Having gone quite quickly across Europe to make the ferry out of Odessa, I am now relaxing by the coast in Georgia.
The ferry was fine, I had opted for the economy cabin which means sharing with three others - I was a bit concerned the other three would turn out to be farting Ukrainian truck drivers (call me Mrs Picky) - however the receptionists felt sorry for me and put me in a cabin on my own - luxury. The Georgians on board took me under their wing, trying to fatten me up by urging more food onto me and they also did some language lessons so I now have a Georgian twang to my Russian. The food itself was a bit odd- everyone was pulling funny faces - well, cold noodles and sausage isn't usual for breakfast in anyone's country - it took me two days to find out that there was porridge available.
Arriving at Georgia, I didn't get off to a great start as the ferry docked at 9.00am - maybe I was a bit too optimistic when I presented myself for check out at 9.30- only to be told that I should go back and wait in my cabin for "one or two hours, or maybe three or four"!
It was 1.45pm by the time I got out of the port and then, the car that was showing me the route out of the docks area reversed into me! not a good start.
I was pulled over by police within 30 mins on the road- oh no I thought- ex-soviet style again, having had the Ukrainian police try to sting me, but how wrong I was, they just wanted to chat (which was very limited with my poor Russian vocab) and then they asked me to pose for a quick photo and they waved me on - how friendly was that I thought.
The roads seem pretty good, although there are random cows wandering around which I am having to dodge on the road, it reminds me of India. I have managed to meet up with another rider through Horizons so we are comparing rides so far - it has taken him two months to get this far whilst I have whizzed through in two weeks.
I also seem to have acquired Giardia - not pleasant to be with at the moment!
Waiting for news on the Turkmenistan visa- some visa companies are saying that the border has been closed - not sure what will happen after Azerbaijan.
It's been a while since I've hit the road - I was very ill (Stills Disease), in hospital for quite a while and then off my bike for a year , but I was one of the lucky ones and have made almost a full recovery- or at least enough to get back on Thelma and take off once more- this time destination Mongolia.
12,000 miles across Europe, the 'Stans and Russia to Outer Mongolia.
I am writing this from sunny Odessa on the Black Sea waiting for the ferry to Georgia, I have been assured that it will leave at 11.00pm tonight but this is the Ukraine so we shall see.
I left home just over a week ago and had the excitement of getting through three rear shock absorbers in the first four days!!
A bit of a record even by Horizons standards I think, though two of them were second-hand and the garage pointed out that it was broken beforeit was fitted to Thelma.
- never mind, I got a Wilbers (recommended by Horizons contributors) shock in Germany for a very good price and seem to be doing well with that.
I am also the proud owner of a website showing all my previous journeys and my current one, keeping friends and family up to date. I will also be blogging on here, as without Horizons, life would be a lot more difficult on the road.
I'll probably be meeting up with other travellers later as there seem to be quite a lot of people going across Central Asia, but I am on my own for the majority of this trip with a couple of friends joining me for different parts of my travels.
Yes, I am still riding Thelma- my trusty 1992 BMW R80GS- she is going well, although her horn has stopped working, something to look at when I dock in Georgia, as from my experience a horn is essential for overseas bike travel.
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