Russia 2013 The Full Story

Was hoping to be able to post more while traveling but limited internet and not enough time made it hard.

Did two quick posts earlier but this will be the full story about Russia and getting there and out, we also traveled some in Norway but that will be another post.

First I will introduce the people traveling, from left Mattias (BMW F800GS), then his dad Sören (Suzuki DR800), me Johan (KTM 950 Adv) next and last my dad Lars (Honda Transalp):

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We departed the morning of the 22nd of July 2013.

Since we passed a scale we checked we compared weights, the mighty 950 landed the scale at 280 kg, the BMW at 260, and the other two machines at 240, so we are a heavy gang:

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Finland and Sörens scary moment with a valve steam coming undone was covered in a previous post so will skip ahead.

On the 23rd we entered Russia.

Roads in Russia are great for a dual sport bike but more on that once I have sorted trough the videos in a few weeks.

Going by the city of Alakurtti:

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Mattias found a souvenir at a place we cooked some food along the road, a beautiful jacket stinking of diesel:

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Seems they like to shoot their signs:

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We made it to Kandalaksha were we had reservations for the night, they had a big tank on the town square as a war memorial:

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We lived for 2 nights at a ski resort just outside of the city:

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On the 24th we did a day trip out to the city of Umba along the coast of the White Sea, we were able to get help from a Russian guy calling a place that could serve some food but cant find any good pictures from that.

When leaving Umba we stopped by a little store for something more to drink since it was a hot day and Mattias got the chance to try out a local car, sounded like he was close to try to trade his BMW for it:

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Not many good photos of the buildings and people in the towns its hard to stop and show that photos are taken since it looks like a lot of poverty but the cameras were on so video will show more.

But here is a picture of the “back road” out of Umba, it was marked on the GPS as a road and as usual plenty steeper then the picture shows:

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While going out there my dad had seen a strange line on the GPS and it said landing strip so we decided to check it out on the way back, going over a pile of sand it was time for my first dirtnap hitting it at a strange angle and I chickened out throtteling it out:

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And after some scary sand roads with wire and things thrown around that really made you look carefully when riding we made it out to a massive 2 lane landing strip about 4 km in length, some old abandoned military field:

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But when trying to find another way out a car came and an angry Russian man started yelling at Lars but when he understood we did not understand any Russian he waved us in the direction of the exit.

On the 25th we headed north for Murmansk.

First break was in Polyarnye Zori:

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We passed the industrial town of Monchegorsk:

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Once up in Murmansk we checked into the hotel:

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Once checked in and unloaded we ventured out to the Alyosha Statue up on a hill:

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From up there it was a great view over the city:

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Once back in the city we found a great place serving food and beer:

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And it was the 26th and time to aim for the border, getting there we saw this structure from the road:

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Some old military thing left with the buildings next to it:

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We ran into some rain and stopped in Zapolyarnyy and tried Russian pizza, very thick and filling, we ordered four but luckily could cut one back once we realized how big they were, only managed to finish 2 between the 4 of us so one followed with us to Norway:

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The house with the pizza place had a great mural on the wall:

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We were also able to find a really nice little store hidden in the basement of a building so Mattias could buy some matryoshka dolls, the kind with another smaller inside the first then a third and so on:

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Also passed the mining town of Nikel, seemed to be a quite filthy town:

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Getting out included several checkpoints both military and customs but it was at least easier and quicker then getting in.

All in all I would not mind visiting Russia again.

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