Day 58 Into Russia



Day 58 Into Russia, originally uploaded by Big Al!.

Getting up at 8 we discover no signs of life in the hotel / Igor’s house, so we settle in at the bar, make coffee and put CNN on the big screen tv. This is a wierd situation. It really does seem like this hotel does not normally have guests, only Igor’s mates. In some ways it looks like a hotel, in lots of ways it looks like someone’s house. There doesn’t seem to be any keys for the guest rooms, or a front door. There’s a two car garage like you would have at your house, but not at a hotel. The bar is more like something a big house would have, and the contents of fridge and cupboards are like someone’s house, definitely not a hotel. The rooms look like they’ve never been used. There are no other guests. When we arrived, the cleaner looked very confused, the way you might look if someone arrived at your house asking if you had a room. It’s odd. Half past nine and still no one around except the cleaner. Unexpectedly the cleaner comes over with breakfast. This may be an odd hotel but the hospitality we have been shown is excellent, the best since Farid in Baku. Eventually we leave, having paid a very small amount to our generous host, and soon arrive at the border. Where we wait. And wait. While we wait, another brit on an XT660 arrives. It’s another Dave, picking up his journey after returning home to fix a broken leg, and now riding solo. Together we slowly progress through a relatively friendly but very slow moving customs and immigration process and 3 hours later we are on our way into Russia, now riding as 3. Finding a long dirt track seemingly to nowhere alongside a wheat field, we set up camp and have dinner. Then a Lada appears on the track, stops for a highly animated greeting and very friendly attempt to communicate before giving us a loaf of bread and driving on. Later another car drives up, stops, and a man with a full set of gold teeth and a huge grin talks to us in very excited Russian that we don’t understand. It’s clear that he thinks we’re great and / or crazy, and it’s nice to be greeted with such friendly enthusiasm. 2 Daves and I exchange bike related chat before the mossies come out to start eating us alive so we retreat, each to his tent. First night in Russia!