Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Day 66 Tuesday September 2nd Vladivostok

Up early and had breakfast, juice, quiche, porridge, fried eggs etc. then packed the bags onto the bikes and away by 9:00 to travel the 10km into the centre of Vladivostok. The traffic is very busy and the ride in was just stop-start all the way. Geoff was following his sat-nav at the front and didn't notice Paul and the rest peel off on a different route to get to the station. Geoff's route remained chocker blocked with traffic and very soon after becoming separated Geoff's bike started to smoke quite strongly as the engine overheated. He pulled straight into the side and stopped at a bus stop area. He waited ten minutes for the bike to cool, but as soon as he restarted the engine it was smoking again. Turning the bike off he sat there thinking and decided to buy bottled water from a coffee kiosk at the bus stop, and pour the water onto the bike engine. Four bottles of water later the water had stopped boiling the instant it hit the fins on the engine casing. He checked the oil level which was ok and restarted and no smoke, so set off again in the traffic. This time there was no waiting in the queues of traffic he just forced the bike forward through every gap in the traffic until he arrived at the railway station again with the engine pretty Warminster just starting to smoke. It was 10:30 the 10km ride had taken one and a half hours with a stop of maybe 20 mins to cool down the engine!

At the baggage depot of the station the other bikes were already busy draining the petrol from their tanks into the green 5 litre jerry cans.

At 11:00 our baggage man arrived, and when he saw all four bikes parked outside his door his eyes seemed to rise up to his eyebrows as though he was thinking "wow these are bigger than I expected".

Dave and Paul had gone to the local supermarket and bought a large sized nice bottle of vodka. He was given the vodka and the 30 or so litres of petrol and he seemed to become very amiable and helpful. He said he would crate up the bikes today and we should return at 11:00 tomorrow and knowing the weights etc. he would take us to do all the documentation then. We shook hands confident he would do a good job for us and picked up our bags we were keeping with us and walked off to our hostel.

We put all our bags into the six bed dorm and went out to explore the local square and the harbour where there was a tall ship moored.

We walked around the block looking for a chemist for Dave to buy deodorant (something we were all very supportive towards) and decided to stop and have a beer and some lunch in a trendy open air grill bar. Having looked at the prices of small bottles of beer (£8 for 250ml) we opted for coffees and burgers. These took a long time to arrive, came individually not at the same time, but the presentation on the plate was vert trendy!!

Geoff and Paul returned to the hostel for a lie down and rest while Frank and Dave wandered off further afield to explore. They found a nice waterfront area with a small beach and bars selling beer at reasonable prices.
Dave went for a haircut where he had an embarrassing moment. The woman suggested he had his hair washed before cutting and Dave said no just a haircut. She started found a lump of something in his hair and just pushed his head over the sink and started to wash his hair. As she washed his hair Dave recalls seeing loads of dirty brown water cascading into the white sink bowl and just wishing the ground would open up and swallow him. She then gave him a short back and sides !!

We have contacted Denis Panferov in Moscow enquiring about road tyres to get the bikes back to the UK.

When Dave and Frank returned we all went to the beach area to have a photograph taken of us all with our toes in the pacific. Geoff did this on his camera using the delay function. Something went wrong with the focus however it fixed itself on the concrete block the camera was resting on!!

The area was very nice in the evening sunshine, and we stopped at an open air cafe and had a few beers.

Later we went to a "bohemian" restaurant close to our hostel and had the best meal we have had for some while. Steaks and frites with red wine accompaniment (as well as beer) but pleasantly served all together.

More later

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad