Adventure.GS
 

The diaries - 1   









               Mick and Sue leaving Rainbow Motorcycles, Rotherham 24th March 2005


1 April 

Gizycko - Poland


Mick   

We are in a small town in the northern Polish lakes called Gizycko, weather cold but bright and sunny. Found a fantastic hotel at the side of  Lake Buwelno so we are having 2 days here. What I thought originally was an oil leak from the water pump, turned out to be nothing more than a leaking oil pressure switch, this was fixed under warranty by a friendly BMW dealer in Germany. Border crossing into Poland no probs, other than an irate German motorist taking exception to us pushing in, so she rammed me. I stopped on the bike and after leaning on her car door taking her mirror off, her car came off worse than my slightly grazed pannier. Thanks for the updates on Kyrgyzstan - we would rather not know at the present time! 



Sue   
Any romantic thoughts I had about crossing Asia with the spring - forget it! We are too early - spring is about a month behind us - and it is to quote Mick's Irish pals 'feckin' cold! To be blunt its freezing, all the lakes are solid, not a sign of spring at all, even the nesting birds have their thermals on. Ah well - the best laid plans and all that.We are heading south towards Brest in a couple of days, and will cross the border into Belarus on April 4. We have only one day to cross Belarus and then into Russia.
Hope to update you again then.


Brest - Belorussia


Mick and Sue   

Internet cafe in Brest at the moment.  You should be getting some piccies and an email from Edward here in Brest... met him at the magnificent war memorial to the Russians.  a good chat, took some pictures, asked him to send them to you.
Foggy again [in Fair Isle] eh!  Sunshine here so far... all the way.  Across to Homel tomorrow, a long run, but then it'll be into Russia on Wednesday!
Will hopefully do a proper update in the next few days, and if we can we'll send some pictures through as well.

Brest - Belorussia


Mick and Sue   

Internet cafe in Brest at the moment.  You should be getting some piccies and an email from Edward here in Brest... met him at the magnificent war memorial to the Russians.  a good chat, took some pictures, asked him to send them to you.
Foggy again [in Fair Isle] eh!  Sunshine here so far... all the way.  Across to Homel tomorrow, a long run, but then it'll be into Russia on Wednesday!
Will hopefully do a proper update in the next few days, and if we can we'll send some pictures through as well.

13 April
Ufa - Russia
Over 3,500 miles and now in Ufa, Russia.
Mick   
Almost three weeks now and the fears, the angst, the tummy rumbles have eased and we're starting to enjoy ourselves and relax into it.  Apart from yesterday it has been bright and sunny all the way, but the rain yesterday turned the streets of Samara into a quagmire of mud, slurry and... well, in truth, some of the worst conditions I have ever ridden in.  The car drivers have a Lemming type attitude to their driving, again, some of the worst driving I have ever seen.  One one stretch of road yesterday, between Samara and here in Ufa, a twenty mile stretch of road yielded some twenty plus fatal RTA sites, some of the stones bearing three or four photos of the people having died there.  A tragic wast of life... everyone seems to be in so much of a hurry... to die!
Last Thursday, gosh, was it almost a week since! We just quite simply couldn't find a hotel in Brjansk, after being sent here, there, and everywhere.  Went out into the country, asked a policeman, sent us to a small Motel in the middle of nowhere... couldn't find it, took a couple of hours.  Now dark, we decided to camp on a disused railway station.  Cooked supper and then the police came, could understand the word "Niet" and "Dangerous!"  from what we asked, but never found out!  We packed everything up, they turned their car's headlights onto us while we did so... to make it easy!  We felt like miscreant schoolkids caught playing truant from school.  We followed on the 'bikes to, yes, you've guessed it, the bloody Motel we'd been trying to find.  Introductions over, left us with the proprietor.  He didn't like the idea of the 'bikes being left out, so we followed him to a toilet paper factory about five miles away where the 'bikes were locked up overnight with the 'night shift' looking after them.  We jumped into his car and went back to the Motel... a Motel we could never find again, with our 'bikes locked up five miles away in a factory we could never find again... mmmm!  But the Motel was great, the owner took us back the next morning... and all's well.  But being deep in Russia, with a stranger, in his car... my mind was working overtime... but there was no need.  Lovely people.
Into Orel for the night... couldn't find an Internet Cafe.  Evening stroll and saw some kids, through a small window close to the ground, playing on computers in the basement of some place or other.  Walked down the steps and everything went quiet, guess they thought it was a police raid.  They were only kids, we were two oldies!  Two minutes and we were hooked up to check e-mails, but too late to start sending updates. The kids were so interested in us Brits... suddenly "We All Live In A Yellow Submarine"  was played at full volume... and we all sang along together.  Lovely people.
The 'bikes are singing along, although my rear mudguard broke the other day, and Sue's today! So taken them off altogether!  The Wilbers suspension units are great, these roads are the worse I've ever been on, and the suspension soaks everything up in it's stride... no bottoming out or crashing around.  The Continental 'Escape' tyres also proving a revelation.  Converted from the Tourance now.  So much mud, shit, slurry, gravel, potholes and debris on the roads, and not a mufty from the tyres!
The BMW underwear (yes folks, that's right!), Rally II jacket and Atlatis pants are certainly doing what 'it says on the tin' and I wouldn't want to be wearing anything else I can assure you.... great!  It's very cold here and the Widder jacket's showing its true colours too.
Over here in Russia you have to pay for a given amount of petrol before you fill the tank.But how do we know how much we need?  Now learnt to 'deposit' 400 roubles with the cashier, fill the tanks, and then go collect the change.  Food's a source of much amusement, what with Sue "Cluck cluck clucking" and me "Snort snort snorting" we aint going hungry!
Last night was in a small Motel, run by Armenians.  Cheap, very cheerful, wonderful smiles, and a warm welcome... lovely  people indeed.
So, as you can tell, we're working our way slowly eastwards, on time, and everything is fine. A great adventure indeed... a dream coming true.
Hope to get more information off to you as and when we can.
Take care... and thanks to those who send us messages... keep us going they do.

Sue   

A woman's view point. This journey is full of suprises, full of adventures, I have to keep pinching myself to make sure that it really is me, riding this bike through Russia.
The Lakes of Poland were beautiful in thier frozen state, the River Volga is  frozen - and once you have seen one frozen lake, believe me, you have seen 'em all!

Perhaps setting off a couple of weeks later may have been a good idea, but as we are pushed for time, there was no option. It is bitterly cold, but I have to remind myself, that these people put up with so much worse, it's almost spring to them. What a hardy race of people these Russians are, I will never moan again about the road conditions in South Yorkshire. The dust that coats everything here has changed to slurry in the wet. We arrive at places looking like a couple of real scruffy bikers, and yet the welcome we receive is just beyond belief - apart from one hotel, where Mick snarled at the receptionist (when she wasn't looking of course) much to the amusements of 2 German guests behind!
The accommodation is varied, going from  really good hotels, to bunk house accommodation at truck stops, run by Armenian Mafia ! I joke! (I think) They gave us a real welcome, a bucket of hot water, and the most important thing - a beer!
Buying food is an art in itself. Not being able to read the cyrillic alphabet, my impression of a chicken is so good, I can get the egg as well - Mick's sick of pork!
 
While I am not really mechanically minded - and have never been one for aftermarket goodies for the bike, I must admit that the Wilbers suspension is absolutely fantastic! I float over the appalling roads, without my bottom touching!. My comfort is taken care of by the heated jacket, so many thanks to Widder and Linda at the Wilson Group.
 
I am bound to lose weight on this trip, I have just lost 2 bloody hours - my breakfast and my lunch as we are now on Moscow time - 5 hours in front of the UK (I think).
Keep those e mails coming, I read the 2 books I brought with me in the first week - so it is good to hear from you all.

Diary Updates


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11



12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19