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
Train to Moscow
June 17, 2014
West and Jeff boarded a train on Monday to arrive in Moscow on Tuesday. They were looking a little tired on the train after staying awake until 1:00 a.m. playing chess. I will not share the chess video with you. Sorry. It's 12:37 minutes of quiet concentration and, after the first minute, you may have fallen asleep.
They were met at the train station in Moscow by Catherine (Ekaterina Belova on FB). Catherine, of course, is a friend of Stas (Stanislav Smirnov on FB). He seems to know someone in every town we've gone to or he has made new friends through our expedition. Catherine speaks great English and took time out of her work day to greet the boys and hail them a taxi to their hotel. Looking at her profile on FB, she is an adventurer like so many others we know. Once they arrived at the hotel, they got settled for a second and then took off for Red Square, St. Basil's and other sites. They were meeting Catherine for dinner, after work, last time I spoke with Jeff.
While out seeing the sites, we have been working diligently to round up all of the gear that had been sent to Moscow throughout the expedition. We had bags, boxes and packages in several different places. It was through the kindness of all of these people, we were able to store these items and not carry them on the kayaks but, coordinating the location of all times at the finsih, in one day, is driving me a little bonkers. I must give credit to Marat Ephstein (Austin). While team captain for a team in the Texas Water Safari this weekend, he was pulling double duty in helping locate all the items and coordinating their return to the hotel in Moscow from several different people. Multi-tasking at its best.
West and Jeff leave Moscow tomorrow morning (Wednesday) at 10:40 am and arrive in Houston Intercontinental Airport at 1:55 pm on Singapore Air (Terminal E). While I know all of you have very busy lives, if you are at loose ends, we will have a small welcoming at the airport when they get off the plane.
BTW: I've posted a couple of more pictures in the photo gallery. Thanks for Max and Pavel for the funny shirts given to the boys.