Days 6 to 8 – North Pole Adventure 2017

Heading north.

Riding north from Sortavala to Murmansk has been easy, enjoyable and really reply as we made our way passed many lakes and through the dense forests of western Russia. The road has been in surprisingly good condition as it has been completely rebuilt from St Petersburg all the way to Murmansk.

A night overlooking the Onega Lake (second largest lake in Europe) in Petrozavordsk with a great dinner and a wonderful walk along the banks of the lake was the perfect way to end a short but good days riding.

Tonight we are in Murmansk getting repacked and ready to board the ’50 Years of Victory’ which will take us to the North Pole. 12 days without internet or phone service – probably the longest time for us all for many years.

John

North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 6, Russia
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 6, Russia
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 6, Russia
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 6, Russia
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 6, Russia
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 6, Russia
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 6, Russia
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 6, Russia
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 6, Russia

Our fellow rider LeeAnn’s travel notes:

A great day for riding in Russia’s Republic of Karelia – blue skies, wispy clouds, moderate temperatures and sweeping turns – couldn’t be better. We left Lake Lodega for Lake Onega, the second largest lake in Europe.

The group split today, with two riders opting for the pavement gravel mix, and our group of three bikes opting for pavement and the shorter route. Even so, we wound up on road construction detours. But on the whole, it was easy and fun riding.

We took a short detour into a small village to find something to drink. I think we were the hit of the day. No one had a common language – although they asked if we spoke German. Alas, Claus wasn’t with us. Still everyone had a good time selecting snacks by points and gestures. Smiles all around, especially from the children who seemed to enjoy the novelty of foreigners in the village.


North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 5, Republic of Karelia, Russia
Traffic jam at the service station
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 5, Republic of Karelia, Russia
Wonderful day of riding.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 5, Republic of Karelia, Russia
Almost every town has some sort of memorial.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 5, Republic of Karelia, Russia
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 5, Republic of Karelia, Russia
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 5, Republic of Karelia, Russia
We thought we chose the road with no gravel. Luckily, well packed and not too long.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 5, Republic of Karelia, Russia
Homes in the village
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 5, Republic of Karelia, Russia

Wednesday we traveled to a resort on the White Sea near the little village of Kem. The morning ride was under partly cloudy skies on mostly good roads.
We took a side trip to a small park which had a small waterfall due to tectonic plate action. After a quick coffee break, we headed back to the main road. David Roberts, Marilyn and Geoffrey decided to follow Claus on a more scenic route (read – a lot more potholes) while David and Doron decided to stay on the main road and head directly to the next hotel, due to impending cold rain.

Good decision on Dave’s part, as the afternoon turned stormy.

We reached Kem in the early afternoon. This resort town is the gateway to a UNESCO monastery site. Many visitors stay here just overnight before passage to the archipelago’s beautiful islands.

However, in the 20’s and 30’s this area had a much more sinister reputation. It was the location of the Solovetsky Special Designation Camp (gulag work camp) established by Lenin. Many died here.

We headed north under partly sunny skies.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
Marilyn Makepeace
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
A small park – perfect place for a coffee break.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
David Fick and Doron decided to keep to the main road and head directly for the hotel. The others opted for the more adventurous scenic route.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
Clouds are building.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
Weather is threatening.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
Yep – caught in a downpour of rain and hail.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
The town of Kem
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
New apartment buildings.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
Our lodgings for the evening. John Jesson , the support van driver for the day, managed to beat everyone in and was there to greet us.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
The resort in a scenic little fishing village.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
A small abandoned church was on one side of the harbor. A newer one on the other.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
The rest of our group arrived about an hour and a half later – all smiles.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
After dinner, a small group of us walked through the mosquito infested harbor to the abandoned church to try out John’s drone.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7
While John set up his drone, Claus, Geoffrey and David decided to imitate some ladies they saw waving branches of weeds over their heads to ward off the blood sucking pests.
North Pole Adventure 2017, Motorcycle Tour in Russia, Day 7

2017-07-22T12:27:07-05:00