Ocean-based adventure vacations – done.
Both Poles – done.
In today’s post – land-based travels from the unusual and adventurous side…
So what can I boast of in this category? Well, there were the road-trips across Namibia, Tasmania (this one – just as corona was kicking in, and we only just made it back home before full-on quarantine!), the Andes, and both islands of New Zealand, plus assorted other high-speed, hi-octane drives. But – they’re hardly “special”; anyone can rent a car and undertake similar road-trips. Thus, there’s actually nothing to boast of here.
So what is there I can actually boast of – in terms of unusual, exclusive if not unique, tailor-made, VIP, land-based motorized journeys of the extreme-kind?…
Adventure-tourism story of the unique/unusual kind No. 5: Magadan-to-Moscow road trip
In January 2021 (in only slightly “tuned” – albeit brand-new – small Renaults), we decided a road-trip across practically the full length of the world’s largest country – with temperatures sometimes sinking below -50°C – would be an adventure-and-a-half that just had to be taken. Route: Magadan > Oymyakon > Yakutsk > and further west on to Moscow (after switching our tired Renaults in Chita for some Mercedes). Dropping in on customers and partners along the way, the road-trip took us a full month to complete. We were expecting dull monotony. What we got was a wholly unusual, at times surreal, winter-wonderland fairytale auto-expedition. It affected me so much it took me a full two weeks to decompress and recover once we’d gotten home! Each day brought something special and thoroughly uncommonly remarkable; however, two particular instances stand out for me most of all…
Astonishment No. 1: just how beautiful everything is out there in the winter!
We somehow weren’t expecting much besides the extreme cold; we simply couldn’t imagine the extraordinarily beautiful white scenes all around for thousands of kilometers that awaited us ->
Astonishment No. 2: the quality of the roads. I was expecting potholes (or worse) out in this remote, unpopulated corner of Russia. So you can imagine my surprise when we found out the roads were practically all well-made (either asphalted or permafrost-friendly stone-chipping-covered), well-maintained, smooth, well-signposted, and always fully clear of snow ->
Some roads were newly-asphalted; for example, the A360 Lena Highway, which runs south from Yakutsk:
We were so impressed by the far-eastern stretch of the expedition that we decided to repeat it a year later (Magadan – Yakutsk – Lake Baikal), taking a slightly different route (passing through Vilyusk, Mirny and Ust Kut)…
…On to Severobaikalsk and then across Lake Baikal – upon its thick ice cover in our Land Rovers ->
The rest of my road-based adventures are tagged roads.
Still land-based, but no on roads – there are special rail journeys, which brings me to…
Adventure-tourism stories of the unique/unusual kind No. 6: special train journeys
I love any train journey. But when you’re up front with the driver – oh my great! ->
The clickety-clack of the steel wheels on the tracks, the engine noise, plus views that hypnotize: spellbinding! ->
Ninety kilometers of mind-blowing views: to one side – the vast Lake Baikal; to the other – cliffs and mountains, as the train snakes along a narrow platform-ridge in-between the two. Simply wonderful! ->
Off we go!…
Up front with the driver’s always best! ->
We were exclusively treated to sitting in with the driver:
A magical train journey! ->
More details on all my VIP train-rides – here.
That’s all for today folks. Back soon with more adventure-travel tales from the fun/exclusive/awesome side!…