It was hard to leave Khabarovsk and our good friends, but we had some miles to do. We said our thank yous and goodbyes and were on or way. Mother Russia pulled a marvellous day out of the hat for us. 30° and sunny, but with a very high cirrus layer to stop us burning.
The roads were pretty good, which made 400kms easy to do. Just the odd section of gravel for roadworks, which I’m getting used to and even starting to enjoy! Around 8 pm we started to look for wild camping spots. A few places looked promising but already had occupants. It was getting late and a storm was brewing.
At the end of a likely looking track we found a dwelling, where an old man came out to greet us. I thought it was worth saying hello and asking if we could camp there. Sasha turned out to be quite friendly and before we knew it we were all drinking tea in his alfresco kitchen. At this point we weren’t sure whether it would be OK to stay.
It got a bit more interesting when he went to fetch his shotgun to show us, but he explained that he’d seen some Siberian tigers yesterday. (Albeit small ones). Chip and Ken seemed a bit concerned about them, but I’ll be amazed if we see one.
I pressed the point on whether we could camp there, and said we could pay. He wasn’t interested in money, but did we have any vodka? Unfortunately we didn’t, which is where it got a bit more interesting!