The radiation goes a long way
Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
109Trip End Dec 15, 2011
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Anyway, got on the road around 11.30 and stopped off to fill up with petrol. The forecourt staff pointed out that there was oil under the car, so we investigated and found that it was coming from the oil filter, where the pressure gauge measures. So tightened that up at great effort on Martins part. I just watched form above!
Eventually got on the road again about 12.30.
Stopped for lunch at a cafe, where there were a load of truckers - always a good sign? Tried to oredr Borsch, which some of the drivers were eating, but told no. Not sure why not!. Good crowd, very friendly.
Heading towards Semey, which is our launching point for Russia mark 1. The scenery started off being its usual dry grasslands, not much unlike the old Rhodesian roads, for those who know what I'm talking about. But as we neared Semey, there appeared a load of trees, at first just a small forest on the horizon, but then we were driving through them. Every soo often, there would be a bunch of dead trees, which we got into a discussion about - are they the resilt of nuclear testing gone wrong? Apparently Semey is the place where the Soviets did their nuclear testiong andf there were over 400 tests in thhe area. Some places are still out of bounds, so we wont stay here long. There's a monument to those who suffered from the tests, we'll see whether we manage the time tomorrow to see it, but its out of our way.
Booked into the Semey Hotel, and old Soviet style place, once again, must have been grand in its day. We're in the dining room, where there are over 20 chandeliers, but only 3 are lit
Mileage 340 km
Matyin's morning moments
Actually I spotted the oil and in one way it answered a question that had worried me since doing service in morning.Had seen lot of oil in area inside rear wheel on passengers side.Obviously blowing back from what turned out to be the loose oil pipe.I hope I have fixed problem as it is one of my (many) worst nightmares - a severed oil connection.All this bouncing about takes its toll.
I asked to use wash facilitiies and security guard steered me towards hand basin.Water supply was cut off so he poured water over my hands from a jug and then pointed out that I had smuts on my face.A great kindness.As we drove away from petrol station he crossed his palms in our direction.Its an image which has stayed with me all day and has had a profound effect.
Then the polis! Got pulled for doing 62 in a 50 and was just negotiating my way downwards from a $50 backhander when he pulled in a bloke going hell for leather.Bloke came up and showed police ID and was waved away.I,in perfect Russian ,went apoplectic and queried why polis vroom vroom and wave away while I pop,pop,bang splut and get nobbled
So tomorrow we enter our 6th week and I thank Roger for keeping me on the straight and narrow.I dare to hope now and hang on to every kilometre.Little by little.
Contacted Alison today about sending fan belts forward to Ulaanbaatar for our collection - not sure whether thats being presumptious or cautious.
Tonight we are living Soviet style circa 1959 in an area renowned for nuclear testing.A strange green glow surrounds the grey.