happy. Thus we began our progress in this country for which we waited so much. It's been now 15 days that we're here and we're enchanted... 

From the border to Ulan Ude (220km) 

The road was not too bad , asphalted, a little of traffic but not too much, some villages regularly enough to fill water, friendly people who say hello to us and honk, I can at last talk again to the people by means of my poor Russian vocabulary... In brief I revover life again here ! And these fir trees, that wonderful smell that caresses you nostrils, it 's been so long since Georgia, almost only desert landscapes and there we will have three months with trees, greenery ... I love it ! On this road nothing particular to indicate. Arrived at Ulan Ude we had no plan to sleep, no couchsurfer response, we were exhausted, banks were closed, not a cash, in brief the total "loose". A man met in the street tried to help for at least 2 hours. He called all his contacts, took me right and left while Damien guarded the bikes. At my fruitless return, Damien was surrounded by 3 young people. We explain them our problem and one of them invites us into his country house outside of town, but in the meantime it was time to play billiards!!! A few beers later, the plans change and we go to one of the apartments of the young man closer than his Dacha, accompanied with a bottle of vodka and beer bought in the middle of the night secretly in the corner of a street. It is forbidden in Russia to sell alcohol past 21h. The evening ends so late.

The next day we had to go to Lake Baikal in early afternoon, but in the end we will leave at 1am, nothing strange ! So we end up with shopping in a large supermarket opened all night long, and then here we are taking the road again, just like that, hallucinating a little, we are died laughing at this mad organization of which we do not understand much but everything seems so normal for them, yeah, what about leaving at 2am instead of 14pm for example, what's the problem, hey ?

Arrived at the lake around 4:30 am, we await the sunrise by lighting a barbecue to cook the meat because we had not eaten yet, whereas our driver returns to Ulan Ude (how normal again!) for he had an appointment at 9am. So we remain alone with our host. At sunrise we go to bed ... Our driver had to come back for us early in the afternoon, obviously he still managed with 12 hours of gap, nonsense again, we were dead laughing and as if that were not enough, now our host loses his home keys, possibly while hitchhiking to fetch alcohol, so we ended up in a hotel at the entrance to Ulan Ude, whereas our host slept nobody knows where and instead of coming to look for us at 11am as planned, he arrived at 3 pm. When we asked him what was the plan, he simply answered, " no plan "!!!! That summed up the situation quite well. We went to eat "dungs"(a kind of ravioli pouch stuffed with meat, a delight) then to visit a temple and finally we returned to the apartment where we repacked our stuff to hit the road at 6 pm and go out of this infernal city. This short stay at Ulan Ude has been of the big nonsense, but we will keep a good memory of it, and surely we will keep contact with our guests who did not seem to be affected by the time at all (our host had to go to China where he works, he will leave 2 days later than planned, no problem...)

From Ulan Ude to Chita 

We decide not to take the M55 highway which is the main route and opt for a secondary road, whose relief and circulation are less. Only drawback, the road is unpaved throughout. So we ate a little dust 🙂 . Having had a response from a couchsurfer of Chita where we planned to arrive on the 19th, we managed despite the delay to get on the 19th and we arrived there certainly tired but happy, more of 622km in 7 and a half days, for a start cycling I find it not bad! The road was magnificent, the beautiful landscapes, on the end, a whole region bordered by lakes and marshes. Forests of fir trees, birches... A delight. always friendly people. A lady in a shop offered us our shopping, another with her son came to bring us pots of a kind of homemade ratatouille because her son, who had seen us in town in a store, had told her that it was necessary to come to speak to us, they thus joined us at the river by bike as we filled up with water, quite excited by our trip. Another offered a bottle of milk, the police head of a region with his team, invited us to eat on the roadside where they passed, the women of a restaurant gave us a picture of Buddha (the Buryatia region is Buddhist, people have a facies as the Mongolian and their language is similar). A squirrel nibbled my tent to try to reach a food bag inside, in short we like Siberia, it's just beautiful, zen, we feel good there, a bliss and a feeling of well-being has invaded us, let's hope that it lasts. For the moment we are rather too hot, but I think we can not say as much in one month, to be followed... 

Nights

Budget

This is August 6th, 2014 when we leave finally Ulan Bator by train for Sukhbator , the last town before the Russian border. On the station platform, we meet a teenager who speaks French, he had lived 7 years in the Parisian suburbs before returning to live in Mongolia. Arrived at destination at 4:30 am, he invites us to have a tea at his place and prepare our bikes quietly. We will take the morning to put everything in order. Our bikes being ready, we take the road towards the border, 30km away. The Mongolian side, nothing to report, we park the bikes in front of the offices, go inside, queue up and two stamps later left we are off again. A guy went out all the same with us to take a peek at two saddlebags on the eight... A few meters later we reach the Russian border and here we are told that it is not possible to pass by bike, we need to get in a car !!!!! I insist but nothing works. Two trucks later a Mongolian couple with a small empty truck, charges us and here we are crossing the border. Nothing complicated, once the immigration papers filled and the stamps affixed, we enter finally Siberia, feeling hot and sweating, we are so happy. Thus we began our progress in this country for which we waited so much. It's been now 15 days that we're here and we're enchanted... 

From the border to Ulan Ude (220km) 

The road was not too bad , asphalted, a little of traffic but not too much, some villages regularly enough to fill water, friendly people who say hello to us and honk, I can at last talk again to the people by means of my poor Russian vocabulary... In brief I revover life again here ! And these fir trees, that wonderful smell that caresses you nostrils, it 's been so long since Georgia, almost only desert landscapes and there we will have three months with trees, greenery ... I love it ! On this road nothing particular to indicate. Arrived at Ulan Ude we had no plan to sleep, no couchsurfer response, we were exhausted, banks were closed, not a cash, in brief the total "loose". A man met in the street tried to help for at least 2 hours. He called all his contacts, took me right and left while Damien guarded the bikes. At my fruitless return, Damien was surrounded by 3 young people. We explain them our problem and one of them invites us into his country house outside of town, but in the meantime it was time to play billiards!!! A few beers later, the plans change and we go to one of the apartments of the young man closer than his Dacha, accompanied with a bottle of vodka and beer bought in the middle of the night secretly in the corner of a street. It is forbidden in Russia to sell alcohol past 21h. The evening ends so late.

The next day we had to go to Lake Baikal in early afternoon, but in the end we will leave at 1am, nothing strange ! So we end up with shopping in a large supermarket opened all night long, and then here we are taking the road again, just like that, hallucinating a little, we are died laughing at this mad organization of which we do not understand much but everything seems so normal for them, yeah, what about leaving at 2am instead of 14pm for example, what's the problem, hey ?

Arrived at the lake around 4:30 am, we await the sunrise by lighting a barbecue to cook the meat because we had not eaten yet, whereas our driver returns to Ulan Ude (how normal again!) for he had an appointment at 9am. So we remain alone with our host. At sunrise we go to bed ... Our driver had to come back for us early in the afternoon, obviously he still managed with 12 hours of gap, nonsense again, we were dead laughing and as if that were not enough, now our host loses his home keys, possibly while hitchhiking to fetch alcohol, so we ended up in a hotel at the entrance to Ulan Ude, whereas our host slept nobody knows where and instead of coming to look for us at 11am as planned, he arrived at 3 pm. When we asked him what was the plan, he simply answered, " no plan "!!!! That summed up the situation quite well. We went to eat "dungs"(a kind of ravioli pouch stuffed with meat, a delight) then to visit a temple and finally we returned to the apartment where we repacked our stuff to hit the road at 6 pm and go out of this infernal city. This short stay at Ulan Ude has been of the big nonsense, but we will keep a good memory of it, and surely we will keep contact with our guests who did not seem to be affected by the time at all (our host had to go to China where he works, he will leave 2 days later than planned, no problem...)

From Ulan Ude to Chita 

We decide not to take the M55 highway which is the main route and opt for a secondary road, whose relief and circulation are less. Only drawback, the road is unpaved throughout. So we ate a little dust 🙂 . Having had a response from a couchsurfer of Chita where we planned to arrive on the 19th, we managed despite the delay to get on the 19th and we arrived there certainly tired but happy, more of 622km in 7 and a half days, for a start cycling I find it not bad! The road was magnificent, the beautiful landscapes, on the end, a whole region bordered by lakes and marshes. Forests of fir trees, birches... A delight. always friendly people. A lady in a shop offered us our shopping, another with her son came to bring us pots of a kind of homemade ratatouille because her son, who had seen us in town in a store, had told her that it was necessary to come to speak to us, they thus joined us at the river by bike as we filled up with water, quite excited by our trip. Another offered a bottle of milk, the police head of a region with his team, invited us to eat on the roadside where they passed, the women of a restaurant gave us a picture of Buddha (the Buryatia region is Buddhist, people have a facies as the Mongolian and their language is similar). A squirrel nibbled my tent to try to reach a food bag inside, in short we like Siberia, it's just beautiful, zen, we feel good there, a bliss and a feeling of well-being has invaded us, let's hope that it lasts. For the moment we are rather too hot, but I think we can not say as much in one month, to be followed... 

4 commentaires

  • Antoine says:

    Fantastique Fantastique Fantastique …

    Que dire quoi , whoua !
    Aventure impossible à décrire , que je suit depuis peu. Peu de mots me viennent à l’esprit. Je suis bouche-bée, je lis, imagine, rêve, m’évade … Merci ! Merci non seulement pour le bonheur que tu nous fais partagé , mais aussi merci pour nous montrer que tout est vraiment possible si l’on en est convaincu.

    Ce soir je me reprend à rêver. Laissez cette vie de sédentaire qui commence seulement pour moi, j’ai 21 ans et viens seulement de finir mes études (entre nous qui ne m’ont guère passionnées…) , et partir, découvrir, s’émerveiller, galérer, rencontrer, vivre quoi ! Je suis en préparation d’un raid photo qui me fera parcourir 12 000 km direction le cap nord avec ma sœur (elle aussi à énormément voyagé en Asie, vécu 1 an et demie la-bas), et je me dis que sitôt revenu, je vais vouloir repartir, j’aurais presque besoin de repartir !

    Il est tard chez moi , demain je reprend le travail mais qu’importe, je vais continuer à explorer ce site, à voyager. C’est assez incroyable de ce dire que dans quelques années encore, tu seras toujours sur les routes du monde… Je m’en fiche, j’y serais moi aussi, et quand je n’y serai pas je lirais les futurs articles que tu écriras…

    Comment ne pas se prendre à rêver de te rejoindre, partager un bout de chemin avec toi, avant de nous même partir un jours. indescriptible sensation de frustration ce soir … Tout comme toi tu as eu des éléments déclencheurs pour cette aventure, peut-être auras tu été l’un des miens. peut-être que dans quelques années moi aussi je pourrais te citer avant de partir 🙂
    J’espère un jours avoir moi aussi la chance, le courage, les corones comme ont dit de me lancer comme toi. Je l’espère oui…

    J’ai l’impression de pouvoir écrire encore des lignes et des lignes tellement les images tournes dans ma tête, pourquoi pas moi , pourquoi pas moi ?!

    voilà, j’arrête là c’est mieux 😉
    un fan de plus
    merci encore 🙂

    Antoine

    • caro says:

      😉 ben oui pourquoi pas toi!!!! merci pour ce merveilleux message je te souhaite de réaliser tes rêves tels qu’ils soient….

  • Antoine says:

    Promis je ferait tout pour 😉
    en attendant, je rêve à travers ton aventure

  • AB says:

    la Sibérie c’est le super trip et quelques pays dit « civilisés » feraient bien de regarder comment ce comporte ces gens merveilleux et très attachants….
    en France tu peux crever sur le bord de la route !
    merci pour tes merveilleux récits

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