Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Day 18 Wednesday 16th July. Mileage 4279 Barnaul Russia

Up for breakfast at posh hotel, and slightly disappointed at the extent of the choice but still better than our usual quality
After checking out the hotel staff asked if they could take a publicity photo of us with the bikes. Reluctantly we said yes to being snapped with two beautiful women.
At the end of the day we have covered 150 miles but we have achieved much.
The first 20 miles were spent criss crossing the city centre, picking up our off road tyres and replacing a lost SD card reader vital to the production of this blog.
The heavens opened and the roads immediately flooded, the sparse and inadequate surface water drainage becoming quickly overwhelmed. The deluge however, did test Paul's bike. Touch wood, the ignition fault appears to be cured.

We then set off to collect the tyres that we had pre-ordered before we left the UK (they had been delivered from Moscow to Novosibersk). Dave and Paul set off to change some US dollars into Roubles whilst Geoff and Frank tried to find where Stanivlav lived. They tried phoning him but couldn't get a reply so Geoff walked up and down outside the dilapidated tower blocks shouting our friends name!! Windows opened and people looked out at this strange phenomenon but the extreme measures produced the desired result. We collected and loaded the tyres onto the already heavily loaded bikes and Stanivlav made a few calls to his contacts to see if could get the cracked frame of Paul's bike welded. We arrived at an out of the way lock-up garage and were met by a wonderful guy called Roman who built custom motor cycles. He not only welded the bike frame but then we redesigned the rear rack and he made an absolutely first class jobless the modification. Roman's website is hammer

We got out of Novosibirsk in the rain and it dried briefly but soon turned back to heavy rain and the troops were soon feeling the cold. Hotels had become thin on the ground and we crossed the dual carriageway to investigate what we thought was a hotel - it was in fact a cafe. To get back onto the south bound road, we had to do our first off roading on the heavily loaded bikes. There were a few slips but we re-joined the road and found a super motel with very helpful and friendly staff.
A well earned beer and a very welcome meal finished a very busy and industrious day. Here's hoping that all the biking gear dries and tomorrow is a brighter day. Unfortunately the forecast is for rain!

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