Saturday, 5 July 2014

Day 6 Friday 4th July mileage 1422 location Ludza Latvia

Up and away by about 9:30 after a reasonable breakfast which as well as the usual continental meats and cheese etc. included fresh pancakes delivered to each person. These were filled with a chopped apple filling and very nice.

Last night was our first chance to practice our Russian with the hotel receptionist. Not what you would call a huge success, but there again it leaves plenty of room for improvement.

Geoff is having trouble making his helmet camera function correctly. He is taking lots of videos, but when he reviews them on an evening there are only two videos and one of them cannot be read. Think this is a formatting problem with the SD card but not sure, and the iPad cannot reformat the card.

On the journey today we passed a lot of road construction work and when you are stopped at the red lights there is a cardboard poster of a beautiful women dressed in construction clothes warning you of the imminent roadworks. Here is a picture of Paul cuddling up to one of them !

During the journey a beautiful (hen harrier or montagaue harrier?) flew just above us. This was a large elegant grey bird of prey with very long thin wings and long tail.

We eventually arrived at the Latvia -Russian border but had to queue for three hours before we were processed. Here is a short video of us listening to music on the wireless speaker system that Savi bought me as a leaving gift. We can all "Bluetooth" music from our phones and it has been a great success.

Video at queue

After a lengthy wait we had to produce all our documents to the Latvian authorities at the Russian border. Unfortunately one member of the team (who shall remain anonymous) offered copies of his V5 and driving license rather than the originals. An understandable mistake. No mention during the meticulous planning and countless meetings of taking the originals. Does everybody not take copies abroad when world travelling, leaving the originals home, safe where you really need them?

( for accuracy the editor in chief posts here a small section of the minutes of one of our meticulous planning meetings!

"21. Russian translation of bike log books/ International Driving Permit.
Each person to apply in February to Automobile Association
to have their bikes log book translated, and for an International D.L.
Note: master copies of log books etc. have to be taken on the journey.
Use of personal email to store and give access to essential data. Action All.")

The result being , we had to return back into Latvia to replan. No blame was apportioned other than possibly inadequate minute taking of an earlier "trip" meeting when apparently great importance was placed on this matter!(see above)

After many hasty phone calls it became clear that because it was the start of a weekend DHL and similar services would not even start to ship any package until Monday evening and so the unnamed person above's son has kindly agreed to fly out to Riga where his father will ride his bike and meet him tomorrow. If all goes to plan (unlikely!) then we should be back at the Russian border on Monday morning.

Still nice to know that we are all pulling together as a team and not naming or blaming anyone for this mistake (which could have happened to any of us ???!!####!!???)

The Rooski Riders