Sunday, May 6, 2012

One hell of a crazy ride (for a sissy westerner)

Well after an all too short time in St Petersburg it was time to start making our way South to Moscow. As the expected travel time was about 10 hours we decided to break it up into 2 days ride. Stopping the first night at Veliky Novgorod before riding to Moscow the next day.

I had expected the driving in Russia to be a little different than what I was used to and that maybe Russian drivers were a little more liberal in their road manners than what I was perhaps used to.

Starting out I thought I will just keep right as much as possible and make sure I don't get in anyones way as try to navigate my way to the M10 highway.

So with this in mind I kept just out of the parking lane, when a car passed me down the right in the parking lane! That was the first of many scares I would have during the next two days. Car passing on both sides with inches of me and at speed! On coming cars and trucks using half my lane to pass other cars. Cars using all available space when there were traffic jams. Every time I relaxed it was another big scare, you have to be highly vigilant every moment, quite tiring!

Finally after 2 days we made it our Hostel at about 9:30 at night. Riding Moscow streets well after dark.

10 km long traffic jams, on the bike I ended up down the verge much of the time just to keep moving.

Our hotel in Veliky Novgorod.

Night time view over the Veliky Novgorod Kremlin.

There was many of these old houses in the villages along the highway, this quite a nice one compared to many others. There is much poverty outside the large Russian cites. People who live in these villages farm their gardens in the good times to grow food for the winter, very much a subsistence existence, there are many little food stalls along the highway. Selling hot and preserved food.

Lots of Russian Orthodox Churches everywhere this is a less spectacular example.

Finally! We have arrived at our accommodation!

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