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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Sakha, Russia

Jun 9, 2011 - Natural Born Santas

One of my dad's favorite jokes on the trip took the piss out of adventurous backpackers on missions to circumnavigate the globe by strange means: "And what are you doing here?" "Oh, I'm just walking around the world backwards - on one leg." The joke originated before the trip even started, back in Kep, Cambodia, where we met a resort manager who had recently spent a year going around much of the world by Solex (avelosolex.com). It was one of about a dozen Bloom inside jokes repeated over and over and over again (as is our wont - we're...

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Trip Journal


Far East Chronicles

Jun 6, 2011 - A Day in a UAZ

The journey I was attempting, estimated by various sources to take a grueling 16 to 20 hours along a 800km 'highway' known as the Amur-Yakutia Mainline (AYaM), had thwarted my predecessor, who reported having difficulty finding a ride north from Neryungri. But travel agents I called told me it should be 'no problem' to get a lift these days. Two travel writers whose books I've read, Colin Thurbon and Ian Frazier, recently managed this trip. The anti-car Dervla Murphy of course eschewed the UAZ and opted for a notoriously rickety weekly bus...

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Trip Journal


Far East Chronicles

Oct 5, 2005 - The drabbest town we never saw.

We were due to arrive at Petropavlosk Russia at 10am, but due to heavy headwinds, we did not arrive until noon. The Russian immigration people were supposed to board when we picked up the pilot,but they never showed. The Capt said they are notoriously slow and when they do board, it takes them about 2 hours to clear the ship. Well as we sailed into the harbor, we saw the town clinging to a dark brown very drab hill and the wind was blowing hard about 25-30 mph and the waves were fairly high. We were supposed to be ashore for only 4 hours if...

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Jun 28, 2005 - 'One Question: Do You Like Horse Meat?'

MOUSTACHE TICKER... At the Ysyakh festival, 20km north of Yakutsk, ZERO of 100 men have moustaches (0%)!!... [due to the low moustache ratio in Yakutsk, the moustache ticker has been placed on a one-week suspension -- a LP high-up] All of the Far East is Asia, but Yakutsk REALLY feels like it. There's the single silent nod of 'agreement' when someone doesn't understand you, plus less street alcohol consumption and a penalizingly sub-Moscow low moustache ratio (see ticker). And a lot of Asians. Half of the town of 250,000 residents are...

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Jun 23, 2005 - The Shaman Has A Moustache

LENA PILLARS (about 240km south on river from Yakutsk) MOUSTACHE TICKER... On a cruise on the Lena River, 3 of 27 men had moustaches (11.1%)... On the bus between the Yakutsk river port and Prospect Lenin, 3 of 50 had them (this ties Moscow's low of 6%)... at Lena Pillars, one of one shaman sported a moustache (100%)... Tats still top Olegs, 5-2... BOdy-of-waterly speaking, I like rivers the best. Lakes are too still and eery, oceans too ambitious and waffle in direction. But rivers! Rivers have an agenda -- they go places. From twixt to...

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