25th of September. Mother Russia.
Foggy start to the day. Get through eu customs and hit the Russian border. I hand over my passport and the lady types in my name and then picks up the phone. I’m guessing it’s because my name is flagged as having been in the military but she doesn’t explain and after five mins she stamps me through. I like to think I was going to be followed and she was like he’s on a bicycle. After the border its time to hit the road. Initially it goes well. Its a busy A road but the shoulder is pretty wide and the surface is good. Then its either a motorway or the coastal road. I take the coastal road. The shoulder disappears and the road is a potholed mess. Add in drivers who don’t care for cyclists and its a unpleasant ride for about a 100km. The highlight being a long straight where a lorry is approaching and the car behind decides to overtake forcing me off the road as he gives me a funny look while talking on his phone. I should really get a voucher for a hotel to prove where I stayed so I decide on a hotel 50km outside St Petersburg city but in the same county. I choose a place that’s a bit upmarket and get some funny looks as I check in. But it’s still fairly cheap especially when I find out dinner is included and its a buffet.