|Day 11. Kemerovo - Krasnoyarsk|
Driving from Kemerovo to Krasnoyarsk is more eventful than the leg before. The highway is two lanes until the town of Achinsk, where it turns into a long and slow span of roadwork, and then, to our joy, becomes four lanes allowing us much more speed (140 km/hour, but do not tell traffic police). The landscape shows endless mountain ranges in the distance, and again it is woods and fields, woods and fields.
Roadside vendors had a different selection of goods: wild mushrooms, berries, vegetables. They also had cedar cones with nuts, as well as extracted nuts. This is Russia's best cedar nuts producing area, and in season much of the male population goes to taiga (Siberian woods) to collect cedar cones, which is a considerable addition to their income. A kilogram of fresh cedar nuts costs about 2000 rubles (about $30) at the roadside.
They also sell handmade baskets, stuffed animals and local fish catch.
Russia is not Russia until you meet a bear.
Roadside cafeterias are quite basic, but they won't let you go hungry. Most of them offer 2-3 kinds of soup, meat, dumplings, mashed potato and pasta, tea and coffee.
We spent the only evening in Krasnoyarsk at Beaver Log (Beaver Valley Park). We took a cable car to the top of the highest mountain and reveled in gorgeous scenic view of the Enisey River and its famous Pillar Rocks, as well as of the endless taiga and imposing mountain ranges. In winter, this mountain is a popular ski resort, also used for major winter sports events.
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