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planning tour to russia, who want´s to come with me?

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planning tour to russia, who want´s to come with me?

Hi,

I´m planning a cycle-tour to russia next summer. I want to go to Jarruslawl, Nischni Nowgorod and Kazan and maybe more. Near to river Wolga. I´ve been in russia three times before. So I speek a little bit russian and I´m hopeful that it would a great tour. I like Russia , especially the people and the vodka :) I plan the tour from 5th July to 20th of July. In the end I will be 4 days in Moscow. And I want to take the train sometimes, so not only cycling.

Bye

Heiko

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Visa issues to ride in Russia

HI, Just wondering the solution to cycle in Russia with concerns to the visa. I have thought about touring in Russia, but never could figure out the visa issues. I carry a US Passport. Any insights would be appreciated.

 Peter

WS Member Portrait de Douglas Masterleo
Russia

I have interest in cycling Russia too, and have done some resurch into visas. A few years ago I wanted to cycle from Poti Georgia to Odesa Ukrane through Sochi Russia, this was part of a much larger Eastern Euro Trip. What I found was you need to start the visa process around six months in advance, and it will cost around 600 USD when all said and done. You need to get sponsored by some one in Russia. I contacted a Russian cycling club I found on the internet. They were very friendly and willing to sponsor me. I asked them about stealth camping and they said that would be ok, but just to get some receipts of staying someplace every couple of weeks, to document your route and what you are doing. You need to get the Russian visa from your country of citizenship. You cannot get it at the Border. You must enter and exit Russia on the exact dates of your visa, this is questionable. Given the cost and timming restrictions I did not pursue the visa and decided I would take a ferry from Potti Georgia to Odesa Ukrane. To add a little drama to this trip this was the year the Russians invaded Georgia. The ferry got shut down, I got with some fifteen other travelers, we hired two vans to get to the Turkey border. I had just biked diognally across Turkey from Greece and ended up biking back across the top to Bulgaria, a 900 mile detour. That was my first expercience with Russia.

In another Northern Euro trip I was biking the archipelago islands between Sweeden and Finland. I met a lot of Russians biking with there kids. They were very friendly and had very modern gear, some of the biggest bike bags I have ever seen. I was told I could take a Ferry from  Helsinki Finland to ST. Petersburg Russia visa free for three days. That's three days in St. Petersburg, plus a night over and a night back on the ferry. The ferry service is St Petersburg Lines. It's a big boat with live intertainment. Over and back is around 180 USD, and yes you can take your bicycle to ride in Russia. This is the cheepest ticket which is four people in a small cabin in bunk beds. The bicycle stayes with the cars on the car deck. You can get a room in a hostle in St. Petersburg for around 20 USD per night. I thought it was a great experience and well worth the price and I am a cheep scate.

After seeing Ewan McGregor's Long Way Around motorcycle adventure through eastren Russia I have had interest in that area.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaBuYFp54OY So once again I started looking into the logistics of biking that area. This is what I have found. Yes it is being done, to me that meens I can do it. It is just a matter of money and dealing with the paper work BS. To start with here is an interesting U-Tube video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsGYikNlWO8  This guy is from where else the Netherlands. It has been my experience the Dutch and Germans are on every beach, mountain top, island, cave and jungle, and if someone is doing something crazy it is a French men. It is roughly 6000 miles across Russia. There is a train from Mosco to Vladivostok. There are roads from Vladivostok to Magadan the last 1200 mi to Magadan is the road of bones. There is also two other roads. It is possiable to get to the far east coast too. Back to the paper work. Visa time has been shorten from six months to three months, not sure on options to extend. "Stand Tours" can help with Russian visas. Run by some German guy named David. Check out https://www.stantours.com/ . These people have some info on visas, they have cycled Russia, see their shows, and she is Russianhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irb04VQRT8k. If you or anyone else is interested in a remote eastern Russia bike tour contact me at dougmasterleo@yahoo.com  Cheers, Doug.

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I took the transsiberian

I took the transsiberian about 10 years ago with a US passport.  It took me about 2-3 weeks to get the visa from the Russian consulate in NY and it was not that expensive.  As far as I know, you don't need sponsorship.  I spent time in quite a few cities along the way, and ther than one cop asking for bribe, and going away after me pretending to not understand it for 10 minutes, nobody bothered me for registrations (they are called OVIR).  Another policeman told me not not bother, he said "it is a small crime, just pay $10 and they will go away). I would just get the visa and not worry about the rest.

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Be careful taking the train. 

Be careful taking the train.  I have seen quite a few tourists whose stuff got stolen. One guy was stranded in the middle of Siberia - they took his wallet and all his money.