Hello to Judi, who arrived in Chita to co-pilot the last leg of the journey to Vladivostok. The intrepid adventurer from Devon is no stranger to Russia having lived in Moscow for a time whilst studying for her degree. She was encouraged to join the team by the other crazy people who are also driving to Japan (in a land rover, and they got to Vladivostok ages ago) see https://swinglowsweetchariot.blog/
She can speak some Russian!
Judi soon got an introduction to life on the road in a car that is 82 years old when one of the back wheels fell off as they were driving on the main road after leaving Chita. Chris scraped to a halt by the barrier and Judi chased the wheel down the road!
Chris tried to contact the roadside assistance service PAMC, but they were out of touch. So he phoned Yuri from Chita rugby club who came out in a 4×4 and arranged for a breakdown truck to take Babushka to a garage in the next town, Mogocha.
Chris secured the runaway wheel back onto the car with string so that they could get her onto the truck.
Yuri took the team to Mogocha, and treated them to the obligatory tour and hospitality. Including, at last, the chance for Chris to drive a bread loaf! As always, the garage team were extremely helpful and Chris replaced two of the sheared off parts with his spares and also had to make one new one to complete the job. He’s worried about the other wheels now, but there’s nothing to be done except try not to think about it.
Interesting that there appears to be a road sign that suggests runaway wheels are quite normal here.