Photographs. On The Road: Russia Vol. 2

Photographs. On The Road: Russia Vol. 1

My third hitchhiking trip to Siberia in January 2009 was one of the greatest traveling experiences I have ever had. Three near-to-death accidents, extreme low temperatures reaching -52°C, more than 13K kilometers hitchhiked, Buddhist monasteries and the world’s deepest lake Baikal, and snow, snow, snow all around… but first of all – the life in Russia along the Road. It was a trip that taught me a lot.

Interesting fact: According to the Federal Highway Agency of Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, the overall length of roads in Russia is about 1,1 million kilometers.

On the Road to Ufa.
Winter road to Ufa, Russia
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Photographs. On The Road: Russia Vol. 1

Photographs. On The Road: Russia Vol. 2

When people ask me about the years I spent in Russia, wondering if I liked the country or not, I don’t really know what to answer. Russia is huge. Russia is different and changes rapidly while you just travel along the road. Russia is crazy and beautiful. Russia is one of these countries that you hate and love in the same time. I had every kind of experience during the years I lived in the country, both negative and positive. But despite everything, Russia will always its own very special place in my heart… for this is where began my life on the Road.

Interesting fact: According to the Federal Highway Agency of Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, the overall length of roads in Russia is about 1,1 million kilometers.

Town of Kultuk. Lake Baikal. On the Road to Ulan-Ude.
Winter Road near Lake Baikal
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The Siberian Hitchhiking Trip – 2009

~ ON THE ROAD FROM MOSCOW TO IRKUTSK ~

I. Hitchhiking Siberia: The Start, Gosha the Driver and The Prostitutes
II. Hitchhiking Siberia: Ganesha, The Cop Story and The Shivering Girl
III. Hitchhiking Siberia: The Urals, The City of Chelyabinsk and The Accident
IV. Hitchhiking Siberia: The Pregnant Woman, The Names and The Goodbye
V. Hitchhiking Siberia: The Taiga, The Crows and The Traveler’s Fate
VI. Hitchhiking Siberia: The Café, The $20 Girls and The Arrival

~ PLACES ~

The City of Chelyabinsk ~ The City of Irkutsk ~ The Miracles of Lake Baikal

~ BUDDHIST MONASTERIES ~

~ Aginsky Datsan ~ॐ~ Tsugolsky Datsan ~ॐ~ Ivolginsky Datsan ~

~ PEOPLE ~

I. Four Buryats and Klyukovka
II. The Jailbird and The Hungry Kitten
III. Mamikon: The Story of a Lonely Soul

~ ON THE ROAD FROM ULAN-UDE TO MOSCOW ~

I. Hitchhiking Siberia: The Road Back, The Jailbird and The Kamaz Trucks
II. Hitchhiking Siberia: The Farewell, The Stranger and The Night
III. Hitchhiking Siberia: The Morning, The Driver’s Story and The Road to Tomsk
IV. Hitchhiking Siberia: The Nostalgy, The Frozen Toes and The Curious Kid
V. Hitchhiking Siberia: The Cold Night, The Sunset and The Euphoria
VI. Hitchhiking Siberia: The Corrupted Police and The Three Hitchhikers
VII. Hitchhiking Siberia: The Robbery Attempt, The Café Village and The End

Hitchhiking Siberia: The Robbery Attempt, The Café Village and The End

The Hitchhiking Trip to Siberia – 2009
On the road from Ulan-Ude to Moscow
Part Seven

On the Road from Ulan-Ude to Moscow: Part One
On the Road from Ulan-Ude to Moscow: Part Two
On the Road from Ulan-Ude to Moscow: Part Three
On the Road from Ulan-Ude to Moscow: Part Four
On the Road from Ulan-Ude to Moscow: Part Five
On the Road from Ulan-Ude to Moscow: Part Six

February 19, 2009. The taxi driver drove us out of the city and dropped off at a good spot with lampposts. There were few cars passing by, and soon Sasha, the hitchhiker I met on the road and with whom we traveled some part of the road, suggested to wait until morning and spend the night in the nearby hotel. I didn’t like the idea as I was sure we will be able to get a ride very soon, but Sasha had different plans. And so we said goodbye to each other and I walked forward and in 10 minutes a Kamaz truck picked me up. The driver was a laid-back funny mid-aged man, we talked about the road, about hitchhikers and truck drivers. He dropped me off on the outskirts of Syzran. It was 2.10 AM. I drank tea and ate a potato pie. Sasha texted me saying he also decided to continue his road and now he’s few kilometers away from me, eating in a roadside café. Then I noticed three drunk guys on the opposite side of the road, walking towards me. From their loud conversation I suddenly realized they are talking about robbing me. Not wasting a single second, I took the backpack and rushed to the police station 300 meters distance away. The drunk guys ran after me, but realizing where am I going to they immediately disappeared.

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Hitchhiking Siberia: The Corrupted Police and The Three Hitchhikers

The Hitchhiking Trip to Siberia – 2009
On the road from Ulan-Ude to Moscow
Part Six

On the Road from Ulan-Ude to Moscow: Part One
On the Road from Ulan-Ude to Moscow: Part Two
On the Road from Ulan-Ude to Moscow: Part Three
On the Road from Ulan-Ude to Moscow: Part Four
On the Road from Ulan-Ude to Moscow: Part Five

February 18, 2009. It was around 2.00 AM when we drove in Chelyabinsk region of Russia, and an hour later we took the Chelyabinsk bypass. As the driver said there were plenty of criminals in the city waiting for the occasional truck driver to pass through it and from whom they ask money to allow him safely leave the city limits. There were no lights on the bypass, and at one point we even got lost. It took us about 45 minutes to find the main highway. By 5.00 AM we crossed the border between Asia and Europe. There was no snow in the Ural mountains, the road was dry. We stopped for an hour to take a nap, and while trying to sleep I was thinking of changing my route and instead of going to Moscow via Tatarstan hitchhike through Samara region, since I have never traveled there.

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