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BAM - The Winter Expedition

BAM - The Winter Expedition

BAM - The Winter Expedition

BAM - The Winter Expedition

BAM - The Winter Expedition

BAM - The Winter Expedition

Come with us to the Baikal-Amur Mainline railway as we explore the political and social history of Russia’s greatest railway construction project of the 20th century.  There is a lot to learn from the veterans who labored on the BAM and many fascinating stories about the life and times of people who live along the railway today.

We travel to:

  • Learn about the BAM project first hand from veterans of the construction and hear their stories about the life and times of young Communist Volunteers in the construction camps.
  • Come prepared for the adventure of a lifetime This is a wild and beautiful region full of wonderful scenery and plenty of surprises.  There are snowy mountains, clear running rivers, fish to catch and unexpected sand dunes hidden in the depths of the Taiga.
  • Along the way we will take time to meet with the Evenkis people to learn about their culture and lifestyle in the remote Taiga.
  • Life along the BAM was hard and dangerous.  Many of the stories don’t have happy endings and many of the people who worked on the line and in the Uranium mines did not come to Siberia willingly. These stories were not told openly but they are as important to the social history of the BAM as the stories of the young pioneers.
  • Get a greater understanding and appreciation of Russia.

 

BAM – Construction of the century

 

The Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) was a project that captured the imagination of a Nation in the 1930’s. Do you remember those times and wonder what ever happened to the BAM?

The original purpose may seem less important today than it did back then however the BAM is much more than just a railway to the descendents of the young volunteers who built it. 

Young Communists Volunteers from all over the Soviet Union set themselves against the Baikal-Amur wilderness with determination and heroic courage.   It became the ‘Hero Project of the Century where towns were named after origin of the workers and wedding ceremonies took place right on the railway tracks. Steaming locomotives against the background of high mountains and picturesque bridge spans. But more often you think: What is it? Where? and Why?

Why would anybody try to conquer taiga and those lofty mountains, pick countless tunnels and lay sleepers through swamps and mountain passes. Why building new towns and settlements, gathering volunteers from all over the Soviet Union? What ideals drove those people? How did they live and what remains of those times?

Join us on this intriguing adventure to unlock the history of the BAM.. 

Our choice of traveling in March is not accidental. The road alongside BAM is tough in summer due to the absence of bridges across the rivers. In March the unique beauty of Siberian winter is moving towards spring. The hard frosts and bitter winds have passed but the ground and rivers are still frozen.

At night we will stay in hotels, if there are no hotels - which is a common thing for BAM – in tourist centers, schools and administrations. Everywhere we come we will be expected in advance, treated with kind smiles and shown around. It will be a fascinating to meet the people of the BAM face-to-face.  These folk have a different world view than city people. Their lives are fashioned by the Taiga wilderness and by the lifeline of the BAM..  Today Russia would be different without the BAM and in the past the BAM could not have been achieved without Russia

3280$ (219600)

Choose dates of tour

DAILY ITINERARY

Day 1. Bratsk. The beginning of adventure.

Meeting at the airport (flight S7 121 lands in Bratsk at 8:10 a.m. local time). If the weather and traffic allows, travelers visit an open-air museum “Angara village” and then move down to Ust-Kut through Bratsk’s enormous hydroelectric dam. Travelers see knolls and Siberian larch-tree taiga all around. Overnight at a hotel.

MEAL

full board

TRAVEL MODE

car

DISTANCE

354 km.

Day 2. Snow-covered, icy Baikal.

Driving towards Baikal early in the morning. After the pass the mountains become significantly higher and the sites are more breathtaking. After lunch travelers come to North-Baikal Town and visit The Museum of Construction of BAM. Driving along snowy Baikal Lake and picturesque shorter tunnels parallel to the lake to Nizhneangarsk, where travelers stop for the night at the hotel. Stove-made breakfast, lunch and dinner at the café. Distance: 560 km.

MEAL

full board

TRAVEL MODE

car

DISTANCE

375 km.

Day 3. Hot springs of Dzelinda and Cold Evenki settlement.

In the morning travelers come through Cold Evenki settlement, where they visit a museum of local history, meet and get a chance to talk to the Evenkis – the natives of the Eastern Siberia and then move to the hot therapeutic springs of Dzelinda, where the water temperature fluctuates between 40 and 52 degrees above zero. BAM stretches along the impressive Verkhneangarsky Range with altitudes up to 2500 meters. In the evening travelers come to the New Uoyan Township. Overnight at a hotel.

MEAL

full board

TRAVEL MODE

car

DISTANCE

159 km.

Day 4. The longest tunnel of Russia and Devil’s Bridge.

Early in the morning and for the better part of the day travelers go on an excursion to 15km-long North Muya tunnel – the longest tunnel in Russia – and to the Devil’s Bridge – a unique engineer construction and the “business card” of BAM with a specialist from the Russian Railways. Next, through the mountain pass travelers drive to Taksimo Township. Overnight at a hotel.

MEAL

full board

TRAVEL MODE

car

DISTANCE

235 km.

Day 5. Kuanda — Golden link of BAM.

In the morning travelers go to the Museum and then drive to Kuanda Township to see a memorial, placed outside the railway station to commemorate rail-laying of BAM. Staying in Kuanda or driving to the cattle camp of the Evenkis-herders, if they are within reaching distance from the route.

MEAL

full board

TRAVEL MODE

car

DISTANCE

94 km.

Day 6. Balbuhta and Kodar pass.

Going through the legendary Balbuhta junction and storming the vivid Kodar pass. Descending in the Chara cavity, contemplating of one the most photogenic, but continuous and forbidding chain of mountains of Siberia to the North – Kadar. Driving to Chara Township, spending the night at the Centre of Tourism.

MEAL

full board

TRAVEL MODE

car

DISTANCE

180 km.

Day 7. Chara sands - dunes among the snow.

Sallying out in the direction of the unique natural phenomenon – Chara sands. It is the real desert with dunes semi-covered by snow – only in Siberia and only on BAM can you see this amazing miracle. Driving to the camping site with hot springs in the evening. Resting, bathing, staying for the night. Russian sauna.

MEAL

full board

TRAVEL MODE

car

DISTANCE

20 km.

Day 8. New Chara – Chin. The most high-altitude, abandoned Russia’s railway.

Radial trip to the Chineyskoye field of vanadium-containing titanium magnetite ores – one of the biggest in the world. Driving along the highest railway in Russia (around 1650 m). Its rail-track is piled by rocks and tied up in knots by recent earthquake. It is a real abandoned railway with fancy bridges and galleries in mountains and tunnels. Travelers are surrounded by picturesque high lands. Returning to Chara Township in the evening, staying for the night at the Centre of Tourism.

MEAL

full board

TRAVEL MODE

car

DISTANCE

150 km.

Day 9. The highest point of the Russian Railways.

Storming the most high-altitude mountain pass of BAM – Udokan (1310 m). This is the highest point of the whole Russian Railways. Never-ending Siberian taiga and towering snow-clad peaks all around. Passing snowy Leprindo lakes to Hani Township. There are no hotels in the township, night at school.

MEAL

full board

TRAVEL MODE

car

DISTANCE

152 km.

Day 10. Endless Siberian taiga and ancient drawings.

Driving forward along BAM through Siberian taiga and mountains to the east. Stop at the bridge over the river Olyokma, where one of the rocks is covered by ancient drawings – petroglyphs. Stop for the night in Yuktali.

MEAL

full board

TRAVEL MODE

car

DISTANCE

155 km.

Day 11. Tynda.

Driving to the final destination of our expedition, unofficial capital of BAM – Tynda the next day. Overnight at a hotel.

MEAL

full board

TRAVEL MODE

car

DISTANCE

349 km.

Day 12. Around Tynda – the Capital of BAM.

It has eight large rooms each for its own story: aboriginal people, gulag, railway history, flora and fauna, minerals etc. Distance: 15 km

MEAL

full board

TRAVEL MODE

car

DISTANCE

15 km.

Day 13. Tynda-Skovorodino.

The town is located on the upper part of the Bolshoy Never River and has a population of around 11,000. During Stalin's rule a well-known Russian priest and philosopher Pavel Florensky lived and worked here in exile. Skovorodino is connected by the Trans-Siberian Railway. It is also connected by a branch line north to Tynda on the Baikal-Amur Magistral Railway (BAM). It is also the proposed terminus for the first phase of the East Siberia Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline, currently under construction by Transneft. Overnight in a hotel. Distance: 182 km

MEAL

full board

TRAVEL MODE

car

DISTANCE

182 km.

Day 14. Skovorodino – Blagoveshchensk.

Blagoveshchensk is a city in Russia, the capital of the Amur region, the fifth largest city in the Far East, located 7,985 kilometers east of Moscow. The city stands on the left bank of the Amur River, on the border with China. The population of Blagoveshchensk is about 224,000. In 1644, the first Russian settlers moved to the area and founded their settlement. Russian military outpost was founded later in 1856. The town received its name “Blagoveshchensk” after the parish church of Annunciation (Blagoveshcheniye in Russian). By the end of the 19th century, the town was a large river port and industrial center. Also, it was growing fast because of gold rush. Blagoveshchensk had favorable position, situated on the Chinese-Russian border (about hundreds of meters opposite the city of Heihe).

MEAL

full board

TRAVEL MODE

car

DISTANCE

686 km.

Day 15. Flight to Moscow or to Novosibirsk, or to VVO.

It is possible to stay longer in Blagoveshchensk or continue your trip to Vladivostok.

MEAL

breakfast

Dates & Prices

Tour starts in Bratsk, Irkutsk region. There is a daily flight Moskow to Bratsk S7 121

Tour finishes in Blagoveshchensk.

Blagoveshchensk to Moscow flight with one stop is on the 9-th of March.

Price includes :

-        ESG service

-        Accommodation according to the program

-        4 WD   vehicles

-        All sightseeing entry fees

-        Special winter equipment

-        Full board

Price dosen't include:

-          air tickets and train tickets

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