Charging at the Sunwellfarm, Estonia

Locking ourselves out of the Tesla

On the way to an Airbnb in the middle of nothing in Estonia, we managed to lock ourselves out of the car. The whole day the key already had a loose contact. Though, as soon as we moved it, the car recognized it again. During a short stop at the side of the road, both of us got out of the car, with nothing in our pockets, closed the doors and when we wanted to return, the doors didn’t open anymore. It took us a while to turn from panic into a working mood that helped find a solution. We thought about stopping a passing car to get other tools that helped us break into the car (maybe lift the key with a wire). Another option was to break into the frunk (supposedly that’s easier), lift the car with the car-jack and make the key inside move.

After discussing for a bit, we decided to try a different technique: we wanted to somehow try to open the door with the door-handle from the inside. To do so, we pushed several sticks through the isolation of the passenger’s door window. Even though we noticed that the technique wasn’t bad, we didn’t manage to have a stick stable and long enough to reach the door handle. Binding to sticks together was the solution in the end. After almost 2 hours trying to break into our own car, we finally succeeded! The door opened and the alarm of the car started to honk loudly. Both of us were so relieved. We managed to break into our own car without any tools and could continue our trip! I guess, we won’t forget a key in the car anymore…

Nature in Estonia

After the shock of the locked car, we needed some down time. The perfect place for this was a little cabin in the open land with not much more around it than some fields, forest and a nature park. We spend 2 nights in the nature and enjoyed a beautiful hike through the moorlands and nature park close to the cabin.

Easy charging at Schuko

While we enjoyed the quietness and the nature of Estonia, our car was peacefully charging from a Schuko-outlet that was situated at the front porch of our cabin. I always enjoy it, if we don’t have to spend any extra time or effort to charge the car (or to find a place to charge it).

outlet/socket Volt Ampere kW kWh
Schuko 220 volt 1 * 10 amperes 2 kW 50 kWh

Charging in Zyuratkul National Park, Russia

Resting and hiking

Half way between Chelyabinsk and Ufa there is the Zyuratkul national park with lakes and mountains of the Ural mountain chain. We were looking forward to having some quite time and a nice hike there. Since there was no internet reception and no Wi-Fi at the place that we stayed at, we got our resting time. On the second day at the Zyuratkul National Park, I did a long hike on a neat peak. The hiking trail was nicely maintained (something we never really had during our journey) and the view from the top was great.

Charging in the middle of nowhere

We stayed at a “cabin-resort” with many small huts that you could rent. To charge the car, we only needed a Schuko-outlet, since we stayed long enough at the resort. The security hut at the entrance offered us what we needed (even though they needed to be convinced at first – a local who understood our problem told them they shouldn’t be fools and let the guests from Switzerland charge). The Tesla was charging there with 10 amperes on one phase for about 20 hours.

The biggest gastronomic disappointment

The whole experience at the Zyuratkul National Park was great. We stayed at a very nice, newly build wooden cabin. The national park itself is beautiful. But we got deeply disappointed with a restaurant in the resort where we tried to have dinner – once. It was the worst dinner of our entire journey. We didn’t receive our ordered drinks until after food was served. When the waiter brought Benedikt a plate with three bones and with a little meat on them that cost double as much as what you usually pay at a Russian restaurant, we thought this is a big joke. The waiter asked when we had that bone-plate on the table, if Benedikt wouldn’t like any side dishes. Couldn’t he have thought of that before? Since I had a plate with fried potatoes (that were covered with yellowish oil) we shared that and were happy to leave the place little later. During our whole journey, we never got disappointed that much by a restaurant. I guess the only good thing was that none of us got diarrhea afterwards…

outlet/socket Volt Ampere kW kWh
Schuko 220 volt 1 * 10 amperes 2 kW 40 kWh

Charging in Shchuchinsk, Kazakhstan

The national park Burabay

In the north of Kazakhstan, the national park Burabay can be found. It’s only a 3 hour drive from Astana. We stayed in a hotel at lake Shchuchye. The nature reminded us of Scandinavian countries, since birch trees, soft hills and lakes shape the beautiful national park.

Charging Benedikt and the car

Benedikt got a cold at the Expo. He needed to rest and recover. That’s what we did during 2 days in the Kazakh nature.

Also, the car needed to charge. It took us quite a while to make us understandable what we need and what we were looking for. Eventually the technician of the hotel showed Benedikt a fuse box and we started charging with all three phases.

outlet/socket Volt Ampere kW kWh
fuse box 230 volt 2 times 16 amperes 7 kW 40 kWh

Charging in Borjomi, Georgia

Anyone ever been in a former Soviet country knows Borjomi mineral water. I think the salty taste of this water tastes awful, but it’s supposed to be healthy (and help with hangovers 😉).

After visiting the beautiful Gelati monastery near Kutaisi (check out this post), we drove to Borjomi, the city where the mineral water comes from. It is situated in the north-west of the picturesque Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. Our intention was to stay in a nice hotel and to enjoy the nature while hiking (on a car-free day) in the national park. Despite bad weather forecast, we did a beautiful hike with breathtaking scenery the day after we arrived in Borjomi.

Since we knew that we would be staying for two nights at the hotel, we only asked for a Schuko (2kW) to charge the car. It is a lot easier to find a “normal” Schuko outlet, than a three-phase outlet. The downside of Schuko-charging is just that it takes often more than 30 hours to charge the car to a satisfying level. What people usually don’t know is that the “quality” of the cable and outlet determines the charging process. The hotel in Borjomi offered us an extension cord that they plugged in at some Schuko in the hotel kitchen. The cable was very long and thin. This means the cable cross-section was almost too thin for constant strain or the resistance to high. The extension-cord got warm, even though we were only charging 1kW. Despite the circumstances, we managed to charge the battery to 90% and left after the second night in Borjomi to Tbilisi.