THE TIKSI TRIP: day 6

First Tundra Morning. The Last Day

March 11, 2018


It's chilly in the car, it's windy in Tundra and the warmth gets blown away with the wind. I'm so glad I had packed a warm napsack, and to think I almost left it at home.

Back in Yakutsk I covered the radiator grill with penofol, so that the car doesn't get so cold. In the beginning, when I didn't use it, the temperature of my diesel dropped to 20 degrees. But when running, the radiator must be uncovered so that the engine won't overheat.
After breakfast the Chinese and I begin the last section of the track, which is getting more and more challenging. The broad track from the trucks makes it even harder.
I can't drive cross-wise. Although I have good tires, but with a 3-ton car the wheels are too thin for the hard snow. The car get stuck in the middle section, so I can't get out on my own. I either have to shovel myself out, or tow.

In these conditions one must deflate tires to increase contact area. I drove up to Tiksi with 0.9-1 pressure. Nokian survived, I still haven't changed them to the winter ones.
Before I learned how to drive in these conditions, I got stuck hard a couple times, had to get out the winch from the Chinese Prado. It's wheels are 38 and are well adapted to the snow.

The two of us were able to dig me out. If I was alone, it would take me a couple hours to shovel. It's hard being alone in conditions like these.
Everybody was surprised that I was going alone, since it's dangerous and pretty much impossible. But for some reason I was sure I'd meet somebody who can help me if anything happens. And I was right, I met my Chinese friend WUYU.

40 kilometers before going to sea ice, the road became worse. Downshift almost all the way, with periodical spins. When we got to the sea ice road, it got better.
I didn't even notice how I got to the Laptev Sea :)
There's no visible border. First you're driving on the river ice, and then the river turns into the sea.

The last 100 km to Tiksi were just perfect. Clean and even ice all the way.

In case you didn't know, the sea gets frozen as well. It gets icy later than usual and the ice begins to melt in the beginning of Summer.

The scariest part is that the ice moves. Sometimes new cracks appear, so the car can fall through them. So I can't relax, I have to be aware at all times.
By the end of the day we enter Tiksi almost triumphant. It was almost sunset and the town was shining the sunlight. At some point I thought it was a fairytale.

We went to administration as soon as we arrived to check in. We were sent to the border control, since everyone has to check in with them.

Before the trip I ordered a permit from the Yakutia border control services. And when I was In Yakutsk, I picked it up. Now it was time to use it, to avoid a fine.

After that we started looking for housing. There are a couple hotels there and that's it. Luckily the administration helped us to find a rent apartment. The Chinese and I took the apartment, so the expedition was now international :)

Time to rest and think about the dealings of the day….
P.S. Please share to find out what happens next :)

A thank you to my friends, subscribers and partners:
— oils and lubricants by ravenol.su
— winter tires by nokiantyres.ru
— compressors by berkut-compressor.ru
— car service and preparation by uazato.ru
— winter equipment by baskcompany.ru
— lights by armytek.ru
— satellite communication by mvstelecom.ru
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