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
Less than 350 miles to go
June 5, 2014
Tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, the team will have paddled more than 2000 miles in their first descent of the Volga River. As of today, they have less than 350 miles after paddling a whopping 61.5 miles. West said it's amazing what they can do without the wind.
I asked about the river, because on the spot tracker, it looks 'swampy" or like a bayou. West described it as tropical with beautiul sandy beaches. It looks similar to the Colorado RIver, in Texas. The water looks clean but they don't dare drink without filtering first. In fact, they prefer not having to do that, either.
The flying, biting gnats are still created havoc whereever they sleep. During the day, the net jackets continue to do their job but at night West and Jeff have come up with some creative ways to combat the gnat problem. West has taken duct tape, sticky side out such as with a lint roll, and rolls it around his hands to swat and pick up the gnats at the same time. Jeff has resorted to using Yoga-type moves on the walls of the tent to try to combat them. I hope we get a visual of that soon. West said there are piles, literally, piles of dead gnats on the floors of the tent. Once West and Jeff duck into the tent at night, they do not go out for any reason.
Today, they saw several huge bald eagles..."the size of a German Shepherd". (the attached video is one found on YouTube) They said they were beautiful. The team should arrive in Astrakhan day after tomorrow. They will spend one night there, get together with their escort through the Delta from Procosta and then finish up in a couple of more days. The escort will bring them back upriver and then they will make their way back to Moscow and then home.