We woke to a glorious morning. All the clothes washed in Moscow, and stored in plastic bags, dried on the line, overnight.
Last night we spoke with another camper, Jorg, (pronounced Yorg), an amiable German and fellow Land Rover owner, about TD5’s. He has a newer TD4 with a Ford engine. Also a TD5 at home that has been retired. We have noticed over the years, bumping into the odd German, how very different the Eastern Germans are. None of the bumptious arrogance of the Western ones. Anyway, Jorg piqued my interest in getting to the bottom of this starting problem and suggested looking on the Net. A search on YouTube came up with a Dutch chap talking about how one minute the thing is going perfectly and next, it is difficult to start. Sound familiar? It seems there is another minute filter/valve that stops fuel draining from the engine…..mmmm. So, next major town with a LR distributor, I will try and source another one. This morning it started nearly perfectly!!!!! One thing is for sure, these TD5’s are very technical. Fortunately I have a full Workshop manual loaded on the iMac and have been studying it. Because of the lack of a suitable workshop, and the time while in England, I have relied on expert mechanical knowledge to do the repairs and fitting. This has meant I have had very little knowledge about the things that can go wrong and how to fix them.
Jorge very kindly, with the help of our map, provided us with additional information of the ‘Stans. The road conditions, police “expectations”, where to buy fuel and when and how long to allow for certain road sections. It sounds like our Outback Australia experience is going come in very handy. Bring it on..:) There is that feeling that the trip is just starting today. What we have done till now is only a preliminary. I’m excited.
Jen taking over now. Spent the morning exploring Suzdal. Brother Ash had recommended us to visit. Absolutely beautiful! As yet unspoiled, although their tourist industry is developing with the old buildings being converted to boutique accommodation, cafes and restaurants. We could wander around the traffic less streets and saw just a few other Japanese and Russian tourists. Am glad we have come now and not in a few year’s time. The elders of Suzdal failed to get the Trans Siberian railway to come to their town. Vladimir, 35kms away, was successful instead. This meant the world passed by Suzdal and it remained an unspoiled backwater. Originally a capital city when Moscow was just a cluster of farm buildings.
The Kremlin (means citadel) has been beautifully restored. We wandered through its Cathedral, other churches and museum and climbed the exterior walls. The early 1600’s silver filigree jewellery, much interspersed with semi precious stones, and the gold and silver threaded embroidery in the museum were spectacular. There are architectural delights scattered all over the village, through which a lazy river flows, flanked by wild flower meadows. Idyllic!
Much as we would have like to continue wandering, we needed to get on the road to Niznij Novgorod. This proved to be another straight, rather boring road. We made reasonable progress though, despite the numerous small villages and trucks. In the rural areas the roadsides and fields were deep purple with lupins.
As I write, we are once again in a Land Rover garage in Niznij Novgorod and it is getting late. Dennis, with the assistance of Google Translate, is discussing filters and valves! I have just looked at hotel prices for the night. They are ASTRONOMICAL. Sweden has just beaten Korea in the stadium here this afternoon. Not a good time to be here!
We drive on out of the city, fifth biggest in Russia, and found a pice of waste ground to camp for the night at about at 8.30pm.
A hurried camp set up and dinner and ready for bed at 10.15pm. Goodnight..:)