Start.Ukraine,Russisia Kazakhstan.

September 4th 2010

Hello my dear friends  and especially you – occasional visitor!!

I’m alive and kickstarting!!!

In general I have spent in Baikonur whole day. The guys are awesome – very positive and friendly. Thank you all for such a hospitable receiving! Special thanks to my colleague  Honda Africa Twin riding Sergey, who accommodated me at his grandma Musa Tihonovna. However this kind and wise woman did not get why I travel instead of working for pension…

-          How do you plan living when you will be aged and retired? – she wondered

-          No thanks, – said I, – nowise as the retired live in Ukraine

-          Is pension so small?

-          No – the inflation gallops too much. So I’d better secure my aging any other means possible instead of relying for the state.

-          Hope my grandson will have luck…

Baikonur us a regime area with access control. So I had to get an admission. Unfortunately I could not see the launch of a rocket – I already ride down Alma-Ata. Next point of my route is Shimkent. This road even has asphalt sometimes! I had a night stand at steppe. In Shimkent I was met by Marat. This is a man of great kindness and hospitability! Just imagine – Andrej aka Waterman from Tolyatti lives at him for a whole month. His vehicle has broken down and during it’s rehabilitation Marat provides him with accommodations.

Andrej is a pretty good fellow as well.

By the way – I’ve met some vehicle troubles. The front lights and front fairing stand has cracked. As I have arrived to town, Marat has arranged a welding. Besides I have washed out all dist and sand. During my last trip to Vladivistok I have come across this thought but ignored. Now I decided to settle a rule and respect it – at first occasion the ride should be washed. First and foremost it is for the bike – to vanish the abrasives.

Shimkent traffic is natural pure sh*t! I have never seen chaos, rudeness and sickness in such amounts!!! Just imagine a road crossing with traffic lights on it, the traffic is not tense. But should somebody move when the light is winking – the hell gates gape! The traffic gets entirely messed up, both lines start moving on the red light. And a U-turn through double solid demarcation strip looks like a child’s frolic.

Special thanks to Marat for his kind receipt and to one certain somebody who has helped me with registering in Migration service. One should register his arrival to Kazahkstan otherwise there could problems emerge when leaving the country.

I moved from Shimkent on 3rd of September and had a night stop at the site of Tyan-Shang mountain ridge. I have found a place for tent, lit a gas-burner. The sun has already set and the supper was almost ready when some horsemen have driven a herd of horses next to me. They have noticed me but did not approach.

I spent all night waiting for guests. But they were too polite to disturb and I was too tired to change the place. I have a rule to take a night stay as far from the people as possible. Still there were no visitors and I got on with my travel alive and well.

Today is 4th of September and it’s a wind of terrific strength that leaves very small opportunity to ride. Besides I have been depleted with my cellphone!

I decided to have a shack in chajkhana (turk. word for a shack bar – an ancient Asian traditional fast-food with lamb shish-kebab instead of sandwiches). A kurdish guy who was cooking was chattering and complaining with small wages, high taxes, corruption and so on. Having had a dinner I departed and in three minutes suddenly found no phone with me. I remember that I left it on a table but there was no sign of phone. That guy started assuring me that “me not taken your phone”, “it’s allah’s will for everything”. And as a final and groundbreaking argument he declared “Who do you think hasa taken your phone? My mother? She have no take your phone!!”  This left no arguments against him but in case of scandal there was a nice opportunity to gather a crowd of those who “have no taken ya’ phone” and their mothers maybe. In fact let allah charge them. I can buy a cellphone. I can restore my number, but not Marina’s messages.

Now I have a Kazkhstan number.  It’ s +7 777 756 35 37 and I will be available at that number till 10th of September.

Mow I’m writing being on a motorcycle parking that is a motorcycle bar at once. It is not far from Alma-Ata. Today I paid a visit to Dima Petruhin’s office. Now he is in Japan. On Monday I will have a meeting with Alma-Ata journalists. Next communication point will probably be on Altay. But in case of poor internet connection I will communicate in Mongolia. Many thanks to guys, who help me, meet me and assist me. Wish you all a good luck and god blesses you!
As always a little photos:

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Night stop place before Baikonour

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Rocket ‘Sojuz’. Gagarin flew into space at a similar one in 1961

RG300595 1024x768 Start.Ukraine,Russisia Kazakhstan.SergeyRG300581 1024x768 Start.Ukraine,Russisia Kazakhstan.

Meet Vova. Brutal appearance, but in fact he is kind – you’ll seeRG300582 1024x768 Start.Ukraine,Russisia Kazakhstan.

I told you that! By the way he is the one who inspires all Bajkonur motorcyclists. Stay on course, guys and good speed!

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Biker band

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After a dinner with lamb shish-kebab. Especial thanks to Sergey (blue t-shirt) for taking me around the city and a telling about city’s history. Thank you!

RG300585 1024x768 Start.Ukraine,Russisia Kazakhstan. RG300573 1024x768 Start.Ukraine,Russisia Kazakhstan. оh… Very rare model with parallelogram fork

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Sergey guided me off the city and warned about cattle and wild animals crowding along the roads.

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Getting ready for sleepingRG010628 Start.Ukraine,Russisia Kazakhstan.

In the morning I saw a ‘guest’ at the site of my camp.RG010629 Start.Ukraine,Russisia Kazakhstan.

I ride and ride down the road, overtskoing a trailer and a driver waves his hand asking to stop. I decided to stop ‘cause his face was pretty kind. He asked me about my tour, when the other five riders will chase me – he wanted to look at that performance…RG020637 Start.Ukraine,Russisia Kazakhstan. This is МaratRG020636 Start.Ukraine,Russisia Kazakhstan. Andrey aka Watermann from TolyattiRG020653 Start.Ukraine,Russisia Kazakhstan.

Canyon at Shimkent outskirts

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Marat is being interviewed by local tv-chanel reporters about my visit and other things about biker’s hospitability

A report at the local TV channel

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:) RG030681 Start.Ukraine,Russisia Kazakhstan.

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Guys from Tashkent finishing their 1.5 month tour. They visited Ukraine too.RG030682 Start.Ukraine,Russisia Kazakhstan.

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At the moment we met my odometer zeroed.RG040683 Start.Ukraine,Russisia Kazakhstan.

No-gests in the morning – Tien-Shan on the horizon.

RG040684 Start.Ukraine,Russisia Kazakhstan. ….-

“… Me no taken your telephone, my mama not taken your telephone…we all under allah, it’s his will…!”

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Tasty, delicious shish-kebab…one cellphone cost. Bloody “L”!

Ok, guys! Next communication is on Altay approximately on 14th of September. Or on a week after Mongolia.


August 29th 2010

Hi guys and the others!

Now I am in Baikonur. To get there from Arytau I had to spend two days in a saddle. There are no roads – only a construction works. This process lasts for latest two years and one has to travel by steppe. Five hundred kilometers of a roadless desert area. Dust and fine gravel. And many meetings on the way. On the entrance to Kazakhstan they tried to demo…what do they do with an enemy? : ) pointing finger into a map. I was being told: -  Don’t go there, this is a bad place, and here is a lot of troubles one can have, and there you should drive like hell!!

What can I say? A wonderful place with wonderful people! All way long I was being asked such things like these slight innuendos: how much does your motorcycle cost? Are you traveling alone? Where do you have overnights? How much does your journey cost?

I don’t tell anyone that I travel alone despite everyone’s interest or a willingness to help. Everyone who asked was answered that there is five of motorcyclists riding to Mongolia. It’s better.

- Where are the others? – they ask.

- Gonna be very soon. I am the speediest, – I answer.

Those who asked me were of European presence. The Kazakhs are just the contrary sincere and inquisitive but not insolent.

I like Kazakhstan and it’s kind and sincere people.

I’ll try to upload some photos of them, but I am not sure I’ll manage because internet rate is less speedy then I am.

BTW I am at my friend’s grandmother. Musa Tikhonovna is the first teacher in Baikonour. Sregey (her grandson and my friend) also has Africa Twin will arrange an excursion tomorrow and after that I will dart to Chimckent (Shimkent) and Alma-Ata.

If the photos will fail to be uploaded next communication point is in Alma-Ata. It’s approximately 1 600 km or four days of riding. I am overwhelmed with the best feelings and thankfulness for your support I needed so much. Malinka, I love you!

God bless you all.

Let’s keep in touch!

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Arytau motorcyclists

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My friend Refat and his sister Susanna

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Arytau – the land of contrasts

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Steppe all around

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Deep blue sky of Kazakhstan

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Passing through one more village (aoul). Kids on the road

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Kind innocent and non-computerized children

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Sure they will have a good future

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Just helmet

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Here I will spent the night

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The coziest home

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There are many horses in the steppe

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Wonderful skies

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A herdsman. To my surprise he knows Ukraine’s President’s name and patronymic!

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“Highway” by “highway” :)

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One more night stand

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I live that Africa Twin!!!!

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There was even so… Noone could help it.

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For those who has forgotten how do I look like:)

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Very polite and positive Kazakh man from Semipalatinsk. He was inviting me to his home.

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This kind Kazakh woman has fed me with lamp soup 700 Tenge (35 Ukraine Grvn or $4.75) However a bowl was pretty large and the dish very tasty.

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The camels are very fearful. I tried to take a picture halting my bike near the herding animals but they scattered. This one finally let me take an exclusive!

The photos are so small because it is the best way to upload them. Perhaps I will find out a way to make it in proper manner.

I’m going to have a walk down Baikonour and maybe I’ll by myself light shoes – my old ones were lost somewhere on the “highway”.

B the way my Korean friend Sang Jung Li informed me that he doesn’t know a thing about the ban to ride bikes for Ukrainian citizens. Whatever it would be he waits for me there!!!

August 26th 2010

Hello everyone! I am in Kazakhstan now. It took two days and a night stand in steppe to get here from Taganrog.

I feel fine but must have caught a slight cold – my throat attempts to cough. Anyway I move end have come to Arytau where my friend Refat lives. We studied together.  Tomorrow I move to Baikonur. To my regret I don’t have time to see a rocket launch. Next date of launch is on September 8th.

Kazakhstan is truly a land of contrasts. Here one can see both clay cabins and rich restaurants in a downtown.

Today was spent for searching a ten litters jerry-can, 12Volts accumulator and any Kazakhstan roadmap. All day long! And no results.

This evening Refat will show me downtown, I will meet local motorcyclists and tomorrow I move to Baikonour!

7:30pm – I just have learned that I can’t ride my bike in South Korea area!!111 If I come to any seaport I will have to load it on a platform and tow to cargo company that will ship it to US/ As I was told by Seoul guys Ukraine citizens have no right to ride/drive a vehicle in S.Korea!! Unbloodybelieveable!!!

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Night stand place

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Asphalt, steppe and stray camels.

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I promised these guys on the Arytau entrance to place their photos

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This is Refat

Still can’t figure it out – how should I make my diary and place new photos – upwards or downwards? Should the old texts be over or under the old ones? Waiting for your advice!

August 23rd 2010

Dear friends! My tour I want to exercise so much has started!

As I travel  I will place here some photos and short notes – my thoughts and impressions.

At present I am in Taganrog at my uncle’s.  Tomorrow I will ride towards Volgograd. I have already passed customs procedures – long but w/o casualties. As the officers knew that I am travelling from Kiev itself and that my plans last much further they hardly could believe. Anyway – the less they are informed the better they sleep )

Yesterday I have met a guy from Austria riding his BMW. We gave each other phone numbers. I learned he was riding from Baikal.

The mood is pretty good. I still do not fully recognize where do I travel and how far but I do realize a dream of my childhood! My travel is ordealious for my mom – she takes it hard but she will stand it. Dear Mama! It’s gonna be OK do not worry : )

Here are some photos I took for last couple of  days

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This is Vladimir (Vovchik) from Dnepropetrovsk – He came and brought some useful stuff. Among all stuff he brought there was a relay regulator – I almost have forgotten it! Thanks, Vovchik!

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Hans to a boy: – When you grow up you’ll have something like this bike…

A boy thinks: – Talk, talk stranger – anyway I do not speak English)

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Taganrog – a city of metallurgists and fishermen

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And also a homeland for Anton Chekhov and my uncle Vova’s.

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