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.