Thursday, 15 March 2018

Epic Russia Road trip in a $500 banger

Ford Sierra in Russia on the road to Vladivostok. Photo by Chris Raven
Driving the Trans-Siberian
by Chris Raven & Simon Raven

Have you ever had the desire to jump in your car and keep driving, to wave goodbye to routine and commitment and drive into the unknown hungry for adventure? Well, that is precisely what overland travel writers, Chris Raven and Simon Raven, decided to do whilst stacking boxes of frozen oven chips in a -30 degrees freezer. Not being petrol heads and having zero knowledge of the internal combustion engine, the brothers fired up their rusty Ford Sierra Sapphire and headed east. 

After clocking up over 11,000 miles, quite literally living in the car, they miraculously arrived in the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok in Siberia on the Sea of Japan. What they had in fact done was to drive the entire length of the new Amur Highway before it was finished, which crosses Russia and the notorious Zilov Gap in a 6,200 mile swath of cracked tarmac and potholes. Along the way our trusty heroes drink vodka with Chechen criminals, escape highway robbery, trade banana flavoured condoms with Russian cops, meet the eccentric and plain weird at truck stops in darkest Siberia, endure torturous road conditions and have a race to the finish with the Germans. Surviving this insane journey by the skin of their teeth the brothers are forced to confront their worst fears in this toe-curling comedy of extreme road trip adventure.

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Chris Raven (L) Simon raven (R)
About the Raven brothers

Simon Raven and Chris Raven were born in the United Kingdom. A career in overland adventure travel writing was launched when Simon and Chris drove across Siberia from the UK to Vladivostok at the dawn of a new millennium. Becoming established as travel writers with the publication of ‘Living the Linger’ (2005) and ‘Driving the Trans-Siberian’ (2006), the travelling duo have since co-written their fourth book ‘Black Sea Circuit’ (2015). In addition to their work as published authors, the Raven brothers are known for their off the beaten track photojournalism, documenting destinations across the globe including, China’s deep south, tribal India and the Balkan peninsula. Simon and Chris have been noted by Lonely Planet for their talent to portray an “accurate view of what to expect”.

The brothers are currently writing their new book, "Living the Linger 2" About their hilarious adventure through Colombia.  Publishing date summer 2018.

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Other books by the Raven Brothers


Driving the Trans-SiberianThe Ultimate Road Trip Across Russia

Black Sea Circuit: An Adventure Through the Caucasus

Carnival Express: A South America Adventure

Living the Linger: Freedom on the American Highway