The Odessa File

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Redkrouge, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. Redkrouge

    Redkrouge Independent

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    English is not my mother tongue, so apology for any misunderstanding
    and... sorry for the blah blah blah

    No matter the journey, it has consequences!

    I talked about this trip to my Father. When I saw him, he asked me how my trip happened while I was not gone yet. Just an oversight on his part. This trip is dedicated to you Dad!

    We are nothing! But so much, for many!

    Starting Sunday, June 2 Return on July 4

    My route went through a bit of France and the Valais to pass the Great St. Bernard and join Verona. Then, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Romania, to go through the Transalpina, the highest road in Romania, and the Transfăgărăşan.

    Crossing southern Moldova and Ukraine to reach Odessa. In Russia, a round trip between Anapa and Tuapse. Initially, the idea was to go around the sea

    Back in Romania, via Anapa, Crimea, Odessa and back to the sea. Bulgaria, where I joined my brother Jacques in Plovdiv. Macedonia, northern Albania, Kosovo to join the mountainous region of Metochia.

    Montenegro, a few kilometers into Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, then ferry from Split to Ancona. From there, easy return through Italy and France.

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    killing thing on the road

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    March 22, 2013: Oiled, equipped, ready to go

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    New shoes

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    Connecting the GPS

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    With the help of Pauline:D

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    What a mess

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    Everything is there

    more to come...
    #1
  2. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    Redkruge,

    What a fantastic route! Looking forward to the ride report.:ricky

    Cheers,

    .
    #2
  3. Redkrouge

    Redkrouge Independent

    Joined:
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    Saying goodbye to my girlfriend

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    And at our daughter

    Road to the Crimea (map)

    https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=204765905751889006809.0004e101fecb5d2c38424&msa=0


    ITALY

    Sunday, June 2, Carouge - Verona

    This morning, at first and after a few kilometers, the adrenaline and the taste of freedom suffocate me. Emotions back in my throat and I have sadness to leave mine. The thrill of travel takes me and also the right to be afraid. The road is known. Grand St Bernard, Aosta, Verona by motorway. It's hot, 29 degrees near Milan. I left on Sunday to avoid the rain the day before. I am satisfied, especially since it will not last.

    In Verona there is a party(holiday). Music and procession. Neither Roméo, nor Juliette, but many tourists in this magnificent city of Venetia. I am in the first inn perceived during my approach of the city center. In five minutes of the events, the pedestrian and livened up streets. A big shopping center, its alleys. So many luxury shop windows(luxury showcases), so many bootlickers of shop windows(showcases). Panels(signs) indicate monuments to be visited. Strangely, by approaching these beauties, but by going away from Zara or from Gucci, alleys empty. The sun is setting and I eat on a terrace. A strange feeling of happiness overcame me.

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    Gateway to Verona

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    Party girl

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    Prohibited Area bric a brac of the arena

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    Strolling through the old town

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    Piazza dei Signori

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    Hmmmm ...!

    More to come... :wink:
    #3
  4. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Fantastic start!
    #4
  5. dallastx

    dallastx Been here awhile

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    More please!!!
    #5
  6. Tonicu

    Tonicu Been here awhile

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    Nice trip, pictures and good looking girls too, particularly your daughter if you don't mind me saying it. You're a lucky man!
    Thanks for sharing.
    #6
  7. Redkrouge

    Redkrouge Independent

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    Compliments are always good, no matter for whom he is :wink:
    #7
  8. Redkrouge

    Redkrouge Independent

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    [​IMG]
    Rest on a highway rest area in Slovenia
    #8
  9. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    what a great thread.
    This really is a fantastic start.
    Thanks for taking us along on your journey.
    I cannot wait to read and see more
    #9
  10. Redkrouge

    Redkrouge Independent

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    On Monday, June 3rd, Verona - Zagreb

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    Tonight I sleep in Zagreb

    The highway, monotonous, brings me to Zagreb, not without having had to buy a label(tax sticker) for the highways of Slovenia. Arrived in the capital Croate, the first hotel fits the bill. No parking lot, but I could leave the bike in front of the window of the reception, and there is somebody all night long. The room is beautiful, the city also. Many Mac Do and I Phone. The war is forgotten and good beyond this concern, Croatia recuperated.

    There is a protest in town, but I do not know why. The police is there and everything is peaceful. Globalization has invaded the streets. I look for a restaurant; I am not going to go to eat at Vuitton or Lacoste.

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    The receptionist watching my motorcycle through the window

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    Zagreb cathedral

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    Protest on "Ban Jelacic Square"

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    Statue of Josip Jelacic

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    Plenty of small terraces ...

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    ...where quench your thirst

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    While strolling through the streets of the city

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    To be continued :evil
    #10
  11. Pickup man

    Pickup man Been here awhile

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    Im in for this one, fantastic start with great photos. This looks like a really fun trip. Looking forward to more!:clap
    #11
  12. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Excellent! More please. :clap
    #12
  13. Comrade Art

    Comrade Art Working stiff

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    :lurk
    #13
  14. KalV

    KalV Adventurer

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    Nice bike, nice start, keep posting!:*sip*
    #14
  15. Redkrouge

    Redkrouge Independent

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    Tuesday, June 4, Zagreb - Novi Sad

    The red brick houses are lined up along the road that takes me in Serbia. Sad, some are riddled with bullets. Distant memory of an unnecessary war. The road is long to drive between 40 and 60 kph. I have to do 400 kilometers today, and it's raining. I get to Novi Sad at 19:00. Late! A nice hotel, a good shower and a good beer at the Irish Pub, lost in the narrow streets of the city. Tired!

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    Cathedral "The name of Mary Church"

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    On a wall, towards the market

    Wednesday, June 5, Novi Sad. Day of rest

    It rains in Novi Sad, a city that looks like all modern cities. We feel already come. Some beggars in the street. Here the children are with their parents, not at the school. Also, the escalators do not work. I wander on "Freedom Square" in the city located in the autonomous region of Vojvodina.

    The 1,400 kilometers made in three days have exhausted me. The last 400, in the rain, were the worst. I found myself empty. Here, the city smells of smoke. You can smoke in bars and restaurants. Tomorrow departure for Romania, Sebeş. Under the greyness. Again!


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    What makes travel difficult, it is our habits!

    More to come :1drink
    #15
  16. Redkrouge

    Redkrouge Independent

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    Thursday, June 6, Novi Sad - Sebeş

    In five minutes I passed customs, there is nobody. The main roads are beautiful in Romania, but beware of those who come across when they exceed. You better put aside, they do not care about you. Also the police, very present on the road. At a closed level crossing, the gatekeeper opens the passage, just for me!

    Sebeş is glaucous. Terminus of the Transalpina, crossroads to the south, the city is invaded by trucks. The road is a large plug that crosses the boondocks right through. With smoke and dust that come with it. Transalpina and Transfăgărăşan tomorrow, for heading up into Moldova

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    Welcome to Romania

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    Crossroads in Sebeş


    Friday, June 7, Sebeş - Fagaras

    Transalpina and Transfăgărăşan passed throughout the day. Whoa! The highest road in Romania and the military road, built at a price of many lives in the 70s under the communist regime. It took me forever. Meeting in the forest with loggers and another with Romanians in 4x4, off for a week of adventure on the trails in Transylvania. Misinformation given by a local sends me over 10 km of track. Water, mud, ruts. Worthy of the GS days. Of course, it rains from time to time.

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    Sometimes only half of the road

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    Lake Oasa on the Transalpina

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    On the dam, before I got lost

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    Wrong road, after the requested assistance to a local

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    Adventurers crossed on the road. Very nice!

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    Another meeting on the road

    After Transalpina, I cross on a good road to reach the Transfăgărăşan. Glad to find a nice road I attack the first kilometer towards the pass. A sign indicates in red "Inchide". I think that's a bad sign. For us, when it is red, it is closed. I am inquiring and someone tells me that the pass is closed. Another assure myself that it is open, citing information from the TV, since June 1

    OK, I'm going. I have the fuel to make the crossing, but not for a return if the pass is closed. The miles accumulate, the road is wet, rutted, muddy and sometimes, there is no longer. I climb to the top. Fog and snow wall. The tunnel is without light filled with fog. You can not see anything. Steel doors before the tunnel passes are wide open. Phew! Transalpina / Transfăgărăşan 2-0

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    The weather was overcast to cross the Transfăgărăşan

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    No better on the other side :lol3

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    No parking in Fagaras


    Saturday, June 8, Fagaras - Onesti

    I have threw in the towel, soaked with water. After 250 km in torrential rain and waterlogged roads, I stop. I had planned to be a few kilometers from the Moldovan border. My visor is scratched, in the rain, I see nothing. I have to drive open visor and rain lacerates my face. I wanted to take a shortcut, but in this climate the road is impassable. The puddles, as large pools and potholes, as big as elephants nests, make slow progress. I yielded to ease. Main road, and after a 5 hour drive for 250 km, Basta. I took a hotel in Onesti at 14h00.

    An hour ahead of Carouge. Shower, ha ha, and output to visit. Nothing to see. I stop at the restaurant with my tablet to prepare my way for tomorrow. Time to drink a beer and the rain stops. It's nice. In the evening, I will eat in the same restaurant, this is the only one. I eat dinner quickly bothered by smoking at the next table. Tomorrow, Ukraine, if the weather permits. I am excessively tired. When I leave the next day, the groom who opens my parking space, try to extort some money

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    An entire street with these colorful houses on my way to Odessa

    To be continued :wink:
    #16
  17. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    :clap:clap Waiting for the next report. Thank you for sharing. :clap:clap
    #17
  18. Redkrouge

    Redkrouge Independent

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    Sunday, June 9, Onesti - Odessa

    Long and hard day, 500 km and four customs. In Romania, it is dogs that lie along the road in Moldova is crows. Because of cherry trees that line the roads. Output Romania without problem. The entry into Moldova, 1h30 or so. The same time I will spend in the country for my journey, which will lead me in Ukraine.

    I have to make a green card. The customs keeps my papers, passport and registration. I have to go to the insurance office, is a 10 minute walk under a heavy sun. I spend half an hour with the clerk to give him information about me and my bike. I do not have my papers, remained at customs, and showed him where to put this information on the form displayed on their computer. I write all the data, but our alphabet is a little hard for them to understand. I have to pay 23 €, which I have not.

    I have a fifty € bill, but I do not want money of Moldova, for the short time that I'll stay. A bank teller is right on the side. It is closed but is integrated into the adjoining restaurant. I went into the restaurant and informs me. A girl tells me that the office is closed. I explain that I need to change for fifty euros to pay my insurance and go through customs. She opens the window, makes me money and returns to the table with his friends. I go to pay my dues, returns to customs and shows my assurance that no one is watching. I was let go after paying another two euros tax.

    In Ukraine, it goes smoothly. They do not care about my green card. If I want one, there is an office just across the border. Here is 25 euros for three weeks. I give 30 € to the young man who give me back 55 UAH, which will allow me to pay five liters of petrol. For its good deal, he offers me a coffee and ice cream. I think the exchange rate was a bit exessif

    I still have 270 km to Odessa and it is 16h30. The road is in such a state that it will take me 4 hours. Control police twice on the way, and I am delayed by a big crash. The road is dangerous! I take the first hotel indicated by my GPS when I get into town. It is in front of me, about 25 minutes walk from the center. Shower, Borscht and sleep. I will visit tomorrow. I am emptied.

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    I still have 73 kilometers to do

    Monday, June 10, Odessa. Day of rest.

    Noisy night and no TV remote that works. Regardless, in the morning, the maid takes the TV in the next room with the remote control and put it in my room! City tour, twenty-five minute walk from the hotel to reach the famous stairs "Potemkin". Emotion, smiling.

    Finally, I'm on top of the monument, facing the Black Sea. Photo souvenir, twist and turn on the hills of the city, to visit the site and crossing the park. Odessa has undergone a tornado and in the park, where I sought a bit of quiet, chainsaws relook the broken trees.

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    "Palais Chaillot" my breakfast nook

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    Sitting on the stairs "Potemkin" with emotion

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    Majestic

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    In the less touristy areas

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    Damage in the park imeni Tarasa Shevchenka

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    The good question!

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    Odessa Train Station


    Tuesday, June 11, Odessa - Alushta

    Potholed roads, 60 kmh when they are beautiful. There are cops everywhere, radar all the time. The villages are spread out for miles, sometimes glued to each other. I do kilometers at 50 kmh.
    It's nice and warm. 35 degrees today. I could put the short pants on arrival. Roadsides are animated by sellers of honey, cherries or drink. People stop here to bring a little honey at home. On the edge of the road, is sometimes disorder. The cars stop for a bit anyhow. Up to you to juggle.

    At checkpoints I have not been stopped, except once at the entrance of a free zone. I was given a ticket with my number plate, I return to the check-out point, a few kilometers away. Those who have made purchases in the duty free area, are on the side of the road, car trunk open and wallet in hand.
    It is a race this trip. So many kilometers. So long to do these path. The 520 km took me a day. Departure at 8h00, arriving at 19h00.

    Nice little hotel, I did not move, just a stroll to the beach, I realized that I could be anywhere in the world. Place adapted to customer demand. "No comment"

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    A rest in the shade

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    In the middle of nowhere, a meal stop

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    My first AND last hotdog of Ukraine :puke1

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    A tourist village on the way to finishing

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    P 29. A beautiful road in the hills of Crimea

    Entry into Russia for June 12 and come out no later than June 18. After that, I must be in Istanbul or Plovdiv on June 23 to start with Jacques on June 24. I am surprised by the physical effort it takes. This trip starts to look like a race against the clock :eek1

    To be continued...
    #18
  19. Redkrouge

    Redkrouge Independent

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    [​IMG]
    Black Sea from the hills


    Wednesday, June 12, Alushta - Anapa

    Beautiful road in the hills above the sea. It took me about 3 hours to make the 200 km. It will take me the same time to do the100 meters at the Russian customs. Ukraine output smoothly, a little long, since the passage in Russia is via a ferry. Last entered on the boat, I come out after 25 minutes of crossing, the last. They let me move ahead to passport control and kept me waiting.

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    The ferry Ukraine - Russia

    The ferry is empty and vehicles pass through customs in two rows. I'm between the two rows behind a Ukrainian. We are the only two foreigners. Customs is empty and we can move on. The customs officer looked at my passport and asked me to look him straight in the eye. He checks my face and that of my passport and admits that it's me. Photocopy of all pages of the passport, and then he asks me if it's my bike!? Which is the idiot who would come to Russia with a stolen bike? Still a formality for the temporary importation of the bike and hop, I'm out. Or rather in. In Russia.

    Son of the Caucasus and of the Black mother, I'm home, mother Russia!

    It's late and the container of the insurance agent is closed. I will ride without insurance in this country, which in my opinion is not a good idea, seen the way they drive. I arrive at Anapa late, it is 21h30 it's pitch dark. I left early this morning, the day was long. Too long!

    First hotel on the road, which is not like the Hilton, I stop. Weird, but not so expensive hotel. The restaurant is closed, I could not eat, which means that I did not had any meal of the day. Water and cakes out of customs, because I have not found anything on the road to eat before. The hotel is on the outskirts of Anapa, apart from petrol stations and businesses, Nada. I go to bed after a good beer.

    Next morning woke up at 5h30, gap with Switzerland, 2h00. No breakfast before 9h00, I decided to leave and hope to find a restaurant quickly, and especially water


    Thursday, June 13, Anapa - Tuapse

    The road is difficult because of traffic. In cities, it is 40 kmh but cars and trucks will push your ass. Either you let them pass, or, if you speed up, you get caught by the cops, they are everywhere. In the big city of Novorossiysk, there is a constant traffic jam. In the heat and smoke, I felt bad, I did not have enough to drink or eat. I had to stop to drink a Coke and sit 10 minutes in the shade. I set out again, but I stopped two more times to eat and drink. It's tiring, the road to Sochi is under construction. Trucks and dust, to rebuild an access road for the Olympic games 2014. Few kilometers, but many hours. The 200 km between Anapa and Tuapse take my day. I'm exhausted and I can not recover.

    Arrived in Tuapse, I find a hotel and a place for the bike. To request a room or food is a bit of a challenge. No Russian for me, no English for them. We manage to understand via a translation application on I Phone. An engineer is housed in the hotel. He lives in Sochi and is working on the redevelopment of electrical installations in the region. Big project due in Sochi 2014. He is surprised to hear English in this hotel, so he came out of his room to see what was happening. He told me, smiling, that I am probably the only foreigner who has stopped here. It helps me to have a room and a place for the bike. The receptionist will merely align "da" to my every word. Passport and paper of the bike to present. They will be scanned.

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    I live in the upper right

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    My room with sea view :rofl

    I settle down and take a shower. I drink a lot, Tourista, I'm tired, feel weak and slight loss of balance. I'm worried and starts asking me questions. Too many questions!

    With my new Russian friend, we meet for a coffee, we're at the end of the afternoon. He finished his work and he is happy to discuss with me, if it does not bother me. I'm pretty delighted, it's been three days that I speak without making myself understood.

    He must be between 30 and 35 years, and he wants me to tell him what I'm doing here. I'm confused and I hesitate to say that I actually do not know. I told him about my plan to go around the sea He spent time in England to learn English. Travel make him dream I understand Not sure that this is so easy for him. In the evening we eat together, a pleasant simplicity. It will offer me a meal. The people are all friendly and smiling. Except a drunkard I've met on the road.

    Parking will be available in the evening. It is a washing station, two men spend the day and a good part of the night washing cars. In fact, I had given up putting the bike in the garage, it was too late. At 23h00, the boss came knocking on my door to tell me that I could park my bike.


    Friday, June 14, Tuapse. Day of rest.

    The night goes to drink water, take showers, and try to recover energy. I will spend the day in bed. A descent into town to find a pharmacy and vitamins. I come back empty-handed. I can not breathe, I'm claustrophobic in one of the largest countries in the world. These last two days me defeated. Lack of food and beverages. Potholed roads and snail speed, endless days, police in every street corner. I throw the gloves and decides to leave the country.

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    Flag "Krasnodar Krai"

    Tomorrow, back to Ukraine. Maybe I'll be able to join Jacques, if it is on my way to Bulgaria
    #19
  20. Thumpermeister

    Thumpermeister roost maker

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    Interesting!
    #20