A car trouble sketch-of-life example from the same traveller

Another story from Jack from Poland (see the previous story) that may be worth sharing to show the spirit of the country. Reminds me of another couple of travellers who got a free tow from Petrozavodsk to St. Petersburg. So yes, I’d say the situation described below is “typical” for Russia.

While it wasn’t in your neightborhood, I would like to share with you a
story, what happened a week before.

As always, I prepared my car thoroughly for the trip. But it’s impossible to
predict every failure. At the Russian border, a leak started from the
cooling system. My repairs didn’t helped for long. Two days later, in the
middle of nowhere, a big diameter, long, rubber hose, has disintegrated
totally, due to it’s age. It was looking like a new from outside, while
being a garbage inside, at least at a section of it.

Without much effort, I stopped a man, who, using a rope, towed me to an
unpaved parking lot at a tire service at route M20. He drove to that place
only for me, and took money only for the fuel.

On this parking lot were two military trucks. Soldiers were taking a rest.
When I opened the hood of my car, they immediately came to me. We all saw,
that the fix is simple, but what can I do without new hose? They tried to
cut off hose from their pump (used for pumping oil, I think) to replace that
in my car, but diameter was different.

A man from tire service soon appeared. He gave us all what was necassary: a
short L-bend hose (from some car), a steel pipe and electric angle grinder.
Soldiers cutted out excessive lenght of the pipe, removed rotten part of my
hose and assembled everything, using their own hose-clamps. They even filled
the cooling system with water from their own portable tank and bleeded it.

Soldiers (like the tire-shop guy) didn’t wanted money. I tried to gave them
some jars and cans with food from EU, at least. They refused to take more
than 1 jar, and one of them gave me an emblem from shoulder of his uniform.

Contrary to this, in my country (and some others) it’s not easy to find free
help. And it’s a real rarity, when somebody offers help to you, because he
sees you need it. Russian soldiers repaired my car for free, they worked
over 30 minutes till my car was ready to go, wanted nothing in exchange, and
they did this before I asked them for help. Today, after 10,000 km, their
kludge is still working.

While, when visiting Russia, I’ve met many times with warm reception and
gifts, nothing can beat those four soldiers. And their emblem, a personal
gift, is my most valuable souvenir.

Jack

A letter from a recent traveller to Sredny and Rybachy, Teriberka and Tumany

A few days ago I received the following letter from a Polish traveller to this neck of the woods. I’m reproducing the letter in its entirety, with author’s permission, in the hope it may be of use to other potential travellers here. 

Hi

2 months ago I asked you some questions before the trip to Teriberka, Tumanny and Sredny peninsula. I returned home recently.

I want to tell you, that all your informations were correct. I wasn’t
arrested there. Also, there are no gas stations, tire services nor car
services at the road to – and in – Teriberka and Tumanny. Nature is
astonishing there, and Teriberka is really magic place. I saw Kandalaksha
too, and many other towns, like Kalevala, Belogorsk or Kirovsk.

When trying to drive to Sredni peninsula, despite being careful, I destroyed
exhaust in my car after just few hundred meters. It was huge mistake, this
road is exclusively for SUVs and 4×4s. I’ve been in workshop in Zapolyarny,
but damage was so severe, I was forced to leave to Norway with broken
exhaust, because my visa (and temporary car importation) was about to
expire. Nobody in low cars should try to go there.

Also, while going to Teriberka/Tumanny, I noticed as low temperatures, as 2
deg. C. (5 – 8 was typical). The temperature sensor was at a mirror, so just
above the ground, near 0 was possible. So, driving there, at the end of
June, with water in radiator was possible, but risky.

Best wishes – Jack from Poland

Weekly fish and sea food fair in Murmansk

A few months ago somebody asked me for a review of the local fish market.

An often-heard complaint about the local fish scene is that it has very little locally caught fish. Recently, however, a weekly fish and sea product fair has opened in Murmansk.

It is supposed to be held every Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm at the Forum Trade Center. The address is Kolsky Proyezd 134. One can get there by a free bus that is said to be leaving every hour starting 9:30 am from Ulitsa Gadzhiyeva in the city center.

Sounds like a good place to get a glimpse of the local fish scene, including the fishermen who, it is said, bring their catch straight to the market.

The City Day June 30 at the Monastery Cape

The festivities start at 12:30 and include historic reconstruction, the sale of local arts and crafts, and a sailing regatta.

A good opportunity to meet the active part of the local society for anyone for whatever reason is interested in Kandalaksha.

(Photos are from last year’s City Day.)

 

 

The City Day June 30 at the Monastery Cape

The festivities start at 12:30 and include historic reconstruction, the sale of local arts and crafts, and a sailing regatta.

A good opportunity to meet the active part of the local society for anyone for whatever reason is interested in Kandalaksha.

(The rest of the story went south because of a screw up with the site.)

New WW2 stuff from the swamp near the Salla Border Crossing point

A recent expedition by the Russian Geographical Society, the Northern Fleet, and the “Verman” group of the Russian War Artefacts search movement have pulled a bunch of war-related stuff out of a Salla Border Crossing point area swamp. 

Things found included tracks and other fragments of two Soviet VT-7 and one German T-II tanks, a part of the Soviet 44mm gun, a number of household items (like flasks), and remains of one Wehrmacht soldier.

Items found are said to eventually put on display at the Naval Museum of the Northern Fleet in Murmansk.

A NEW BOOK: A WILD BIRD AND A CULTURED MAN

The Common Eider and Homo Sapiens: Fourteen Centuries Together

A popular science book by Alexandra Goryashko

Publication expected in 2019

 

The preparation of a popular science book on the world-wide history of the relationship between humans and the eiders – A Wild Bird and a Cultured Man (The Common Eider and Homo Sapiens: Fourteen Centuries Together) – for printing is nearing its end.

more >>

Average wages in Kandalaksha

Kandalaksha Online reports, without indicating the source, that the average wage in Kandalaksha as of April 2019 is 28,600 roubles per month, or just under $500/month. The current exchange rate is in the area of 66 roubles for one dollar US….

(The rest of this post went south after site restoration.)

Registration with the Ministry of Emergencies for those travelling in dangerous areas

The Murmansk Region section of the Ministry of Emergencies now requires all travellers going on potentially dangerous routes (sailing, mountains) to register with them ten days before the trip and report that they are well daily. Presumably, should they disappear, the Ministry will undertake a search.

Here is the form in English on the Ministry of Emergencies site travellers need to fill out before being on their way.