Day 30 : Gorno Altai to Paowdaoled

16 August 2010

High point : For once in Russia the high point of the day was the scenery around us as we drove through the hills, steppe and mountains of the Altai republic.

Low point : Being told I had to stop driving and let some one else take the wheel.

No point : My beard has stopped itching! Whoop whoop!

Russian word of the day : “tre-sat Dva” meaning 32 as in .. James scored “tre-sat Dva” runs in one hit at our first Russian Game of cricket (thanks to a tremendous overt hrow from Ross that sent the ball sailing down a river) How’z that!

Authors comments:

There are some rare moments in life that you wish wouldn’t end, for me yesterdays drive through the Altai mountains was one of them. It was even more special to me because, for the best part of 2 weeks Russia has thrown us some very flat landscapes, more industrial than they have been inspiring, but yesterday was simply amazing.

The day started normally at the completely out of place concrete town of Gorno Altai, that (in true Russian style) ruins it’s magnificent position, sandwiched between two mountains with some hiddeous flats and good ol’ fashioned power stations.

Day 30 - Gorno Altai to Paowdaoled (18 of 58) 

It wasn’t long however before we soon forgot about the town and got Martha out into the magical mountains and rivers of the Altai Republic. With each turn in the road came a cry from the driver “oh my god” as a scene resembling the Canadian Rockies, rather than the Russia we were used to, opened it’s doors and swept us away.

The scenery demanded that we stop Martha on every possible occasion as finally (as Steve put it) we were able to stop and “see” something from outside the confines of the cab! I think he and Ross were particularly happy after a month on the road!

Another first also happened yesterday as we finally managed to play our maiden game of cricket on stage 2! Pulling Martha over just outside a small village we were briefly joined by the town drunk (who left us alone after he felt the negative vibes Dave was giving off) lunch was taken and the wickets were set.

The match itself was dominated by a somewhat suspect pitch that produced some bounces and spin that Shane Warns himself would have been proud.  Ross was the eventual winner with yours truely taking a commendable 2nd place after a break of 20 years from the game!

Day 30 - Gorno Altai to Paowdaoled (20 of 58)  

As dusk settled we found the perfect camp site by a running river with high forest covered mountains towering over us. A truly awe inspiring spot. Camp was set up swiftly and Dave and Ben decided to take role of cavemen for the night by starting a campfire . . . Luckily they had it roaring 3 hours later by the time we all decided to go bed.

Our “Bear Grylls” skills are obviously in need of some work.

Any tips are welcomed!


P.S Ross is afraid of bears, wolves and monsters at night. Bless him.

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