Subscribe via RSS Feed

A Taste of Russia

October 18, 2015 1 Comment

It’s hard to compete with the obsessive bloggers, especially when one is expected to navigate, shop, cook, keep things in order, etc, etc. I’m sure our girl readers will agree! Too bad for the boys!

My last blog, which was very witty, disappeared in the clouds, so Alan has prescribed that I create and save a new document for each blog, as he does. I am complying ungraciously…

My lost blog described my experience of driving the last 1000km across NW Mongolia and the first 600km of Russia, through the Altai Mountains. Suffice to say that the drive through Mongolia in the Ford Ranger was akin to a drive through 1000kms of gravel quarry in a Mini Moke! My apologies to the Ranger owners…

Once we got through the border controls (who in Mongolia or Russia cares if you own the car you’re driving, or not?!), the drive into Russia was a pleasure, in terms of road quality and the magnificence of the scenery.

Our first night in Russia was memorable. The first time I have woken in a rooftop camper with a crunchy (frozen) wall! Alan chose not to tell me the temperature, but it was below 0C and my nose was frosty!

Meeting up with B and D again was beautiful! So much news to share, we cackled away like turkeys, even though a very drunk Russian man tried to muscle in on the conversation. He didn’t have a chance!

Bakery Bread in Russia

Enjoying some bread fresh from the Bakery

Russia was great, but such a small taste of a vast country that it’s on the return list!

Then into Kazakhstan, Borat country! We did a trip from north to south, heading towards Almaty, to organize visas for Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The scenery was vast, variable, arid, plains to hills to mountains. We started to see donkey carts, of one, two or even three donkeys, mixing it with Mercs, Audis, Lexus, Subarus and funny little old Fiat-looking cars.

We stayed at a few truckie stops and found the customers and staff warm and friendly. Then we started camping again and, like Mongolia, had no trouble finding places in gullies, paddocks, beside creeks. The nomadic heritage means no-one is particularly possessive of the land. Even the cows and horses left us be!

Shopping in the open markets and at street stalls is easy. People just accept us as customers, with bellies to fill and money to be parted from! Some ask, in their own language, (which is all Russian in these parts) “where are you from?” One lovely man in Kirgizia, read the signage on our cars, then asked Donna if she knew Professor Michael and his wife, Sara, who had come from Australia five years ago and were his very good friends?!

We are now in the Alma-Ata Canyon, south of Bishkek, capital of Kirgizia, enjoying the first snow of the season! Such a beautiful place, with a variety of visitors coming and going in the A-frame lodge we are in.

Apart from the number of over-zealous police pulling us over and demanding exorbitant fines for things we should only have a warning for, the rest is all good! At the moment, their excuse is that four men have escaped from prison, so your car must be searched. As if we could fit four people in our tightly packed cars!! They see us coming and think we must be rich!

Alan and I started the day with wonderful massages at our last hotel, so all is good! From massages to fresh snow! What more could we want?

Hi to all our blog followers, until I next wrestle the tablet from Al…

Filed in: Diary

About the Author:

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Judy Veitch says:

    So good to hear from you again, Lynn!
    So much is happening in this part of the world you might not recognise the place when you get back!
    I was thinking this afternoon that there should be no complaints that Council only cares about Port Macquarie. Anyone who drives from Lake Cathie to Dunbogan could be stopped by roadworks at the eastern end of the Ghost Rd (roundabout near the school), the Stingray Creek bridge roadworks, or the section of road near the (former) Dunbogan tip entrance where they are trying to make the road flood proof so Dunbogan won’t get isolated.
    A wonderful volunteer group has also received grants to build a footpath beside the boulevard at Dunbogan, near the Boatshed, and it’s making great progress.
    And the houses are going up so quickly on that subdivision opposite your place ?
    Don’t know if you heard that we have lost quite a few people lately. The last two months have been pretty awful. Lee’s mum and Chris Trotter’s mum and Trudy’s dad all passed away (in the same week!) and Richard Brown (Brownie) also went to sleep and didn’t wake up. My mum is hanging in there but getting VERY forgetful.
    Movie group is still going strong, though attendees vary quite a bit. Some great movies shown recently. Coffee visits not quite so frequent but starting to live again in this beautiful weather.
    Miss you guys heaps, love to all xoxox

Leave a Reply