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Baikal Amur Mainline - winter expedition 2019

offered by supplier M21720 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 20 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 10 people
Destination(s): Russia  
Specialty Categories: Self Drive   Cultural Journey  
Season: February - March
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 7500 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 7500 US Dollar (USD)

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

Itinerary:
0 day Arrival in Novosibirsk, Meeting at the
airport.
1 day Novosibirsk. Preparing for the trip, buying
winter cloths.

2 day Novosibirsk to Kemerovo. The beginning of
adventure.
Kemerovo is a city in Russia located in the south
of Western Siberia, in the northern part of
Kuznetsk coal basin.

3 day Kemerovo to Krasnoyarsk.
Krasnoyarsk is a city in Russia, the largest
cultural, economic, industrial, and educational
center of Central and Eastern Siberia, the capital
of Krasnoyarsk krai (the second largest region in
Russia). It is the largest of the ancient cities of
Siberia. Krasnoyarsk was founded by the Cossacks
in 1628 as a military settlement in the place of the
confluence of the Kacha and Yenisei rivers.

4 day Krasnoyarsk to Tayshet.
Tayshet is an important railway junction, as it's
the starting point for the Baikal-Amur Mainline on
the Trans-Siberian Railway.

5 day Tayshet to Bratsk.
If the weather and traffic allows, travelers visit an
open-air museum “Angara village”

6 day Bratsk-Ust-Kut.
Drive to Ust-Kut through Bratsk’s enormous
hydroelectric dam. Travelers see knolls and
Siberian larch-tree taiga all around. Overnight at a
hotel. Distance: 350-400 km.

7 day Ust-Kut-Severobaikalsk. 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 Severobaikalsk Town and
visit The Museum of Construction of BAM. Driving
along snowy Baikal Lake and picturesque shorter
tunnels parallel to the lake to Nizhneangarsk.
Overnight at a hotel. Distance: 560 km.

8 day Severobaikalsk. Hot springs of Khakusy 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
Khakusy, where the water temperature fluctuates
between 40 and 52 degrees above zero.

9 day Severobaikalsk-Taksimo. The longest tunnel
of Russia and Devil’s Bridge.
BAM stretches along the impressive
Verkhneangarsky Range with altitudes up to 2500
meters. In the evening travelers come to the New
Uoyan Township. Today we will pass the15kmlong
North Muya tunnel – the longest tunnel in
Russia – and to the Devil’s Bridge – a unique
engineer construction and the “business card” of
BAM. Next, through the mountain pass travelers
drive to Taksimo Township, where they stop for
the night at the hotel.

10 day Taksimo- 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.

11 day Kuanda- New Chara . 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. Distance: 160 km

12 day 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.

13 day New Chara – Chin. The most high-altitude,
abandoned Russia’s railway.
Radial trip to the Chineyskoye field of vanadiumcontaining
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. Distance: 70 km

14 day New Chara – Yuktali. 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 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 Distance:
307 km

15 day Yuktali-Tynda
Driving to the final destination of our expedition,
unofficial capital of BAM – Tynda the next day.
Staying overnight in the hotel. Distance: 349 km

16 day Tynda – the Capital of BAM.
Visiting Museum of BAM history. Train to
Blagoveshchensk. It has eight large rooms each
for its own story: aboriginal people, gulag, railway
history, flora and fauna, minerals etc. Overnight in
train.

17 day 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).

18 day Flight to Moscow or to Novosibirsk, or to
VVO
It is possible to stay longer in Blagoveshchensk or
continue your trip to Vladivostok.

Supplemental Tour Information:
Price includes :
- ESG service
- Accommodation according to the program
- 4 WD vehicles (Land Cruisers)
- All sightseeing entry fees
- Special winter equipment
- Special winter cloths
- Full board
- train ticket
- meeting at the airport

Price dosen't include:
- air tickets

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

About This Supplier
Location: Russia
Joined InfoHub: Dec 2018

Altair Tour Company is tour operator in Russian Siberia, Kamchatka, Mongolia and China. The company has been working for 15 years now and got a good experience in organizing tours of any kind in the area of trekking, expeditions, adventure and combined programs. Our trekking tours to Altai Mountains are very popular...

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