WE'RE HERE IN VLADIVOSTOK!!!!!!!!
Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
109Trip End Dec 15, 2011
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Martin's maritime moment (or have I done that before?):
Well we made it! We thought today would be a smooth and cheerful run in to Vlad.For about 50km it turned out to be one of the worst bits of road we can remember - but then neither of us can remember much about anything.We then arrived in the city and like UB it consists of one main drag through the centre of town on to which traffic intersects from left and right.I reckon it took two hours to drive through the city.
Still we got here.
I read around the subject a lot as we prepared for the trip and I reckon we have just completed one of the longest unsupported drives by a pre-war car.Just under 11000 miles.And all in one pair of shoes.Remarkable.
Roger will no doubt explain the saga of the hotel rooms in his blow by blow account buts its the first time I've viewed 5 rooms and occupied 3 before choosing 1.
So tomorrow its off to sort out Stanley's next adventure and then get ourselves sorted for getting home.
Seems a bit mundane,writing postcards and sorting bags,but the enormity of the last 7 weeks probably hasn't sunk in yet.We must have been mad.
We think we'll run the blog up to the point of our departure from Vlad. and so these will not be our last entries.
I'm writing this looking out of a hotel bedroom on the open sea.There's a 3 tier diving board into the greyest,coldest water you could imagine.I guess some people do that - its amazing what people will do.I've jumped off a few diving boards in my time in the hope that there's sufficient water waiting for me.This has been one of the longest ways down and yes,the water was deep enough.
I'm a bit deflated at the moment (like the schoolboy in the inflatable school with a pin-you've let yourself down,the school down etc..Couldn't resist it) but I guess I'll be pumped up again soon.
Well, we left the hotel early this morning as they only serve breakfast from 9.00 am. 9.00! The days almost over by then! But if it is a sanitorium, then amybe that explains it. Anyway, we were all intact in the morning, soo they werent doint transplants today, obviously.
Had a comparatively short drive today, and there isnt that much to report. By now the road has become a bit boring, afetr about 2500km what more can one say? Well, there was a lot more greenery alongside the road, obviously spring comes earlier here at lower altitudes, and further south than before
Got into the Vladivostok enviroinment and the road deteriorated badly. They are building a major highway into the city, so everything is detour and they dont look after the detours. Mud and potholes everywhere. no lane control. No idea why they are building a decent entry system, the traffic all goes down one road and therefoire bringing it in faster wont improve anything. We took about 2 hours just to get into the city.. Traffic police just stand and watch the traffic piling into an intesection without any hope of getting out again. Chaos!
Got to the hotel, went up to the room. Decided we'd try for a sea facing room, which Martin managed to organise without paying the extra. Got into it and dscovered that the door wouldnt open to let us out. Spent about 20 minutres trying to convince reception that there was something wrong and that we did actually have a problem. Eventually they forced the door open. Gioven another room, which stank of cigarette smoke. They told us it was a non smoking room, sso I suggested that the previous resident didnt obey their rules, So they admitted that there are no non smoting rooms, and gave me 2 more keys for me to take my pick
While Martin showered, I took a much needed walk (stride) into the town and back. It really is quite badly maintained - the sidewalks are all unedr water (it was raining) because there is a kerb between them and the road which prevents the water from draining off. All badly amintained so there are potholes in the sidewalks as well as the roads.
Looked for a hat for Fiona, she'd requested one form mongolia which I never managed to sort. Best I could do is 8200 roubles - over £200. So sorry, Fiona, no go!
Got back, had dinner, which wa svery pleasant. NNice to know that its all over bar the sorting out the details for the return, ours and Stanleys. Thats tomorrows task, so after the photos are up, I'm off to sleep. Bye!