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Roads and language woes as travelers trek through Russia

July 30, 2014, 16:43 UTC+3 YEKATERINBURG
They've crossed Russia from the Baltic westernmost Kaliningrad, start-point across Russia's 11 time zones
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Schukin

YEKATERINBURG, July 30. /ITAR-TASS/. A French touring couple speaking no Russian, bewailing narrow Russian roads and Russian provincials lacking lingua-franca English have reached this Urals city on a globe-trotting trek.

They've crossed Russia from the Baltic westernmost Kaliningrad, start-point across Russia's 11 time zones.

Now, they've reached a key point in their journey, arrived at the regional crossroads separating European and Asian Russia and celebrating two months on the road since leaving home in Mediterranean Marseille.

Remi and Maeva Cordon are moving around on a German military trailer fitted in Morocco with a bathroom and kitchen. Keeping them company — and safe — are fearsome friends in the shape of their muscle-bound Dogo Argentino and Cane Corso dogs.

Remi, rating himself a "professional traveller", and Maeva have crossed France, Switzerland, Germany and Poland. Ahead lie Siberia's Tyumen, Novosibirsk, Barnaul and Gorno-Altaysk, a border "hook" to Mongolia in two weeks and on to Russia’s far eastern Vladivostok.

They will board a ferry to Japan there, bound for southeast Asia's Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Nepal, Burma, while India and Pakistan lie ahead.

Completing the haul across Eurasia and back to the western hemisphere should be complete within two years, say the intrepid travelers, reflecting on the venture's cost.

The greatest drain's been fuel, they say, reckoning on 500 liters to power 2,000 kilometers of track.

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