DUSTY DESERT SUN
The second long-distance route (for the first see ZR, 1999, No. 10) of three domestic cars ran south - to the Volga delta, to the hot Caspian sands.
… They decided to go slowly, 600 kilometers a day. Stay where you like it. In a word, the journey of an ordinary autotourist - an avid fisherman.
The start was delayed by the Orbit. It was handed over for warranty repairs (STO Izhmashservice, in Moscow, at Fedoskinskaya), together with a list of defects on three typewritten sheets. High commission of the deputy. the plant’s director of quality, chief designer and other officials authoritatively stated that it was assembled … not at Izhmash. More precisely, they began to assemble on the factory conveyor, but immediately after painting the body, the car miraculously ended up at the Sanda company. There Orbita was made. And therefore, they say, all claims are to the seller company. She, as usual, has a certificate of incapacity in store for this case, and the insane ones under the protection of the state and bear no responsibility …
Fortunately, Izhmash was read on the purple print in the TCP. Pokryakhtev, factory workers recognized their child and, having promised to settle everything, took the car for repair.
The first month was spent on negotiations with the service station and the plant. The body intended for us all sailed along the conveyor under the vigilant control of the Quality Control Department. But time did not wait, even the hot Astrakhan sands can become covered with snow. And the meaning of the test will be lost.
I had to pick up the Orbit from the station and roll up our sleeves ourselves. The main fault was in the rear axle gearbox. The teeth of the satellites and semi-axial gears have crumbled out - this is the second set! The choice of spare parts on the market is a separate story, we will tell you more about it. Fortunately (and contrary to sellers' assurances), gears from the 412th Moskvich are suitable. But only those with 20 slots and 16 teeth (and there are different!). How we looked for them! Throughout the immense South Port market of the capital. And with a file in his hands, because if the desired gear is not rusty, then it is certainly raw. The best ones were selected, just in case - three sets: one for the car, the rest in stock. As it turned out, not in vain. Iron is now "weak", and gears, it seems, are consumables at all …
Spend the night on the Volga - what could be more wonderful! If not for the night beeps of steamers and hordes of mosquitoes. You can get used to the former, never to the latter. It is best to burn the Fumitox spiral in a car. You can, having lowered the windows, ride with a breeze - it will blow away all insects. By the way, the cleanest glass from flying bites is at Orbit, the dirtiest is at Six. What is responsible for the small tilt of the glass and the shape of the hood.
It is most convenient to sleep in Svyatogor. If the rear seat is unfolded, two adults fit in the cabin at full height. In "Orbit" - removing the head restraints and folding backs is also not bad. In the "six" a bumpy berth - on the "C grade".
Novonikolaevsk. At the traffic police post, the young sergeant stopped the last car of the caravan. He demanded everything: registration certificate, power of attorney, “rights”, permission to walkie-talkie. And then - more documents, well, at least some (I wonder what?). The thoroughness of the check was explained by the tense situation and the possibility of "penetration into the territory of the entrusted area" of terrorists. In confirmation of the responsible task assigned to him, he asked to open the hood. Then - the trunk. Nobody! The last chord is the reconciliation of numbers. Poskuchnev face, let go … At the posts stopped more than once, and in big cities, in addition, forced to register. Well, the time now is such that it’s better to retake …
After 809 km, the brake light flashed at Svyatogor, and they themselves “disappeared”: they began to take it only from the second pitching. I had to pull over and get the tool. After pumping everything worked as it should. And just before Moscow itself, the pedal began to fail again. Cuffs in the left rear wheel slave cylinder are worn. They put a new one - experience shows that replacing only cuffs cures the disease for a short time.
We’re going, going, going … To Volgograd itself the road is monotonous and monotonous. And if it weren’t for the huge wagons that had to be overtaken, it was no wonder to take a nap behind the wheel … They were saved from sleep by rusks and chatter on the walkie-talkie.
It’s not easy to ride in the hero city itself: turtle speed, endless traffic jams and heat. The temperature is over 40. The mineral water does not boil, it’s just right to take the steering wheel in mittens - you’ll even burn it to blisters. The engine cooling fan buzzes without stopping. In the "Svyatore" a gas lighter exploded deafeningly, blithely thrown at the "dashboard". Each driver’s left hand was burned in the sun - it bakes frantically, and the window cannot be closed. It remains to wrap it with a towel. A shirt with a long sleeve would fit perfectly. In general, the route should be calculated so as to slip through the big cities in the early morning, when it is still cool and the streets are empty.
Finally, both Volgograd and Volzhsky are behind. The path lies down along the left bank of the Volga. The road lost its width, transport was reduced and it became easier to drive. The summer steppe is boring and hot. Only rare settlements bring at least some variety. White dusty sun. Scorched grass. Only thorns and telegraph poles (the latter - more).
In the Astrakhan region is full of motorcycles. Patched-patched, of uncertain color and age, up to trophy ones, with and without strollers. All motorcyclists are without helmets. Apparently, the bone is strong … Among the desperate riders are equally sober and already rested. One must be careful - their actions are often unpredictable, and the driving style, like that of a bullfighter, is dodged at the last moment.
“Orbit” was squeamish … She still did not know what real heat was when the engine fan did not turn off at a speed of 70 in fifth gear. The bumper covers most of the radiator. There is not enough free air … I had to remove the engine mudguard - it helped.
Kapustin Yar. The old, but amazingly preserved GAZ-51 is adjacent to the brand new Volkswagen. A lot of bicycles - all sorts. They are children, and adults, and lean old men, and burly aunts. Market: watermelons, cherries, plums, apricots, seeds - very inexpensive. How can you hold on? I would only know if there are no toilets in the steppe. And you have to run over the horizon, where you recall that the toilet paper remained in the back seat. And the camel thorn is not a velvety burdock … However, it is still difficult to refuse fruit. But they must be washed! Water just needs to be carried with you. Of course, you can wash yourself from the river and even rinse dishes in it. But what could be the consequences? So clean drinking, at the rate of three liters per person per day, we carry with us. And yet - an emergency supply of 10 liters. In case the radiator boils.
Cooked at night quick noodles. In the dark. The only flashlight was given to the sufferer on the road - to look for the keys (you can’t shine the headlights for long). One of us for the first time in our life tasted “Chinese cuisine”. He poured everything from the bag into the mug, poured boiling water … Then he chewed for a long, long time, and spat out. It turned out - a bag of spices! Summary: without a flashlight - not life! Even the instructions do not read what to pour.
They decided to give a detour from Akhtubinsk: it is a sin to pass the dead Baskunchak lake. They bathed in salt water, scratching their feet with white crystals. But the pleasures are the sea. And surprise: in a strangely tight brine you can sit, stand, lie - but diving does not work. Cork shoots to the surface! Only then it is just necessary to plunge into a fresh lake nearby to wash off the salt crust.
Orbit completely spoiled the mood - the next set of differential gears crumbled out. This is where our supply came in handy. Because you will not find spare parts in the province for Orbita.
We got to Astrakhan without any special incidents. There, as usual, we were counted and registered - about six times! The city is very small, but somehow confusing. The streets are mostly crooked. A wide avenue suddenly languishes and flows into an impassable alley. The movement is entirely one-way … And - the signs! According to local custom, some of them are ignored, while the other, on the contrary, is sacredly observed. It is not easy to understand them, and therefore it is better to go for a local companion. Foreign cars here are sparse on the roads, mostly “Cossacks”. Volga is especially revered here - no wonder …
Hot Astrakhan … Fruits - in a full summer assortment. Fish - salted, dried, smoked, balyks. But the prices are … sharks! Astrakhan people themselves get everything cheaper, from acquaintances, poachers. The main buyers - visitors - pay exorbitantly for the pleasure …
It was not possible to get to the sea: having traveled dozens of roads, they did not find the right one. Heat. Sweat. Sand. And dust is everywhere: behind the collar, in the hair, in the nostrils, on the teeth, in the water, on the sandwiches and in the cameras … And, of course, in the carburetors! I had to slip, and push, and dig out the stuck cars …
Svyatogor ran the best on the dunes, which is not surprising - 14-inch wheels and front-wheel drive. Orbit is worse, but generally acceptable. But the "six" let us down - buried in the sand!
On the way back we moved along the other bank of the Volga. The road is no worse than through Akhtubinsk, and there is gasoline. But … again dragging through the exorbitantly long Volgograd. The road passes through a kind of appendix belonging to Kalmykia, with the village of Tsagan Aman. Last year, they say, during the passage of a 10-kilometer stretch, the steppe brothers of the newly-minted patron of chess made a “knight's move” - they ripped off 50 rubles each from the car. Obviously, it was this section that spoiled the air throughout the republic. However, there was no post, only lonely raised barriers. Money stopped taking - conscience woke up?
“Svyatogor” coughed, and then completely died out - the carburetor became clogged. The consequences of dusty roads … Cleared, drove off - but not for long. Now the Orbit stood up. At the bottom of the float chamber, rusty dust lay on a thick carpet. The jets scored. A rusty tank regularly supplies dirt to the power system. The fuel filter clogs over a thousand and a half kilometers. The Six alone had never sneezed all the way to Moscow itself.
And now - impressions after the run.
"Orbit". All hopes for an upcoming repair. Sand penetrates under the curve from birth. The carburetor is always clogged, and all abrasive will inevitably fall into the engine. Towards the end of the route, oil began to throw a candle on the 1st cylinder. Compression in it fell by 2 kgf / cm2. Forecast - the rings are worn out.
Decorative overlays have grown in size, fasteners barely hold. It clings to a low silencer for irregularities where the Svyatogor and the Six calmly passed.
However, the Orbit is easy to manage. And the chairs are very good! Comfortable, you do not get tired at all. For the constant attention that the Izhmash product requires, we award him a bronze.
"Svyatogor". Unfair assembly eats up all the benefits. In the race itself, he did not cause much trouble, but this is the result of careful preparation at the technical center of ZR, and not the merit of the plant. Already rattled suspension struts. "Silver".
The Six is still a hassle-free car. Nearly. And, perhaps, the most adapted for long trips, despite the inconvenience of landing and a heavy steering wheel. Considering that it is still better to go badly than to stand proudly, we award the VAZ a “gold”.
On the odometer of the Orbit, there are now 33, 388, the Sixes are 38, 869, the Svyatogra is 36, 052 km. Adolescence is over, it is time for maturity. There will be something further … Indeed, in front of the tall mountains of the Tien Shan and the north of the Middle Russian Plain.
P. S. Three months after the appeal to Izhmash-Avto, the case finally moved off the ground. Orbit is waiting for repairs at the Izhmashservice service station. So in the next run "Orbit" will go reborn. We hope so.
Repair on the way asked "Svyatogor" and "Orbit."
At the Baskunchak lake.
We drove along country roads,
… and without roads
… and even so.
Wait for me and I will come back.
This cabriolet won't get stuck!
Bought a card. So what?