Saturday, 10 September 2011

Leaving Astrakhan

Friday 2nd September. Sergei the driver turned up at our hotel early yesterday morning to guide us through the streets of Astrakhan back to the roundabout where I stopped riding. I saddled up Bolashak and set off through Astrakhan, with Sergei continuing to act as a guide which was most welcome. Below is Bolashak negotiating one of the two long bridges over the Volga river. I only saw one boatman.
Sergei saw us onto the road to Elista before leaving.

The sign for the chaikhana where we stopped for borsch at midday says something along the lines of Welcome to our Rest Stop. Quite what the relevance of the bear is I am uncertain but the proprietoress was certainly not one. She was in fact most excited as she recognised me as a star of Astrakhan TV and we had to pose for photos. What it is to be a celebrity. From here on I came into a beautiful steppe region dotted with stunning blue lakes fringed with waving green rushes and teeming with birdlife.

Lotsa pititsa. If you are a fan of Clockwork Orange, you no doubt know that the slang used is actually Russian - so you should understand what this refers to. I would be slightly wary of using this picnic site.

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