Driving the Trans-Siberian by The Raven Brothers. The Ultimate Road Trip Across Russia

Driving the Trans Siberian 

by The Raven Brothers

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 The Raven Brothers 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 travel writers fired up their rusty Ford Sierra Sapphire and headed east. 

After clocking up over 11,000 miles, quite literally living in the car, the pioneering duo 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.

Drive the Trans-Siberian railway by road and cross the notorious Zilov Gap, a 400 mile (640km) frontier with Asia that has long been considered impassable.


UK - Germany - Poland - Baltic countries to St Petersburg - Perm - Chita. Final destination: Vladivostok. Eight time zones.


1989 Ford Sierra Sapphire. Miles on clock: 120.000. Previous owner: A businessman from Wolverhampton. Cost of vehicle: $500 cash from a secondhand car dealer. Condition: Awful. Rust bucket. Engine refuses to turn off and the tracking pulls to the left. Positives: Sunroof.

Equipment and Supplies

Spare tyre, jack, oil, a box of string, fuses, rope, an old bicycle inner tube, a squeaky foot pump, tin foil, exhaust paste, compass, sellotape, a GB sticker, a torn road map, torch, petrol can, screwdriver, phrasebook and the SAS Survival Guide by the brilliant John “Lofty” Wiseman.

Risk factor

Pretty high: 7 possible dangerous situations. 1. Breakdown somewhere in the middle of nowhere and get eaten by a pack of wolves or a bear. 2. Hunted by a band of angry Siberian forest men. 3. Accidentally skinned alive by nomadic reindeer-herders. 4. Robbed by bandits. 5. Cooked in a forest fire. 6. Drive into a deep pothole. 7. Get lost in the wilderness forever!

More books by The Raven Brothers

Hike, Drive, Stayin' Alive!

by The Raven Brothers

On Amazon >

Out of shape and unprepared, The Raven Brothers return to the road in a collection of ten quests to travel to their dream destinations against all odds! After two decades pioneering new routes across the globe, you would expect the authors of 'Driving the Trans-Siberian' to be hotshot explorers, with a sixth sense and an ability to survive in almost any situation. Think again! With virtually zero knowledge of the workings of the internal combustion engine and very limited skills of wilderness survival, Simon and Chris struggle into their hiking boots and power across three continents by river, tarmac and trail.

Venture to the top of Norway, cruise the road to Damascus, hike the Camino trail into Spain’s Wild West, row the Ganges, explore Frida Kahlo’s world in Mexico City, hangout with the dead in Sicily’s eerie catacombs, crawl deep inside Bolivia’s notorious silver mine, seek lions in Gujarat, wellness in Berlin and journey into the Naga Hills where tribal kings still rule.

Noted by Lonely Planet for their talent to portray an “accurate view of what to expect”, 'Hike, Drive, Stayin’ Alive!' signals a return to the duo writing “buttock clenching” travel comedy with the first in a series of candid stories of adventure by The Raven Brothers.