During the summer we run short weekend tours around Moscow, usually 3-4 days, Thursday-Sunday or Friday-Sunday. In the end of June one such tour, Seliger-Valday, took place and our guide Kirill wrote short report about this ride. We kindly invite you to read it and hope it will inspire you to join us for this ride in the future.
Seliger - Valdai untouched corner of pristine nature in the European part of Russia.
My name is Kirill and I am the tour guide in RMT (Rusmototravel) company. Today I will tell you about an exciting journey we did recently with a small group of riders from Russia to one of the most beautiful areas around Moscow, I talk about Seliger Lake and Valday National Park.
Our team are Anastasia on Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom, Dmitry on Honda VFR 1200 Crosstourer, Artem on the Triumph Tiger 800 and Ilya BMW R1200 We meet in the morning near RMT office and after short kick off and introduction we start our tour heading to Savvino-Storozhevsky monastery in Zvenigorod . It is located in approx one hour ride from Moscow in a picturesque place on the hills in the forest.
From here we continue our ride in the direction of Vazuza Country Club, where we have a lunch stop. It was +30 so we decided to make a collective swim in a local lake, while our dishes were serving. Right after lunch we have our first gravel segment (this tour is one of few with gravel segments, most are all paved). We roll in on the grader, which is interspersed with a broken asphalt. Everybody passed this section without any problems.
In a few hours we arrive to the Ostashkov city. It is located near Seliger lake and is the capital of the region. We stop by supermarket to buy some cold beer, wine and meat for BBQ. Being done with shopping we finally go to the hotel. Here, under a light dry wine, we get to know each other closer, sharing our impressions of the first driving day. We meet the marvelous sunset and go to rest.
After breakfast we go to Nilo-Stolbensky Monastery, place named after the venerable monk Nile. Here we get acquainted with the decoration of the Orthodox monastery of the end of the 16th century. From the bell tower offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
Our next stop is the source of the Volga and the path there isn't the easiest one. We have to overcome almost 30km graver road, from which originates the Volga River, the mother of the Russian rivers as it is sometimes called in Russia. In one of the closed corners, we suddenly fly into a sandy mound, Anastasia spins on the sand and the motorcycle smoothly stops in the nearest bushes exactly in the middle of two young birch trees. Fortunately, no one was hurt. We gently roll the motorcycle back to the road, savoring the strawberries from the same bushes and slowly drive on.
For lunch we stop in the Olgin Khutor, place with magnificent home atmosphere of the guesthouse surrounded by the number of different crafts objects and friendly hosts. While we were eating there was a short rain. Being full with soups, salads and deserts we go on. In half an hour we enter the Novgorod province. In one of many small villages we stop for rest and local boy surround up, asking to make photos and sit on the bikes. .
Before going to the hotel we decided to stop at Anastasia relatives house, that is located not far from our route. Fast tea/coffee break and we go tot he hotel, a hunting hotel on the shore of a picturesque lake. Yesterday we had BBQ and local wine/beer, today we have real Russian bath. Excellent end of the day.
In the morning we go to Borovichi railway station - the place of filming numerous Soviet westerns. The station over the past years has lost its commodity and logistic value, but did not lose in the cultural value indeed. The next point of our route is Okulovka, where on the central square stands a monument to the icon of Russian rock, Viktor Tsoi.
It's funny that the last one has never been here, but the local people were so fond of this monument that it was decided to leave it here. After Okulovka we have another enduro special stage, half of which was suddenly rolled up by road services in perfectly smooth asphalt. Seems like we should came here on the sports bikes instead of heavy enduro next time. Hopefully soon it has been ended and we’ve run again through the grader/gravel passing through a picturesque Novgorod forest.
For lunch we stop in a restaurant with an interesting name Pecking place, here we are offered a wide range of river and lake fish in various versions. We order fried carp and baked trout in soy sauce. Every journey became much better on a full stomach. We make a small stop to update our wine list for the evening and on the way back to the hotel we visit the Valday Iversky Monastery. This is one of the monuments of the era of the split and the birth of new church canons, which undoubtedly reflected in its architecture, departing from the orthodox tradition of that time.
Upon returning to the base, we decided to diversify the cultural program with a river walk. We’ve taken a couple of boats with a motor, and set off to oposite bank, landing on the islands, gathering strawberries, feeding mosquitoes and having lots of fun. Well, by the time of our arrival, the bath is already under steam, and we are waiting for burgers from elk and wild boar. The farewell dinner is held on an enthusiastic note. The unity of our group reached the top, and we spent the whole evening for a sincere conversation, recalling our adventures.
In the morning, after a huge breakfast and short packing, we are moving back to Moscow.
In Tver driving through the city center, we stop near a coffee shop with amazingly tasty burgers. We refuel with a burning hot Americano and head towards the ferry to Konakovo. Here the guys rushed off at full speed again, and Anastasia and me leisurely stormed another grader. Any way, we’ve crossed the river in the the same ferry, but chasing it at the very last moment, wedging between the machines on both sides of the deck.
Before Klin city we’ve made a small detour in order to bypass the Sunday traffic jams and jump out right onto the paid section of the M11 highway to Moscow. In an hour we are back home.
It was an unforgettable emotional journey, thank you guys and Anastasia for that. We will do this tour again in 2020, please see for dates at https://rusmototravel.com/calendar
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