July 22, 2008 GMT
Ukraine 2 Kamyanets-Podilsky to Sebastopol

photos from previous blog:
first the selection of bikers bikes we met at the first motel:


the infamous motel of 'oohs, aaghs, squeals, groans, creaking bed springs, snores and stilletto heels clacking out on the tiles at 6am ( ? 4 stillettos?!)



state of roads!




passing scenery:




Going through the rural areas you are met with horse and carts, chickens and geese on the side of the road and a single cow being led off by a chain to be milked ( or walked to another pasture). One person will be ambling along the side of the road tending goats.Storks are nesting in the telegraph poles.

There are stray dogs everywhere (and in towns) and you frequently see them dead on the side of the road, having been hit by a car.People are on the side of road ( including the 'motorways' selling their wares---- apples, onions, peaches,potatoes,watermelons or rush mats, hats or brooms.

The hay is stacked in small stoops to dry and we have some with a gap in the centre to allow the goats some shade.
Side streets in the small towns are so potholed there is hardly a width's tyre space of tarmac.

In each large town , so far, we have seen alot of restoration and children will come and beg at your table ( if you are seated outside). One little lad knicked my bottle of iced tea and then hurriedly dropped it when we shouted at him. If you are in a big town the security guards will come out and chase them away and every hotel has it's own security people.

Wait for this--- a packet of 20 American cigarettes is 35 pence, full meal for 2, with drinks was 12.50 ( and that was dear, as it was in the hotel). Cost of hotel room 36 .36 (including garage and breakfast). In the motels it was 22.72 - bed only !!!!!! beer is 62 per litre and petrol is 73 per litre.

17 & 18 july were days off at Kamynates- Podilsky - very much needed. The sun coming out helped our moral alot.

Off to see the fortress which is stunning. You are allowed to clamber every where and there are signs saying 'mortal danger'.Health and safety eat you heart out !Colin also managed to get the bike washed. The tank is a commemoration to the war dead.



and the magnificent Russian Orthodox church of St Georges:


Many a conversation has been halted mid sentence by Colin as a stunning Ukrainian girl walks past-- in the shortest of shorts, the skimpiest of tops, beautifully made-up and tottering along in high heels.(how they manage to walk on the cobbles heaven alone knows !) Colin then says; "sorry, I lost my train of thought there for a minute"!

The stamps are stuck on to the cards for you and then dried with a cloth. In the
supermarket we visited you pay seperately at each counter ( ie, meat,biscuits or fruit counters).Makes for a rather long shopping trip !

Sat 19th July off to Uman and a stay at Queen Sophia's gardens and a nice quiet amble around in 30 degrees.

20th to Kherson.
The motorways seem mainly to be equivalent to our A roads -- but poorer in places. we found that the m/w from Kiev to odessa was great --- but were'nt on it long !some places have really modern facilities and then you call into a small cafe and the loo is in a brick building with , literally, a hole in the ground.Petrol ststions are frequent.



This is the 'bread bowl of Russia' with huge fields of wheat etc. It is a lush area and we saw a convoy of 15 combine harverters going down thw motorway !The road seems endless - dead straight in front of you. Some of the harvested fields are then burnt.The bike is much photographed and we are definitely a novelty !top temp was 35 degrees.

Mon 21 july and on to Sebastopol. This was a long hard drive and very hot over the plain. the road seemed to go for ever. it was 35 degrees as we were travelling and up to 40 when we stopped.We were stopped once by the traffic police and altough he was holding a speed metre- all he wanted was to look around the bike.

hazards of the motorways are bus stops, pedestrian crossings, people picnicing on the side of road, animals,and railway crossings. There are loads of flower covered crosses for drivers who have died. It is hard work for Colin and he says you cannot let your concerntration lapse for one minute.

There are cardboard cut outs of police man and car in specified danger areas.

So here we are in Sebastipol and what a stunning place.
Total mileage now is :2680.More to come------

Posted by Dee Masters at July 22, 2008 04:43 PM GMT

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