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Korea, Russia, Stans To East Europe (page 18)

Mangonemad In Magadan

Great news to travellers, moto riders and even humans.

45 is alive, picked her up today, after this mornings issues Nataly took an hour out off work (just in case there were more misunderstandings) and we went back to the yard, there she was, 45, patiently waiting minding her own business although she did look like a naughty toddler that had sent to her cot for bad behaviour.   

The crate was very well built, the shipping company had plastic wrapped her, they took off the mirrors and they were wrapped and sellotaped.

I left all the straps in strategic positions so I would know if prying eyes and hands had been in, these were not 1 mm out of place so with total honesty the transaction went smooth other than todays timing flobar which I do not know who got wrong between the local and the shippers, in the scheme of things a non event.

One happy man ...yes you are lookin at him

Crated and waiting
They gave me a crowbar and go for, 5 minutes of enthusiasm and I have successfully wrecked al their good work LOL
WOH HOH, Housten we have ignition.

So over the next few days I will be riding some seriously out of the way places and wifi will be skinnier than a size 00 supermodel stick insect.

I am riding with a Russian and Japanese, Russian can't speak English or Japanese, Japanese can't speak English or Russian and I can't speak Russian or Japanese....what a fucken team LOL.

But we have motorcycles and Vodka so what can possibly go wrong.

Magadan To Butugychag

Leaving Magadan I was organized to meet 9.00am at the fuel station not far from Natalys, I was on time until I sat through three sets of traffic light sequences then I was 3 minutes late, big deal but I wanted to be on time organized for my first meeting with Anatoly.

Anatoly is Russian, speaks a little English and good Spanish so combo of Russian, English and Spanish set us off on a good path.

The trip to Butuchag was uneventful other than a rear tyre puncture for Anayoly which we soon fixed and the dust, geezuzz the dust was unreal, lot of trucks on the road, big wheel Kamaz towing massive trailers of all sorts and kicking up more dust than an Arabian sandstorm.

First stop out of Magadan a memorial to the names of the Road Of Bones, the Gulags that died building the road, this is one of many, way too many names for one memorial.
F l a t t i e

Butuygchag was one of interest to me having read about it on the net, but again it is of sorrow and deep history.

Without boring you to tears this was a prison labour camp, 10000 strong, they were there for Uranium extraction using free labour to enhance the old USSR.

I would seem back in that era if even you looked at someone the wrong way they needed no further evidence to ship you away to these camps, there were three in this region but many km apart.

Inside the prison
Barred windows
The famous shoe photo

To say this place is harsh is an understatement and there is bear jam (bear poos full of berries) everywhere, needless to say I was apprehensive about camping but I am still here.

Prior our exploratory mission Anatoly had seen some grave sites and was keen to find them, we looked and looked and had pretty much given up when I spotted a cross way in the distance on a hillside, turned out to be a lot bigger than it appeared thus was a lot further away than we thought, with the valleys etc being too large it is hard to gauge distance and scale.

There were hundreds of grave mounds lined up, many with no number or name, just someone with no ID.

I wasn’t until we were standing at the graveyard that we fully understood the extent of it, it covered the entire ridge of the hill, even tho I did not know a sole ….emotional…… you bet ya.

Look closer to see the individual graves, this entire hill top was covered in them
The cross that looked like a small 0.5 meter high from where we saw it first.
Row F, Grave number 36, this was one of hundreds of rows and numbers, this was their tombstone with no title.

Back to camp saw a quiet night with mozzies the size of dumptrucks trying to chew our head off….and they were just the children.

So in our tents with a talk through canvas and dinner the same, an early night was had.

The cloud was encroaching too and menacing looking, looked liked we were in for a wet one.   

Essential fashion in these parts
Author of this article: Twomotokiwis