Sunday, 22 July 2012

End of the road for Russia

Well I am now sat in the Hotel Acfes Seiyo Vladivadstok.

So here is the story of how I got here !

My days in Ulan Batar were coming to an end, I knew it was time to move on or otherwise I would have to apply for Mongolian citizenship !

After having spent a few days with my mate Alec it was time once again to hook up with Daz and Leigh and head out of Mongolia.
Alec enjoying a Mongolian bus ride
So on the 12th July we headed out and up to the border. we took it quite easy, stopping to take some last minute pictures of Mongolia and enjoying a few brews on the way.

we stopped here for a brew

While I was sorting out my back box which had became loose after my crash in Ulan Ude, I noticed a small bell lying on the ground. So I picked it up and put it in my pocket.
The next lunch break we stopped at a roadside cafe where a couple of Mongolian guys were admiring the bikes. When we finished I went out to discover my small brass combination lock had been stolen off my bike! Well I know it was only a lock but I was furious. Despite the Mongolian being really nice people theres still some light fingered gits amongst them!

So we headed for the long road to Vladivadstok. Whilst having a nights rest just outside of Chita I received news that my mum had taken ill and was in hospital. I was beside myself and desperately trying to work out a way to get back home. Then my mum said under no circumstances was I to come home. I must finish what I started. Thankfully my mum is now out of hospital and resting on her way to a full recovery.

A few days later we stopped the night at a memorial for a Russian biker who was murdered by locals 2 years ago. There were hundreds of bikers gathered to remember him. So we stayed the night and had a fantastic time.

I left a pair of earplugs for him
In the morning I discovered that my tatty banda headscarf had gone missing, the Russian bikers did not believe that any biker would take it. So I have to say, I left feeling quite disheartened.
I started thinking back to the bell I had picked up in Mongolia, maybe after the padlock, my mum and then my Bandana it was really a bad luck omen. So at the next petrol stop I left it on the wall. So if you see it dont pick it up lol.

About an hour later we stop for lunch and when I take my jacket off, my bandana is stuck inside the sleeve! I have no idea of how it got there. All I could think about was how bad I felt that I thought a biker would steal my bandana. So if any of the Russian bikers are reading this. I am REALLY SORRY  for thinking anyone would have taken it.

The next few days just seem to be a blur in my memory, long hot roads with lots of road works and temporary roads, meaning just hard core rock or gravel!

I did stay in a lovely little motel and this young lady knocked on my door at 1 in the morning to see if I wanted to go in the car with her mates and go for a drink.

Well I must be getting old or I was very wary of going drinking late at night and I politely turned down her offer, I did however spend the next few days pondering over whether I made the right decision lol

I met some lovely people on the way, one young man wanted to give me a 1000 Roubles (£20) towards my trip. I said no, then he asked if I could exchange dollars. I said I have no dollars and felt sorry for him so I dug out some Mongolian money and gave him a 20 note (worth about a quarter of a penny) He gave me a 100 Rouble note (about £2) I refused but he insisted and shoved it into my tankbag. 5 minutes later he was back with an ice cold bottle of sprite.

Later that day I met this man, Sergi

He was the cook at a cafe I stopped at, I ordered a bowl of Borsh (Russian soup which is really tasty) and he brought out smoke chicken. then my Borsh, then he gave me a lighter, bottle of water and then disappeared returning with a Russian military water bottle and mess tins set.
When I went to pay for my meal, he completely refused any money.

So it took me 10 days (including a rest day just outside of Chita) to cover 2,450 miles. I have to admit, it was the most toughest of roads I have completed so far.

Now I am booked on the ferry to South Korea, my bike will be loaded tomorrow and I will head out on a very expensive overnight ferry to South Korea on Wednesday the 25th of July 2012.

Where I go from there........ I will let you know as soon as I know myself :-)

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