Omsk to Novosibirsk, Siberia

We’re in Siberia and the weather has improved significantly – although the forecast suggests it may get worse again in a couple of days.

On Saturday 3rd may, we left Omsk to begin our 655km drive to Novosibirsk. Before we set off, there were some vehicle maintenance tasks to be completed and then we visited a large supermarket to stock up the fridge ready for some camping. We didn’t leave Omsk until about 11.15am, but we maintained a fairly good pace on the highway which seems to be of a better standard that we encountered further west. Also, there aren’t as many villages along the highway with their obligatory speed restrictions, so we can maintain a better average speed.

By 4.30pm, we began to look for a suitable wild-camping location but much of the area surrounding the highway was boggy with standing water, making it unsuitable for camping. We kept driving west, looking for dry land and, about 276 km before Novosibirsk, we found a large filed of reasonably dry land with some stands of birch trees. We drove a fair way overland, trying to distance ourselves from the noisy trucks on the highway. The ground was a little moist but we agreed to make camp for the night.

 

The tent is pitched and the Bush Pig is lit, preparing for dinner
The tent is pitched and the Bush Pig is lit, preparing for dinner

 

 

Salmon steaks and grilled veggies for dinner
Salmon steaks and grilled veggies for dinner

 

Our wild-camping spot at sunrise on Sunday morning
Our wild-camping spot at sunrise on Sunday morning

It can sometimes be difficult to find a suitable wild-camping location, but it sure is nice to be able to just pull up somewhere and pitch the tent. No neighbours and no camping fees.!

As we approached Novosibirsk, we spotted a car wash so pulled in to give the Defender a $10 clean-up. She’s been covered in grime for a few days so it was time to get her spruced-up.

A grimy Defender when we pulled in to the car-wash
A grimy Defender when we pulled in to the car-wash
After jet-washing off the dirt, she got a coat of soap!
After jet-washing off the dirt, she got a coat of soap!
All  clean again!
All clean again!

Next stop after the car-wash was the local Land Rover dealer to buy more oil filters to last for the rest of the trip. Due to the language barrier, this took almost an hour, but we left with three new genuine LR oil filters.

We were soon at the River Park Hotel in Novosibirsk, Russia’s third largest city with a population of 1.5 million. The hotel has a free gym! I haven’t worked out in five weeks (apart from digging mud for five hours). As soon as we were checked in, I was up in the gym and doing my Insanity-based circuit training. It felt good to finally be able to squeeze in a workout.

The hotel is situated alongside a riverside promenade with fun-fair rides and other attractions. We took a walk and ate some sashlik as a snack, before heading into the city on the metro train for a walk around, dinner and a couple of beers.

Ferris wheel at River Park
Ferris wheel at River Park
Shashlik
Shashlik
Locals enjoying a sunny Sunday at the river side
Locals enjoying a sunny Sunday at the river side

 

A pint of draught Kilkenny ale in an Irish pub in Novosibirsk
A pint of draught Kilkenny ale in an Irish pub in Novosibirsk
The very nice Metro train station near to our hotel
The very nice Metro train station near to our hotel

Novosibirsk is a modern city with all the amenities you’d find in countries to the west. It seems to be clean and tidy and the locals were making the most of the newly arrived warm weather. Unfortunately, we only have one night here. Tomorrow, we begin a two-day drive to Krasnoyarsk, so we’ll be wild-camping again Monday night. If the weather forecast can be believed, it seems that cold (and possibly snowy) weather could be back with us in a couple of days.

 

 

 

4 Comments

    1. Tyres are looking great. Seemed like I was starting to see slightly more wear on the outer edges so I’ve increased tyre pressures to 35 front and 45 rear. Ride quality s still good.

  1. Man, you guys eat a lot of tomatoes. I’ve been looking at what you grill on the Bush Pig. Lots of tomatoes. Your current photo shows 12 tomatoes being grilled. At least you won’t get scurvy on this long trip!

    1. 12 cherry tomatoes (six each) isn’t much. What you see on the grill is the totality of the meal – no potatoes, rice, etc. The restaurants aren’t big on serving veggies with meals – and I like veggies – so I try to ensure we have some when cooking our own meals.

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