With several days to catch up because of the prolonged stay in Moscow, Chris and Ilya have been busy driving longer days. That doesn’t mean that interesting encounters have stopped though!
Here’s a roundup of the last few days…
As expected the police routinely pull the car over, but not often to check papers! Chris reckons they’ve been stopped more than 10 times already.
Pulling over at a roadside hotel, on the road after Ufa, Chris and Ilya found out that the hotel was built by the local chapter of the “Night Wolves” (a biker’s club) – Putin’s favoured club apparently. A comfortable night for £13 each, £2 for supper. There was a group of oil geologists staying there and they promised to keep the oil flowing!
Sunday night – Chelyabinsk. Thanks again to Ilya’s social network, they were very kindly accommodated by friends of his.
Monday – first glimpse of the Ural mountains, and many sightings of nodding donkies.
Of interest to Austin 7 friends, the car is going well on 95 octane at only 50p a litre. Cruising happily at 40 mph, increasing to 50mph downhill with a Russian truck 10ft from the picnic hamper!
They pulled over at a specialist moskvichdealership and service centre. Who needs springs!
Monday night – they decided to try out some very cheap accommodation. Just outside Kurgan they stopped at a workman’s hostel, and for 600 roubles each (maybe £8) stayed in a clean room, nice food, friendly staff.
There are a few long days ahead as they aim to get to Novosibirsk (814 miles) on Friday to meet Will Leith, the next co-pilot!