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One Steppe Beyond

One Steppe Beyond

Author(s): Thom Wheeler

Location(s): Russia

Genre(s): Travelogue

Era(s): 1990s

Location

Content

Travelling across the former Soviet Union is a challenge at the best of times – but in a dilapidated VDub… that’s got to be plain daft… hasn’t it? I was in my prime, hungry to make a mark on the world, yet I was making ends meet by delivering egg and cress sandwiches on a bicycle with a bent axle to condescending office workers. Gainful employment in the ex-Soviet Union was a dream come true. A chance job offer at a timber yard in Estonia gives Thom and his old pal Jo a taste for the unknown. So when Uncle Tony asks them to drive to Vladivostok for another job, they can’t think of a good reason why not. The result is a classic caper across the former Soviet Union in Max, a rusty old VW camper. Knowing little of the language or the geography ahead, they embark on probably the longest commute ever, encountering corrupt officials, film star mechanics and over-friendly gangsters. Far off the tourist trail, they bear witness to the collapse of one nation and the birth of a new one during the free-for-all that was Russia in the nineties.

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Lead Review

‘This well-written account is full of humour, character portraits and information asides.’ (Motorcaravan & Motorhome Monthly )

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021