Russia!

The last bit of Norway points the way…farewell Norge

The last bit of Norway points the way…farewell Norge

 

The Russian Border...and Harvey ponders the former Evil Empire

 

The Russian Border..and Harvey ponders the Evil Empire

 

 

 

 

Well there are obviously no pics of the actual crossing…. Anyway, since it took me seven hours to clear through Russian Customs the camera would have run out of batteries.

 

I love the bureaucratic mindset of Russian officialdom, reminds me of the good old days back in Texas when I put myself in the hands of another set of petty officials. Like never forgetting how to ride a bike, I assume the naïve smile and easy compliant composure that they hate since they really want you to give them a reason to get rid of you.

 

So after 4 hours of sitting in the Customs office, they had me unload the entire truck and trailer as the photographed every box and item on board. Then after having me rewrite my Customs declaration exactly 19 times I was let pass…..Though they still didn’t understand the kayak… or where the islands of the “Fark Union” were…. J

 

Whats in a sticker anyway...

Whats in a sticker anyway...

 

 

They do love their stamps

They do love their stamps

 

 

 

dscn1719
Only in Russia...black and white digital pictures

Only in Russia...black and white digital pictures

So much for the advice that there would be somewhere to change currency… buy supplies and fuel……Murmansk is another 225km down the track…and I do mean track. 

 There were a few possible detours off the main highway to nearby townships but I figured I should obey the large signs at regular intervals which instructed Foreign Vehicles to neither leave the main highway nor stop before reaching Murmansk or risk military arrest.

Indeed when I did have to pull over to refuel from one of my jerry cans, a passing military jeep pulled over to investigate but left when he saw me with the jerry can. Over the 200 odd km trip I passed through 3 separate checkpoints in the middle of nowhere, all manned by very young, cold, and bored looking army recruits who examined my papers and let me pass.

 

It really is the weirdest place.

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