Trip Overview

Welcome to our Brighton2Siberia site.  We left the UK on our motorcycles in April 2011 heading for the far side of Siberia – the Kamchatka peninsula.   Along the way, we will pass through France and Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria to Turkey.  There we will cross from Europe into Asia, and continue through Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan and Kazakhstan before entering Russia for the first time.  After a few miles in Russia, we will enter Mongolia, before crossing back into Russia to begin to explore Siberia.  The route plan goes as far as Magadan, and how we get from there to Kamchatka is as yet unknown.

Please follow the links above to navigate the site – the Blog contains our travel journal which will be updated when possible.  If you click on “Blog” you get everything in conventional-blog-format reverse chronological order.  If you select a region in the drop-down, you will see articles from that region in chronological order. There are also pages with information on the bikes we’re taking, another with GPS waypoints which we will update occasionally en route, and a link to our fundraising page for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

An interactive overview of our rough route plan is below – click on the red magnifying glass icon to view it in full screen.

Download KML file to view our route plan in Google Earth

46 Responses to Trip Overview

  1. Graham Wheatley says:

    Hi Ed,
    I don’t know if you’ll ever read this now but I’m trying to find one of your 7 litre green ex-army fuel carriers for an upcoming trip.
    It took a while to find you after I saw the pictures.
    Where did you get the fuel bladder?
    If you see this post you can reach me on gbags58@gmail.com
    Thanks mate,
    Graham

  2. Martin says:

    Hello both,

    Thanks for the information found on this site, i was wondering if you made it to Kamtchatka. Do you know if there is a boat from Vladivostok to Kamtchatka? it seems so but i couldnt contact anyone that has taken it.
    many thanks in advance,
    Martin

    • ed says:

      Hi Martin, glad you like the info. We had the best time on this trip and would recommend it to anyone. We didn’t reach Kamchatka. We had hoped to get from Magadan to Kamchatka but found even getting transport out of there with our bikes to be a real challenge. The next option was to get to Vlad and take a boat from there – it is possible and I remember seeing a shipping timetable somewhere but as the costs started to escalate be decided to head for home. A Polish guy called RobertMovieStar on ADVRider flew over a couple of years ago and rode back. He said it was rather expensive – I might be able to find a thread somewhere.

  3. Pete says:

    Hi guys,

    Congratulations on completing your trip. Sounds excellent. In April of this year, a friend and I leave the UK for Magadan. We will be riding DRZ but the S model.
    It’s difficult to work out how much tarmac or dirt we will be riding so we are struggling with tyre choice. We were thinking to leave on some road like tyres but carry dirt tyres on the back. If we were to do that, is there any particular tyres you would recommend.

    Any help will be much appreciated.

    • ed says:

      Thanks Pete. Much appreciated and we had an awesome trip. Dan and I thought about just this issue when planning our trip. Firstly, you WILL need more than one set of tyres to reach Magadan via Central Asia (if that is your route). The most direct route consists largely of Tarmac of some sort or other but with patches of dirt that will BENEFIT from a more knobbly tyre but this is not absolutely required. Like us, You have selected a lightweight dirtbike and we reasoned that there is no point opting for that type of bike and then trying to carry heavy tyres on the back unless absolutely necessary. It limits kit, food, extra fuel and ruins handlng. With that in mind you need a minimum of two sets of tyres that can do almost 10,000miles. The TKC 140size is one of the few tyres knobbly or not that can give that sort of mileage due to its super tough carcass. The Heidenau K60 also does the same but was not as good off road in the 120 rear size. We opted to order and buy tyres in Barnaul Russia on route to avoid carrying extra tyres and to give fresh tyres for Mongolia. Sadly we couldn’t buy TKC or Heidenau for sensible money so opted for Mitas E09 Dakars from Motoretzina.ru and they worked well (two different bikes as well). Hope that helps. Dan may add his opinion to this as well. Good luck with the trip. Post your website here when you get the chance.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Hi, just wondering if you guys could post your email, or send it over my way. I’m considering the WR250r as an option, but concerned about low octane gas and the WR250. Thanks

    • ed says:

      Nothing to worry about. You’d stuggle to find worse petrol than 80octane and the WR was fine. Some of the lowest octane fuel was up in Central Asia where the higher altitude means low octane has less of an effect. I suffered from issues with one tank of fuel that we bought in the high Pamirs and although it was 80octane on the tank, it turned out to be terrible quality as I didn’t suffer again on the trip despite being at a lower altitude!

  5. Hey Dan & Ed!
    Great to run into you both in the streets of Magadan yesterday.
    Would love to get the contact information for the Frenchman named Arnaud making a documentary on the gulag history in the Susuman region.
    Btw, I would highly recommend you guys to continue further East on snowmobiles this coming winter: Magadan-Omsukchan-Evensk-Paren-Kamenskoye-Slautnoye-Vayegi-Markova-Anadyr-Egvekinot-Nashken-Uelen if you want to go to Chukotka.

    Cheers!
    Dimitri Kieffer
    Nexus expeditions

    • dan says:

      Hi Dimitri!

      Really great to meet you too – you’re a great reminder that there’s always someone out there doing something more impressive… :)

      The recommended snowmobile excursion sounds awesome. I may need a warmer jacket.

      Sorry not to have been able to meet up with you again to discuss the Old Summer Road and the BAM in detail – airfreight here in Magadan is somewhat time consuming and chaotic. We’ll be in touch by email so if you have any questions about routes and roads don’t hesitate to get in touch. Both the BAM and the OSR would be passable by bicycle but hard work, which in fairness is the whole point of using them. Both are also heavily dependent on the weather – rain makes both more difficult and there’s the potential to get stuck at a river crossing on the OSR as there’s no alternative. For the BAM there are of course places where you have to use the railway to cross rivers, and it’s best to try and secure cooperation of railway workers for those…

      Cheers,
      dan.

  6. Robin says:

    Thought you might be interested in this link.

    http://rtdr.org/news/logistics/new_vladivostok-sakhalin-kamchatka_ferry_line_opens_this_fall.html
    New Vladivostok-Sakhalin-Kamchatka Ferry Line

    I’ve sent them an email asking if it happend and where I might find schedules etc, I’ll let you know if they respond.
    I’m in Japan and would love to get a ferry to Sakahalin from Hokkaido if this new service is operating then I could continue on from there.
    Sorry I can’t help with a chain.

    • dan says:

      Hi Robin – yes, I’m sure it is possible to get from Vladivostok to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky by boat, and it’s possible to transport vehicles on the boat too. I’m also fairly sure it’s not a roll-on-roll-off ferry, more a cargo ship with some space for passengers.

      For us however, the bikes are in a poor way after the BAM road and the “Road of Bones” to Magadan, so trying to ship them to Vladivostok and on to Petropavlovsk is not an option – they’ll be on their way to Moscow soon, from where we’ll ride them out of Russia and back towards home. Kamchatka will have to wait…

  7. Michele says:

    Hi chaps, I can’t believe you’ve got that far already…it only seems like 5 mins that you were off on your travels!!! Good to keep seeing the updates and having a nose at the blogs etc…..glad you’re both still alive!!!
    Carpal Tunnel surgery went well, they cancelled my hip op 6 days before saying I had to lose 2 stone (I could have come with you after all…ha ha ha)….you’d have thought they’d have told me 4 months before when I had the chance to lose it!!!!!
    So……….will still be here when you get back to get you another contract Dan!
    Hope the rest of the trip goes well.
    Laters Alligators.
    Michele x

  8. Ramin says:

    hi Dan

    i wonder if u remember me, im the one who met u in Sari, in front of Melli Bank, ur friend had been there to exchange some money, u were on ur way to Turkmanistan and had just left Chashm… we chatted for a while…anyway im not sure if u can access the net rite now, nor am i sure where u r on your trip. just wanted to say hi, am still fascinated by the interesting job u 2 have been doing, probably i will do something similar in far future (not that long a journey, of course…!)
    cheers … take care n drop me a line when u can
    bye

    Ramin

    • dan says:

      Hi Ramin, greetings from Barnaul, Russia. Yes I remember meeting you – always nice to meet people along the way and I hope you do get to go on a similar journey. There’s nothing quite like it…
      Take care,
      dan

  9. Behzad Safari says:

    Hi Ed, Hi Dan,
    Have you arrived to lunate camp’s location in desert?

    • dan says:

      Salam Behzad,
      We had a great camp at the dunes by the salt lake near Marangab, followed by another stunningly beautiful camp at Hi Kuh. Thank you so much for the tips! I hope you like our photos when we can add them to this site :)

  10. Changiz says:

    Dude,
    I am so happy that you had such a good time in Orumiyeh, I told you my uncle is so cool. Text me if you stuck or need any help.
    Changiz

    • dan says:

      Yes, Orumiyeh was awesome – Alireza and family were so kind to us. We also met with Narmin and some of her friends in Tehran, which was really good. She also helped out with our little drama yesterday (of which more to follow) but it’s all gravy now and we’ll cross the border to Turkmenistan tomorrow.
      Thanks so much for putting us in touch with your family, it helped make our stay in Iran really special!

  11. Behzad Safari says:

    Hi Dan,
    Salam Ed,
    where are you now?

    • ed says:

      On the way to your shop – put the kettle on!
      (By the way, thank you for the inspiration by showing us the pictures of the gloriously red Landrover in various, beautiful parts of Iran!)

  12. Malcolm says:

    Dan,
    Looks like things are going well – although not quite to plan. Still smiling as you were at the Red Lion? http://www.flickr.com/photos/22310427@N08/5580330523/

    • dan says:

      Hey Malcolm! Yes indeed – all’s well and we’re now in Tehran. Unfortunately all access to Flickr is blocked here so I can’t comment on the similarity of my current smile, but Iran has been a wonderful place so far and there’s still a lot to see and do.

      Picasa (which we use along with Flickr for photo hosting for this site) is also blocked in Iran, but we hope to get a text-only update put on the site before we leave Tehran, and add photos when we can…

  13. Alireza says:

    Hi dan
    i’m very happy that i will meet you soon because changiz said me that you arrived oroumieh at friday 20,05,2011. I hope that you will have goodtime in oroumieh and the Iran.
    meet you soon&good luck.

    • dan says:

      Alireza,
      We cannot thank you enough for the wonderful welcome you and your family extended to us in Orumiyeh. It was simply amazing for you to drop everything and even take time off from work to take us out and show us around your lovely city. You made us feel like family and we will certainly never forget.
      We met with Narmin in Tehran yesterday evening and she and her friends showed us some of this great city and took us out for a lovely meal – so the hospitality of the family continues!
      Many thanks once again, and best wishes from us both,
      Dan

  14. Changiz says:

    Dude,

    I got your text message this evening. I just called my uncle, he’s got you text too. Its all gravy. Nice Nice :-))

    Talk to you Soon

  15. Changiz says:

    Me Ode! I am sure you have taken lots of photos from those upside down Ice Cream Con lookalike houses in Cppadocia. Fantastic. I spoke to my uncle last weekend. He is wating for you guys.
    good luck & enjoy,
    Changiz

  16. Changiz says:

    Hi Dude,

    How are you? I hope you are doing well. Have you managed to get the Visa? are you still in Westside of Turkey? Have you past Ankara? Nice Nice
    Good luck

    • ed says:

      Me Ode! All going well. Currently in Cappadocia region of Turkey. Will be heading to Iran in a couple of days and heading straight for your home town. I’ll text your uncle when we’re about to cross the border.
      Cheers Buddy, Dan.

  17. Mark Doyle says:

    Hey Dan,

    Following the trip with interest. Website looks great. I have managed to keep my R1 unpright so far. Good luck heading East!!

    Mark
    New Irish guy at JCB

    ps. I cycled from Belfast to Liverpool in a weekend recently. Good training!

    • dan says:

      Hey Mark,

      Good work on keeping the big Yam rubber side down, check out Sjaak Lucassen if you fancy some ideas on where to take it next… Good effort on the cycle ride – there’s a lot to be said for bicycle travel too :)

  18. frank says:

    Hi guys, wish u a wonderfull trip again, we did meet few years ago when u were on the southafrica trip. we met in st louis at the camp site of madame dior.
    take good care, have a safe trip and u have a good goal to support.

    Frank

    • dan says:

      Thanks Frank, good to hear from you again – hope all’s well with you. Aaah sunny Senegal – good times. :)

  19. Sam Davies says:

    Dude… good luck! Nice proposed route, I’m excited that you are to go through Bulgaria. Say hello from me. Be careful in Iran man…

    Looking forward to reading your blog.

    Sam

  20. Bill Reed says:

    Hi Ed, just tracked down your web site, awesome trip you have planned. I hope the DRZ works well for you, enjoy the ride! Keep me posted on your progress…

    Good luck, safe travels, Bill

  21. Keith Brown says:

    Aye up mate,

    Didn’t get to say goodbye for some reason before you left.

    Take care mate and good luck.

    • dan says:

      Hey dude, good to hear from you. I’ll be back on the road as of tomorrow, should be back in Germany tomorrow night and then onwards towards Turkey :)

      • Keith Brown says:

        Merhaba

        Loved Turkey. very poor though. Spent 4 months in Adana.

        Have a great time mate. look after yourself.

        Elveda

  22. Nigel Plant says:

    Hi Dan,

    I hope all is starting to go better than the past few days.

    I will keep checking, and tracking your progress. Will you be putting you GPS positions on your blogs?
    Cheers me owd.
    Nige

    • dan says:

      Hey buddy! Yes, we’re making progress towards a biggs-bike solution… Once there’s a plan in place and in progress, I will probably head off towards Turkey and wait for him there as whilst Ed already has his Iranian visa, I need to get mine in Istanbul. As we’ve already lost some time, it doesn’t make sense for me to wait here and then Ed to wait there…
      A GPS waypoints page will probably be added at some point – once we have some interesting places to share. A live-updating flashing red blob on a moving map is unlikely though… :)

  23. Michele says:

    Hi Dan,
    Missing our weekly chats but remembering not to pester you for your timesheets!!! Life just isn’t the same without you!
    Things not going to plan then?? Sorry to hear that, I await your next installment.
    For your amusement, I broke my toe on Saturday…getting in the bath….yes I know….don’t say it!
    Anyway, Day 8……..by now you should be somewhere like…..Germany????
    Hope things have got better.
    All the best to you and Ed.
    Til the next time…..
    Michele x

    • dan says:

      Hey Michele,
      Nice to hear from ya! Yep, not exactly gone to plan so far – latest instalment just published so you can share in our frustrations :)
      We’ll be back on the road before long though, you can count on that…
      d.

  24. Changiz says:

    Hi Dan,
    How you doing? I hope you managed to organise everything you need for trip. when is the departure date? good luck

    Kind regards

    changiz

    • dan says:

      Hi Changiz,
      Yes indeed – we did pretty much get everything together and we did finally leave a little later than planned on 12 April. On the road, things have not exactly gone to plan so far – of which more to come… :)

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