A hot night! and there will be many more as we head south. I woke at 3am to watch the mosquito’s dancing on the gauze in the vent above me. I spent some time thinking about the brilliant exchange between the service manager of the Land Rover agent and the parts manager, Illyich. I think I mentioned yesterday about watching a YouTube clip explaining how a fuel non-return valve can fail in an instant. So with the help of google translate we went over the possible causes of our problem and in the end they wanted to have the car for a day to investigate. No way I said, we are not going through this again for the 8th time. It would mean booking a hotel with prices sky high, as there was a game in town during the afternoon when we arrived, which Jen watched (Sweden beat Korea), while we discussed mechanical options.) My L.R. Workshop Manual did not display the valve, their one did and we agreed that this valve could be the offending part? With much interchange and banter they have ordered a genuine filter and this valve from Moscow, to be sent to Volgograd where we expect to be in about 10 days. The R8000 (NZ$200) will have been worth it, if it is the cause. I might ad, this has cost us plenty so far!! We are still awaiting the arrival of other parts sent from UK and going to St Petersburg. It is important we fix this, as the mountain passes we will face reach approx 4500m and any issue will be magnified.
An early start for us this morning. On the road at 10.15am stopping for lunch at a Lukoil service station, where we filled up with the best diesel this time and had lunch. Arriving in Kazan at 6pm and having covered around 272miles. The countryside is changing, slowly. For the first time we see signs of agriculture. Mainly grass for making hay but no sign of any farm animals. The roads are chock full of trucks going at different speeds and making the journey a difficult one. In 1970 we hardly saw a car and there were no trucks on the road expect the odd military one.
Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan but apart from some gaudy garments for sale at stalls on the roadside, there is little evidence so far that the city is anything but Russian. It seems the Russian government have invested millions to help suppress any growth in nationalism of the Tatar people, descendants of Genghis Khan.
On arriving here we quickly decided a hotel is the best option. Prices are ratcheted up for the football but they are still reasonable. Spain play Iran here in Kazan tomorrow evening. Great to see England beat Tunisia with two goals from Captain Kane. He is an impressive player and I think he will set a great example to his players.
Signing off for now.