This is the first descent of Europe’s longest river by kayak from the source in the Valdai Hills northwest of Moscow to the river’s delta at the Caspian Sea. The Volga traverses 2300 miles (3700 km) through western Russia’s most beautiful countryside with some of the richest history known to man.
TOTAL MILES TO DATE: 2130.09
TOTAL DAYS: 59
MILES COUNTDOWN: 0.00
April 16, 2014
Whew...what a word.! The team just passed THAT town and are camping on the banks of the river. I cannot give you much incite into this town because there's nothing on Google (that I could find) and the Lonely Planet book isn't any help, at all. So, instead, lets learn a new word...С Днем Рождения. (S-dnyom rahzh-dye-nee-ya) That translate to Happy Birthday! Today is West's 52 birthday! There is no place else he'd rather be (except dry).
That's right. It's still raining and cloudy and cold although it HAS been a productive day. I forgot to ask how many miles they went. I'll get that tomorrow. They encountered large waves today with swells. At the end of the run, they came across a very small dam. There was a dirt road to the side with the gate guarded by two guards, one friendly, one not so much. West and Jeff asked to pass. The friendly guard said "sure" and opened the gate. The not-so-friendly guard said "no" and wouldn't let them pass. The friendly guard directed them to an alternate route. Mr. Unfriendly said "no" (nyet) they cannot go that way. They have to go through the swamp. Mr. U wanted them to drag their kayaks 50 yards or so through a swamp vs taking the small dirt road around. So, through the swamp they go. BUT, out of no where comes a 4' tall 4' wide female, obviously the "boss", she asked what was going on, and immediately gave them permission to pass on the dirt road. Begrudgely, Mr. U let them by. Once on the other side, the river was rocky, bony and rock-filled. Oh yeah...still no English-speakers, yet.
I asked about animals but the only thing they have seen are seagulls. I guess seagulls are multi-national.
Their GPS is giving them a little bit of a fit so we are having to readjust in order to track the correct river. This is a work-in-progress but will (hopefully) be corrected soon. Keep and eye on the SPOT tracker. It's working great and letting us all keep up with their progress.