EVENT NOTICE FROM CAPTAIN JOON
As you know I have been planning this trip for a while. This is not just a trip or just a bucket list. It is a trip to supersede all trips. You will not be invited to go on this kind of trip for the rest of your life. There is nobody in your circle who has great experience and great friends in Russia with plenty of money to spend to enable this. Nobody is making money on this. We will hire ultra high quality Russian guides to travel with us and they will be paid a bit higher than normal to get quality people. We plan to have ten to twelve friends with six Russian guides including a masseuse to relax your tired body on the bus or at your hotel...massage only!!!. two to one ratio is very good. This is my vision of this trip (which could be modified with your input). I have done very fancy trans Siberian rail trip (so did Inga) but this trip will be a much more intimate trip with Russian culture and people.
1) trip.....from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok. 6500 miles with 12 time zones.
2) mode....high class bus with qualified Russian driver. Bus will have drinks and food. When bus passes a village which is famous for certain kind of Russian food, we will buy it and eat in the bus such as natural mushroom pirogi. plan to have two seats per person.
3) duration...30 days...20 day driving and ten extra cushion days.
4) expected time...June 2017
5). estimated cost...$15,000 (500 per day which is cheaper than medium class cruise ship)
6). 4 star hotels or best available in small towns in Russia where there is no star system.
We will have, in our group, a medical doctor and an engineer who knows a lot about car systems, Our leader is a Russian who is very sophisticated with good connections. He is very well educated and a good friend of mine. I have traveled with him (he now lives in New York) more than ten times to Russia and never had bad time and never had any trouble with anybody.
In the bus, our Russian guide will teach us Russian and also some Russian songs. Our team leader will give appropriate lectures on Russia and Russian literature. (He is also an author who wrote several fiction books). In our group, we could have a venture capitalist who could give real honest aspect of VC work..how some startup succeed while others don't. We could have very high level computer person who will update us on current and future state of the industry. There could be a doctor who gives pointers for staying healthy. We would have an Australian rancher to talk about ranching business in Australia. All this during the bus trip for us to take certain things home. Since whatever talks we do in Siberia stays in Siberia and therefore, the lectures could be much more open, which would not be available otherwise.
I would not like to have couples and lovers in our group. This just restricts freedom of participants and does not promote group dynamics. Also, no relationships among the group people. If Keith has to have a friend, he has to have local opportunity. Love and leave it. I would make an exception if I believe certain talents are needed for the group, such as a medical doctor with a black bag.
We would not have many group activities unless the entire group wants it. As you can remember in your early math (I believe topology), common section gets smaller and smaller when there are more people involved. It would be difficult to pick one activity which we all like to do. So, I would think some people will go to church sightseeing, others for Kremlin, other for vodka/beer joint, others for local flea market and other just stay at hotel to relax. When we arrive in certain cities, people will decide what they would like to do and we will assign one of our Russian guides to accompany them (we have six). We will have a few group activities. First, dinner at St. Petersburg to get to know each other. Also last dinner at Vladivostok (best hotel there seems to be Hyun Dai Hotel by Koreans) (there you must give toast in Russian --more than one minute or sing a song in Russian or dance Russian steps (we will teach you during the trip). We will take a boat trip together on the Volga River and also on Lake Baikal.
On this list: some of you might not find a 30 day free stretch of time and some of you are told by a doctor that it is not a good idea (if you cannot join us, you might be our ground control like Houston for astronauts.) So, I understand if you cannot not make the trip. Please let me know your interest in joining the trip. Inga...please forward to Anne. Susan...you should give this email to Dean. Doug...forward this to Dr. Dickerson as we discussed.
If you have any question, please let me know. At this time, the biggest hurdle for this trip is finding a good bus company which will do this for us.
Joon Moon...always looking for adventure.
Please read this article. Our trip will be better planned and prepared. But it is basically the same route.
St. Petersburg - Moscow - Lake Baikal - Vladivostok (10500 km / 7000 miles / 25 days / 20 driving segments)
Day 1-2. Arrive in St. Petersburg. Hotel. Orientation. City tour. (worth staying 1 day more)
Day 2/S1 (Segment 1). St. Petersburg Great Novgorod. 200 km. Hotel.
Day 3/S2. Great Novgorod Moscow. 540 km. Hotel.
Day 4/S3. Moscow Yaroslavl. 270 km. Hotel.
Day 5/S4. Yaroslavl Vladimir. 230 km.
S5. Vladimir Nizhni Novgorod. 230 km. Hotel.
Day 6/S6. Nizhni Novgorod Kazan. 390 km. Hotel. (worth staying 1 day more)
Day 7/S7. Kazan - Perm. 600 km. Hotel.
Day 8/S8. Perm Yekaterinburg. 380 km. Hotel.
Day 9/S9. Yekaterinburg Tumen. 330 km.
S10. Tumen Omsk. 615 km. Hotel.
Day 10/S11. Omsk Novosibirsk. 660 km. Hotel.
Day 11/S12. Novosibirsk Krasnoyarsk. 800 km. Hotel.
Day 12/S13. Krasnoyarsk ? ~500 km (Shall try to find accommodations to break up the 1060 km to
Day 13/S14. ? Irkutsk. ~600 km. Hotel
Day 13-14. Irkutsk, Lake Baykal. Hotel on Lake Baikal shores, cruise.
Day 15/S15. Irkutsk Ulan-Ude. 480 km. Hotel.
Day 16/S16. Ulan-Ude Chita. 680 km. Hotel.
Day 17/S17. Chita Takhtamugda. 800 km. This is a small village in the wilderness, no hotel. Perhaps,
Day 18/S18. Takhtamugda Blagoveschensk. 710 km. Hotels (several small ones).
Day 19/S19. Blagoveschensk Khabarovsk. 700 km. Hotel.
Day 20/S20. Khabarovsk Vladivostok. 770 km. Hotel.
Day 21-24. Vladivostok. Hotel.