After a well deserved rest (hhmm) in Kiev, we went back to our friends at the Suzuki dealership to pick up our ugly ducklings. This time they were shiny (thank you for washing them!) and not leaking and we were glad to see them back after such a long time apart. It felt like starting all over again because we had to repack everything on the bikes and our bottoms hurt like it was the first time that we sat down on our bikes… this is true love!
We would like to thank the whole Suzuki team for everything they did for us : Ivan, Taras, Andrey and Kirill. If you guys ever come to Belgium, just send us a mail and we will be glad to show you around and help you.
Off we went in the direction of the Ukraine/Russian border because now we were already 7 days behind our planned timing!
At a certain time, Seb managed to kiss the ground on his own this time (without my help, imagine that!) He also managed to rip an attachment of one of the side bags so that it now literaly hangs by a thread and is constantly in his way when he is driving.
Believe it or not, but just as we pulled up to a place where we would set our tent, Seb noticed that he had a flat tyre, again! We are glad that we ordered two new inner tyres in Kiev so that at least we still have one new left! It was almost dark when Seb finished changing the tyre and by then the mozzies were out to eat us alive! It just seems that bad luck is following us everywhere we go this trip. But the good part is that we seem to have lost our rainy cloud!! (for now)
In the morning the mozzies inside the tent were all dead or struggling for their life, but the ones outside had not given up that easily! While beating them half silly we managed to see that the tyre was still ok, we packed up and drove off as quickly as we could just to escape the bloodsucking monsters!!
The bordercrossing was nothing like last year. Last year we had to wait 5 hours and had the ‘pleasure’ to meet Olga, the furosious borderlady from Russia. This year it was also a blond woman who met us at the Russian border, but I think it was the oposite of Olga. She was nice to us and could even smile and have a laugh when we did some silly tourist jokes. Imagine that! Russia starts to like us, and we start to like Russia.
Now that we left Ukraine and now that I can’t jinx it anymore, I can say that we were super lucky. Every day we were in Ukraine we found money on the ground, no matter where we were. It wasn’t always that much, but no matter how small the coin was, we bent down to pick it up. This can easily be the start of your first million, you never know, do you?
We did something extremly illegal when we just entered Russia, we went camping in the border zone…Ooohhh!! Sneaky. We found some old abandoned buildings and thought it would be perfect to give us some cover for the night. It was also time to do some laundry and try to wash ourselves because you could almost smell us in Belgium (and even the stench doesn’t keep the mozzies away). It was a very nice evening and Seb made us some chateaubriand with french fries and mayonaise served with a nice cup of Champaign (read: bread with nutella and honey with a minttea ;-)) and it was delicious!
After our clothes were dry the next morning, we left in the direction of Voronezh and found a tank by the side of the road. It was a memorial from WWII but that didn’t bother Seb to climb on it and he put a wanderingsouls sticker on it… 😉 we are now (in)famous in Russia, ha! Ben, I know you wanted on a MIG plane, but if we can’t find any at least we put your sticker on a tank…
When we passed Voronezh, we wanted to look for a hotel, because our cloud had found us again (bugger). The first 3 hotels were full or had unfriendly staff, the 4th hotel didn’t have internet, but the first motel really made my blood boil! There was a lady there and Seb went up to her and told her that he didn’t speak Russian but that we wanted a bed for the night. The woman looked at us and said: “no panemayo Ruski…davai, davai!!” she actually shoed us away not even trying to help us! Russia, a warm home for the tourists!
The last hotel was the oposite, the woman even spoke some mixture of German and English and was very friendly and welcome, so every cloud has a silver lining, you just have to look hard sometimes…
Rainy clouds & mosquitoes, they love you as much as we do! 😉
Glad that you’re back on the road again …
Don’t know if it was a smart move to leave your sticker on that tank: hope you don’t end up in jail for damaging comrade’s property! 😉
sticker cool hé , nu kennen ze jullie daar toch al lol 🙂
kim een wasmachine is toch makkelijker hé en die muggen, sla ze dood.
mam en pap en co
Die beestjes NIET meebrengen a.u.b.!!!! Als ik zo die avonturen steeds lees, man dat is onbetaalbaar! Dat er regelmatig dan eens op een onbeleefde manier met ons Heerke zal gesproken worden, kan ik aannemen, ik zou dat ook zeker doen…. Denk er enkel aan dat je de kans hebt om dit prachtig avontuur te kunnen doen!!!! Nog veel plezier en geniet ten volle!
Loved the sticker on the Tank! 😉 Great to see that you didn’t spend some vacation on a siberian gulag courtesy of Cameraden Putin! LOL ! Really enjoying your blog!
lol thanks Luis! Hope you get a little better reading all this! 😉