Vel. Byckiv (25-05-2000) till Feodosija (15-06-2000)
My intentions were to pay a brief visit to Vlad Turayev whose address I got through Internet, as he was willing to help me in obtaining a visa for the Ukraine.
His intentions were actually completely different. His hospitality was overwhelming and he insisted on me staying for at least three days. He immediately started to arrange all kind of things. Starting with a huge dinner in his garage, a TV-interview for a local station (only a couple of minutes where broadcasted, which I missed to see) and a sightseeing tour through Pavlograd. Also a lot of his friends were visiting his garage to meet me as the word spread quickly.
On the local college I was able to use the Internet access (to write my first report). Before I left he gave me a huge list of all his friends in the Crimea which he had called to let them know I was coming. I wasn't unable to visit them all, but actually visited some of them.
In the Crimea I started in the north-west part, which was very much as I expect Siberia to be: all farmland with huge cattles and farms. And... hardly any (high octane) petrol! So I had to made a shortcut to be able to reach Saky at the Black Sea shore and visit some of his friends (also bikers). They were living on a former army base, which was abandoned completely, only the local people were left over. There was no water and electrical power for three days already. A little inconvenient but certainly no big problem.
For the placename 'sign' of Dnjeprpetrovsk
Vlad (another biker living in Saky) offered me to drive to the former naval city Sevastopol together to pay a visit to his friend Oleg. We drove over marvellous winding rounds up into the Crimea Mountains and I was stunned by the view on the shoreline deep down below. The mountain ridge ended steeply just about 1 km. off the shoreline and the city of Jalta was perfectly visible.
After a swim in the Black Sea we continued to Sevastopol and visited Oleg who was trying to import second-hand 'western' motorbikes into the Ukraine but they are very expensive for the locals. That night we visited a local rock concert in the theatre with some of his friends.
The next day we had a stroll through the city and I wanted to leave today for the cave city of Manhup Kale and Vlad spontaneously offered to come with me. Driving up the mountain over a small unpaved path was really a test for my off-road driving capabilities and I really loved it! Reaching the top we walked around and explored the caves (about 20) and spend the night in one of them. It's really amazing how easy it is to get access to those cultural sights. No entrance fee, and even no control at all. For this reason some of those caves where full of rubbish and many writing carved into the walls.
The next day Vlad returned home and I spend 2 days in (and around) Jalta. Not the most beautiful city. The genuese fortress in Sudak was very nice to walk around and I continued to Feodosia to meet Vlads (the Pavlograd one) best friend Sergey. Also their hospitality was overwhelming and we strolled through the city during the night hours with some of their (Sergey and his wife Elana) friends.
With all Vlads (Ukrainian biker) friends and my bike
The next day we had to do some welding on my steer and after it was fixed the motor refused any service. Despite all the precaution (removing fuses and disconnect the battery) probably the motor management computer was blown. I was looking through the electrical drawings and testing switches etc. Finally I found the problem: the gearbox wasn't in its neutral! And I had the motor completely stripped. I was feeling like a fool but relieved at the same time there was no damage.
That afternoon we had a boat trip to some cliffs, which were steeply rising out of the sea. Very impressive to see and also very relaxing.Posted by Martin Rooiman at June 15, 2000 03:04 AM GMT
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