Novosibirsk to Achinsk – I left at 0645 thinking this would be early enough to avoid the rush hour traffic hahaha wrong, this is the biggest city in Russian Asia and it took a while of chaos to get out of it. There was a car broken down bonnet up and steam coming out of it, daughter in the passenger seat mortified, finally got through out of the city in 45 min. Easy ride after that, mainly good roads no traffic and a few road works but never got held up because the queue was only 3-4 cars and trucks. Winding through the countryside, altitude above 250m all the way, cool less than 20c, filled up twice and got to the hotel at 1445, 631 kms, 8:00 hrs, 1545 local time lost another hour. Checked in girl can’t speak a word of English but Google translate to the rescue, modern room and parking inside the compound.
Achinsk to Nizhneudinsk – Left at 0705, 13c cold started to drizzle after about 10 min, stopped around 0830 then fine and slowly getting warmer, good roads with regular overtaking lanes. Stopped for fuel at 1015 woman looked at my card and wanted cash, dodgy place again, no rigmarole filled up and she gave me the change, opened the toilet door totally disgusting closed it quickly hahaha. Rode on a few road works but never had to wait, very little traffic now and hardly any trucks except around two big towns that I had to ride through and a few villages, all the buildings falling down, rolling hills good ride, beautiful countryside with wildflowers galore. Last fuel bar started blinking which means I have about 100 km left in the tank, first stop came up in about 30 km and they did not have fuel arrrgh, rode on very slowly at 80-90 kph, service stations are not common now, thought I might have to make it to Nizhneudinsk but finally one came up after about 40 km, filled up 19 litres (tank hold 20), paid cash again and got change, close call, have to fill up more frequently when I get to the remote areas, altitude today over 350m, yesterday only 250m making it cooler, arrived at 1505, 714 kms, 8:00 hrs, local time 1605 lost another hour. Up to now I have booked all my hotels using Booking.com except for Moscow where I used Airbnb, all good modern hotels with good Wifi costing between 30-40 Euro. Nizhneudinsk did not have any hotels that could be booked online but I found one on Tripadvisor and went straight to it, a dump and it was expensive for what it was maybe special tourist pricing for me, I knew from my maps that there were others around but too tired to go looking for another hotel.
Nizhneudinsk to Irkutsk – Left at 0805, fine and cool 18c, altitude over 600m, checked distances between fuel stops at least 50 km, decided to fill up after 250 km, roads mainly good a few rough bits, hardly any traffic or trucks, two fairly large towns, some road works. About 100 km from Irkutsk it became much warmer, must be a micro climate here sweltering in my gear, altitude still over 450m, the number of towns and villages increased and so did the traffic then one long wait maybe 20 min where they were repairing a bridge, mainly rough roads after that 4 lanes coming into Irkutsk, usual dodgy roads in the city but not a huge amount of traffic, arrived at 1435, 527 km, 6:30 hrs. Checked-in and one guy speaks good English and the others a few words. Two nights here time to rest my weary bones.
Great pictures for your book!