27-Aug-2006 -- Lovosero is about 160 kilometers SSE of Murmansk, roughly two hours drive. Sunday mornings seem to provide tired (or drunk?) drivers on the road. Two episodes were rather scary. The Russian government has more money. The highway is greatly improved since last year, or in the process of being renovated.
Lovosero is supposedly the centre of the Sami people (nomadic reindeer herders), but no reindeer can be seen and the Sami population make up 300 - 500 of the total population of around 3.000.
The confluence point is easily accessible at the outskirts of the village, just 20 metres from power line. It is situated in marshland. Rubber boots would be useful.
An old woman was collecting cloudberries, and a hare was trying to hide in the shrubs.
At the outskirts of the village are rows of garages, like you find in all Russian cities. But there are few cars to be seen. On the return from the confluence point a huge dog came barking out from one of the garages. The owner followed, told the dog off and invited me in to join him and his tipsy friends for some vodka, sausage, pickled mushrooms and cucumber. It is almost impolite to turn down such an invitation in Russia. A well known guidebook suggests however that you can excuse yourself if you are driving. If that is not accepted, just state that you are an alcoholic. That is understood and accepted. They had seen my car and offered tea instead of vodka. We had a good time together talking about our respective countries, skiers and football players and other loose subjects.....