Teriberka and the road from hell

Community Highlights Road Trips Teriberka and the road from hell

Saturday, 24th of August we hit the road in the morning to our eastern-most destination Teribërka. Heading north-east away from Murmansk we arrived at a military check-point where we were turned away, as only special permit holders were allowed through. The officer showed us a different route on the map, though, speaking rapid fire Russian, which was very nice of him. There are many military installations all around Murmansk, but they aren't shown in the maps, so silly tourists can easily stumble upon them. An hour later back through Murmansk we were on the right road and headed east on a tarmac road that got worse the further we went. Eventually we came to a fork in the road with the sign pointing towards Teribërka.
We had been warned that the road there was in a bad state. Just how bad we found out almost immediately. It is sand on gravel which means it makes a nice corrugated pattern with every vehicle passing. Throw in a million or so pot holes and you got yourself the road from hell. It isn't difficult to drive, you don't need 4x4 or good ground clearance. You only need nerves of steel and a complete disregard for your vehicles' well-being. We almost lost an exhaust there, and fixed it using several cable ties. Then those also broke and we used more cable ties. Repeat every 15km or so. Several nuts came off their bolts on our bed. Bruce's suspension visibly aged by a couple years.

The total distance there is 40km through beautiful tundra landscape. Having been thoroughly shaken and the car's life reduced somewhat - was it worth it?
Panoramic view with the Barents Sea in the background
Somewhere over the horizon is the North Pole (another 2100km or so)

1) Rory playing 2) Katie in 'the Nest' 3) lake and Arctic ocean

The next day the sun came out and we went hiking through Scotland the coastal tundra. The treeless coast with its rock formations, lakes and waterfalls really reminded us of certain coasts in Ireland or Scotland. The landscape is just stunning.

Hiking along we came across some WWII relics. Four big (8cm?) anti-aircraft guns. They are about 100km from Murmansk, so what were they defending? Probably not Teribërka which is only a tiny fishing village.



We found a Russian (home made?) Duro. Perhaps the chassis of a GAZ 66 truck with the body of a GAZelle van?

Camp life in the Arctic. The second night we had the little lake all to ourselves as people headed back to work on Monday.

We drove the only road back the way we came, this time in the rain. At one curve in the road people had built lots of little stone markers. By the time we arrived back in Murmansk we decided it was too late and too far to go to the border. There was a brand new mall that had only just opened and we wanted to see what Russian malls were like. Unfortunately, only about a third of the stores had actually opened. Max got two new pairs of trousers, though. We also bought some food and dog food, too. We knew that prices for everything would be much steeper in Norway. We stayed in the Ogni Murmanska hotel again on a hill overlooking the central part of Murmansk.

Tuesday morning we left Murmansk for good and went on the long road to the border. Twice along the way there were military check-points. Every time we had to show our passports and state where we were going and that was it. The officers were always friendly. We saw lots of barracks near the road and even some tanks. There were also a lot of WWII memorials along the stretch of road near the Finnish border. The fighting here in the Arctic in winter must have been terrible.

The border crossing was the least time consuming of our various crossings and took only two hours. Although, we lost all our dairy and meat and even dog meat products at the Norwegian border. Those were not allowed across European borders for fear of diseases. We wish we would have had that information beforehand; despite our googling of the process at the border we couldn't find much information online. The dogs had their passports checked especially for the de-worming that we had to do at a vet in Murmansk.

And then we were in Norway, country number 8 on our trip. And sure enough, not long after the border Katie yelled to slow down, and there were reindeer by the side of the road (though we didn't manage to get a picture yet). The road was winding its way through really pretty rocky hills and past fjords. It was raining, but somehow that did not detract from the rustic beauty of the land. Late afternoon, or evening (who knows? we had just crossed through two time zones at once at the border) we arrived at a camp site in Skiippegurra. We are taking a rest day after the long drive, and also use the time to check over Bruce, clean some things that really needed cleaning a while ago, and fill up our water tank. We are really happy that we can talk in English again. Russia was an adventure!

Next destination: the northern-most main land light house in the world

This featured blog entry was written by maxari from the blog Adventures in Bruce.
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By maxari

Posted Wed, Aug 28, 2019 | Russia | Comments