After 10 wonderful days in Kazakhstan we are back in Russia. We have now become more accustomed to the bad roads. We ride the first few kilometers at a rate faster than a couple of weeks back. You could almost say that we are locals. Okay, bit exaggerated perhaps because the still overtake us, but the trucks we keep behind us already. What a progress!
How nice that the sun goes along with us. Our first stop is therefore the grocery store for an ice cream. As we begin to get our ice cream, two guys passed us. It’s something menacing about: one with a fighter tank and the other a little too small shirt, so you just see the edge of his beer belly um, vodka belly. They babble in Russian to us. Fortunately, we get the feeling that they are thrilled that we drove down here from the Netherlands. This feeling appears to be true when one of the men get in his car and gets a liter bottle of vodka. This is then put in Jorens hands as gifts after which they leave waving and smiling. What flabber flabbergasted they let us be. How wrong can you be wrong about people …
We changed our daily routine. In the morning and in the evening are terribly bothered by mosquitoes. There are not a couple, no there are whole swarms. “Fortunately,” they not only love foreigners, the locals also suffer from them and the supermarkets and are full of mosquito articles. We now eat diner at lunch time, so we do not have to be outside in the evening. We chill somewhere during the day for the tent and make the the mileage in the evening. If we find a secret camping spot, we stay in the car until it’s dim / dark, and then quickly put up the tent: Anointed against these beasts, dressed with long sleeves and trousers and hood up! We did this till Moscow. We are lucky that the mosquitoes do not show in the daytime, because now we can enjoy all that comes our way. The countryside with many farmers, villages with houses that we ask ourselves whether it is poverty or very common. Samara, a city with a great atmosphere, we have a dive into the Volga River and the local markets, which are always fun.
Then, after several nights wild camping is the day, Moscow is in sight. And really, Moscow is insane! We have five nights at a campsite in Moscow (no mosquitoes!). The site is one of the few in Russia, making it a meeting point for travelers of similar kind. We meet nice people, all with a great story. It’s a 30 minutes ride by tram and metro, from the campsite to the Red Square with the famous St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Kremlin, the Goem and the mausoleum where the embalmed body of Lenin is exhibited. There are lots of luxury shops which are located in beautiful buildings, the streets filled with expensive cars equipped with driver. It seems we have fallen into a fairy tale. We can of course do not leave without visiting the Great Moscow State Circus. We have reserved tickets for the Saturday, June 4th. We’ll come just in time to join the circus, because the afternoon was anything but planned. Linda sprained her ankle. Fortunately, after sufficient cooling and taken rest we can continue and we enjoy all the beautiful things we see in circus.
Well, that’s it for now. We continue our journey through Novgorod to St. Petersburg!
Lots of love from Russia,
Joren and Linda
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