Sokrat, our Land Rover Technician here in St Petersburg had put the Land Rover up on an amazing hoist (when you are an expert on hoists..) and was showing me the oil leaks from various places. They are now fixing an oil leak from the fuel regulator at the back of the engine, which has been dripping oil everywhere. There are so many other things that need checking on such a journey. Paying attention to oil leaks is vital, as if left unchecked, can lead to gearbox and other seizures, etc. Again, unbelievable service at this establishment. Sokrat came in to meet us on arrival the the garage despite being on his day off.
Well folks, do you want the good news first, or the bad? The fact is, we are back on the road, the bad news is, nothing has changed. What we have done, is eliminate another component as being faulty. Sigh. Sokrat assures us that the injectors are not leaking, but air is entering the system, still. It can only be through the fuel filter housing? That’s the only area that was changed in the UK.
So, with the wonderful help the LR agents have given us in St Petersburg they have now given us an introduction and a contact with the agents in Moscow, where we are headed. We are about 140k’s south east of St Petersburg and camping for the night down a small track, off the main road and beside an old derelict factory. We are about 600m from the main road but only 40m from the railway. Have been here an hour or so and only a Railcar has come through but as I write I can hear another coming!!. We are still about 580ks from Moscow, and hope to get there by tomorrow evening.
Jen will tell you about the stop we made 25k’s south of the city.
I think we told you earlier in the blog, it was not our intention to visit St Petersburg, yet alone spend 3 days there! I won”t say anything about the LR, just that I have fallen out of love with her. This afternoon we made a whistle stop tour of Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin). This was on our original itinerary. An amazing array of palaces and ornate buildings. The last Tsar, Nicholas and his wife, Alexandra, spent a lot of time here hiding their haemophiliac son, the Tsarovich, Nikolai, from society. They were anxious, as heir to the Romanov dynasty, he should not be seen to be weak and sickly. Little did they know of the gruesome end they would all face in the future in Yekaterinburg. A quick 2 hours walking around the amazing park and exteriors of the stunning buildings.
The Catherine Palace is just immense. Unbelievably extravagant. Of course, summer is peak visitor time and the queues to get in were just horrendous.
We will come back to St Petersburg to spend more time at the Hermitage and Pushkin, another time, off season, and spend a few days seeing everything properly.
I get upset when wherever we go in the world is overrun with tourists. Incongruous really when I spent 40 years in the travel and tourism industry promoting tourism. Perhaps this trip for me is an attempt to go back to how things were when I backpacked around Yugoslavia, the Greek Islands and Turkey in the late 1960’s. Sadly, I don’t think that’s possible. It’s now becoming the case that places are having to think of quotas, or controlling numbers by price, in an attempt to limit the affects of tourism on the local population. But, we will continue!