This morning we picked up some new supplies for our upcoming trek through Siberia. It was a freeing feeling, strolling around sports and expedition shops, having easy access to all manner of supplies. Our jaws dropped when we saw Ortlieb kit in stock at all of them. Just hanging on the walls! No convoluted shipping required, no fighting with customs, just drop in and pick it up.
First on our shopping list: bug nets and bug spray with a high content of oh-so-healthy-for-you DEET. We've been warned several times that the mosquitoes in Russia will eat the unprepared alive. So, we've decided to come to the fight packing. Hopefully all of the grave sounding bug-warnings will prove to have been a little overstated. Time will tell!
Also on our list were a few odds n' ends, like more tent stakes to replace the lost and broken. A collapsible mug to replace the terrible titanium cups we brought initially, and a new gigantic quick-drying towel to replace a couple that have disappeared. Having shared one towel about the size of a sheet of paper for quite some time, we were pretty thrilled about that one.
Clothes shopping was on the docket for Tara. A new pair of hiking pants to replace the ones she bought in England (they are so big on her now that she can pull them off without un-doing any fastenings!) She also picked up a cute merino wool shirt to replace a huge, baggy old one.
We were also successful in replacing our stolen MSR WhisperLite stove. It cost nearly double what we paid for it back home. Ugh.
My favorite shop of the day was Daerr, a small expedition store full of knowledgeable people. When I asked one of the employees where the other sports shops in town were, he fired up MapSource on a nearby computer, marked them on the map, and uploaded the waypoints directly to my GPS. Incredible!
On our way out, we chatted a bit with Nadine, the woman working at the checkout counter. After we explained the main reason for our visit, (replacing stolen gear) she gave us two tiny spice containers for free. With a laugh she said, "I'm giving you these, even if they will only last you about two seconds!" Thanks Nadine!
Russia, here we come!