Camper

This mode of accommodation is for light to moderate extremophiles. But you get a few hundred cubic feet of protected heated space, a place to sleep, a desk, and basic cooking and washing facilities..

One double bed, two singles. Or turn the double bed into a full-size desk and live alone like a king. Stove, refrigerator, heating, toilet, shower.

This toilet does not stink offend, takes 15-20 person-days of output, and survives deep freeze without cracking.* A variety of camping equipment, including one or two tents. An inverter to get 220v from car’s electric supply. One can live there swallowing in luxury. You’ll have a place to sleep, cook, eat, and work without any need to rearrange furniture. Two can merely live. With 3-4 plus a dog it becomes.. well, a camping situation.

A camp is set up. All the household crap is move to tents. Note the antenna that allows fast internet in rather remove circumstnaces. The car is facing downhill intentionally: even if you run batteries down you'll still get it started. Also note the bicycle. It is assigned to the trailer and is used for local trips.

Normally it is parked in one of these Soviet-era “garazhny kooperativ” – a nostalgic trip in time to the students of recent Russian history and way of living – by the north entrance to the Sokolniki park, about 15 min. walk from Metro Alexeyevskaya. If you are not fussy and there is no time to make better arrangements you can just crash there. I don’t know what the garage management may think about your staying there permanently but a night or two is definitely no problem.

But if you want a higher level of comfort the trailer can easily be moved to the Sokolniki park itself. Properly equipped  camper parking, with electricity and access to washing facilities, is around 1200 roubles ($40) per night. I may want another something as your contribution to repairs and improvements that the camper alwasy needs. For a total of no more than $60/night you will get a place to sleep and cook, access to running water, a fairly central location, and a break from Moscow’s incessant noise. I’ve personally visited the place, poked my schnoz around, and was left satisfied. Facilities are clean, and fellow campers are mostly elderly Germans, very inoffensive public unless, of course, you find their very inoffensiveness and propriety that they carry around as a flag somewhat annoying.  Camping may be a somewhat unconventional style for some and I believe in the States camper living is associated with poverty and despair. But it has just come here, is considered stylish, and your Russian date will not necessarily run off on you. Here is a link to the camper facility in Sokolniki >>

A disclaimer. Campers are parked in a noisier part of the park, close to exhibitions, cafes, and rides. Still, except for the weekends, it tends to be very quiet there. This succession cascade of ponds is in the quieter northern part of the park, 10 min. bike ride away. Oh, bikes are available on request too..

Or get the camper, an old 4WD diesel truck, and me in person in the capacity of your driver, guide, translator, fixer, cook, adventure generator or whatever and go around the Gold Ring or travel between Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. What you’ll save of hotels and restaurants will about cover the cost of hiring me and all I come equipped with. The whole set – truck, camper, equipment, and me – will be $250/day plus direct expenses assuming we won’t travel much more than 200 miles per day, which is about the comfortable norm.

FILM MAKERS AND PROFESSIONAL EXPLORERS OF RUSSIA PLEASE CONSIDER THE CAMPER/TRUCK/DRIVER/TRANSLATOR/FIXER OPTION.

Tested at -20C(-4F) and found livable and even comfortable! Enough gas to last for two weeks of continuous heating. Backup heater is there too just in case.

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*The device, as I found out on my way to Kandalaksha, is sensitive to shifts in tempterature combined with hours of shaking. Took me one thorough wash to remove physical and several ritual cleansing to get rid of moral consequences of a small explosion. Release pressure slowly, and do that before opening the lid to avoid the misfortune hat has befallen me.


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