Nice to see you again visit our website. We find the response we received from both friends and strangers, very nice. Thanks for that!
After two wonderful days doing nothing in Sumy – Ukraine, we set off towards the border of Russia. Organized as we are, we have all the important papers at hand and our luggage in tip-top order. We arrive at the border Ukraine – Russia: Yunakivka. Somehow still a little exciting. Questions are asked about what we are doing, the baggage and what is sitting on our roof. If we want to open the “suitcase”. We make clear that it is not a case, but a tent. His colleague said we could keep it close, but the customs officer found it very interesting: never before in his life seen a roof tent. So, we set up the tent with one foot in the Ukraine, the other in Russia. Speechless as he was over the tent, he could just issue that there had to be filled in some forms. The forms were only in Russian. A Russian was picked out of the line and was asked to fill in our papers. After about three and a half hours, we are really in Russia. How bizarre?! We drive in Russia! But before we can really continue to our route we have to get our insurance for Russia. That would should be able to before or after the border. But nothing to be found at the border, so then we just move on. We decide to go into a bank after a few kilometers. A customer of this bank points us to a house across the street. As this house it must be able to get the Russian insurance. A half hour later, we can really set off with Russian car insurance.
We drive towards Kursk. Where we decide to just before Kursk find a place to sleep. We feel that we enter the perfect field to spend, secretly, the night. Yes, indeed … we feel …. because just as we think we are far enough from the main road, there are a number of homes. What are we doing? Keep driving for a better place, or neatly ask if we can stay on the land of the farmer? We decide to go and ask. The first person we encountered, Alex, said yes whiten seconds . He opened the gate to his garden and we parked the car. We were welcomed by him, his wife, and grandmother. With hands and feet, because they do not speak a word of English, we try to have a ‘conversation’ with each other. What a bad luck that we have just eaten. They present us a complete diner on the table. Polite as we are, we eaten anyway. So with (too) full belly crawled into the tent. The next morning we are not yet out of the tent, and we are already expected in the house for breakfast. What a lovely people, a warm welcome and some fun to experience and see how these people live. While we are off to the end of the road, we head for a hotel in Voronezh, because there is bad weather expected.
Unfortunately the weather forecasts remain very poor and we go out of the hotel in Voronezh for a hotel in Saratov. Our last stop in Russia before we cross the border to Kazakhstan. Here we spend two nights. We have good roads today, Tuesday May 17th. That’s good, because we have planned over 500 kilometers. Along the way we will be first held by the police, but as soon as he notices that we do not speak Russian, we can pass. Once in Saratov, we have to go to the other side of town in the middle. What a chaos on the road. It noticeable that they can buy their license in Russia! But our Jimny has done well among all the bumps, potholes, holes, obstacles and Russian motorists.
The city of Saratov, located on the Volga, let us see how these people live here. It looks like we are back in time. Very special. The tram that we took to our hotel to down town: it is hard to imagine, but we have occasionally closed down our ears, what a noise. And sit comfortably? Noway. Wooden chairs, half of which is broken, make sure we get a sore butt. What an experience, the wheels of the tram felt sqaure!
We have a wonderful day, and the happiness that it is dry today!
Equipped with a fully stocked fridge, because we go camping the next nights, we leave Saratov. After a night in the tent, we get up early to continue our trip to Kazakhstan.
We have to laugh when we read back the previous travel report. did we called the roads there really ‘bad’? Oefff … what to call it now? Super bad? Mega bad? No, not just to describe. We even yearn for the “bad” roads in Ukraine. That makes you hopefully clear that the roads are even worse. It is looking for a piece of asphalt. We drive occasionally off the road, because it is better to do. Vibrant, yes, really vibrant, we arrive at the border. The papers are considered in more detail, checked luggage and Linda her pasport is examined very closely.. Joren his passport is inspected even more closely, Joren should come with the officers for an interview. We follow the customs officers to a building a little further. So here we are in an office, with about four Kazakhs around us. They laugh with each other, but looking sternly at us. Fortunately, the main customs officer says quickly: Welcome to Kazakhstan!
Slow as a snail, because of the road, we make Kazakhstan the first kilometers !!
How bizarre?! We drive just in Kazakhstan!
See you !!
Joren and Linda
Below are the photo’s