Roads, boredom and the Kamkaz

Posted by on 29, Jul 2010 in 2010 - The Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Europe, Russia

Roads, boredom and the Kamkaz

We’re now half way in our three day drive to Moscow and today the scenery has gone from long straight roads with the odd bend and fields full of Sunflowers and wheat with trees interspersed to trees interspersed with fields full of wheat and sunflowers with the odd bend on long straight roads!

The roads in the morning were pretty poor and we bumped along losing one speaker, some interior trim, 2 broken shelves in the fridge and the hose for the windscreen washer along the route to vibration damage. Its not so much one bang that does it its more attritional. So at lunch we stopped for repairs and found the afternoon roads much better. One thing that never changes on the roads here is the ubiquitous Kamkaz truck. These dinosaurs of the road are a product of the great Soviet Manufacturing Industry and consequently look like they are made from the leftovers of a large Airfix kit , badly I might add, and have a flat out speed of around that of a cyclist, empty. Load them with watermelons (as almost every truck is) and give the truck even the slightest hint of a hill – a signpost will do – and the engine starts to belch out smoke that a destroyer would be proud of and its speed drops to that of a granny on a bike. It would probably double the speed if the exhaust pointed backwards with the amount of fumes that come out of it at the speed of a jet engine. It must take them a week to get to Moscow – if they ever make it, we passed 63 broken down vehicles today, one every 5kms.

Moscow tomorrow!

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