East to Russia

Our day started later than planned with a visit to BMW Riga, where the very helpful staff fixed the wheel alignment problem discovered the day before, checked the bike to make sure everything was ok, at no charge, while we enjoyed relaxing in their coffee lounge. Our route then took us on the E22 which is the European road designation to Moscow, so easy to follow. A pleasant ride took us to the Lithuanian border around 3:40pm where we joined a queue to enter Latvian customs and immigration of some 25 cars and 4 british guys on bikes heading to Vladivostok. They were about 20 cars ahead of us and had been there for two hours! Two hours later they were headed back to Latvia, with missing paperwork and we had progressed about 10 vehicles. At what is normally a fairly quick crossing point, the volume of tourists and the required paperwork to be completed had blown out the crossing times. Portable toilets provided along the roadside should have given us an indication of possible delays. Still, at 11:30 pm Russian time and after seven hours of chatting, Anne even had whole conversations in German, making new acquaintances, thinking about setting up the tent and other adventures, we finally rode into Russia. The crossing process and tips is covered in more detail in the visas and admin section.

Too late to buy our Russian third party insurance, but still dusk, and with the help of the local policeman and others, the only 24 hour motel was identified across the road from the first petrol station. While still light at 11:30 at night we did not wish to try to find a place to pitch the tent. Very basic motel, our room probably visited by the local cat, but after 7 hours on our feet queuing, sleep beckoned.

– Anthony

We saw so many stork nests, from Poland to Latvia

We saw so many stork nests, from Poland to Latvia

Little did we know when we arrived 25th in line in the Latvia/Russia border that it would take us 7 hours to get through

Little did we know when we arrived 25th in line in the Latvia/Russia border that it would take us 7 hours to get through


We are now in no-man's-land, having just left Latvia after 5 hours queuing and waiting to get to the Russian border.  Anthony is very good at getting 10' snoozes and recharging his batteries.

We are now in no-man’s-land, having just left Latvia after 5 hours queuing and waiting to get to the Russian border. Anthony is very good at getting 10′ snoozes and recharging his batteries.

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