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
May 9, 2014
Tomorrow, the team will arrive in Cheboksary. They will arrive among the festivities of Victory Day. This is a big celebration in Russia and a national holiday. There will be fireworks over the water in the evening and parades throughout the day. Streets will be closed. Our contacts in Cheboksary are Natasha and Alexander.
Natasha was introduced to us by Karin Thomas of Missouri. She was a foreign exchange student hosted by the Thomas family in Missouri. Small world, eh? She and her mother received the packages of extra gear that was shipped out earlier in the expedition. In addition, they have been extremely helpful in securing a hostel, locating a secure place for kayak storage and have offered to escort our team around town, since they speak English. Natasha is also on the look out for the elusive Hazelnut M & M's.
Alexander is a marathon kayaker. Looking at pictures, he is paddling the long. skinny kayaks we are used to as opposed to white water kayaks. We were introduced to Alexander from our contacts in Rybinsk. He has been wonderful in offering to store the kayaks safely within his kayak club and drive our team where the need to go, if need be. He has reached out to us with such enthusiasm...I wish I was there to meet him.
Both, Natasha and Alexander have let us know the streets will start closing as the day wears on due to all of the activities. The only way they will be able to get around later in the day is walking or biking. Should be an interesting update tomorrow.
The team paddled 50.8 miles today. Yea! Another day over 50+ miles. The weather was expected to warm up and winds were to die down. Nyet. The weather was cold and the wind was prevalent. Oh well, would be pretty boring if all went according to plan. I'm still working through pictures and videos for updates later. Stay posted...