From the Ural Mountains we have been driving down south through Perm (including a visit to the GULAG camp Perm-36), Kazan in Tatarstan with its mix of mosques and churches, Ulyanovsk where Lenin was born, Volgograd where the battle of Stalingrad took place during WWII and now we are in the green foothills of the Caucasus Mountains. In a couple of weeks we hope to stand on top of Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe. But first, RABOTAET! We have to get in shape after too much driving a too little climbing!
Yesterday we crossed over the border from Asia to Europe! After 1 year and 2 months and after 74,500 km we are almost home!
“очень устала” in Russian means “very tired”!
This is how we are feeling now, here in Tomsk, in Western Siberia, we are feeling very tired!!!
It is a very strange sensation and a little bit a shame to be tired during a holiday, even if it is a very long one, but we are really very tired!
After driving almost 8.000 Km without many stops, with the stress of the crazy Russian drivers, with the fucking mosquitos…we couldn’t relax a lot!!!
WE NEEEEEEDDDD TOOOOO SLEEEEEEEPPPPPP!!!!!! ;-D
This morning had been another very difficult one. Since when we entered Russia we experienced almost every day the toughness of a tour of the world by Land Rover. Grey sky, rain, mosquitos, no coffee, no breakfast…only struggling in order to close our tents as soon as possible and “VIA”, driving and driving in the middle of Siberia.
Now, did you ever think how far Georgia is?
When I was watching the news about Georgian war on the TV or when I was just trying to imagine where Georgia was, I had in my mind a very tiny country, very very far from Europe, extraneous to my life, to my imagination, to my world…
Well, now that we are at (only) 7.000 km distance from Georgia, here in the middle of the Siberian taiga, enjoying tough moments, we are repeating ourselves “let’s resist till Georgia, then we will be almost at home“!!!!!!!!
Funny, nè….how it is changing the prospective according to the point of view!!!!!
Here below the WIFO in one of the few moments of relax! She is beautiful, nè!?!?!?!
We have arrived to Sakhalin, Russia! So close to Hokkaido, Japan, and yet sooooooooo different! Soon we will add photos and stories to the blog so stay in touch!!!
Update: Now with photos!
And then we recommend to check out these fantastic photos from two Germans who are truly adventurous:
We are now in Wakkanai, in the Northern part of Japan, in Hokkaido.
After 3 months in this fantastic country, we are ready for Russia. It will be a bit different, but we will manage it!!!
We have a lot of unforgettable memories of Japan. Starting from our Japanese family “Tocco-Watanabe”, passing to the food, continuing with the mountains and finishing with culture and people. Plenty!
But we will never forget the “Japanese Art of Perfection”…in everything they are doing! We have been particularly surprised by the Art of Perfection they have in following their hobbies. Older Japanese people love to have a hobby. It could be fishing, mountaineering, carving, running, gardening.
In following their hobbies they are also following the perfection. It is incredible how they are devoted to their hobbies. They are buying very high quality equipment and they are using it all together even if the situation doesn’t require to use it.
The mountaineering passioned are climbing a simple mountain in summer with all their climbing (summer and winter) equipment. Fishing passioned are using big fishing rods even in small rivers. Carvers are using big chain saw for very precise jobs. Runners are wearing marathon clothes to run/visit the shrines….incredible!!!
WE LOVE THAT!!! Russia it will be a little bit different…we might meet some strong Russian climbing Mount Elbrus with a nice hand made pullover by his babushka!!!!
We might experience some difficulty in finding internet in Russia and we might miss to upload the blog…apologize!!!! 😉
If you are an alpinist or you trekked a little bit in the mountain, for sure somewhere you tried the famous “classic mountain hut dessert”!
We can consider other classic mountain hut food, like for example the over boiled pasta, the lasagna with the meat of the day before, the smelly socks soup, the dolomite goulash (lasagna the day after), but nothing is comparable and so “classic” as the “classic mountain hut dessert”!
I am speaking about the small glass cup with inside the succulent canned fruit salad that you can have in every mountain hut in Europe. How you can finish a very hard climbing day without a classic canned fruit salad? The classic mountain hut dessert?
You are coming in Japan to climb. You are staying in a nice mountain hut with ofuro, tatami and futon.
For dinner, after a hard climbing day, you are having noodles, strange roots, rice with pickles, miso soup. You are forgetting about the classic mountain hut dessert, also because the Japanese are not eating dessert, come on!!!
You are relaxed, ready to go to the tatami to sleep…..and ZAP!!!! the classic mountain hut dessert is appearing….you can’t believe it….you are astonished…how it could happen this now?????????
And suddenly you are feeling HOME!!!!!
Never happen to you to smell something and to remember some nice situation in your past?
I love it!!!! It show me that my senses are still exploring!!!
This morning happened…at 5.15 am, while we were preparing the coffee with our Moka on the hood of Frida, before climbing Mt. Yotei!
The smell of the espresso coming up from the small hole of the Moka remembered me the mornings in Bergamo apartment, when we are getting ready to jump out in the darkness and coldness of an early winter morning to go to ski. The anxiety to touch the white snow and to make a good effort to gain the top of the mountain in order then to ski down, light like a leaf…all thoughts related.
By the way…after 2.5 hrs and 1.500 meters up today we reached the fantastic crater of Mt. Yotei in Hokkaido, Japan.
Also this feeling was priceless!!!
Fortunately we can come back to you with a story that had a “good ending”!
After a complicated canyoning rescue operation, we could recover the lost Marco’s Hand Clap.
Marco lost one of the family component during a bath section in a nice river in the central Japanese Alps!
Here below some pictures of the rescue operations!