We left Novgorod after our two day stay this morning and joind the main road to St Petersburg. This was our first real exposure to Russian driving on one of their main thoroughfares. They are maniacs behind the wheel, their driving style encouraged by machismo , many have ultra powerful cars, others old wrecks with underpowered engines and shoddy tyres. Their attitude appears to be a lethal combination of suicidal, impatience, with a murderous quality in vehicles that aren't really roadworthy. The trucks are also badly maintained and badly driven, their drivers also in a tearing hurry. They overtake at inopportune moments. When we set off it was raining, the road was slippery. We got caught in a traffic jam which lasted for about 5 miles. The cause of which was a lorry that had jackknifed on the other side of the road. There was an elderly ambulance and an ancient fire engine in attendance. A single policeman in his vehicle at the scene. An apalling lack of basic services.
After 2 brief stops, one for lunch and another for fuel we were held up again by another accident, again in the opposite direction. This time a young couple were standing with their arms around each other. Their belongings in a pile on the road next to them and their car. No bonnet, engine exposed, and the back completely destroyed.
We arrived in a suburb of St Petersburg during the late afternoon. Jon and Linda had found a Stellplatz, through researching the internet and it had only opened in May this year. It's lovely here. We're parked on a hard standing secure car park, a view of a small marina and the gulf of Finland. Mike and Jon have paid for four nights and there is meant to be a shower here but we haven't found it. It's in the car park of a conference centre and there is also a palace in the grounds here as well.