We had both seen scary YouTube videos of Russia driving, which we probably should not have looked at, but most seem to occur in winter. Over the course of the day we saw a number of actions that one could describe as “interesting”, but only three in all, and most Russian drivers seem quite courteous to motorbikes. The first incident must have involved a Russian driver from Melbourne, pull over to the right to let you pass and then indicate left and pull across in front of you. Melbourne drivers do this as the tram track run down the middle of the road. The second I describe as “Three into Two does go”. In Lithuania we saw cars and trucks travelling in both directions move as far to the right to create a third lane down the middle for overtaking. You then have to work out who goes first. In Russia you get two trucks side by side coming towards you, you just move over and no problem!
As we rode further east, the country changed from swamp and forest to forest and finally cultivated fields and then the occasional town. WiFi signs exist on hotels and cafes, but in each case so far, for us, they do not work.
Traffic builds as we approach Moscow, only seen one Traffic Police car all day, probably because it is Saturday. As we have a visa deadline to leave Russia and we have been to Moscow before, we have booked the Hilton Garden Inn at New Riga for a couple of nights. Seems to be in the middle of nowhere. We wanted a nice hotel for a couple of nights and being a Hilton Diamond member we get extras at no cost. Hard to find, but in its own forest and since we arrived on bikes we created some interest among the guests and will be in some people’s photo album. Time for a shower and dinner.
Tomorrow will be filled with our usual domestic duties: bike checks, laundry, emails, banking, software updates. No more news from us until we get to Samara in 3 days time.