So, today the plan was to make it to Mariupol, a port city on the Sea of Azov. at 7am I was out and on the bike. Glorious weather again, this would be the story while I was in Ukraine.
As I mounted my bike I noticed I could place both my feet flat on the floor. That’s nice I thought, however I had not grown 2 inches overnight, I instead had a flat rear tyre. Damn! Anyhow after being ripped off by a local taxi driver, I followed him, at 20mph to a few tyre places until we found one that would deal with a motorbike tyre and inner tube.
A 2 inch nail was no fun!
Anyhow, all sorted and on my way. I had about 450 miles to cover today on some nasty roads so off I went. You sort of follow a lake type things a lot of the way and cross over it a few times.
It’s not too bad for scenery but nothing special. The little villages you pass though are bizarre. They look all beat up, knackered and poor, but every one will have a fantastic church, most with a blingtastic ornamental roof. very pretty indeed.
On a bike you can get along the roads ok as you slalom around potholes, so I was flying along quite nicely. I had also figured out how to avoid the coppers. Simply hide behind a bus or car or lorry when approaching them 🙂
As I started leaving the more populated areas I hit a road M-08or H-08 and it was deserted. Didn’t see a car for 30 mins at a time. The road was pretty crap too but the faster you go, the less you feel the potholes that you can’t avoid. So all was going well. Also since it was so deserted I figured there would be no police so I made good progress. However due to my flat tyre incident it was getting late, about 8pm by the time I got to the outskirts of Mariupol.
I hadn’t eaten a proper meal since the previous evening and was surviving on crisps or chocolates from petrol stations so was peckish too. I stopped on the outskirts of the city to program the hotel address into TomTom. a minute later about 10 Ukrainian bikers on a mix of bikes all stopped for a chat. That was nice, except my Russian is limited as was their English. What a nice bunch of people though and they insisted on ensuring I found my hotel and so escorted me there. That was pretty damn cool and proof that bikers look after their own. After many “Spasibo”‘s I made it to the hotel! Knackered, again. But the weather was glorious, the bike ignition had behaved all day.
It was now Sunday evening and I decided to hang out here and relax until Friday when I’d head home.