Start as you mean to go on…

Our plan had been to have a couple of simple meals out and get into the throw on being on the road again before we went hard core cooking for ourselves….  However after a slightly more extravagant night in Warsaw, we decided Vilnius was the night to switch to hostel cooking.

Fortunately I checked out the kitchen facilities before we went off to buy food.  I was met with two VERY scaly kettles, one toaster and two microwaves in various states of (dis)repair.  Hummm – now being here for only one night we didn’t want to do anything fancy or buy anything more than we needed, as space in our backpacks was at a premium.

After looking round the supermarkets we were met with problem number two – lack of funds!  We had arrived into Vilnius quite late, meaning all money changers were closed, and our bank cards were locked away in the safe.  We did have some Euro, but only the very upmarket hotels were willing to take those.  There was nothing for it – time to start on the noodles already!!

So we strolled back to the hostel and chose our provisions carefully.  After some canapés (left over ready salted crisps), I polished off todays cheese, which was a sign things were desperate!!  Dean opted for the two course dinner – Tomato and Veg soup, followed by 19p Morrisons Saver noodles.  We had expected to at least get to the train before we used them, but unlike ready meals we had discovered two-minute noodles were not in short supply in Lithuania!  I went for the one course – noodle only option, and did mine first to make sure our skills were up to the task!

We trotted down to the kitchen armed with our supplies – cups and all and made our feast.  Well the cups worked a treat and the noodles provided us with 250 calories of err goodness!

Gourmet dinner - all with change out of 50p!

Gourmet dinner – all with change out of 50p!

So now we really have started – proper backpackers on the road eating dinner for less than 50p.  My only fear is that we will have peaked too soon on the noodle front and will be fed up of them by the time we get to Russia…

Dinner in a pot!

Dinner in a pot!

– Natalie

Cold Feet

This is a big problem for me.  No matter how many pairs of socks I wear, my feet are often cold.  Cold feet, I’m cold, no fun for hubby! Merino socks have provided some kind of help… but they needed to be paired with a good boot!

So knowing we were travelling across Siberia during the winter, I set about researching good options.  I needed boots.  Warm. Dry. Light. Funky. Boots.  A challenge.  I mean everyone has a place when planning the trip right?  Dean was busy taking care of visas… filling in forms… dropping off passports…. all the fun stuff really?!?!?  So I decided my place was to take care of our shopping needs, and no better place to start than with boots.

Well the options were flooding in, but I kept coming back to two pairs.  The Ugg Adirondack boot  (don’t judge – this is no ordinary Ugg) and the Merrell Winterbelle boot.  If you know me, you know I like purple.  I have systematically transformed my husband’s wardrobe, to the point now where he actively chooses purple, so these boots were the obvious choice…  however there was nowhere to try them on.  Or so I thought.


So I set about a day-long mission to find the Ugg’s.  Well I found them… but in the wrong colour.  They were warm (and probably would still win the prize for the toastiest) and they were practical, but a nagging voice in my head was telling me they were just too valuable to take away.  What if someone pinched them whilst on a train somewhere?  My decision was made when the Ugg website and stores were sold out of my size for the 6 weeks prior to our trip, so that was it, they were out.


Then one random Thursday evening, Dean and I were wandering around ‘Street’ – a  shopping village near my Somerset base.  Bingo – there was  Merrell store (the only one in the country) and in it were my boots.  I put them on, and even Dean, who had been somewhat sceptical about the need for more yet more purple, stated with a wry smile that they were “pretty cool”.  So my Christmas pressie left with me and they are all ready to go.

So whoever said you can’t combine practically and style was wrong.  So far I have worn them around Somerset and they worked well.  Now the real test is about to start…..