AN EXPLANATION OF THIS JOURNEY
A journey through Belarus and Russia is not an all day journey you ‘just simply’ make. It is a long journey of 32 days, which requires a thorough preparation from both of us, as well the organisation, as you as a participant.
The main goal of this journey is not to enjoy a relaxing holiday, but to get to know and experience the wealth and treasures of the nations and cultures of the countries where we will travel through. We are above all travellers. You will get in contact with many different ethnic and nomadic groups, who each have their own way of life. These local people are very friendly, welcoming and curious about you, as well in rural as urban areas.
In the countries we will visit and the areas, where we will be travelling through there is mostly little tourism, so the local people respond spontaneously to the arrival of us as visitors.
You drive this journey with your own vehicle at your own risk.
To make this motorhome journey not only to a beautiful adventure, but also organizational to a good result, we use during this journey the guidance of a good and knowledgeable team of highly experienced overland travellers. The guidance will be assisted by local guides and interpreters where necessary and they will possibly travel along with us for a part of the journey.
This journey is organised by Expedition Far East. The terms and conditions of Expedition Far East are valid.
OUR WAY OF TRAVELLING
Our Individual Guided Adventurous Overland Journeys© goes through countries with very different customs and habits then we are used to. Not often there can be fulfilled to our Western European expectations and standards and there is usually not a luxury campsite available in these countries. Therefore a journey like this demands a flexible altitude of the participants, a good physical and mental condition and health. As well the vehicles have to be in excellent condition.
INDIVIDUALLY AND ALSO GUIDED?
You drive at your own speed and pace. You will receive the Expedition Far East Road-book© with detailed information and the necessary information on attractions and sights and the GPS coordinates to be able to arrive at the next overnight location. We don’t drive convoy, unless absolutely necessary or when it is obliged by the local governments. You can leave in the morning, whenever it is the most convenient for you and stop as often as you like, to have as much individual freedom as possible. Plenty of time to fully enjoy and in the evening you don’t need extra time to search a safe overnight spot, very relaxing!
BENEFITS OF A GROUP JOURNEY
An ‘Individual Guided Adventurous Overland Journey©’ of Expedition Far East has many advantages. One of the most important ones is that we only travel in small groups; maximum up to 12 vehicles. Further advantages are; always a back-up from fellow travellers and the journey guidance, the sense of security far away from home, supported by experienced guidance, difficult border crossings we always take as a group together and when necessary, with the help of local guides, a safe overnight place and from special value, cosy spontaneous evenings together, to share our experiences and adventures.
ROUTE AND DAYSCHEDULE
The route and itinerary are designed with the maximum possible interesting touristic highlights and sites are included on our route. Many are included in the program, others are optional. Of course, we also did take into account the overnight places and we have done our best effort to stay at the most beautiful places and locations. The daily distances range from 75 to 400km per day and are so divided that we have enough time to visit the sights and attractions, to take a break, to do some shopping and to relax. Obviously there are many non driving days, so you will be able to organise your own day. You will receive the Expedition Far East Road-book© with the day schedule and lots of tips and information, interesting sights and the overnight location related information and the required GPS coordinates.
For Europeans a valid passport is required that at least is valid for nine months, when we apply for the visa for Belarus and Russia. For both Russia and Belarus is a visa required and the passport must contain for both visa, two blank pages opposite each other. An invitation letter is required for the application of both the visa for Belarus and Russia. It is also required a proof of insurance coverage in these countries.
EXPORTS AND IMPORTS TERMS BELARUS & RUSSIA
According to the import regulations of Belarus & Russia, it is illegal to import liquor and smoking articles, above the legal amount, and drugs or weapons.
In Belarus and Russia, women are required when entering a Russian Orthodox church to cover the head.
Why do women cover their heads?
“If a woman has long hair, it is an honor for her. The hair is after all given to her as a veil “(1 Corinthians 11: 15). Derived from the long hair is the headscarf. A woman does not carry a veil from a sense of shame or submission, but a woman covers her glory and her honor, so that He receives all the glory. She recognizes that His glory is greater than hers. A woman covers herself because female beauty can be very powerful and male believers might distract from prayer. (Source: Orthodox church Hague)
It will not surprise you that men must adhere to the dress code as well. Men should take off their head covering when entering a Russian Orthodox church. Shorts and bermudas are not recommendable, as also shirts without sleeves.
Sometimes you notice in Belarus and Russia that the above indicated dress codes does not apply, the Orthodox Church can be renamed as museum. Nevertheless, we believe that it does not hurt to do dress a bit more conservatively. In addition, you often gain more respect from the local people.
This journey can be made with an average motorhome, camping car. It is not necessary to have a 4WD, but of course may be very useful, if you have one. It is necessary that you are self-supporting for a few days, regarding food, snitary facilities, shower and electricity. Of course it is recommendable to leave home with a vehicle in a very good technical condition.
The crime rate is very low and the purchasing power of the people is fortunately rising almost everywhere. With our campers we are at no greater risk as when we are travelling through European countries. While we travel through the country, we keep informed during our journey about the security situations in the areas we are going to travel through.
Most of the roads on our route are asphalted, when not necessary we don’t drive over unpaved roads. Often the roads are to be compared with the roads in Europe, sometimes the tarmac is older and a bit more bumpy. In the big cities the roads are often very crowded and it is just as back home in the traffic jams!
We will barely overnight at campsites at this journey, because in the areas we cross, there are none. We will stay at safe overnight places. As far as possible this will be wild camps in free nature and if not possible at hotels, churches, sport complexes or just a parking spot or something similar. Therefore it is necessary that you can be self-supporting for a few days concerning food, bathroom, shower and electricity.
EMPTY GREY WATER AND TOILET
On this journey there are almost no facilities, where we can empty our grey water and toilet in a descent and environmentally friendly way. We are often designated to a place in the nature. It is important to do this at a discreet and appropriate manner, which causes no nuisance to the local residents and their live stock and crops. The use of chemical liquids is strongly discouraged. Instead of using chemicals for the toilet, there is a system on the market, called SOG; what is a good alternative to having to use no more chemicals.
The voltage is 220 volts, sometimes a little lower. Electricity is usually present on campsites, but sometimes to a limited extent.
Getting cash in Belarus is possible at one of the many ATMs with debit or credit card (Maestro logo) except in smaller towns. Money can be changed at banks or exchange offices.
The Belarusian Rubel (BYR) is the national currency. Due to the constant devaluation of the Belarusian currency, the exchange rate changes constantly, it is advisable to check the current rate (aug 2016).
1 EUR = 2,19 BYR | 10 BYR = 4,57 EUR
1 CHF = 2,01 BYR | 10 BYR = 4,97 CHF
1 GBP = 2,53 BYR | 10 BYR = 3,96 GBP
Getting cash in Russia is possible at one of the many ATMs with debit or credit card (Maestro logo) and creditcards are accepted. Money can be changed at banks or exchange offices.
In Russia the national currency is the Rubel (RUB). Because of the highly fluctuating exchange rates, it is advisable to check the current exchange rate (Aug. 2016).
1 EUR = 72 RUB | 10 RUB = 0,14 EUR
1 CHF = 66 RUB | 10 RUB = 0,15 CHF
1 GBP = 83 RUB | 10 RUB = 0,12 GBP
The network for mobile telephony and the Internet is widespread and of good quality, especially near to the road and in big cities and in densely populated areas.
For Belarus and Russia are no vaccinations required but there are recommended. Think of DTP, Hepatitis A and tick-borne encephalitis. Check with your doctor or healthcentre for update information for a journey to Belarus and Russia and the countries, ou will travel through before this journey.
Taking your pet on this journey is possible, but has to be notified to the travel organisation, before taking part on the journey.