Novosibirsk (a.m.) / Omsk (p.m.), Russia
Date: Lodging: Distance: Total:
19/08/1999 Irtysh Hotel 719 KM 34784 KM

Hay is vital to get though the Siberian winter, so it moves in many ways at this time of year.

In Novosibirsk, we bumped into Mark and Michelle who are spending seven months driving through Asia.

We've seen half a dozen vast sunflower fields since entering Russia. The seeds are sold along the highways and in town markets.

Omsk, a sprawling industrial city where the Om River enters the Irtysh

There are more sunflowers in this one field than I've ever seen in my entire life.

We've seen magpies throughout Europe and Asia.

19 August 1999 – Driving to Omsk in the late afternoon was one of my best drives. Top down and warm weather. Finally flat, sealed, steady roads. Felt like I was riding through a painting with intermittent scene changes. Fields of billowing, long hay and farmers harvesting on old tractors. Scores of zigzag, scattered piles of hay sitting in endless fields. Thick Birch forests with the greenest leaves, moving with the wind over needle-thin, white bark trunks.

Long stretches of road where I met no traffic and the road seemed endless. More sunflowers in one field than I've ever seen combined in my 30 years. Flocks of birds flying over in a Carolina Blue sky filled with fat, cotton ball clouds. Music created with the wind and engine. Screeeeeeech. Slam on the brakes. Police man, in the middle of nowhere, flagged me down driving 114 km/hr and maximum speed is 110. Give me a break! I'm in the middle of Siberia! I opted to smile, ask if he liked our car and immediately I knew the yellow sensation was the cause of this pullover, not my speed. Officer smiled and sent us on our way.


  Chapel of St. Nicholas and Lenin statue (Jim)
  Reuniting with Igor and Valentina (Jim)
  Glorious drive to Omsk (Paige)