Just a short post to tell you that the tires I ordered are here. It’s a set of Heidenau K60 Scouts, and I am now going to spend the weekend figuring out how to carry them on the bike all the way to Volgograd, where I will have them fit while the bike is being serviced in preparation for Kazakhstan.
I decided to take this ones because I have had good references from other riders, they seem to be a good compromise – not to radical on the road, grippy enough off road, and they seem to last much longer than other knobbly tires, important since I expect them to last all the way back to Europe.
I will also be taking a puncture repair kit and a compressor but I have my doubts about taking tire irons. I have never tried to replace a tubeless tire, and it seems to be very hard to do on the roadside, especially breaking the bead. Can anyone advise me on that?
I was hoping to carry them lying flat on the passenger seat and the back rack, but I also have to carry a rather big Ortlieb Rack Bag (I did not want to have too many little bags attached to the bike, they might easily get stolen in short stops to get supplies), so I am not very sure how to position them. I will experiment this weekend.
On a side note, this week I gave my sister (who lives in Madrid) the application forms and paperwork to get a Kazak visa. I do not have a hotel reservation or an invitation letter, but it seems that there is a simplified application process for Spanish citizens. Let’s see if we get lucky.
The most difficult one is done! In fact, it has been much easier than expected – money obviously helps… This one was supposed to be complicated, as I needed a multi-entry business visa, which meant I had to be invited by a Russian company, but I just paid for an invitation letter and to have all my paperwork done through Central de Visados Rusos, in Barcelona, and they sorted out everything with no fuss at all. In ten days I had my visa! Now I can enter and leave Russia as many times as I want from July to December.
Since I had got my passport back and still had an hour before going to work, I decided to start the process of getting my Mongol visa. The Mongol Consulate in Barcelona is not far from the offices where I got the Russian visa, so I took the bike and went down there.
They are located at the end of Rocafort street, near Paral·lel, and their premises could not be more different from the mansion in Pearson Avenue.
You walk through a dark and damp entrance hall on the ground floor of a typical Eixample building to an inner court where there are a few small houses, among which is the consulate.
The girl there was much, much nicer than the staff at the Russian consulate and after going through the paperwork she told me that there would be no problem to issue a tourist visa, but that it was still too early, as I will not be reaching the border until late July or early August, so she advised me to get any other visas I needed and then go back.
So, on the the Kazakh visa, then!