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11 travelers at this place

  • Day130

    Western Mongolia to Russia border

    July 18, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Have you ever heard of closed borders apart from when there is a emergency warning?
    Well, Mongolia closes its borders for their National celebration of "Nadaam". A concept very foreign to us and definitely one you need to know about, particularly in view of your permitted staytime. While Nadaam officially takes place from 11th-13th July, it is celebrated around those dates in all parts of the country (we came across celebrations as early as the 4th). As unpredictable as these festivities seemed to us, the border times weren't. We quickly found out that the border between Tsagaanuur and Tashanta in the Western part of Mongolia would reopen on the 16th of July. We planned to be in Tschemal, 488kms up North, by the 19th and our Visa were still valid for another week. Hence everything was going to work just nicely.
    We wanted to avoid the rush on the 16th (reopening day), therefore planned to drive to the border from Ölgii either late that day and sleep at the border or on the 17th. Water had been filled up, stocks should last, we had read a fair bit about the border procedures, we should be good to go.
    But then we found out that the Kudlik family, our friends and fellow overlanders, where in Ölgii, too, and hence decided to postpone the plan for a day.
    So today, we get up after a wonderful evening of chatting, laughing and drinking great wine (thank you Zuzka&Martin), pack up and make our way to the border. We arrive at 12pm, being the 26th car in line. The border post seems small, it feels like we just stopped in a little village anywhere in Mongolia. Nothing is moving, we probably got here just in time for the lunch break (yes, the border closes for that, too.). We kill the time by having a quick lunch ourselves, listening to an audiobook, taking pictures (Jo) and reading (Tom). We also meet Lena, a very nice Russian girl, who is returning from a two week holiday with her husband. Three hours later, things start moving. With the help of a Mongolian with perfect English who drives the car in front of us, Tom masters the first check to enter and within another hour we've passed passport and customs control without any issues.
    Now we need to drive through approx. 30km of no-man's-land before reaching the Russian border post. I'm wondering who the animals along the side of the road belong to and if I'll ever see the cute Earth squirrels again.
    At 4.45pm we enter the Russian border post. All officers seem to be used to overlanders as we're repeatedly asked about the route we'll travel and everyone nods their head understandingly. We park the car, pass the passport control again without any issues, have the car checked quickly including running our backpacks through a scanner and then it's time to get the temporary import documents for the car. This is the only part that's slightly confusing, but a friendly young officer leads Tom through the documents. While I'm chatting to two motorcyclists from Munich (check, everything is done and we're officially in Russia just after 6pm ( it might have helped that everyone simply wanted to go home as the border closes at 6pm).
    All in all it took 6hrs, every check and control was super pleasant and easy and we were super happy.
    No long interrogation, sleeping in no-man's-land nor problems with documents. Let's hope every crossing will be this smooth.
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  • Day38

    To the Altai's mountains

    May 5, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Après 2 jours de train et 5 heures de bus nous sommes bien arrivés à Gorno altaisk, stop bien mérité. Un court repos d'une nuit et on repart sur les routes en auto-stop direction les montagnes de l'Altai.Read more

  • Day132

    AaPPLE Camp in Chemal

    July 20, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

    After beautiful Mongolia we were looking forward to our second Workaway experience after leaving Brisbane. A few months ago we were contacted by lovely Polina, a member of the AaPPLE language school team in Barnaul who invited us to take part in one of their youth camps in Chemal and we couldn’t resist.
    The camp took place in a sports hotel with amazing facilities right next to the breathtaking Katun river. We were greeted by 100 enthusiastic kids and just as enthusiastic staff. Frankly, after weeks of solitude it was a bit overwhelming at first but this feeling subsided as soon as the fun activities with the kids started!
    Sports, singing, dancing, English classes, arts and crafts, you name it! A full schedule from 10am to 11:00pm kept both kids and ourselves busy. We even got the chance to give a presentation about Australia and teach English and German to the (mostly) super well behaved and interested kids.
    In addition to getting to know the main staff we also feel very lucky to have met the other volunteers from around the globe (Columbia, Belgium, France, Spain, Ireland, Egypt and Indonesia). It was great to exchange experiences over breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and second dinner 😁 (Despite of my love for cooking, I (Jo) was super happy not to have to think about food for a while. I even got vegetarian meals (fish is considered vegetarian). The only thing i couldn’t get used to was the dollop of butter on our morning porridge...)! What an inspiring bunch of Globetrotters.
    However, the stars of the show were the kids. Literally and figuratively. The first day without any introduction 12 year old Leonid approached me to ask who I was and where I’m from in perfect English! Thinking back to 12 old me, I neither would have had the courage nor the language skills. We got to spend time with an amazingly bright and extroverted group of 7 to 17 year olds, learn about their regular routine, play fun games, exchange language skills and move much more than during our driving days.
    These 8 days ended up being a very rewarding and super fun experience we’ll never forget.

    Thanks AaPPLE camp for the opportunity!
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  • Day117

    Priwjét Russland

    June 9, 2018 in Russia

    “Welcome to Russia” - Das waren die Worte vom Grenzbeamten als er das Tor nach Russland aufschob…

    Die Ausreiße aus der Mongolei hat sich für Chris und mich etwas in die Länge gezogen, da wir 2 Tage zu lange im Land waren. So mussten wir eine Visumverlängerung beantragen, diese war zwar billiger als eine Strafe doch kostete uns auch 1,5h.

    Wir hatten viel über die Einreiße nach Russland gehört und waren alle gespannt was passiert. Wie erwartet mussten wir das erste Mal Kenny komplett ausräumen und vor allem alle Medikamente vorzeigen, die wir mit uns führten.
    Klingt alles schlimmer als es war, die Leute waren stets freundlich zu uns.
    Vielleicht lag es auch daran, dass David und Livia mit der WM Fan ID einreisten und alle Grenzbeamten wollten sich diese anschauen.

    Die erste Woche in Russland liegt nun hinter uns, bisher gefällt es uns sehr gut.
    Die Altai Region war genial - schneebedeckte 4-Tausender im Hintergrund und saftig grüne Wiesen,auf denen die Pferde und Kühe frei herumlaufen, direkt neben der Straße.
    Die Straßen sind super und die meisten Autos sind relativ neu.
    Ab und an hat man auch mal einen Lada vor oder hinter sich, die meisten aber stehen mit geöffneter Motorhaube am Straßenrand.

    Kenny ließ seinen Auspuff liegen nachdem wir ürckwärts in einen Acker fuhren, um zu wenden.

    Nach 5 gemeinsamen Nächten mit den Schweizern zogen wir weiter nach Novosibirsk, wo seit langer Zeit mal wieder ein 4 Sterne Hotel auf uns wartete indem wir nochmal entspannen können bevor der Marathon nach Moskau beginnt (ca. 3500km in 5 Tagen)
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Respublika Altay, Altai, République d'Altaï, Алтай, Altajrepubliken

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