Latvia - Russia III



The drive from Vientuli area to Kārsava took me about 90 minutes. The landscape was mostly flat and unpolpulated. Stoney roads with much dust. Barely any traffic. I passed only some very small villages. Finally in the late afternoon I reached the P45, an asphalt road between Baltinava and Kārsava. This road comes close to the border, so a good chance to spot some borderpoles. I also wanted to visit another rail crossing near the small village Čāvi. And at the end I wanted to see the area of the border crossing Grebneva.

III-1 20140407 Watch tower
Close to the road I swa a huge watchtower. I parked my car near the path to the entrance. No one was in the tower.
III-1 20140407 Borderpoles ??
I found two borderpoles about hundred meters from the tower. Due to the high vegetation I couldn't observe the situation well. It looks there is a small creek forming the border. On both sides of it there is one borderpole. I couldn't come much closer than this and I couldn't see much more of this as well..
III-1 20140407 Flat landscape
The inspection path between the border and the tower. As this was not a very inspiring area I didn't stay here that long. The border follows this creek in this flat and empty landscape for about 5 kilometers.
III-1 20140407 Russian watchtower
At the other side of the creek there was a Russian tower as well. Not so high as the Latvian one. It was rather far away, a bit hidden in the woods but my telelens brought it closer.
The border follows this creek in this flat and empty landscape for about 5 kilometers. As this was not a very inspiring area I didn't stay here that long. I hiked back to the car and went up to the little village Čāvi and from there I took the road that would come close to the rail crossing.
III-1 20140407 Dead ending road
My navi knew the road via which I could approach the railroad. But after some kilometers the road ended. It looked to me this road was only used by farmers to reach their acers. So where the acres end, the road ends as well.
It was still some 5 kilometers to the border and I decided to give it up already. There were only a few roads here and for the most of them my Toyota Yaris was not suitable.
III-1 20140407 Bordercrossing Grebņova
I went on to the border crossing Grebņova on the highway A13. THis is a big border crossing. It would be simple to see some borderpoles here. Even on this Saturday night there was a long line of trucks waiting to cross the border. To avoid trouble I announced myself at the entrance of the custom complex.
III-1 20140407 First gate
The first gate that you have to pass. Of course a dozen of cameras. When I announced myself the lady in the cabin called some colleagues. By the way: the first thing that all border guards ask is "Passport". I was allowed to go to the office of the border guards to explain my intention. As I was not a pedestrian crossing the border, I got a visitors badge.
III-1 20140407 Visitors badge
The first time in my life I got a visitors badge for a border zone. A bit strange, usually I was at border stations for paying a fine for being illegal in the border zone. But with a permission things change.
III-1 20140407 Second border gate
The second border gate. Not much activity on this Saturday night. I went into the office at the left but there they sent me to another office hundred meters back.
III-1 20140407 Waiting
In the other office I explained that I wanted to see some parts of the border for my geographical border studies. Then I had to wait in an office while the border guards were discussing and phoning in another office. After 20 minutes a border guard came to escort me. He wanted to know what I wanted to see. When I asked for bordermarkers, he drove me with a Nissan Patrol to some bordermarkers close to the border crossing.
III-1 20140407 Waiting border guard
While I visisted the border, the border guard was waiting at the car. He instructed me not to enter the strip and not to cross the border. It doesn't feel that comfortable if you know some one is waiting for you. I always prefer to go alone. Bedides that, the border is here very close to the road so I could have it done on my own easily. The Latvians are rather suspicious, even when you have a permission...

At the left the strip, at the right the road.

III-1 20140407 Borderpoles 277
The road is really close to the border here.
III-1 20140407 Borderpoles 278
Both road and border make a little curve. I was allowed to use the inspection path, from there I could photograph this pair.
III-1 20140407 Warnings
On the electricity masts close to the strip there are some warnings that you are (too) close to the border. A yellow ribbon that tells you to stop and a sticker warning for cameras.
III-1 20140407 Borderpoles 279
Again taken from the inspection path.
III-1 20140407 Borderpoles 279
The same pair from a bit further away. Although it was already 6:30 PM, it was still very hot!
III-1 20140407 Borderpoles 280
The road leaves the border. Even the inspection path is leaving the border. I didn't want to let the border guard waiting any longer, so I went back.
He brought me back to my car at the borderstation. After that I returned my batch and went to my hotel near Ludza.
Tomorrow another long day!

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