Right here goes, first of all it has been a while since the last post due to lack of Internet and wifi and we have been pushing hard for the last 6 days or so. We arrived into Vladivostik on the boat from Korea and on the boat we met Andrew and Frank from Ausrriala who are on a bike trip to istambul and then Andrew is traveling to Amesterdam. They offered great advice on the customs clearance in Russia and also advised of a fixer called Uri who could help with clearance. We also met a Japanese biker called Akira Yokota who we have christened the "Dominator" as he rides a Honda Dominator 650. He is a legend of a man. Paddy has a very funny you tube video of him drinking a pint and then saying "That's Bass". Ye will cry laughing. He has three answers for everything. Wow, Really and Ohhhhhhhhhhh. We have had brillant crack with him over the last few days. The five five of us have travelled together and looked out for one another along the way. The Aussie boys are great fun as well, Frank is a Principal of a special needs school and Andy or Chandy as he is orginally from China is retired but worked in computers. We had been warned that the road from Khabaravosk to Ulan-Ude was pretty dangerous and several people had been killed while camping and several robbed at gun point. Now this is not want you want to here once landing in a country. The locals ask you what road you are going and straight away you get this funny look as if to say, you crazy. They laugh at each other wondering how far we will get before we are shot and buried out in the woods and never heard of again. But we are here in Ulan Ude safe and sound.
I had my first off on the bike a few days ago, just riding along coming to some roadworks and did'nt see the big high ridge along the road, the front wheel washed out and i went sliding into the hard shoulder on my arm and face. A few cuts and bruses but the pride dented more than anything. It was a school boy error, just a lack of conteration. In the crash I managed to dent my panniers, twist my handle bars and a few other loose bolts. Got it all straightened out only to ride for the rest of the day and loose my main wedge bolt that holds on my pannier rack. Fuck, not good and no spare. It's not the kind of spare you would bring but with my wonderfull bush mechanics and a wee bit of brut force and ignorance, managed to get it tied back on with a rachet strap duct tape and a world of cable ties. It is as good as gold a they say in New Zealand. May get it welded if we hit a big town but sound for now. Were the hell is Felim Galligan or Ziggy when you need them. Great Steel men in Ireland for those who don't know.
The last couple of days have been tough. The roads can be great one minute and then completly shit the next, huge potholes, massive dips and just shitty conditions. We had no idea of petrol stops and accomodation. We have arrived late to a few places. One night we had to camp on the verandah of a cafe after riding in the pissing rain and wet to the skin. It was better than nothing. The hard part is trying to explain to the lady in the cafe with very limited russian that we want to camp here for fear of being attacked in the middle of the night.
Ordering food consists of looking at what everyone else is eating in the cafe and then pointing to that and say this times five please.They must think we are proper bloody idiots. Paddy is doing a blog today as well so some of this may overlap. Ye will figure it out. He was blessed with a Russian biker pulling up to fix his broken fuel pump a few days ago but I will let him Tell that story. Barry and Aiden would call it the higher power.
The people so far have been amazing. They have even put us up in their home one night after both hotels were full. It was late, and these guys came running up saying we are Russian bikers where are you from. Within minutes a gang of bikes arrived and they sorted everything out. Next morning a big traditional Russian breckfast which was fantastic.
I spent another night drinking vodka with more locals, after doing some maintance on the bike, they produced pizza and vodka so it was a pretty good offer. They cannot get to grips with Kieran but Frosty seem to work fine. Just have to keep him under wraps every now and then. Cheers Richard!!!. The internet is rubbish in this hostel and there has been a mix up with the booking so me and paddy are on the floor tonight. Jesus I have slept in some toilets on this trip, it would definatly make you appriciate the simple things in life. There may not be a lot of photo's in this post due to lack of wifi and I am too tired to take the hours neded to wait for them, will do what I can. Tomorrow we are off to lake Bikal and then to Mongolia. Visa's for Mongolia are to be collected today at Five and then it is all go. I will let Paddy fill you in on the rest.
Can’t believe it has taken me this long to send you both best wishes, seems as if you are having lots of adventures!! But you always seem to manage to work things out, good Irish spirit that. If ye ever need a nurse to help just shout!! Take care Cexx
Hi Brad Thanks for the comment!I half agree with you and half dsgeirae. Efficiency is an important part of the equation if we’re to make conservation and consumption-management palatable, but I’m more on the side of getting something happening as quickly and simply as possible.By that I mean, It’s hard for me, without consuming a whole lot of energy by purchasing goods that need to be manufactured and then transported, to really improve the energy efficiency of my home. As I renovate bit by bit everything is getting better, but even having moved to more efficient appliances, lighting, shower & toilet, the best reduction I’ve found so far has come from just wearing slippers and a sweater or some wool socks, and I’m comfortable as can be even with the heat down a little.I agree completely that building efficient spaces like MEC does sets a great example and helps keep moving things forward in sustainable building, but I also think there’s nothing wrong with the little things like turning off the lights and wearing a sweater or slippers at home.In any case, thanks for the comment, I like hearing the different points of view.
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