Day 157 | Thursday August 18
After a few hectic days it was time to leave St. Petersburg. Vladimir gave me some food for the trip and even 1000 Rubles “so you can buy some food if necessary”. 200km from Pete is Novgorad, when I left I had no place to stay there yet but Vladimir and the Dutch consulate were trying to find something.
Driving the roads in Russia is interesting. Next to the highway are people selling fruits and other things which they collected in the woods. The highway is a single road with a big emergency lane, speed limit 90km/h, which is perfect for me as this is the most economic way to drive. But not for the Russians. Apparently it’s allowed to drive 20 kilometers faster than the signs says. When a car approaches it’s normal for the first car to drive half over the emergency lane and let the other car pass. When they pass they thank you with blipping their emergency lights a few times. It seems that there are some other unwritten laws in place but I haven’t yet figured out what it is.
In the afternoon I reached Novgorad. Exactly when I parked the car to take a break Victoria from the Dutch consulate called me. Via the tourist center they found me a place to stay. The tourist center gave me a call and asked them to visit their office. They explained me where I could stay and gave me some sightseeing tips. Apparently Novgorad is a really beautiful city but in the morning I started feeling sick and it got worse during the day. I decided to sleep today.
Day 158 | Friday August 19
When I woke up I felt even worse then yesterday, a fewer got hold of me. Still I needed to continue. I decided that my next stop would be Valday as this was right between Novgorad and Tver, which is the biggest city on the way to Russia and I have a place to stay there. But not yet in Valday, I send some requests on CouchSurfing but from my experience this never works on the day itself. I was in touch witch some people in Moscow and asked them if they knew some people here. They didn’t but they places a request on a forum on valday.com, a website about the region.
Valday was 140km from Novgorad, when I arrived there I saw some people watching at my car and pointing at it. I didn’t really pay attention to it and drove around the town for 30 minutes to explore it. When I got back and parked the car the same people as earlier approached me. One only spoke Russian and the other one a bit English. They told me they saw the request on the forum and wanted to help out. Funny how east stuff works sometimes. They made some phone calls and told me that I could charge the car at Ivan’s motor, Ivan was the Russian speaking guy. We drove there and plugged the car in. Ivan’s mother Nina invited me for some food and I could take a rest here, she saw I was sick and made a lot of tea other stuff which mothers usually give you when you’re sick, I knew I was in good hands.
On Facebook I received a message from Kseniya, she saw my car driving around in Valday and when she got home her mother told here a Dutch guy was looking for a place to stay, she saw that also on the website. Kseniya contacted me and asked if I still needed help. I was oke but she wanted me to show the town so she and her mother picked me up. They way I have been welcomed to Valday was very warm.
Later in the evening Ivan, Dascha and another Ivan took me for a ride to the Monastery, on the other side of the Valday lake. An impressive compound with many buildings, golden towers nice parks.
Pictures of these days