20.08.07-Chupa-Petrosavodsk. 550 km.

Chupa is later described by people we meet as a hole, exclusively known because of a local writer by the name of Venedict Erofejev, a drunken bastard who wrote books about being one. Perhaps it was his cousin who came by in the morning, looking for more alcohol after a very late night out. Chupa looks better in the sunlight than she did the night before. Some cows walk by, and cute stray dogs compete for our attention. The three girls we met the night before arrive to join us for our morning coffe. They take some of us with them on quite a long expedition in search of drinking water. The public water supply exists, but the water is not drinkable. So we follow the locals example and collect our water from a natural spring in the woods outside town. The water is cold and fresh.
After a long photo session with the girls, they send us off as we glance at the ocean one last time. If all goes according to plan, the next seawater we`ll see is that of the Indian west coast sometime in December.
Right outside town we make a short stop to see the local wooden church. Some of us gets a short tour inside the building. The priest is wearing sandals, jeans and a shirt. The only indication of his priesthood is his long, grey beard. After looking at us with a sceptical eye, he and the cleaning lady light up and we manage to tell them that we are Norwegians and "spasiba".
A few kilometres later Martin has problems with the clutch. It turns out to be yet another air leak in the exact same place at last time. Luckily the repair goes swiftly and we are on the road again after 30 minutes.
This becomes another day of driving, Atilla eats more than 550 km. When we finally arrive in Petrozavodsk around 1 am, we are greeted by Maxim, a hitch-hiker who accompanied us from Narvik to Troms¯. He suggests that we park in the parkinglot outside a 24-hour hypermarked. Not the most idyllic spot, but both toilet and food is easily accessible. We share two bottles of wine and some cheese with Troll and Olya (Maxims friends) and Tanya (Maxim’s girlfriend) before we go to bed.

Anders (translation by Ingrid)