Day 18: Perm – and another crowd

Day 18: Perm – and another crowd

I gather that arranging our stay in Perm was more troublesome than most places we are visiting. This was a closed city in the Cold War and the hotel made that somewhat apparent Рshades of student digs again. But, also once again, the welcome from the locals is amazing and any idea of working for too long on the cars tonight is shelved as there is barely room to move.

We may not be the most photographed car on the Endurorally website but we misty have one of the most photographed car mascots. At every stop the shiny chrome ‘Jaguar’ is the subject of endless close-ups and I am also sure it will easily be the shiniest part of the car (possibly the only shiny part) at the end of the rally – it is a little like the toe of some religious statue that people rub for good luck.

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Day 18: What a welcome

Day 18: What a welcome

A late diversion had been asked for by the Chusovoy authorities but we were not expecting the reason why. Turning off the road towards the small athletics stadium we were first guided under an impromptu arch and then, post the video interview, we set off very slowly driving around the running track through crowds 3-4 deep. Both windows open we shook hands, high fived and signed autographs the whole way round. As we got close to the podium, where all the cars were announced over the loudspeaker, we guessed that we might end up pivoting on the top of the ramp if we attempted it, so took the more cautious route around the front.

We have spent most of the way through Russia, certainly through all the villages, waving at groups of locals standing by the side of the road, obviously pre-warned of the invasion of 100 carefully driven vintage and classic cars – and a few, obviously not pre-warned, who stare open-mouthed as a 1920’s Bentley, 1940’s Chevy and 1950’s Jaguar steam past their Lada in quick succession.

 

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Day 18: The Urals

Day 18: The Urals

The Urals add some contours to the view but I had been expecting more in the way of altitude. From the open plains of Siberia we are now in mile after mile of forest, but still long, straight roads¬†punctuated with occasional rather ‘rustic’ villages and some signs of faded grandeur.

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Day 18: Entering Europe

Day 18: Entering Europe

Irony not lost so soon after leaving Europe.

A noticeable but fairly unimpressive monument marks our crossing from Asia into Europe and other than a quick photo op to have the car astride the ‘border’ we press on. We still have days more to go in Russia before we face the harder crossing into Belarus.

 

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Day 18: This is getting more like it!

Day 18: This is getting more like it!

After what was a bit like student digs in Tyumen we were treated to the Hyatt in Ekaterinburg and a handy and well deserved slot in the VIP parking for the Jag. Leaving the hotel however was also what we will encounter more of as we move further west – rain and heavy traffic. Fortunately the cool weather helped alleviate the cars tendency to overheat at the first sign of traffic. A reasonably easy day today of just over 400km on tarmac to prepare us for a much longer day tomorrow ahead of Friday’s rest day.

 

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