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We Have All Made It.

HOORAH we are here.

The trip was a cold wet day from St Petersburg to Helsinki as the last days drive for the epic trip.

We arrived in Helsinki with a front right tyre in need of replacing before I head to the UK tomorrow on the ferry to Germany.

We have all arrived safety in Helsinki and I’m typing this final blog while we are all have a final lunch that will most likely turn in to the final dinner. Everyone is very busy celebrating.

So after 59 days on the road we are now in Helsinki. wit


Some quick facts on our trip;

The best road for the trip had to be the 130k into Helsinki on the new four lane motorway.

The worst road for the trip was on the day that I hit the car in China. In China when they are about to rebuild a road it was busted up with a rock hammer to slow the traffic.

We have travelled a total of 18,876 kilometres to get here of which we were towed about 50k while broken down. I drove all but about 20k, one afternoon when I was to tired to get the last bit into town.

We only had 9 days out of the 60 that we didn’t drive.

The longest drive was 955 kilometres in central China.

The shortest day was 20 kilometres in Khorog when we changed our oil on the rest day.

The highest pass was 4865 metres as we crossed the edge of the Tibetan plateau in China

The lowest was -29 metres as we travel around the northern end of the Caspian Sea.

The most spectacular part of the trip other then every day the special time was along Tajik Afghan border with the Hindu Kush the backdrop.

We have had 6 flat tyres.

Penny has used just under 4000 litres of fuel for the trip.

Penny will be going home to Australia for a very big check over and fix ready for the next adventure wherever that will be.


Some interesting events that have come to mind;

I had meet my passenger Maurie only twice before we left Bangkok and we’ve had a great time together and great company along with fantastic help in repairing Penny. If I was ever in need of a passenger and company for another trip he would be the first person I call.


For the whole 60 days 11 completely different and independent people got along fantastically.


Before we could ever leave a hotel in China we had to wait while the towels got counted in every room. One hotel even charged us because the towels were put on the floor after a shower and got dirty.


Everyone washed and hung stuff on the lights to dry. I lost a pair of sock 2 days ago that I had worn and washed everyday. I was typing and could smell something burning so turned around to find my socks smoking. As I removed my smoking socks from the light I read the sign I had covered “ caution extremely hot surface” my bad.


Finally as this is my last blog post;

I must thank everyone on the trip that has helped Penny and I get to Helsinki.

The most important people to thank is everyone who has been following this blog. It has been all of you reading the blog and sending me emails and responses that have given me the drive to stay up and write a post when some night all I wanted to do was go to sleep.


Thank you all.

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2 Days in Saint Petersburg

After the very late and wet arrival into St Petersburg we were all up for the guided tour that had been arranged for the Saturday. The weather was fine but overcast, which is good for here due to their only being 90 days with sun a year.

The fist stop for the day was the Katherine’s Palace, which has been totally restored after WW2. It was decorated in an abundance of gold leaf covered ornate timber-work. We were told so much information on the history of the residence that it was impossible to keep up with it.

After lunch the second visit was to the Summer Palace of Peter the 1st. Here most of us spent the time looking at the gardens and all the water fountains and features including some, which only operate when you walk across the rock path. Of course I had to try these out which meant that I was going to get wet, but no problem it was still fun and not wet enough to get cold

The day was finished off with a fast boat trip across the bay and up the river to finish near our hotel.


Today started with a driving tour of all the historic sites around the city before stoping for lunch.

After lunch we headed for “The State Hermitage Museum”. The art buffs on this blog probably have an idea about what we saw.

“OMG” even someone like my self who is not the greatest art lover was totally blown away be the collection in this place.

We started of in the area with works of Monet, Renoir, Gauguin and Cezanne to name a few, and not just 1 or 2 from each but 5+ from each artist of name that I knew.

Then we moved to a room with and incredible clock and the most intricate mosaics.

Then onto a room with a 2 works from Leonardo da Vinci before turning the corner tom a Michel Angelo sculpture.

The room with the works of Anthony Van dyke had about 40 of his works hanging, then into the room with about 30 Rubens hanging.

We Travelled through rooms with works from many artist of that era, but the last room we looked at had not a couple of Rembrandt’s but 22 in a one large room.

All of these works where purchased long ago them hidden before the Germans occupied the city during the war.

A most humbling day, too be in the same room as these great artists with works that seem almost alive. And a great finish to our tour of Saint Petersburg and the second last day of our journey. A city that is one my whish list to come back too if possible one day.

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The Plan. St Petersburg for a late lunch!!!!!!!

That was the plan on our departure from Tallinn yesterday morning, but more on that later.


Firstly the day before was a very sedate run from Riga up to Tallinn. About an hour up the road we saw the Baltic Sea which was the first sea since leaving Australia.

We drove past a car park at the beach, as it was only early and still drizzling I decided to stop later in the morning as we would see the sea a lot more. Wrong that was the only time we saw the sea so I didn’t get a chance to walk on the beach and put my toes in.

On arrival into Tallinn at lunch the afternoon was spent looking around the town and I managed to get a second coat to replace the one that was acquired by the Belarusian.


We departed from Tallinn for the Estonian border Town with Russia in the heaviest and most consistent rain for the trip. This had eased a bit when we reached the border post at 10.00an leaving us an easy 160k for the run in to St Petersburg after the formalities, WRONG.

We where told at this point that we should have booked a time slot on the Internet for processing. Since we didn’t have a pre-booked slot the options where drive to a small border post 250 k south without a booking and only ever has a 5 minute delay or wait here for 10 hours as that was the waiting time without a booking. The amazing thing was that their was no one at the border, the waiting I think was just punishment for not booking.

We all decided for the drive south to the quick border. We arrive at the quick border at 2.30pm and in no time at all we here processed out of Estonia.

Remember a post a couple weeks ago where I spook about our last en try into Russia being the best and fastest border ever. Well that was 2 weeks ago and 4000k away. The Russians at this border seemed to take for ever to put stamps in our Passports as it was a second entry into Russia and a few phone calls were needed but after about ¾ of an hour we had entry stamps in our Passports.

Passport control is only half of the process or in the case yesterday about a 1,4 of it. When we moved to customs control it wasn’t about what was in our cars it was about our cars and our invitations. The car search took about 3 seconds per car. We where asked to park out of the way and wait. And that is what we did for 2 1/4 hours. God knows what they were doing but we waited patiently. While we waited I used the time wisely and fixed the tyre that started to go flat at the border control.

As time went on we made a cuppa as we still had 350k to drive to St Petersburg that night. Maurie also decided that it was the right moment to open and share the tin of Caviar that he had purchased on the first day in Russia. OMG I now know what people rave about!

Eventually we got out of the place at 6.15 and headed off after 3¾ hours.

The drive started off very pleasant until it turned dark and the rain started. It quickly became that second toughest drive I’ve done in Penny. The toughest was a night drives in Ethiopia with unlit donkey carts and oncoming traffic. Last night the worst thing was the endless line of headlights from all the cars leaving ST Petersburg for the weekend, this combined with the water on the screen and the lines on the road worn out plus the rutting of the roads from all the truck traffic. All of that aside we got to the hotel at about 11.00pm safe and sound but tired.

Today is a city tour of St Petersburg so I must get going.

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The Hill of Crosses

Today has been the bleakest days travel for the whole trip. We left Vilnius this morning for a short run up to Riga in Latvia, with overcast skies and the threat of rain. The rain still hasn’t eventuated but it being grey and overcast all day with a very fresh wind blowing.

The one stop we made for the morning was at a place called the Hill of Crosses. The best way to cover this site is to give you the wiki link.

We travelled through flat farming land for the whole trip.

This is the shortest post I’ve written but I have no more today.

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