As Dennis mentioned, some sort of animal disturbed us last night. He is convinced it was a bear. I think it was probably something smaller. A stray dog or a wild pig. Whatever it was, it was a nuisance and resulted in another restless night.
A tiring day on the road today. Obviously more traffic as we approached the city.
I made a reservation via booking.com for an apartment for tonight. On arrival the lady on duty didn’t speak a word of English. Another resident overheard me trying to communicate. There seemed to be a problem, so the lady who had come to our assistance, called the number given in the booking confirmation. It transpired that the apartment was already booked and we had beeen offered an alternative. Booking.com had emailed me, but I had not looked at my emails. Anyway, a man turned up to take us to the alternative apartment. It was a good 10 minute drive away. I asked if it had parking and was told yes. The parking was some distance away as the apartment block was up 3 flights of steps. A really run down Soviet era block. Not very prepossessing. The entrance was seriously scruffy, but we have been in other buildings where this has been the case and then inside is much smarter. The apartment is on the 10th floor. The lift is new at least. The apartment is rather basic. If it were not so late and we weren’t so shattered, we would probably have looked for somewhere else, but it will do for one night.
Along the route today we passed through many small villages. In front of almost every house is a stall of some description selling home grown fruit and veggies, even bunches of flowers. Sometimes plastic bottles filled with honey too. Old ladies are sitting reading a book, or knitting waiting for a sale. Old men sit on an upturned bucket chatting, or smoking a cigarette. Even whole families sit by the roadside waiting for customers. An indication, I would think, that there is a serious need here. Especially when an old lady is sitting for hours trying to sell a single bottle of milk, or young girls and boys are trying to sell bags of mushrooms they have picked in the woods.
Vladivostok looks a booming and interesting city. It will be good exercise if we walk around it as it is really hilly. It is supposed to be Russia’s answer to San Francisco, with the Russky Bridge, rivalling the Golden Gate Bridge. The Russky bridge spans 3,622 feet (1,104m). It is the longest cable stayed bridge in the world. Apparently something of a white elephant, being severely underused. It was completed in 2012 at a cost of USD1.1 billion.
Tomorrow we will have to find some other accommodation. First, though, we hope to visit the shiping agent to find out when we can get the Land Rover on its way to Vancouver. We will keep you posted.