The last Lada journey

After having finished of the week in Moscow with a get together of some friends from the Swedish embassy, celebrating a birthday – the aim was set for St Petersburg, well aware that there where some aspects of the health of our Lada that could make it difficult. It turned out that the strange sound which occurred on the way to Moscow was the generator which had shaken out of position. Realizing this only at the Sunday of departure with no car workshops open gave me two options, either turn back to Moscow, fix the car the coming day somewhere somehow, or hope that I would make it all the way on the battery charge as long as I never switched off the engine. Considering that I planned to go no further with the Lada after this trip, and my eagerness to get to St Petersburg that day, I chose the latter alternative.

Considering I am now in Kirovsk outside St Petersburg, with the Lada safely parked at the street, it was a valid decision. 5 hours earlier, when I was standing on the road in the middle of nowhere, exactly half way, exhausted and with a completely empty battery unable to go anywhere, I was in doubt.  This is a time when you really need a supporting hand from a real Russian babushka (grandmother). Walking a few hundred meters from the place of my unintended stop I found a babushka selling berries of different kinds, the kind you will find at any major road in Russia at this time of the year. I don’t know if her mechanical skills where typical or not, but she was happy to open up the trunk of her own Lada, sharing her well equipped toolbox, and involving herself in the attempts to try to restart my car. I guess I have to admit that I was a bit lucky when she revealed that she had an extra battery in the car “just in case”, which she was happy to sell to a Swede in need. That battery took me and the Lada to Kirovsk, where she now is resting, she is waiting for someone to take care of her, and take her to new adventures. For now, I am thankful for the 6000 km and the 6 breakdowns that we have had together on the Russian and Ukrainian roads. She never gave up, gave a lot of joy and life experience and I say good bye with mixed emotions at the end of an era…

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