The Tiksi Trip: day 5

Abandoning civilization. Severny, Lake Khaiyr and Tundra.

March 10, 2018

Turned out my new Chinese friend WUYU is a famous traveler and TV host in China. They are filming a documentary about the Russian North. I suppose we can expect the buses full of Chinese tourists visiting Tiksi after that :)

After filming in the morning, we were going to leave as early as possible. But at the gas station they told us there was no fuel. We had to wait for it to arrive.

By noon they brought the diesel and we fuelled up. We were late, which means we won't be able to drive as far as we had planned.
The next stop is Severny village, at the Tiksi-Nizhneyansk fork.

They used to store fuel for the nearest villages in Severny. After USSR broke apart, it was deserted, and now there are a few people living here, guarding something.
The road to Severny is the iced river. There are parts, destroyed by the trucks. This road to Batagay is used to transport coal from Nizhneyansk.

The locals say that up to 100 cars are on the road this season, which seems legit judging by the condition of it.
The road to the Khaiyr village is great, practically untouched by other cars.

In the north all good roads are iced rivers. In Winter and Summer rivers are transport hubs, with the ships in Summer and vehicles in Winter.
We enter Khaiyr village to look around. The locals say that a couple cars passed by to Tiksi last night. It's good news, so the road is all broken into.
Since Tiksi is the farthest large village, the road is being cleaned. Well, if I may say so. There's a tractor with a scoop and two trucks following it. And the road is ready.

But we're pretty content with that, since the winds are strong and the roads get snowed up pretty fast, and then it's impossible to drive.

If the weather is bad, the transport communication may stop for several weeks. When it gets better, it takes some time for them to clean it up and first cars to pass by.
At night we get on the road. The first part of the journey to the shore is ok. There are clean roads and nice track.

Closer to the shore, there are deeper tracks from the trucks. So we drive slowly through the snow banks.

For now we get by without the help of shovels and winches. The snow is really inconvenient. It gets in the wheels and melts, making it harder to drive. It's especially hard during stops. Sometimes it's hard to just start driving.

During one of the stops, my Chinese friend shut off his Prado. But the battery died, so he couldn't start it again. As far as I know, it happened the night before, when he left his Webasto heater working.

In places like these you're not supposed to shut off the car outside. Many locals have heated garages.
But we worked it out in 5 minutes with the help of Berkut starter, which I always have with me. We started the car successfully with it.

After a while we stop overnight in Tundra. We are exhausted and there's another day of driving ahead of us. Time to rest.

P.S. Please share to find out what happens next :)
A thank you to my friends, subscribers and partners:
— oils and lubricants by
— winter tires by
— compressors by
— car service and preparation by
— winter equipment by
— lights by
— satellite communication by
Share the story