Goodbye Stanley

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

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Flag of Russia  , Far East Russia,
Thursday, May 5, 2011

Op early because we had to meet Silver Wind so we could take the car to the port. They led us through the traffic, which at 8.00 in the morning wasnt too bad. No police to stop us on the way, I guess they are too fast asleep to do anything before they've had lunch!

Got to the dock, handed over the car with instructions on how Anton was to drive it, and said goodbye.

Took the bus back into town, spent a bit of time at the hotel, booked flights home for Saturday. Now that we are carless, theres no point in hanging around. Everything we  do, we do for Stanley.

Got a call from Ilene from Silver Wind, one of the docum ents we had they require the original, not the copy they took. So we meet up with her, hand over the document and she tells us that there is a problem. The boxes in the car are described as Personal Effects, and the US authorities wont accept that. So we change the description to Car parts and tools, and Sleeping bags and tents. Should be OK now.

Went for a long walk into town. Went into GUM, the State department store. Wanted to buy Russian dolls for Martin and a hat for me/Fiona. Prices are outrageous! Everything we lok at is over priced. Sandals for men at 100. Dolls were 40 for a smalll set. How can they sell any? It doesnt appear that the locals are wealthy. Had lunch from a street vendor - 2 kebab types things and 2 slices of bread each. Decide that our wives would kill us if they knew what we were eating, if the food didnt do it first!

Walked along the sea front. Everywhere is being worked on, the roads are all up, the pavements are being destroyed or rebuilt, depending on your point of view, the sea front is a building site. But there is very little work actually being done, most of the labourers are standing looking and talking. Apparently its all for the Asia conference next year, but if there is a plan, there;'s no sign of it or anyone knowing what it is. Lots of things are left in a state of being started but no more.
Even along the sea front, the buildings are half done, a few workmen, but not doing much and not enough to achieve anything.
Along with the weather, cloudy, and the fog.smog/what you will, its quite a depressing place. Cant wait to get out of here and back home.

One bright point, I noticed an arrayu of anti aircraft type weapons on a hill, so insisted we go and see them. There's a museum up there, with a wide range of submarine, tank etc guns, and in one of the bunkers theres a huge museum with details of all sorts of weapons, from early Japanese right through to WW2

Anyway, back to the hotel to write postcards, and relax. We'll be home before the postcards (if they ever arrive, unlike the Baku ones).

Martin's moments:
It comes to something when a visit to an array of aged armmaments represents a bright point.I do have to humour the boy at times.God knows why this place is worth defending.It couldn't be in a worse state if it had suffered an attack Nobody is working on anything in any significant numbers.Still I'm pleased to be here - when you consider  the alternative.Its pretty cold here as it seems to be for most of the year except for three months culminating in September when it reaches the dizzy heigts of 12-15.Roger is given to talking about a nip in the air but I have mentioned our location makes such loose talk unfortunate.
So we're booked for home flights via Moscow on Saturday,arriving at 10 p.m. if on time.Will make it difficult to get home by public transport.Alison has said she will come to get us - hopefully will bring someone along .

But before I forget let us finish the saga:

By which I imply you are going to die
Mr Ivan Petrovski Skivar

Then the brave Marmaduke drew his trusty skilbouk
Crying "Allah,il Allah!Allah!"
And on slaughter intent,he ferociously went
For Ivan Petrovski Skivar

On a stone by the banks where the Danube doth roll,
Inscribed in characters clear,
Is "Stranger,remember to pray for the soul
Of Abdullah Bul Bul Ameer"

A Muscovite maiden her sad vigil keeps
In her home by the cold Northern Star
And the name that she murmurs in vain as she weeps,
Is Ivan Petrovski Skivar

So here dear reader our tale ends.I remember a highly underrated singer on the radio during my formative years who sang the ditty and I was fond oi at the time.I think it was Clinton Ford (or was he the one that sang "Why do you want to make those eyes at me for").Its all a blur now.

We were saying today that we had lost sight of the news but then realised that of course you do not need it..

So the last of the heroes on this trip has been Roger.But not the least.Steadfast and unwavering he has been an absolute rock and the fact that I can bellow at him all day and he doesn't  take a blind bit of notice is an added advantage.I could not have wanted for a better or more supportive companion and knew I had made the right choice as soon as the selection process was over.Only Roger could start querying the costs of towing Stanley (with us on board) across a fast running river after we had made it to the other side.He got the price he had expected and then gave the bloke a tip for his it me?Thank yoiu Roger.

Stanley is waiting for America,we're waiting to go home and there is work to be done between now and when we are reunited.Is it truly around the world? The nearer you get to the top or the bottom of the globe,the quicker the journey in theory.I guess it is probaby one of the longer land journeys,if you stick within certain latitudes.Now if you started talkiing about up and down. I suspect it would be a different story We arrived in Vlad in 52 days -should be try to complete in 80 days?

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Barbara Goss on

Now are you going to stop writing for a while? How am I going to survive without my daily dose of your trials and triumphs?

Simon Stephen on

Have a safe trip home!

Jesmary on

Wouldn't it be great if as many people as possible, who have been reading the blog, posted a comment so you could see how many followers you have had and from how many countries they come. Come on bloggers, do your stuff, say hello/goodbye!

Andy and May on

Cool guys, you sure had a time!
Be sad not to be able to read of your trials any more.
Safe home.

David on

Хорошо сделанный вы оба и вот к следующему приключению!

Pats Sampson on

Thank you Roger & Martin for allowing me to virtually travel through your travails! Interesting to gain an insight of that vast area & it's inhabitants without having to leave the comfort of my armchair! (In Gabs, Botswana!)

Martin and Krzysia on

Well done guys! Can't believe you actually got through all the red tape to reach Vlad. Have a good trip home. Krzysia

Caroline Butler on

praise the lord, your journey's almost over. you must come round and entertain us with the censored bits. congratulations to the three of you caroline and george

Polly on

There are thunder storms forecasted for your return. Just to make you feel at home. The two things we have been praying for

phil sparks on

Hi Martin / Roger

Martin, we have never met but had we done so before you set off on your journey I could have filled you in on those little things you have so painfully found out during your time together about my old freind, Roger. You have my deepest sympathies!

Well done on your trip to date, I guess you are looking forward to being home again soon.

Roger, I am glad to hear from Martins comments that you are still the same old pragmatic Roger I have know for these years. Perhaps we will meet again soon.

PS. I still hold the record at J&S! M Chown has departed and as yet has not re-appeared.

Sara on

told Isaac you were coming home on the weekend today, he got a bit confused (we were pushing bethan's shelves into the the other room as the small girl moved into the big room today) and asked if you had finished your adventure and if you fed up with driving- difficult questions- may leave to Gramps to discuss the finer points of adventuring with Gramps.
And we don't want to say goodbye to skype just because you're in the next village!! much better seeing and talking as far as juniors 1 and 2 are concerned.

We're very, very proud of your achievement and the courage and tenacity you both showed. All quite overwhelming when seen as a whole, think the daily blog has made the hardships and strange experiences seem very humerous, when I'm sure the reality was at times agony. I'm so glad you're nearly home.

Shelagh on

Very traumatic, I'm sure, saying a (temporary) goodbye to faithful workhorse, Stanley. It's hard to believe you are within hours of getting home; I wonder how long it will take to come down to earth after of all the meticulous planning of the last year plus, and the adventures of the last 2 months. Have a safe trip home and enjoy the comforts we all take for granted! Looking forward to installment # 2. Congrats on a crazy and successful adventure! K and S

Fiona on

Glad youre thinking of me Dad, I'm thinking of you!
Have you been getting my txts? Cos I've sent them, but you don't sound like youve got them :(
Very much looking forward to seeing you tomorrow,

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