The last blog was from Sudak with the temperature at 50 degrees.
card board police motorbike on side of the road.
next day ( fri 25th july) we pressed on and got to the parting of the road - right to Russia and left back to mid Ukraine. colin stopped and said ' well, this is it- what are we to do - press on or go back? An executive decision was made to halt it there and go back------ the heat is unbearable. Colin , especially is feeling it and he has got to the stage of legs not wanting to work, intensely tired,weary,wobbly and every thing is an effort and totally pissed off.
He cannot let up with the concerntration on the roads for one minute - the surfaces are so bad -- and we cannot see any change in russia. we also know that in russsia we will have to cover vast distances in between towns to get to a hotel and Colin is'nt prepared to do that.
we have found this a strange country in many ways--- some things ultra modern with good western hotels and service and petrol stations the same. we have met some kind people who really try to help----- and on the other side of the coin, we have been refused breakfast in'russian' hotels.-only to see the locals being served 5 minutes later.
Also have been refused nourishment in motels and cafes-- at one place the police were there and tried to get us served and she nearly threw them out as well.All the time the locals are being served.
In small garages i am always sent to the loo ' around the back'-- which is a hole in the ground and once that was even too much for me to use.Roughing it I don't mind but when a perfectly good western toilet is available inside and I am told that i cannot use it, I begrudge lowering my standards!The outside ones stink to high heaven and are indiscribably filthy --- and contain aload of visible shit-literally!
we feel that alot of the time we are classed as the second class citizen. Alot have no manners at all , whilst others are nice. such a contrast ---but I fear that our abiding memory will ere on the black side .This is a place that you really do need an interpreter or speak a smattering of the lingo otherwise you are totally ignored.
Sorry but we have both 'had it' with ukraine and our thoughts were that Russia would be no better ---- may be wrong and we will find out how Brendon and Tasha get on.---- i hope better than us - at least Tasha can speak the language.
We are very sorry to let Brendon and Tasha down - but at the end of the day- health and enjoyment of the trip come first---- and we were not enjoying it--- let alone the money side of things. i don't begrudge spending hard earned cash when you are having fun- but this is'nt.We have Brendon's russian phone number but have tried several times to ring them to no avail.
So -- to continue, we decided to go back to Kherson - 7 1/2 hours to do 270 miles and man was it hot. We have been dousing our head with water at each stop but today was the day that i really felt the heat. Had got to the stage of lifting up my helmet to let the air in. I actually got off the bike and forgot to unplug the intercom lead - I was that desperate to get the helmet off! that was when i stood under the sprinkler at a garage !
Sat 26 july and on to Uman.- 265 miles.A much better temperature today but one exit too early off the motorway had us bombing off into the bondue with small villages and none listed on colin's map. we had no idea where we were and no one to ask for miles. in the end we turned around and back tracked ---- ,losing the maps which flew out of the plastic tank bag insert!So back we went to find them on the side of the road ! 63 miles later we were back to where we went wrong--- and started again!
Impounded bikes at the crimea border
passing Mig fighter !
this is not the hotel - but a block of flats!
got to the hotel to be told that the 2 restauants in town were closed as it was a saturday and ' russians don't eat out''.we can give you a simple supper of omelette----- and an omelette it was, no bread or salad and 2 forks ! Then we bought a packet of crisps each and dunked them in the marmite and i had a snickers bar.----(the other half for breakfast the next day !)------ if I don't see another snickers bar for ages - it'll still be too soon !
wheat fields being burnt off.
There was a monumental storm during the evening and over night and that has cooled every where down a bit.
Sun 27 july and back to K.P.Today we were stopped by the police. going up a hill, solid white line, no traffic in sight coming down and colin overtook a lorry. police at the top of the hill waved his baton and we were pulled over. 'docuements ---- passports,IDP and bike registration'.
he looked all through them and handed back the passports and took the IDP back to the car, on the other side of the road and then called Colin to come over. i went as well and he proceeded to go through the IDP with a fine tooth comb and started filling out a ticket very carefully and very slowly ( with halting english ) He then said 'passport' again and i trogged off to get them ( got me out of the way nicely). then he said to Colin 100 Euro, Colin said 'no' and then in perfect english he said ' 300 Grivners( £34) and you may go' colin agreed and he shook hands and tore the ticket up!----- straight into their back pocket?--- 5 minutes later they got back into the car and were gone. i said that they had gone for a vodka ( or 2 ) on us !
So we are staying here for 2 days to recoup and try to contact Brendon somehow. the mobile phone will not work here and i know that the international ban has been lifted.At least here we hve IT facilities and that is a God send.This is a large place with all facilities and the people are helpful - it helps to put a better light on things!
cardboard police car
selling wares on side of road
trolley bus in town
Total miles : 3881---- more to come
Posted by Dee Masters at July 28, 2008 01:22 PM GMT
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