Start: Ustyuzhna, Russia
End: Shchukina Gora, Russia
Elevation Gain: 1511ft
Elevation Loss: 1284ft
Reading Material:A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II – Gerhard L. Weinberg
Audio Material: Fresh Air Weekend; Diane Rehm (US mortgage market); Planet Money (Detroit episode); Nerdist (Joss Whedon interview); WTF (Judy Gold interview)
After two long days, slept in an extra hour and only planned to travel 50km. Some of the roughest road conditions I’ve seen since Ukraine kept the pace slow early on, including a 2km section of roadway covered in sand in what I think was an attempt to fill in potholes.
Reached Pestovo where I heard rumors of a possible guesthouse. Stumbled into a large fair which included both an indoor chess room *and* an outdoor boxing ring. I guess the Soviet maxim of keeping both mind and body strong is still in effect. Several friendly people tried to point me in the way of lodging, but after biking circles, couldn’t find it. Opted for a nice hot meal at a roadside cafe (always remember, the difference between a Russian кафе and a Russia ресторан: in a cafe you order first at the counter…it’s embarrassing to sit and wait for service at a cafe table, the waitress will just look at you funny but not stop to help.).
Continued up the road keeping an eye out for a nice wild camp spot. Some forest but nothing appealing until a turnoff yielded a nice creek and flat resting spot for the night.