In 2004, actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman set off on a 19,000-mile journey, circumnavigating the globe on a pair of BMW R1150GS Adventures, on film in the documentary Long Way Round. The most hair-raising segment of the doc was a river crossing on the Road of Bones to Magadan in Eastern Russia, an intrepid Kamaz 4310 got them through a swift river crossing an on their way. Last week, the Kamaz turned up abandoned on the same stretch of road.
If you haven’t seen the seven-episode Long Way Round, it’s required watching. It’s a real adventure, with very limited support.
Traveling on two BMW R1150GSAs, McGregor and Boorman made the entire trip with a support crew consisting of motorcycle riding cameraman Claudio von Planta, along with director/producers David Alexanian and Russ Malkin, who generally traveled a day behind the motorcycle riders.
Episode Six featured the trip across Russia, before the team made it to Alaska for the segment through the United States. After riding from Mongolia to Eastern Russia, summer runoff had rendered the Russian R504 Kolyma Highway impassable. Several Ural trucks had attempted the crossing and gotten washed away, but the team ran into an experienced driver in a Kamaz 4310 and attempted the crossing.
The Kamaz 4310 came into service in the Soviet military in 1980. The Soviet military used the 4310 in countless configurations through the end of the Cold War. The example that ferried McGregor and Boorman across the river was the most common, an open troop/cargo body with fold-down sides.
These trucks are capable of carrying six tons, but for the trip across the river, the payload would be just three motorcycles and their riders. With a 210hp, 10.85-liter diesel V8 and full-time six-wheel drive, the Kamaz dutifully forded the river and got the two actors and their cameraman on their way.
This week, Boorman found out about the truck, abandoned by the side of the road, with all its windows missing.
“This is the truck that helped us on the Long Way Around,” Boorman posted on his Instagram. “On the Road of Bones, found abandoned recently. Wonder what happened.”
H/T to Victoria Pridgen