Day 43-44, “BAM”. 312 & 115 km.
The following day we got a first real taste of the BAM road: potholes, pools, stones and sand. Some parts were really challenging. Hans bike started leaking coolant fluid and we stopped in a small village to fix it. It was leaking at the thread of the thermo-switch. We had no o-ring or silicone to fix it and went to a small shop for electrical stuff and washing machines. They couldn’t help us. A customer walked with us to a smaller hardware shop there we got some kind of sealing compound for cars. We continued in the afternoon and were welcomed by sandy tracks. Due to the delay we couldn’t reach Taksimo but found a nice camping spot at a lake. Two Russian families gave us firewood and shared even some of their BBQ with us – so friendly!
In Taksimo we had some difficulties to find a place to stay – everything was fully booked. After a while and some phone calls by a helpful Russian receptionist we found 4 beds in a small guesthouse. The screw holding the rear of Christian’s bike broke shortly before Taksimo and Kai got some problems with the starter again. We opened our “workshop” directly at the street and they started working on their bikes. Christian had luckily spares in his luggage (rear frame bolts on a KTM 690 are a known issue…). His luggage rack was also broken (consequently) and needed some welding (on a Sunday). At the guesthouse I met a Russian geologist who was exploring a goldmine nearby. He called a mine worker, took the broken rack and went off to weld it. Unbelievable helpful! Also a motorcyclist stopped by and called his father to get some tools and soon the places was crowded with people… :0)
Everything was repaired and we were able to continue the following day.