And into Russia

Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hotel Rus

Flag of Russia  , Siberia,
Saturday, April 16, 2011

Set off from Semey after the usual checks.
Got to the border and went through Kazak exit, which involved the usual load of checking and questions. Never understand just what they are looking for. Eventually got through.
Went to the queue for Russia, which wasnt moving, and we were told that the queue would be for 5 hours. No explanation. So we started putting the head lamp guards back on. Of course, after an hour, the queue suddenly starts moving! We pack everything away, and just as we start off, down comes the barrier!
Anyway, the wait after that wasnt tooo long, and eventually we got to be processed. Went through all the immigration formalities, then to Customs, who wanted the Kazak customs declaration. We told them that it was taken by the Kazak customs, and they said we should have kept it as Kazak and Russia are in some sort of federation. Big problem, cant get in without it. Eventually one of the Russian guys escorted us back to the border, where a Kazak guy was summoned and he took us back to the Kazak Customs. One woman insisted that she had only copied the form,  so we went to the guy who had processed the rest of the documents. He'd gone off duty, and his replacement looked for the form and couldnt find it. So we asked if we could have a copy of her copy, which they did, and stamped it to make it official.
Back to Russia, processed with the copy form, back into the car, and there the missing form was, in the door pocket all along!!!

Into Russia for real, and driving along quite a good road. Got to Rubtsovsk, the first main town. The road disintegrates into a bad excuse for a track! What a run down place this is, it looks like the recession hit it years ago, and took everything with it. Nothing is maintained, it all looks dirty and discheveled.
Eventually get onto a decent road that runs parallel to the one we were on, but never found a link between them.
Continue to Aleysk, where the sat nav says there is a guesthouse. We go there and all we can find is a warehouse. No go. Must have closed down. Set off for Barnaul.
On the way we are flagged down and told a tyre is flat. Pull over and sure enough it is. Just so happens that where we are is right next to a tyre repair guy!
So we change the tyre, get the tube repaired for a spare, and off again. Having entertained about 100 passers by and one of whom spoke good english and bought us a slab of chocolate as a gift!
Get to our chosen hotel, its full! They recommend this place. Do they have wifi? Yes. Does it work? No. So will post this when we can

Mileage 460km and the clocks went forward one hour when we crossed the border, so its gone midnight, again!

Martin's motoring moments:
We have made good progress but I fear at a cost to the car.These patches of poor roads take a terrible toll.Whilst you fear but cannot always avoid the large potholes,the continuous drumming and vibration of a lengthy rough road can undo all sorts of things.I just have feeling car is vulnerable at present.
I meant to tell you that when we stopped off at truckers stop the other day and Roger took pictures of them lying down Roman-style to eat,there was a cooking programme on ever-present telly.They were boiling - Brussel sprouts!.And the select audience were asking obviously deep and meaningful questions.Difficult to know which country or even part of one of the bigger ones it came from.
So its been very hot for over a week and quite tiring driving.Today (its Sunday morning) we find ourselves 6 hours ahead of UK and are approaching day a bit tentatively.There is no longer an obvious target for us to reach and we have to decide whether to stay in Russia this first time for a second night or bang on.I'd go for former.It has been raining overnight and is certainly cooler this morning although air is heavy.
So - a nail straight through tyre and we are driving on repaired tube,but should be OK.Was a bit of a sweat to get tyres changed round at end of day - its  late,we are tired and things are just that bit more dificult.I find myself completely bushed in evening until I know I've got a bed for the night and can sit down to a meal.Feel quite refreshed than and OK for an hour or so before sleep.

Hang on:

For infidel,know you have trod on the toe
Of Abdullah Bul Bul Ameer

Sounds ominous.

I suspect internet connection will be uncertain in next few days,but we will keep posting up this drivel.Who knows what use students of ageing motorists will make of it in the future.

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Trevor on

Happy Easter

Jane on

Welcome back online, was beginning to think you had been whisked off to Siberian salt mines! :)

david on

good to hear its all going well. I checked out some google satelite shots of where you guys are at present. I think I saw that wharehouse roger! ...being that it was the only building I could see for about 1000 miles! Very mountainous and quite impressive. Am busy putting back down a patio I took up last week (which had been laid badly) I wouldn't mind so much but I pretty sure its going back down worse!!. The person who told me that was a good job I could do over easter is enjoying the sun with the children on a picnic trip.......hmmm. And as its easter, you might enjoy some eggs tomorrow. ( ;-)Travel safe and its good to hear from you guys again.

Alison on

Glad to hear you are back with us again, seems an age since we last heard from you.Weather here is like mid-summer, what will mid-summer be like? Have been busy with flowers for Easter and Seamus was asking where you will be spending Easter.He`s hoping you get some input.Emily and I will fly the flag tomorrow.Hope to speak soon

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