domenica 12 agosto 2012

Deadly Secret of Russia

sabato 11 agosto 2012


5 days left to my leaving. I tryed to project this travel as much better as i could although time was not os much and still is not. I 'm conscious i m absolutely not ready. Many are my doubts. The only certainty is that this travel i have to do . Still few are my informations since is quite hard to contact the locals in a zone big as half of Europe with only 300.000 peopel living, where just few of them speak or at list understand english.

Some locals to avoid

Here in the bottom i ll let you read two strange email i got from two different russians about my trip. Their point of view are so opposite that hard understand where it s the truth

Ghost city
Ghost city
Ghost city

Road of Bones

Road of Bones

Ghost city

Whar is left
In decendent order: The ghost City; the Road of Bones, Yakutsk in winter 


I am going to try and talk you out of this idea. The idea of travelling alone in Far East of Russia is practically suicide. Undertaken by one man, who does not know the people, their mentality, and the way the they see the world, can lead to very bad consequences. No one there speaks English, and the settlements are so isolated and live in their own world that it is even dangerous for an outside person to approach them (not just foreigners). Foreigners are especially disliked. It is so wild out there that I would never dream of trying to go it alone and hope that someone will help me and feed me. I know this road very well, like the back of my hand, having spent a lot of time working around the area. I just don’t have enough time until the end of June to try and explain everything to you and try to warn about all the things that can and most likely will happen. The whole road from Magadan to yakutsk is built on gold. It was built by gold mining companies, and the placer gold industry. They don’t just let anyone in. Especially a foreigner who does not know Russian, it could very well end up in murder even for something as little as a misunderstanding as to why you’re there. I would suggest to you that you prepare about a year ahead of time to learn Russian so you have some chance of survival, not even completing your journey, just not getting killed or dying on your own. If you are still undeterred from this wildly ridiculous idea, let me answer some of your questions. The most dangerous part of your trip will be Magadan-Yakutsk-Habarovsk (or Irkutsk). This section has the most mafia activity, lots of abandoned villages, and no paved roads. Bridges over rivers may be out and might be in the process of being fixed.
Stopping in villages is very dangerous even for people who know the language and know the land. This is not Europe and contact with the locals can have dire consequences. You can get robbed, beaten, or killed just because you have dreads (dead serious, no joke, things like that are not common, in fact it will be the first time they’ve ever seen dreads, before you go, shave your head).

There is no one there to help and there is no police out there. Everyone for themselves. It’s dangerous even for me to go to these places, especially after dark. Don’t count on hospitality in the villages, hospitality is reserved for “their own” people, not outsides, especially a foreign one who does not even speak Russian. There is no internet in these villages and to find someone to help will be difficult. I could try to help you if I had time, like 6 months to a year. You can forget about finding English speaking people, not going to happen, maybe a one in a million chance someone will know a few words. I recommend to cancel your trip this year.

The hardest part for you will be to get to Irkutsk. There are usually 5-7 trucks a day but sometimes there are none.  Best chance again is getting a taxi. Much safer. Don’t even try to get there alone, again this is not Europe. There are no hotels and no one will let you into their home. Your lack of knowledge about the way of life and mentality of the people. Local young people can steal your money, your stuff, your passport. Keep that in mind, if something happens in the depths of Russia, as the one foreign guy, you are on the receiving end, and nothing you can do will help you at that point. There are no places that accept credit cards or bank cards up to Irkutsk, you need to have a lot of cash on you. This again is dangerous as you represent Western society, people especially in villages have a view of westerners as rich, so you will be a high priority target for local crooks. Never show how much money you have, or you will have none left. Most likely you will have to drink with them. If you refuse that is considered offensive and you can forget any chance of interview/friendship/help. If you do drink with them, do so lightly, they will be able to outdrink you so do not even try. If you do get wasted, be ready to wake up with all your stuff missing and you in the streets, alive in the best case scenario. Also if the booze (usually vodka) is home made, you can have some serious stomach and other health issues after drinking it. Best bet is to avoid contact with the locals, or if it must be made, do so in the daytime and get out if they start drinking.



I made a hitch-hiking trip from Moscow to Magadan and back just a year ago. 
There are not many cars, but every car stops to you! During my trip, I had to wait for a car not more than 7 hours. It's not long for that area))
I think, the way from Magadan to Yakutsk will take about 7-10 days - with all your stays))
Sorry, but I can't tell you anything about weapon. I had a small whistle about me, but I didn't have to use it - I didn't meet any bears.
People there are fantastic! Kind, intelligent, interesting... You will have a lot of pleasure! And some of them speak English, I think.
If you have more questions - ask me!  And you can see my travel story -

Best regards,
Asya Altergot