May 04, 2006 GMT

Well, since the last entry we have had some experiances.

We left Romania bound for Moldova, and to be honest, we should have saved ourselves the bother. It cost us money, time and effort that was wasted. It isn't somewhere i would recomend and i doubt you can get a package holiday the from Thompson's, nor will you be able to soon. Although the people there wern't so bad the whole experiance was over in a day, it is like a little place that time forgot and doesn't want to remember. below is a typical building in the capital Chisinau.

Then we were onto the Ukraine. Customs were a bitch, we had three to go through, all wanted to know everything, they tool my knife and wanted $200 dollars to prevent them from calling the police as it was bigger than allowed, 'it was 4 inches long' so i gave them $10. which i dont think they were happy with but it saved me going through the hassle of sorting it all out without paying. Eventually after about 3 hours of buggering about we were in the country though we were expecting worse as john took 5 hours last time he came in and that was with a push bike.

We saw alot of the Ukraine, mostly at a 45 degree angle. The winds here are terrible, and they always seem to be either cross winds or straight into your face. no tail winds typically. So we started of on day one. All was going well and we were making goood time when Al got a blow out when doing about 65mph. I was about 20 feet behind him and it didn't look good, but after trying to save it three times he went down on the floor, hard.

I stopped the bike and ran back to him and by the time i got there he was on his feet and crouching by the bike so i knmew he wasn't so bad. but his rack was brocken and the innertube was obliterated. So after walking his bike to a nearby petrol station John and i went off into town to find a mechanic who could get it back into town.
After asking a couple of people we found a guy who was more than happy to help and ran around like a headless chicken trying to get it sorted. He did and this is how we got it back to his lockup.

So anyway these guys spent the rest of the night fixing up als bike, and they did a pretty good job to to be hoest. After they had finished, they decided to invite us to join them for some food and drink. The food was chicken and cheese froim a local shop, the drink was a few beers and there moonshine, which was rocket fuel, so we stayed off of that pretty much.

They were a good bunch of lads though and were very interested in our lifestyles back in England. Once the morning came we asked them how much we owed them, but again they wouldn't take any money, but we gave them some anyway. A big thank you to Dorick, Varnya, and Roma (spellings probably wrong) but than you anyway, shall speak to you soon if your reading.

So off across the Ukraine we set, and it was going quite well, until Al and i had a little bit of a bump. I was daydreaming down a straight road that was about 500km long with about 5 bends in it, when he slowed down to turn off for fuel and i noticed him at the last minute. I tried to miss him but didn't so our boxes collided and we were both send sprawling across the road. Al was understandable a little upset not only casue i had taken him out, but he had been intimate with Ukrainian tarmac twice within 24hours. quite a good record to set. Here he is after the accident.


All in all it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Al had a slightly sprained wrist and a ruptured fuel tank, and i bounced quite well. All this was about 100 yards from about 5 coppers doing speed checks, they came over, told us we would have to get transport through them for the next major town which was 123km away, at $1 per km, luckily an English speaking girl stopped to help, and we told them we would sort the bikes out ourself. Once we told them this they dissapeared as quickly as they had appeared, withouit asking any of us if we were ok, for any documents or for anything else. Seems they just wanted to get a quick buck out of us. So anyway the next couple of hours were spent banging boxes into shape, mending fuel tanks with liquid metal and basically recovering. We hobbled into a town 15km behind us and stayed the night close by in some woods.
The next morning we couldn't find a mechanuic but found some more police, they found a guy who know one so we followed him there. Within the hour we were back on the road. I also got a puncture, two bolts on Al's oil filter lost there threads and had to be re tapped and it did nothing but blow a gale out here.

so now it was the last push to the border. we were about 40km from the border and whoops, Al found himself at the wrong end of a radar gun. 89 in a 70. but nobody really cares out here how fast you go, except the police. They stopped us and took him into a little office by the side of the road and tried to fleece some dollars off of him. Al did exactly the right thing, no, not ask to speak to his superior, or ask him his number, he played the dumb Englishman who couldn't speak russian, not to hard a task to be honest, but it worked, and he kicked him out of the police box by the road out of frustration and tiold him to get lost.

Last but not least on the way out of the Uklraine, another guard stopped Al and tried again to get cash off of him for not getting his piece of paper stamped, which was blatentley missed so they could get some cash off you. Al told him to stick it and went back and got it stamped. So at last we were out of the Ukraine.

All in all Ukraine was full of ups and downs. The Country is a horrible place, but all the people we met, apart from that copper, and the border guards were really nice. So if you meet a Ukranian be nice unless they work for the government.

As i say were in Volgagrad now, but have to go so shall do all of this part fo russia in one go, once were out of it.

More coordinates for google earth from our campsites.

Moldova 47 18.705N 027 42.343E

Ukraine 46 41.812N 030 01.66E

Ukraine 46 46.962N 036 45.435E

Be back soon.

Be back soon.

Posted by Colin Patrick at May 04, 2006 03:38 PM GMT

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