The Road Of Bones – Kolyma Highway - Siberia
Magadan to Lake Baikal Overland
This is one of the most challenging routes to travel in Russia! May of you reading this will have seen the internet images and perhaps T.V. documentaries (Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman, on their motorbikes) about the route. We will not launch into large amounts of text about the area as I am sure those that recognize the name ‘Road of Bones’ are already somewhat familiar. Naturally the internet provides a wealth of data on the route and surrounding areas.
Why the name?
In the 1930s, Joseph Stalin took control of the largest country on earth, Russia, and embarked on an amazing feat of engineering that also became infamous for its inhumanity and cruelty, thus the Road of Bones was born.
This 2000km-long track from Yakutsk to Magadan, through some of the wildest country on earth, took a massive toll on the Gulag prisoners who built it with an estimated two million dying, either shot for not working hard enough or perishing due to the intense cold.
We have an exploratory overland tour making just such a trip! It will be starting on 12 July 2016 as we have 2 clients who have committed to this date and we can take others. It will be a small group and although a solid plan is in place there must be room for variation.
This is not a backpacker level trip, nor is it a pampered 4 star venture. Accommodation will be simple as that is all there is. The price is reflective of the time and cost involved. It also covers the costs of the guide and driver. For now the price is valid for up to 4 people – 2 are already booked so 2 places available. If more than 2 extra people enquire we will re-cost using an alternative vehicle and the price may reduce slightly. However, if you can’t afford the current cost do not consider the next option
12 Jul 2017 - Meet our guide at hotel in Magadan. Depart Magadan to Ust Omchug through picturesque mountain landscape. Overnight in Ust Omchug.
13 Jul 2017 - Drive Ust Omchug to Susuman. On route visit Kadykchan, the lost town of coal miners. Overnight in Susuman.
14 Jul 2017 - Drive to Ust Nera. Overnight in Ust Nera.
15 Jul 2017 - Drive to Oymyakon.
16 Jul 2017 - Day in Oymyakon. A rest day after the previous days long drives.
17 Jul 2017 - Drive to Khandyga through the Verkhoyansk Mountains.
18 Jul 2017 - Drive to Yakutsk. Crossing two rivers, the Aldan and the Lena. Visit to the historical outdoor museum. Arrival in Yakutsk in the evening. Overnight in Yakutsk.
19 Jul 2017 - City Tour in Yakutsk. Start of the river cruise to Lena Pillars Nature Park on a river cruise ship.
20 Jul 2017 - Continuation of the cruise to Lena Pillars. Overnight on the ship.
21 Jul 2017 - Back to Yakutsk River Port in the early morning. Day for city sightseeing. Overnight in Yakutsk
22 Jul 2017 - Drive to Aldan. Crossing the Lena River by ferry. Overnight in Aldan.
23 Jul 2017 - Drive to Nerungri. Stop at the remains of Vasilievka GULAG camp on the way. Overnight in Nerungri.
24 Jul 2017 - Visit to the viewing deck to observe the large Siberian coal mine. Drive to Erofei Pavlovich. Overnight in Erofei Pavlovich.
25 Jul 2017 - Drive to Chita. Overnight in Chita.
26 Jul 2017 - Day in Chita. City tour. Overnight in Chita.
27 Jul 2017 - Drive to Ivolginsky Datsan. Overnight in nearby guest house.
28 Jul 2017 - Short drive to Ulan Ude. City tour. Overnight in Ulan Ude.
29 Jul 2017 - Drive to Irkutsk. Several stops on the southern shore of Lake Baikal. Overnight in Irkutsk.
30 Jul 2017 - City tour in Irkutsk. Overnight in Irkutsk.
31 Jul 2017 - Drive Irkutsk to Lake Baikal. In particular the village of Khuzhir situated on Olkhon Island. 292 km. Visit to the Shamans Rock. Overnight in Khuzhir.
01 Aug 2017 - Olkhon Island. Excursion to Khoboi Cape, the North of the Island to observe Lake Baikal. Overnight in Khuzhir.
02 Aug 2017 – Olkhon Island. Excursion to the South of the Island. Drive back to Irkutsk. Overnight in Irkutsk.
03 Aug 2017 - Free day in Irkutsk.
04 Aug 2017 - Transfer to airport, or train station.
- transport with a driver (Land Cruisers).
- English-speaking guide with satellite phone J
- accommodation and meals for guide & driver on the way to Magadan to pick up clients and on the way back from Irkutsk;
- river cruise to Lena Pillars;
- accommodation in Yakutsk.
- accommodation during the road trip.
- sightseeing as described.
- some breakfasts. Other meals paid as and when consumed at local restaurants.
We have noted copies of our personally designed tours appearing elsewhere, yes copying is the highest accolade - but....