Murka: to Baikal and back again

Motor rally over Russia
21 July

At the end of May, two travelers from Tula took a car and headed east towards Lake Baikal. Their idea was to see as many friends as possible around the country. The best photos from the trip and the impressions of the heroes are in the Welcome2018 article.

Vladimir. © Photo from personal archive

"So, very soon, by the end of this month, we will move east by car to Lake Baikal." That's how Tula resident Aleksey Evpyatyev announced a 5,000 km automotive journey in the Baikal-Russia blog at the beginning of May this year. The crew consists of two people: his friend Pavel Shirlykov keeps Aleksey's company. The friends are moving on Murka - that's how they call their Nissan Murano. As it follows from the the message, Baikal is not the main purpose of their trip. The idea is to meet as many of their friends as possible during the trip. According to the plan, they have only a few hours for each city: during this time it is possible to see some sights, meet with friends, take a few photos and once again start off. All friends, of course, were warned in advance.

Ivolginsky Datsan, Buryatia. © Photo from personal archive

Travelers left Tula on May 25, in the afternoon they were in Ryazan, and in the evening they left Mordovia for Penza. The first friends they saw were in Samara the following day - they were met by Sergey and Natasha. In the city, the travelers were particularly impressed by the scale of preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™: the city is expanding the main entrance streets and broadening highways.

Travelers with the monument to Lenin in the background, Ulan-Ude. © Photo from personal archive

On May 26, the travelers reached Ufa. They liked the city they with its wide streets and avenues, but they were surprised by a sharp cold snap from +25 to +7 degrees and the local speed limit. Along with travelers, their talisman Sovenok (translated as owlet) came to Ufa. Sovenok is a nice little toy that belongs to a friend of one of the tourists - Dmitry. On the belly of the mascot you can see a funny inscription: "Follow your dream! Go to sleep."

Nizhny Novgorod. © Photo from personal archive

Full travel itinerary: Tula - Ryazan - Penza - Syzran - Samara - Ufa - Chelyabinsk - Kurgan - Omsk - Novosibirsk - Kemerovo - Krasnoyarsk - Irkutsk - Ulan-Ude. The return trip: Irkutsk - Krasnoyarsk - Tomsk - Novosibirsk - Omsk - Tyumen - Ekaterinburg - Perm - Izhevsk - Naberezhnye Chelny - Kazan - Cheboksary - Nizhny Novgorod - Vladimir - Pokrov - Tula.

Tyumen. © Photo from personal archive

In a comment on the Tula site myslo.ru Evpyatev and Shirlykov formulated the goal of their run: to instill a passion for auto travel, showing the expanses of Russia. "We want to draw people's attention to the big and small cities of our homeland, to demonstrate the natural wonders and beauty of Lake Baikal. In this way we want to entice adventurous and novice travelers with travel across the country. We want to show the natural beauty of Russia and the vastness of its open spaces with help of our eyes and camera lenses."

Tyumen. © Photo from personal archive

In Kemerovo, tourists took a walk along the Alley of Veterans with linden trees, went to the famous "Stolby" reserve in Krasnoyarsk, and on June 4 they finally reached Olkhon Island, one of the most picturesque places of Lake Baikal.

Tula. © Photo from personal archive

As a result of their trip, travelers dispelled myths about the Russian taiga: "Friends, in this part of Russia, at any rate up to Lake Baikal - everything is completely habitable and civilized. We have not yet met a single location of the road which wouldn't have a populated locality 500 km ahead or 500 km back. There was not even a moment when in 10 minutes we did not meet a car or overtake someone. Yes, from the highway both to the south and to the north the taiga stretches, but along the road everything is very vivid: cities, small townships and villages - all somehow scuttle about in their humble way of life."

Cheboksary. © Photo from personal archive

The travelers returned to Tula on June 20. For 26 days they covered 14,000 km, strolled along 15 major cities, some of them twice. Aleksey and Pavel did not plan to stop at what they achieved: on July 6, they went to the music festival "Invasion" on the same Murka, the festival was held in the Tver Region. Follow the current adventures of the characters in their Baikal-Russia group in Vkontakte.