Our first week on the road in Russia is done. It’s been the hardest week of our lives.
It kicked off with a day or two of plain sailing. It was cold, around -10°C, but nothing we hadn’t done before. And we had all our fantastic kit keeping us warm. Then on day 3, the snow fell. We woke up to a complete winter wonderland. There was a solid two inches of snow on everything, including most of the roads. We thought this could be a big problem. We had no idea if the scooter would even move in the snow. We set off and after pushing and running alongside it up the slip road, we made it on to the highway which was considerably better and looked like the above.
We smashed our way through the snow and slush all day and racked up 200km to the town of Khabarovsk, despite the weather. Khabarovsk was the last major town for around 2000km until we reach Chita. In order to get to Chita we have to continue north to go around China. That means with every passing day the temperatures get colder and colder. Yesterday we started driving at a cool -30°C. In these conditions, nothing works and everything is hard.
Luckily, there are roadside motels every 100km or so. They are a life saver. We have the kit for camping but because we’re not working on the bike we are just sat getting hit with -30°C plus the wind chill of cruising along at 40mph. You’re so cold by the end of the day that there is absolutely no way we’d be opting for anything other than a bowl of cabbage soup and a warm room!
The cold has also got to our visors. The entire thing freezes up so we have two options: a frozen face or a frozen visor. At the moment, we’re opting for the face while we’re driving (so we can see) and the visor when we’re in the sidecar, to give our face time to thaw out!
Check out our Facebook page and Instagram account for more regular updates from the trip. We’ll update this mailing list where we can but at the moment, the majority of our time is being spent moaning to each other about the cold, thinking of ways we can get warm or talking about how nice it is to be warm.