A famous Russian blogger Sergei, has recently traveled in his Land Rover through one of the most distant Russian highways – Kolyma. In fact the name of this region, after which the highway is named, is often used in the Russian language to mean “the place very far away and inhabited by prisoners.” However, as Sergei says, it is at the same time scary and beautiful “as often happens”. He says that this is the most beautiful road he has ever traveled in Russia (and he has traveled a lot) but…
but, despite its beauty, it’s almost 100% unpaved, no matter that it connects two of the largest Siberian cities. But it all doesn’t matter says Sergei, as you always want to stop and check the awesome views.
He says he once travelled through this place in winter, and all the locals said to come back in summer and be stunned by beauty. So he returned and never regretted it!
The first 100 kms from Magadan is paved, says Sergei, then it becomes semi paved with conditions that are so bad that it would be better to not be paved at all.
And then the paved road ends!
This unpaved road has a 80 km/h limit for passenger cars and busses and 60 km/h for trucks and bikes.
And this is what Sergei liked the least – the endless hours where dust from the road is obstructing all views. As you can see, they travelled in a group of British cars and to see anything at all they had to go a great distance one spot to another.
Like this. Also if you see a cloud of dust ahead it means there is someone coming.
All of the cars soon become dirty.
Sergei says it’s always very scary to pass a truck because the huge dust cloud causes zero visibility.
Locals travel in Japanese off-road vehicles with huge wheels.
The most common problem here is a flat tire.
Then it started to rain and all of the dust settled – so you could now go and see the views. And by the way they had to go 1800 kilometers.
This region, Kolyma, is a gold mining region. Many of the local rivers are damaged and distorted by gold miners.
These are the consequences of hunting for gold for over a hundred years.
And this too.
Sometimes you have to ford streams.
There are also lots of abandoned villages and small towns.
They were probably built before the gold mining towns.
Buildings remian totally empty, not one single person lives here now.
Then suddenly, in the middle of nowhere, they found a short piece of paved road , just 200 meters long, it even has a pedestrian crossing.
And this is the Kolyma river which gave its name to the region and to the road.
Don’t forget to view fullscreen – click on the images!
Sergey says gas stations are very rare on the highway so they carried gas in jerry cans.
And local gas stations are not comfy – no shops, no restrooms, nothing but gas.
When they stopped at night they camped in tents.
And were eating local treats – caviar and calamari which are being harvested in abundance in the Russian Far East.
Hope you liked Sergei’s story! He says he has some more to share about this trip, so we probably would post this too! And his site is below: