The Octoberfest Hotel was strangely enough just right for the trip. I woke this morning went to breakfast which was a big square omelette, salad, 2 slices of bread 2 bits of cheese yoghurt and 1 cup of tea. At least every guest had the same I think that a hang up for the Old Russian days. Anyway it went down a treat. As I was getting ready to leave it started to snow but only very lightly and was not settling on the ground there was a bit of Ice about. Riding out of the city was easier than riding in. Still lots of pot holes to DODGE. And the Russian police don’t like you standing up to dodge them.
The ride west was good the scenery changed dramatically. This was the sort of Russia I had been looking forward to. Fuel stops were easy lots of petrol stations mostly with small cafes next to them. It was getting warmer the further west I went temperature ranging from -1 at the hotel to just before the lunch stop was at times 4 I almost had to stop to take of one of the 5 layers I had on. I stopped at a café for lunch its normal now to just go into a café do some pointing and see what turns up. Coffee and an open luncheon meat sandwich topped with cheese. Cool that will do. As I was paying a Russian truck driver was tucking into a very large vodka and a separate glass of tomato juice. He was trying very hard to chat to me but although my Russian is coming on (off course an in-depth political conversion I still struggle with) I could not understand a word but lots of pointing and touching of his hart and making bike sounds I get the Idea he was saying respect for what I was doing as he was now on his 3 vodka and he brought me another coffee and sandwich which was very nice. Thanks Mr Truck driver I did get the impression he was going for a sleep before he starts driving again (I hope). Ok back on the bike and he follows me out with lots of people in the café laughing and he insists on helping me on with my riding gear including my helmet. Ever had anyone help you on with your gear getting far to close stinking of Vodka???? I reached Belaya-Kalitva and decided it was far too early to stop for the day so Ill push on to the border as it’s only 125Kms and having
just ridden 300kms from Volgograd I was still fresh. Now the riding was great even some bends and an Old Russian BMP (troop carrying vehicle with a gun for the non-military types) at the side of the road. A Couple of large bridges big swollen rivers frozen solid. True Russia for me. I make the turn on to the highway/motorway and the temperature drops and the ice warning comes on the bike computer and it starts to snow but again only lightly. I am now making good time to reach the Ukraine border. As I ride through the small town just before
the border it looks like it could be a cool place to stop but I think I get I’ll get across the border and find somewhere in the Ukraine. Checking out of Russia was no problem fill in a from or 2 and they even got me one in English still didn’t make mush sense as it must have been a direct translation but I get the Idea. All done over to the Ukraine and these two borders at just North West of Novoshakhinsk are right next to each other. Checking into the Ukraine was also very easy give in the passport NO forms to fill in passport stamped and I’m done (well Ukraine is very nearly part of the European Union). The road out of the border as I have come to expect by now is full of pot holes. The time is about 5 ish and its 30kms to Karsnyy Luch of which I have no idea where the hotels are or if there are any and I come across a hotel that looks like it
should be in the Alps. What a great place all done out in pine has a bar secure parking but no internet that will do me.

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True Russia
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Only in Russia
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BMP sorry its a BTR 70 Angus you need to get out more
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Still dont know the name of this Hotel but its very nice
Angus
3/30/2012 10:50:01

Your AFV recognition is terrible Pete - that's a BTR 70 not a BMP!! Obviously the BMP has tracks and the BTR 70 has 8 wheels with a gap (and escape hatch) between the 2nd & 3rd axle. Oh and the exhaust are almost parallel to the ground unlike the ones on the BTR 60 which slope down!!

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