July 18, 2008 GMT
Ukraine 1

Photos from last blog !




Mon 14 july saw us entering Ukraine!

The castle, first thing in the morning was shrouded in mist after a monuemental thunder storm last night with thunder and lightening directly above us !


The cover on the bike had become dislodged !


Before we left this was the temperature ---- at 9am!


We sped past an aeroplane cafe and Colin did a smart turn around for a 'look see' !What a good job he did.It was a 1950's Russian plane with the interior laid out as a restaurant---



Engines still in place!--Very novel and quite unique.

This is the picture from the bomb bay !


Again it hissed down with rain and on this slippery tarmac it leads to a slow drive!

Got to the border at 11 am and formalities were done in about an hour. One miltary guy spoke English and was helpful. We had to show the bike 'passport', let them know how long we were to be in Ukraine and see a doctor for a 'health check' ( that's a first, never had to do that before.) The doctor took one look at us and asked where we were going, said ' you are mad' and gave us the stamp we needed. There was a blood pressure monitor in the shed--- and that was about all.

A drug dog sniffed around the bike--- and we were free to go.

First sign in Russian:


Passing scenery:


The roads in town are slightly more potholed---- and all cobbled. Got to Muckachevu and booked into the 4* hotel Star at 36.80 per night ( including breakfast).photo shows the inner courtyard.


On the main roads the signs are in Cyrrilic with the 'English ' version underneath. In towns it is only the Cyrrilic --- which makes negotiating them interesting !Alot of police around and we were told by one to drive up a pedestrian pathway. The policeman at the other end was not 'an happy bunny' !We talked our way out of that one quickly!

Petrol is 73 pence per litre and beer is 62 pence for 1/2 litre.Very few want to let on that they speak English--- and most do, very well.We have resorted to the 'picture of images' book several times!
At the garages you have to pay before you are allowed to get the petrol, so you have to guess how many litres you want and convert to how much that will be in money.The first time this really caught us out but Colin managed to judge it OK-- and the tank was nearly full!

Tues 15 july and a grand total of 66 miles in 2 1/2 hours. There was another monuemntal storm last night and it continued to bucket down this morning. We waited until 10.30 am and decided to press on------- not a good idea. Through the Carthapanian mountains in deluging rain, cold at 9 degrees and Colin doing 30 mph behind lorries. At 1pm we chucked it in and headed for a roadside motel to dry out! From 40 degrees to 9---- in the space of 24hours is a shock to the system!
We have seen more accidents today than ever before - cars rolled over- and it is very sobering.

motel cost is 22.72 per night and has a cafe and bar! This place hs a security guard over night, complete with hipster gun and truncheon.Met up with a motor cycle group of 7 drivers from Hungary who were doing a large loop around in 2 weeks. They were a giggle a minute and a fair amount of vodka and beer chasers were consumed. ---- their english got better as the evening progressed!

we ate a buffet meal here--- big mistake ( but it was the only thing available and we went against all our better instints)---- I paid for it the next day !

Wed 16 and it chucked it down all day. The 'motorway' road surface is a bit bumpy and then we came off onto a 'p' road----- that was pot holed with great corrigations and Colin was weaving his way through the best path. we were going to stop at Ternopil but the hotel was SO grotty he rejected it and we went on toKamyanets- podilsky. a total of 237 miles.
At 6 pm he spotted a motel and we bowled in. They were helpful and tried hard with their limited English. A good meal was had and then off to bed. the room should have been the clue-- a double bed, 2 chairs, a poster of a half naked lady and dried flowers and net everywhere. Then the night time entertainment from the next door room started! ----- what with that and the frogs bonking and braying over night - it was all quite an education for me ! Colin reckoned that it was a place to pay for by the hour !!

thurs 17 and we sped into town and found a hotel ( which we would never have found last night in the rain) and it's newly built , nice surroundings and we are having a day off to recuperate !!!!---- hope this sun lasts, More to come---

Posted by Dee Masters at July 18, 2008 10:00 AM GMT

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