Day 23 Saturday 9th June, in a bush mosquito infested camp approx 680k’s from St Petersburg

A great night’s sleep. It’s heaven in our wagon.

Well, today is a very special day. It’s Georgia’s birthday. Georgia is one of our eight grandchildren. Georgia is a whole 10 today. She is a beautiful and very talented young lady. She is the daughter of my eldest daughter Deirdre and Vern, who live in Vancouver, Canada. Happy Birthday Georgia.

As we are talking about family, I have two other ‘children’. Steven who was married to Natsuki, and they have another gorgeous girl, Ruby Jean. Natsuki and Ruby live close to Nagano in Japan and Steven lives in Northern New South Wales , Australia. We are looking forward to visiting Natsuki and Ruby who is four, after we have put the Land Rover on a ship to Vancouver from Vladivostok, some time in September, we hope. Sarah and Tim also live in Canada. Sarah, my youngest left NZ after completing her hairdressing apprenticeship at 18 and ended up in the ski town of Whistler, where she met Tim, and there they live. Sarah and Tim have two gorgeous children, Charley, girl who is 6, turning 7 in a week or so and Jaxon, a real boy of four. Sarah and Tim have a serious camper, a 4X4 Mercedes Truck with a German built cabin on the back that is luxurious, compared to ours. They are planning a major South American expedition starting in January 2019.

This camp is ‘Mosquito City’. Because we have stopped a little later than we prefer, it’s 7pm. The main road is undergoing serious reconstruction for k’s on end and we still have about 680k’s to go to get to St Petersburg by Monday. The Land Rover agents there, called me today to see when we will be arriving. The caller could speak some English and they are looking forward to our arrival. They have diagnostics that will be able to asses our wagon and that will be great. Funny thing, it started immediately this morning, and after we stopped for lunch, but when we stopped for fuel, it wouldn’t start!!! We managed to crank it forward on the starter just enough to get a downhill run and crash start it. Whew!! We were not intending to go to St Petersburg as we have both been there before, however, we are looking forward to it as I have just completed reading a book called Three Hundred Years of Murderous Rule in St Petersburg, by Jonathan Miles, and our visit will be much more meaningful to us, as Jen will read it next. Mind you, it was called Leningrad when I was last there.

Well, Dennis hasn’t left me much to write about! I will just add a bit about the climate and scenery.
It is definitely getting a bit warmer. As the abundance of mosquitoes shows. We crossed out of the Arctic Circle late this morning and it was even sunny for a while. 16 degrees in the sun when we stopped for lunch. The scenery remains much the same. Lakes and forests, but the trees are getting taller. There is even a small amount of logging going on, although the main income in the area is from mining. Apatite is one of the minerals – I had never heard of it, but Google reveals it is phosphorous based and used mainly for fertiliser. I have been surprised by the lack of wildlife. No sign of anything. There are numerous road signs warning of leaping deer and there was a pile of poo, belonging to deer, of some sort, close to where we camped last night. So, there must be animals about. All I can report though, is a few large ants and a small brown butterfly, at our lunch stop. When we were setting up camp this evening, I thought I heard a cuckoo. Too cold and too far north? No, we heard it again later, definitely a cuckoo.

The E105 is pretty straight and boring. We came across an accident this afternoon. It appeared to involve just one vehicle, although there were a lot of others stopped to “help”. A large portion of the damaged car’s front was on the other side of a stream, while the rest had been recovered onto the road. It looked as if the driver may have fallen asleep and gone across the road and stream. Easy to do.

We’ve washed up and are listening to our iPod through a bluetooth speaker. We have an eclectic music collection over 2000 songs. From Fat Freddy’s Drop to Pavrotti. From Aussie outback ballads compliments of friend Neil, who we visited in Perth on the way back from the UK late last year, to Beethoven and Elvis..:). More about our visit to Neil in Perth later.  Remember this, ‘Half Safe’. Look for it in the ‘Links and Contacts’ section.

And it wouldn’t be proper to sign off without mentioning that the All Backs were victors over France today by 53 – 11. France were up 11 – 8 at half time.

The Kitchen

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  1. Remember to keep your wallet in a safe place in St Petersburg, not in your back pocket

    • Hi Ash, we in St P now and at the flash JLR showroom. Wagon being diagnosed as I write. Thanks for the tip. Agree.


  2. Who on earth are Fat Freddie’s Drop ? With a name like that i have to check them out. Congrats on your granddaughters birthday 🎂. You guys are certainly spread around the globe. Interested to here about your family in Vancouver as my dad was a Canadian from Saskatchewan but most of my relatives now live in Vancouver and on the island. Enjoyed the photo of kitchen, all mod cons. Have to admit All Blacks still in a class of their own, but i don’t expect NZ to win World Footie Cup 😉. Take care you guys, good luck with mechanical gremlins..

    • Hey! Mel, laughing…you have to be one of the “In” crowd to know these musicians…:). Jen said, no one in the world would know them. We enjoyed a week sailing in the Islands off Vancouver Island last year. Brilliant. Mel, Kiwis can fly, and so they say, can pigs, but don’t write the All Whites off for the next one..:) mmmmm! I have a feeling that today’s the day. Either they fix the wagon or we carry on regardless, as they say.

    • Hi Mel, tried writing to you but it has come back to me? Do you have a new one?


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