31 May 2010

Border Run II

Well, it is that time of year again! I have my R1200GS in Russia as a temporary import, so I don't have to pay import duties, but that means that every year I have to take the bike out of Russia, and then bring it back in to renew the temporary import. Kind of a major pain, but also a good excuse for a road trip.

Last year I went to the Latvian border and stayed in Velikiye Luki, which turned out to be a dump... This year I had planned to go to Ukraine, but decided at the last minute to go back to the Latvian border, but to spend the night in Pskov, an ancient Russian city, rather than Velikiye Luki.

Had hoped to leave on Friday evening this time, but had to work until about 22:00 on Friday, so that was out! Had an early night out on Friday, and then left about 06:30 Saturday morning for the Latvian border. The ride up was pretty dreary--cloudy, cool, with rain from time to time. Certainly could have been worse, but wasn't that exciting, either. Made it to the border by about 14:00, and there was basically no line, so I zipped right in. Better yet, this time they didn't make me go into Latvia, like last year, which saved me a lot of time. Basically I was able to leave Russia and turn around and come back into Russian in less than an hour! No fuss, no muss, all very easy.

So by about 15:00 I headed up toward Pskov, which is almost 200 km from the border post, got there a little after 17:00. Unlike last year in Velikiye Luki, found a hotel right away, and a nice place at that. I pulled up just as a wedding party pulled made their festive entrace to the hotel...

Anyway, I had a pretty uneventful evening, rode around town, checked out the monasteries, etc. Unfortunately my camera's lens was filthy, so none of the pix turned out.

Next day I had a pretty uneventful ride back to Moscow.

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