Saturday: I felt sad to leave the wonderful couple of Luga who invited me so warmly into their home. The lady gave me a soft white toy hare as a souvenir. I promised that on my way back from Siberia I would stop again there on my way north.
I thought so often back to the Long Way Round DVD. Once Ewan McGregor said “No one ever mentioned wetlands to us during the prep.” I crossed wetlands and discovered another pest living there. Do you know horse flies, those ugly, brown hard-to-kill flies whose stings / bites burn like hell? I had at times 10, 15 sitting on me and the KLR. I was so glad for being fully protected by the riding clothes.
After 154 km I quitted for the day. I was sick and tired of bad roads and rain. Reaching the Ural Mountains was not close to my mind at that stage.
While cleaning and lubricated the bike’s chain my t-shirt was covered with mosquitoes. How on earth do the dear Russian people manage to live with those beasts, or do they get accustomed to all the stings / bites?
Sunday: I woke up and looked at my watch: 3:30AM and the sun was shining. It was South African time. In Russia it was 5:30.
I couldn’t believe my eyes: A BLUE SKY!!
I left at 6:00AM. The road went down to the wetlands and within seconds a thick blanket of fog covered everything. I had to lift my visor and within seconds also my glasses was covered with a layer of fog. I had to stop next to the road and take off my glasses. For the next 100 km the fog covered the earth and the swamps.
Three highlights of the day:
1. I could have dried horse meat for breakfast. I didn’t go for that and had rice with veggies instead.
2. I crossed the well-known Volga river. The song sung by Rudolf Shock “Wolgalied” about a lonely soldier standing guard on the banks of the Volga didn’t leave my mind. ( ) Even if you don’t understand German still listen to the song. The English text appears as he sings. On Friday while I was a bit lost on the forest roads I felt like that soldier. However, more impressive was the line of trucks and cars that waited to cross the bridge over the Volga. The line was so long that it disappeared out of view. I took advantage of being on a bike and rode past the hundreds of vehicles.
3. The most wonderful, sunny weather when I got to Dmitrov at 3:00 PM Russian time. I stopped and had a glass of kwas and then decided to stop riding.
Tomorrow I start finally east on the way to the Ural Mountains, the mountain range that divides Europe and Asia (Siberia)
Internet is not so readily available as in the Baltic States so my reports may get less now.
Whatever you do, listen to the Rudolf Shock song!
Regards at 20:10 PM from Moedertjie Rusland!