Monday, 4 August 2014

Day 36 Sunday 3rd August Ulan Ude Russia

Woke and Dave went straight away to check the night lines that Brrn and Bimba had left in overnight. He pulled it inand here was an 18" catfish on the hook. So we fly fish sndcatchnothing and the locals put a worm on a hook and leave it overnight and catch food worth eating!

Paul cooked the salami and we had imitation bacon sandwiches for breakfast.

Straight along the road to the border where we arrived at 10:45.

Getting out of a Mongolia proved to take longer than getting into Russia, but it was a close call on which bureaucracy was worse.

On the Mongolian side we had to get a tiny slip of paper stamped 3 times by different officials before you could start to queue to pass emigration control. At the emigration control there was an absolute bun fight for who was next to get to the window. The guards kept making the people go back and stand behind a red line on the floor, and then they would push forward again!

There was one window where the same official was handling both exiting people and those entering. We stood for a long while and talked to Americans and Canadians who were trying to enter Mongolia. They were desperate for information on the riding conditions and roads etc. after one and a half hours we exited Mongolia and started on the Russian process. This was better, though we all diligently wrote out our "declaratsi" forms in duplicate only to be told to redo them because we had put UK citizenship and not "British", also the part of the form that clearly asks what currency you have under $10,000 which we diligently completed they wanted us to leave blank??
Similarly where you put the value of your motorcycle we put $2000 and they wanted it converting into Russian rubles!
Geoff's leg has been giving him some jip these last few days. It was compounded by the fact that he had to wait considerably longer than the rest of the Rooski riders, due to the fact that he had not taken all the relevant paperwork with him. This resulted in us all having to wait an considerable amount of time. Of course no one mentioned this so as not to upset Geoff.

However after 3 hours we entered Russia and straight away one notices the difference. There is more wealth, the scenery changed immediately to pine trees and forests.

The bikes seemed to wobble all over the road with the knobbly tyres on the tarmac.

We stopped at a cafe and had borsh (beetroot soup) and coffee and felt much better.

Then it was on to Ulan Ude and we stopped at a Motel where we all washed clothes, showered and felt better after four days camping.

Breaking news.... Paul Mercer needed reminding to switch his winkler off and also needed stopping before his bladder/ ruck sack fell from his bike!! Elementary mistakes not expected from such a seasoned traveller( Laycock , I am sure will take him to task on our return)

At many places along the Russian roads, there are traffic police (DPS) check points. These are indicated by the letters DPS and also by speed restriction signs that usually follow the pattern 70, 50 and 30Km/hour. At one of the given check points, Geoff who was leading, rode through at about 100Km/hr. Both officers stood and stared as each bike passed with a look of shear astonishment of their faces.

More later

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