Discovering the world on $20 per day ......................

Post 60: Into Russia

The ferry across the Black Sea from Trabzon to Sochi took almost twelve hours and we arrived at the mouth of Sochi harbour just as dawn broke on the 3rd of June, two days behind schedule. Two pilot boats eventually guided the Princess Victoria to the dock and we disembarked along with the other passengers. Passport control was a breeze and within minutes we were in Russia, …. But unfortunately the Tigers were not.

We had to buy insurance for fifteen days (don’t ask) and then wait, ….. and then wait some more. It was 8am, we were hungry and tired and totally in the dark as to what was happening with our bikes. Then at around 11am a customs officer inspected both bikes for contraband by checking that the hinges on both of our top boxes worked, …. Which they did.. He allowed us to ride the bikes off the ferry and onto the dock … and then he vanished.

Two hours later another officer arrived, hissed and swore, pocketed our incorrectly completed customs forms and then also vanished. Left alone with my gander rising and against my better judgement, I approached another officer who helpfully enlisted the support of our earlier insurance agent who completed new forms, presented them to a third officer, ….. and then went back to waiting.

Eventually we left the port at around 2pm almost nine hours after we had entered. Well,…. At least we tried to leave the port. Unfortunately two cars had parked in front of the port gates and they couldn’t be opened, …. Welcome to Russia.

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