Day 11 – Moscow, Russia to Daugavpils, Latvia
Beautiful Morning, good breakfast at the start of journey prepared us for the day. Driving on the highways here can be fun if you are not in a hurry to cover the distances, which wasn’t true in our case, though a lot of natural beauty lies on the side of the road where one can stop over for some good photo shoots. The GPS told us “take third exit from the roundabout straight ahead at 595 kms” Really, that’s how a GPS behaves in a country like Russia.
Looking at the long distance and the best timings to cross the border before sunset we kept driving with minimum breaks to cover 700 kms by afternoon. Petrol often called Benzene here is much cheaper in Russia so we filled our tank 20 kms before reaching the border. Kudos to our FJ doing 1200 + kms on one tank full, expected to take us across the next 3 countries in this tank full.
Reaching to the border was the easiest part of the day as there were lot of formalities and documentation to be done at the customs, Immigration and then transit offices of both countries. As this border is usually used by cargo vehicles and some local border town passengers, the staff here may not have experienced passing a Dubai Registered car from here. The procedure was not frequent and everyone in the process had to make a few phone calls before moving the papers on. Communication was a challenge too. It took its time to get us through after all stamps and security checks.
Among the people waiting behind us was a Latvian guy on a Ford Mustang. We said hello and he was keen to know about us. We exchanged our travel stories for a while and agreed to meet on the other side of the border because it was obvious that our friend Alexander will cross over soon and we would be stuck here for a longer time. And so happened, the poor guy entered Latvia in about half an hour and had to wait for us on the Latvian side for another 2 hours approx.
Alexander and his wife traveled across Europe with their Ford Mustang with more than 2 months on the road. He loves travelling and looks forward to visiting Dubai. Team LD presented him a book “Ten thousand miles without a cloud” and a souvenir from Dubai. They were so happy and offered their support if needed at any time in Latvia. He was happy to show us around Riga the capital of Latvia, but we had to excuse as we cannot forget that we are Roadies and not Tourists.