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 30, 2014
The boys paddled 32.1 miles today after starting a little later. They got most of items mailed from UPS since Fed Ex would only mail documents. At UPS, the representative had to view the hard drive to ensure all was safe to mail out. In addition, West was not able to mail out some coins (for his nieces and nephews), batteries for his GoPRo and...the M & M's (ugh). It's all right though because he has not found the Hazlenut M & M's yet. I thought he had but it was a little unclear communication on our part. He was only trying to mail Peanut M & M's. At the Mailbox, Etc. store, they ran into a friend of Valentina's that spoke great English. In addtion, as they were walking to their boats when they were approached by a university student that was taking language classes. She wanted to practice her English with West and Jeff. They obliged.
As they left Yaroslavl, they passed a fisherman along the banks of the river. He waved at the team which pleasantly surprised them, As they waved back, the fisherman called them over. He wanted to give them some freshly caught fish. Wonderful! The explained that they did not have any way to cook it, but thanks so much! Well, he signaled for them to wait, which they did. He ran up the bank and quickly came back with a fresh smoked fish for them to take with them. They were enjoying it for dinner, as we were on the phone.
The weather is warmer but can cool off quickly when the clouds hover overhead. Today was the first time they were able to eat outside of the tent. They also encountered mosquitos for the first time. They did not get bit so it was okay. For the first time, the boys did not have to double-layer, either.
I'd like to thank Valentina for the pictures of our team in Yaroslavl. She is in the picture from yesterday, to the left. I do not know the names of the other people in the pictures. I have a contact in Novgorod but it will be a few days before I can contact him due to celebrations going on for the next few days. We will be on the hunt for Hazlenut M & M's, as well. Please check out the additional pictures in the photo gallery.