Number of tie wraps: 23 (holding steady)
Countdown: 4859 miles down, 3726 to go
It took us about 5.5 hours to drive to Tyumen today, but we spent almost an hour of that just trying to get out of Ishim. We tried to reverse the route we took into town yesterday, but missed a turn and, after winding up in an alleyway, got directions that sent us back to our hotel again. From there, we still took a wrong turn, but managed to head out of town on a different road than the one we arrived on. However, the road we were on wasn’t the main highway, and we soon found ourselves battling rough roads in a construction area. The convoy of cars we were in scattered all over the road, using the left lane, the middle of the road, the right lane, and the right shoulder, and sometimes coming to a complete stop to allow oncoming traffic to go by.
After about an hour or so, we made it back to the main highway, but the road conditions didn’t improve much and when we stopped for gas at about noon, we had only managed to go about 90 miles in three hours.
But from that point, the roads improved and we made it to our very nice hotel in Tyumen by 2:30.
Tyumen, founded in the 16th century, is the oldest city in Siberia, but as a center for the Russian petroleum industry, it is also very modern, as can be seen from the picture below of the square that was built to celebrate the city’s 400th anniversary.
Tonight will be our last night in Siberia and Asia. Tomorrow we will drive 326 km to Yekaterinburg, located at the edge of the eastern part of the Ural mountain range, which divides Europe and Asia. Yekaterinburg is also where John will be able to get a new passport and visa!