Brendon and Natasha
Brendon and Natasha Ball
We are a couple representing charity "Smilemenders". We have been providing help to Ukrainian & Belorussian children affected by Chernobyl since 1999. The route of our journey is Canada, Japan, Russia, Ukraine & Europe.
July 24, 2008 GMT
JAPAN Weeks 6 & 7

8 July 12 july

Arrival in the land of the Rising Sun.

Japan is a country steeped in tradition and tea in similar amounts.

Many of you will be familiar with the Japanese Emblem, and understand that it has symbolic reference to the dawn. Well perhaps, but I think a more accurate depiction is that of the usual colour of Japanese traffic lights. I wonder if Boris Johnson is going to use it for London? Our own particular dawning of this reality didn't strike until we lobbed ourselves onto the highways.

Posted by Brendon Ball at 08:55 AM GMT
July 30, 2008 GMT
Fushiki to Russia Week 7


Posted by Brendon Ball at 06:26 AM GMT
Russia Week 8

North from Vladivostok (554km) 23 July

Although we cleared the bike on the first whole day in Vladivostok, we needed to sort out our mobile phones, it was still raining, and we wanted to have a bit of look at the city. We aren't planning an early return.
Farewells were said to friends we met on the boat, and the alarm set for 5.00. We were fumbling with our cases in pitch dark half an hour later.
At least there wasn't much traffic about.

Posted by Brendon Ball at 06:31 AM GMT
August 12, 2008 GMT
Russia Weeks 9 & 10

Chita to Ulan Ude 692km 30th July

Our stay in Hotel Zabaikalye was recuperative, and gave us a chance to heal bites and bruises.
Also Natasha got this thing posted.
We were on the 4th floor, and because the building is being extensively modernised, we were without the lift, so that was also part of our fitness program. By the time we had washed the dust off ourselves and the bike we had little time to sight see. We did discover an excellent Cafe/ restaurant that was Ukrainian styled. The food was simply brilliant. Everything tasted fresh and wholesome. The staff were also friendly. Even more-so when we returned for an evening meal.

Posted by Brendon Ball at 06:18 AM GMT
September 03, 2008 GMT

13 August Volgograd - Donetsk 640 km

We enjoyed our stay in Volgograd and spending a bit of time with Roger, Gareth, Chris and Joanne, The Kiwi bunch. I think the hotel regards New Zealanders a bit like buses.... And then there were five all at once. They left a day earlier than us and we waved them goodbye.

Posted by Brendon Ball at 11:38 AM GMT

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