One Russian man has taken his bike and gone on a 500 km trip over the highest mountains of Russia. Climbing as high as 7,000 feet and meeting different people, different lifestyles and beautiful scenes of nature. Want to see what he saw? Welcome inside, because thanks to Ilya, that’s his name, we have a rare chance to see those rarely visited parts of Russia and ex-USSR.
So here is his route. As you can see it goes across a good part of the Caucassian mount range.
This is where they started, he was not alone but with his friends.
And on the second day of their trip they already could see Elbrus – the tallest Caucassian mountain and also the tallest peak in Europe.
He says the views were breathtaking.
On some high plateaus there was constant fog. “It was dangerous, you had to watch your step in order not to go down the hill”. Especially when they put their tents on the edge.
Look, this describes it perfectly!!
At night the views were no less than magical!
And there on this plateau they met their first herdsman. There saw plenty of them in the next weeks and all of them were very hospitable and cheerful.
Near Elbrus they met other travelers.
He says it was great fun to travel on a bike to places nobody ever visited on bikes. Often they were not sure if their bikes could continue, but they never failed.
Some small animals were around.
On one road a tractor driver offered them a little cheat – they have put the bikes inside and travelled this way.
Locals were very friendly, showed them the way to go, offered meals and helped with everything they could.
If you see a herdsman’s hut in the distance, you would often see the owner himself waving and asking you to come and stay with him.
So they never refused to accept those invitations.
Dogs are the herdsman’s best friends in these places.
Early in the mornings herdsmen have to get milk from their animals.
Those men looked tough on the outside, but were very hospitable and kind on the inside!
Also they have met a lot of honey makers.
Here, inside one of such places.
Sometimes they left their bikes at the bottom and climbed the peaks by foot to reach their icy tops.
This was an ex nazi airfield. Now its a pasture and a camp for the alpinists and mountain climbers.
The streams here are rich in minerals and other elements. You can see it by the red residue that the water leaves on the stones.
Sometimes you find larger towns and leftovers of the Soviet past, like this abandoned factory which has been vandalized and looted.
Here they met young men who were earning their living by hunting for scrap metal in this car.
They invited Ilya to visit an abandoned factory.
Here they get their loot.
At first boys were hiding their faces as what they were doing is not legal. But later they started to trust Ilya.
They even climbed inside the old abandoned mine with him.
And some more awesome night stops.
And in this hut they celebrated Ilya’s birthday. They had a special cognac bottle with them for this special occasion.
This how it looked at night.
“You can’t find a better place to celebrate your birthday”, says Ilya, “awesome dreams, awesome air, I still remember it again and again!”.
Nice night views.
But morning is even better.
Sometimes they visited villages to buy food and see how the locals live. They live slow and content lives, says Ilya.
The whole village came to see the crazy bicyclers from Moscow.
Kids here don’t speak Russian at all, although it’s a Russian territory.
Ilya says he has much more to share about this trip, so let’s wait and maybe we’ll have more exciting stories of the people and places he visited on his journey. Meanwhile let’s say many thanks to him for the awesome photos! His site is below: