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Korea, Russia, Stans To East Europe (page 31)

Kachug To Olkhon Island

Olkhon Island is in the middle of Lake Baikal, Russia, Lake Baikal is the single biggest fresh water lake in the world.

With 254 km to clobber it wasn’t a biggy and a gravel road I was expecting, this time pavement all the way to my surprise and a nice change from my previous days bread shredding road/track.

Had my last gas point in the GPS and pulled in to the queue, weekend traffic.

Got my money out and sorted looked up and saw to small motos, looked at the riders then at the bikes again, it was two of the Korean guys I met on the ferry for South Korea, I went straight over to them and it was man hugs all round, so cool to see some other travellers as I have only seen three riders in 7000km so stoked to catch up with these two.

Three trouble makers

Chats and larfs they were heading south and I am heading to the island. Saying goodbyes and well wishes we all set off again to meet in another place somewhere on the horizon.

Getting to the ferry the bikes get front row seats so I ride past some 50 plus cars, on the island side there was 200 – 300 cars in a line stretching a coupe of km at least, they would have had some wait.

45 jammed in tight

Khuzhir mid island was my destination for this day, and it was an easy gravel road to the town with corrugations and some sand traps but do that with my eye closed now.

Was only gonna stay one night but I wanted to go to the end of the island and explore it, decision made will stay put and de-luggage and make a day of it, given the heavy rain forecast I opted for a hostel and I had a safe lockup too in a good secure yard, happy as.

After a good kip my eyes opened to a glary and rainy start, not ideal but happy to sit it out and the thought of no dust was appealing.

Got lunch sorted, watered up and we are off, no dust…a bit of mud, no biggy.

Would not have been 5km out of town and things went a little sideways, very sideways actually, the dirt turned to cake mix turned to mud turned to adhesive and that was the show stopper, it locked my front wheel and it would not turn.

All good to here

The swinger was under a mound of crap and the front sprocket etc jam packed, I was getting concerned it would damage the countershaft seal and fork seals as this shit was very thick and bloody hard to get out.

Having to quit my quest to the end of the island was a bumma but it was getting impassable for 45 with the mud snowing to the point of no go so yes the sensible thing was to turn around.

I struggled to keep her upright on the paste that would glue itself to everything it touched and I had to ride 50 metres, claw out the mud, ride 50 metres repeat.

Damn this shit was thick
Stopped again
...and again, finally I got on the grass and nailed it, was like an explosion and I had mud bombs all over the bike, my gear and helmet

At the end of the 300 – 400 metres I was a ball of sweat, it was pissing down and I was buggered and and and, finally back off the really shitty stuff I rode in some long grass which reduce the amount it would pick up, I made a track to the lake edge to clean her out as best I could.

Upon getting to the lake edge I spotted two bikes and wave, they came running out waving so I go over to say gidday. Two Koreans there, F700 BMW and 650 V Strom both on road rubber, they saw 45 and the state she was in, I said I will go to the lake and wash her a bit.

Removing the front sprocket cover it was chocker so my decision to clean her a prudent one. I spent nearly 3 hours digging the shit out of everything and rinsing and rinsing trying to remove it, the Koreans invited me for lunch which was so nice of them….and a real coffee, could not have had it better.


BMW F700, nice bike
What a setup, these guys are not going without
A feed set for a king

I finished my cleanup as best I could and left the front sprocket cover off, returning to the hostel they have a water blaster which I was allowed to use, I only took the lumps off the front wheel to balance it cos at 50km/hr it was shaking from the mud weight, also clean around the sprocket and chain to remove the bulk which worked well.

The hostel owner said wait for the rest to dry and it will just fall off.

Shower and washing clothes was the afternoons gig and get sorted for the following day to Irkutsk.   

Gloomy day but ok vista

The mornings vista, the massive firestorm smoke had caught up with me again, now this place was engulfed in smoke so a waste of time trying to wait that out 

Yeah no more view, a shame it was a disaster but I will take Ellen back when it is sunny with no fires.
On the ferry back to the mainland
Author of this article: Twomotokiwis