After a late night, getting going early doors was a monster effort. A quick, point-&risk-it brekkie, portaged all our gear down the rickety fire escape & loaded the Silver Streak. Here, when buying petrol, one has to pay in advance & guess how much one needs. Getting better at this, but had got it wrong last night, so had put a bit in an ancient fuel bottle (our shiny new jerrican was buried beneath everything).Anyway. It had leaked & the car honked. 3 industrial air fresheners & windows down, whilst we tried to escape Volgograd. It took some doing, but the £2 fleabay compass did us proud & we headed SE to Astrakhan. Long, long straight roads & sprawling horizons. Awesome driving & a mere 500km sprint today. Looked for a spot to camp & thought we’d found a place, about a mile away from the road, behind a deserted garage, but then a Lada with blacked-out windows approached. It was dusk (don’t know how they could see!) Decided to ditch the idea. We’d camp tomorrow. Found our way into Astrakhan. Asked at a place which looked like a hotel. The word for hotel is a tricky one & walking into a wedding party trying to pronounce it drew some blank stares, before they chased me out, shouting “Niet, niet, niet…” The next 2hrs was spent doing laps of the city. A beautiful, but confusing place. Discovered that if we parked outside a certain famous burger restaurant, that we could pick up wi-fi. (Coverage has been sketchy at best). Booked on booking.com at a flash hotel for a bargain price. However my booking crashed at a crucial moment (midnight, just when the Silver Streak turned into a pumpkin!) So we rolled in to a car park full of flash cars & 4x4s & got our room. Then were summoned to reception, as we didn’t realky have a booking. So I’m half expecting us to be turfed-out, Silver Streak & all. (Or to be given my brekkie, then to have lt snatched away…)
Tomorrow, Monday, Kazakhstan & we will be camping for sure!