End of the Amur Highway

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

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Where I stayed
Intouurist Hotel

Flag of Russia  , Far East Russia,
Sunday, May 1, 2011

Set off at 8am after a cold night. Not as bad as the previous episode. but the inability to move around sitting in the car prevents circulation. Martin had to contend with the steering wheel, which made his worse.

Stopped for breakfast, only to discover that we have lost yet another hour! Where are they all going to? Not a particularly eventful day, rooad good mainly, subject to potholes which can spring up without warning. Some are particularly bad, about a foot high and 6 inches deep, right across the road. Others are just nuisance, but will grow if not checked.

Aimed for the hotel as per the sat nav and the guide book - closed! Recommended the Intourist, which seems quite a nice place. Hot showers wifi (charged for!), so we've showeded the past few days dirt off, and now we are ready for anything!

Mileage 340km

Martin's lost moment:
I'm writing this on Sunday but thought all day that it was Saturday.So apart from it being May 1 (a day to be in Russia!),I'll explain what's happened.As Roger will no doubt explain when he puts his header in to the system,we could find no accommodation at all yesterday,not even a suitable camping spot so we pulled in to a layby and slept in the car all night.Again very cold and somewhat cramped but we prepared ourselves better for it.Still had frozen feet until lunchtime.So we drove a record distance yesterday,nearly 700kms but sadly not all towards Vladivostok.We got up early,already dressed and set off hoping,as we did, to knock off the distance to Kabarovsk.We have arrived mid-safternoon Sunday and therefore completed the rather boring Amur highway in four days.We are two days drive from Vladivostok and holding ourselves and Stanley together.We are a bit bushed to say the least and Stanley is showing signs of delapidation.R.H. indicator has packed up now - I think it is to do with steering wheel control.Cannot think about undoing that lot!.

So now we have to start preparing ourselves for what needs to be done in Vladivostok which includes thinking about what the car will need for the American leg.Work will need to be done and the issue is who and when.Roger is thoughtfully thinking of going to States to see car safely as far as Karl and Shelagh's but we'll have to give it a thorough going over before next part of journey.
Perhaps Roger doesbn't feel it so much but I carry this fear that something will prevent us just tucking away this last instalment.

I've just checked out next lines in our saga and don't want to put them down on page yet its getting a bit ominous and I don't want any dark clouds thank you.So keep up the thinking - 48 hrs and we should be at the seaside.

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Chris and Elaine on

Excellent news this morning to hear you have made such good progress. Wishing the three of you the best of luck for the last few days.

Lorraine on

Will be thinking of you all and holding our thumbs that Stanley holds himself together!! Good luck!!!

Jemma on

Nearly there guys. You have done so well and at least you don't have the visa issue in vlad due to your great time.
Have sent text to Roger in regards to accomoodation but they seem to be filling up fast. Am happy to book anything this end if easier with the internet access. Will email you my findings too....Will also try and get hold of Bill for an English speaking representative at SW.
This weekend I have learnt how to negotiate with a 2 year old to prevent tantrums.......Mmmmm intriguing.
Look after yourselves......oh Mum just cut me off skype because you were ringing!!!!

Peter & Sue on

Pleased you have almost made it - an unbelievable experience. Coming back to the UK will probably seem a bit boring after all your adventures. Good luck for the next 48 hrs.

Alison and Emily on

Sorry for cutting you off Jemma, you know your place ;)
Nice to speak to you Martin, we'll get the penguins in for your return.
Looking forward to the photos, enjoy the next couple of days.

Pats Sampson on

Really hope you're saving the records of this trek for the LONELY Planet Guide!? Thank goodness for Skype. Wifi & Garmin, reading your blog shows just how huge & deserted (relatively) that part of the world is. Sending you good cheer from Botswana :)

Polly on

Keep going dad and Roger. I hope the little quizzes on the back of the penguin wrappers are keeping you amused.

David on

Im sure you are not allowed to eat penguins in the UK!! so get a few done over there while you have the chance!!
However, you boys are a real success story. What ever happens - I have every faith in a successful completion. To have done what you have done so far in itself is amazing. I was saying to Alison yesterday afternoon at Tims house warming party, there are very few people who would have shown the resilience you two have. Negotiating with so many different types of people and getting the things done that you have and working through the difficulties you have. My hats off to you both really.... You will be planning the next trip before you know it.
I'm sure stanley will hold it together, having come so far. We all know how tough these old cars were built in the day. Like you say, gently does it and with caution is the way togo now.
I have really missed the photos from the last few blogs but I'm sure you have lots to show when you get back. Drive safe and keep positive.

Janet & Dave Parsons on

Just caught up with you again. Can't believe all that has happened since the last time I looked. Everything is crossed for the last leg of this part of adventure. I can feel your exhaustion coming off the page! Just to make you feel really good we are off to Paris by Eurostar for a few days!

Barbara Goss on

You have made fantastic progress! Nearly there.... then surely you deserve a rest.

Sara on

reading a week's worth of blog is so much better than preparing a lesson on muscle sliding filament theory! would you prefer some club bars or even splash out on a viscount when you come home??
small people and i watched most of the wedding, was very difficult to explain the British monarcy to a 3 year old- anyone got any toddler friendly explanation?- tv coverage was 8am till evening- just looking a the buck palace facade for much of the afternoon- good to see a classic aston martin involved with Wills at the wheel.
hope the tarmac is staying smooth, the scenery inviting and the locals friendly but not too friendly for the rest of the trip.
Bank holidays are great- nearly finished decorating Bethan's new room.

daniel on

excellent work, nearly there, don't forget, no ice creams before 4 in the afternoon, even if you are starving

Dave Palmer on

Martin, Roger, your blog has become a major priority to me now, so if I can help from this distance please ask by any means. I, above all need you to achieve the goal and will have private celebration when you achieve this, which ,of course, you WILL!

Tim on

Nearly there. Slow and sure wins the race..
Well done for getting this far, we are all rooting for you.

Mike Horgan on

What's the saying-"The last mile is always the longest" Hope it is the shortest and Vladivostock is just round the corner. Best of luck for the next two days. nice to know though you've finally joined the boy scouts and camped. So the tent was used afterall. I hope you did a risk assessment.

Mary R on

I turn my back for 5 seconds again and look what happens - you're nearly home! That'll teach us to go to Scotland. The bagpipes were nearly the end of me, or at the very least my sense of humour. We can't wait to have you back and hope all the arrangements with the car at the last leg go well - you will get it done! Boil hopefully on its last legs for all those who enjoyed my last comment...xxx

Dave M on

Greatly enjoying your adventure of a lifetime - sounds incredibly tough, hats off to a fantastic achievement! Stanley also coping brilliantly considering the mileage and terrain, and who needs indicators anyway!!

lizandcharles on

Well done you three! Fantastic news that you have achieved so much and all on a Penguin with an occasional partly fried egg! What a diet! Your daily stories are absolutely fascinating to read and we look forward to seeing some photos. We are all rooting for you here so do take extra care over the next two days and we will certainly celebrate your safe arrival!

Ryan - The Prebend Day Centre on

Well done to you both!

Thank you for sharing your 'Bill (Martin) and Ted's (Roger) Excellent Adventure' with us all back here - one of the highlights of my day and it has even taken priority over my independent web news read!

Sorry Roger not to have left any comments previously... but where does the time go!? There is never enough hours in the day. :)

Wishing you both continued madness and insanity on your fab journey.

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