Vladivostok the Golden Horn bridge recently built in 2012 for an important APEC summit which links mainland with Russky island . Vladivostok was closed to foreigners between 1958 and 1992 so only recently modernised and now a major tourist attraction full of boat loads of South Korean and Japanese tourists along with us to two from Devon!
As Amber has behaved herself with no more major hiccups along the way we have decided to take some time off from travelling and chill out for a week here in the Vladivostok area as next move South Korea with a weeks stopover which will use up the breakdown time I had factored into our journey.Good girl Amber!
So to our journey from Ulaanbaatar to Vladivostok ,which was a long slog with little excitement except these memories
As we were heading north out of Mongolia we saw approximately 30 pre 60’s French vintage cars all heading south having just crossed the border heading for Pekin ,China.We waved as they went past but they mostly ignored our friendly gestures with long unsmiling faces and stern looks of concentration on the truly awful road conditions which we had been used to for the last 2 weeks but they were only Just experiencing for the first time! Eventually we saw this old Renault broken down by the side of the track so stopped and offered assistance ,the problem was just a simple wheel change as the tyre was a bit soft, but monsieur Le Muppet didn’t have a jack that worked or a wheel brace to undo the wheel nuts !So out with the air bag jack and tools again and got him sorted .I’m sure he must of felt foolish and embarrassed enough, as he gave me a nice bottle or Bordeaux red wine for my efforts and wished us good luck at the Rugby World Cup!”Allez Les Blue” Pah!
For you tractor fans a bit more tractor porn ,but alas it’s not what you think it is ,no this one isn’t paying my pension .it’s a Chinese copy of a New Holland tractor working some ground down.
The other thing of interest here is the smoke / haze in the air.It’s difficult to show the extent of the smoke but the forest fires in Siberia have been pumping out massive amounts of CO2 and smoke for several days now and it is effecting a large area with reports of smoke reaching Alaska already! We were driving east so out running the smoke as we head towards Vladivostok so no real impact apart from making the view a bit dull but some Interesting sunsets.
Smoky sunset somewhere in Siberia!
Evidence of previous forest fires with areas of burnt trees stretching for miles!
Decided that we needed a souvenir from Russia as road particularly long and boring in places so was looking out for a 60 kph speed sign as 60 being somewhat relevant to us both this year.We couldn’t find one especially when no other cars about ,but did manage to find this beauty at a point exactly 1959 km east of Chita so if you ever breakdown in this area just remember it was an important year!
Must get a haircut soon!
The only piece of New Holland equipment seen in Central Asia ,what a beauty! It broke up the monotony for a while and made me think “glad I’m not at work trying to fix one of these buggers, with grumpy farmer moaning on ,as they can sometimes do”
And now for some serious Truck porn this gurt monster truck had some very pointy wheel nuts for stopping anyone getting too close!
One of the down sides of Siberia are the mozzies and horse flies but get the right hat and all is sorted for a while at least!
Mozzie nets and coloured lighting do a great job as well ,one of the things I did to Amber before we left was to install a LED light strip with a colour change facility where I’ve found that they least like purple , bit like me really ,and this acted as a deterrent.
Just when all was going well with about 400 km to go it was time for a puncture , Amber had picked up a bit of wire and required a little surgery to remove ,repair and replace said tyre, which my new friend Nicholas the Great resolved for the price of a couple of pints in the Culm Valley inn!
Nasty piece of wire puncturing the tyre picked up from an off road track the day before.
Wow that was interesting wasn’t it!
Managed to fill up with water at a public tap for free which was a bit of a novelty, but great to be full for the days ahead .We have about 60 l capacity which is enough for about a weeks worth of kettles,cooking ,washing up and hand face n bits washing!
Managed to find this cracking free parking spot near center of Vladivostok for the night, well beggars can’t be choosers!
This was the rather colourful graffiti which greeted us when we opened the doors this morning.
Don’t know what she means I look like David Bellamy!
Better do something about it soon as they might not let in any stwange and wonderful cweatures into South Korea which is where were heading next assuming this doesn’t delay proceedings !
I don’t think we need to be worried about Rocket man for a day or two ,or do we?
I’ll let you know how good their aim is next time!
“Sayonara” for now !
If you want even more click on this link for an interview with Karin from landcruisingadventure.com who we met in Bishkek and is a full time Overlander with her partner Coen who have been travelling 2003 and still not got there!