18th August – Pskov to Jaroslavl

19 Aug

After two cooked meals yesterday afternoon and evening, and a big cooked breakfast followed by cake in the morning, we were sure that we would not starve on our way to Jaroslavl! Olga spoilt us right until the end! She even led us right onto the road to Novgorod checking on the way that we could manage the ‘pay first then fill system’. You actually have to put the nozzle in the tank first before you pay so that they know which pump you are on. It was nice to see the litres move so fast and the Roubles figure move so slowly!

We set off for the M10, and before we had joined the road we saw a policeman wave his batten at us to signal us to pull over. I wound down the window and said good morning to him and shook his hand. Marjool gave him her best smile and handed the documents as he asked for them. International driving license, V5 (registration doc) and green card. He was really friendly and even waved as we carried on. A nice man!

It was raining as we drove along the M10, which is more of a bumpy A road than a motorway. With the stream of lorries passing in both directions, some riding close to your tail, it is not our favourite type of driving. We amused ourselves listening to another episode of Lord of the Rings (thanks Dan and Ben!) and looking at the roadside stalls. The tea stalls are nice but they are right on the hard shoulder  and not easy to stop/park at unless you have nerves of steel!




The other stalls that were every few miles, sold huge cuddly toys, inflatable things of all sorts, water heaters, plastic garden gnomes in incredibly bright colours and all sorts of other items that you may need on your long drive! It must be a dangerous job as the stalls are only a couple of metres from the road.




Each time you get to a village it is split in half by the busy road. Its seems a shame because the houses are nice but the noise of thundering lorries going past must be really tiring. There are also no crash barriers to protect them.




One thing that we would like to recommend is the Garmin World Map. It just shows where you are relative to the main roads. It has saved us a few times taking the wrong route. It is non routable and so it does not guide you, but works well as a compass and a check of your map reading skills!



We thought that we were doing really well but just before (15km) we were due to turn off the M10 and go cross country on small roads, we hit a traffic jam …. sat in it for 2 hours before our exit came! Cars still overtook on both sides of us …. the hard shoulder became the inside lane even though it was full of potholes.




Turning off felt great! Suddenly we were on a quiet road with no traffic! We followed the road for about 10km and found a small side road that led of to a little village (30 people lived there). It was lovely and had a tiny church that had been recently built just for the village.



Within minutes we had some local children chatting to us in Russian and a lady and her daughter making us welcome. Showing us a bit of grass outside the house where we could camp. They also bought us apples and even asked if we were wanted to eat something! Amazing! We were still full from the meals with Olga and so had to decline. The village is surrounded with lakes, but no time to fish as we need to get to Jaroslavl. We’ll have to go back one day.




Tomorrow will be the second leg of the journey. All small roads we hope.


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