Saturday, 12 July 2014

Day 12 Thursday July 10th mileage xxxx. Sim 1500 km east of Moscow

Woke up this morning and it appears we have all had different experiences with mosquitos. Dave has been badly bitten on his back and arse; Frank has been badly bitten on his back and face and hands; Paul has been bitten on the arms and they have swelled up; and Geoff has hardly been bitten at all and is being resented by the other three!!

After our first night camping we all seemed to manage to repack our equipment and had a cuppa courtesy of Paul before setting out.

Geoff and Frank led the way away from the campsite through the soft sand track and were waiting at the roadside when Paul shouted for help. He had tried to set off and forgotten to remove the chain lock and the bike had locked the front wheel and dumped the bike onto the ground. Fortunately Dave had the foresight to take a photo of the embarrassing incident before he helped Paul pick up his bike. Now both Geoff and Paul are members of the horizontal club !!!

As we went on our journey we spotted nodding donkey oil derricks at the side of the roadway.

YouTube Video

Whilst riding through open and uninteresting countryside, the group had overtaken more of the endless lines of HGVs. We approached a DPS traffic police car with an officer stood at the side of the road. David had ridden past when the kind policeman indicated that the second bike should pull in (Paul). I think that he said that we had committed some offence but I said that I didn't understand (in Russian). He flicked through a picture pamphlet and pointed to the no overtaking and road works signs. He then pointed to the A4 police form and then wrote 5000R on a piece of paper. (Did I want to go through the official route or pay a bribe) so played numb (this comes quite easily) and so he then pointed to his drivers licence. I produced mine and he then pointed to the 5000R so I showed him my empty wallet and credit card. He said I should get some cash of my friends so we had a discussion and decided that 500R was an acceptable bribe for either me or the four of us. I took the note over to the car and he must have thought that it wasn't worth the risk of accepting such an insignificant amount with four witnesses so I think he said in Russian that "please proceed with care sir and do have a very pleasant day."

We seem to have moved into the bread basket states of Russia, all we can see is fields and fields of corn.

As you cross into the different districts (States/Counties) they mark it at the side of the roadway with a large colourful concrete edifice (structure) that usually has a hammer and sickle or some other typical USSR symbol.

YouTube Video

New hotel near a small town called Sim about 100Km east of Ufa and 1500Km east of Moscow.
Weather hot all day.

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