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

Post 71: Volgograd

It’s now 12th June, Russia’s National Day and a holiday for all. The bikes are ready and we’re going to ride north for two days up the River Volga before turning east and heading for Irkutsk. However, Roman screeches to a halt in front of the hotel, …. he has plans. Firstly he informs us with a huge smile that we’ll have ‘No Worry’ with Mafia in Siberia, …. he waves his mobile phone and we trust him, …… Roman has ‘Friends’.
The good people of Volgograd are out and about in their Sunday finest. We arrive at the Quay and admire the boats cruising up and down this huge river. One boat seems to be travelling much faster than all of the others, it leaves a plume of water that is visible from a great distance. This particular boat, a little larger and fancier than all of the others, is heading for the quay where we stand. Of course, … this boat belongs to Slava ‘Priviet Geoff and Alan, …… Russian Boat, …. fastest on all the Volga’. I suspect that ‘Fast Boats’ and ‘Legitimate Businessmen’ go hand in hand in these parts, … but then who are we to complain? We cruise the Volga (at 58 Knots) entertaining the bathers and cruisers while ‘Russian Rock’ blasts from the boats overlarge speakers, … Captain Slava and First Mate Roman are in their element, ….. this is how to live in Volgograd.

That evening we visit the restaurant/bar of the Hotel Tourist where everybody wishes to meet and be photographed with the two mad Englishmen. At the table next to us sit four ladies of the evening. They are as stunning as they fragrant , … they rock gently in unison to the sounds of Euro-Trash and smile to all and sundry. Gentleman callers sit with them for minutes, purchase drinks and then move on to pastures new. In stark contrast to the drab dull interior dйcor of this never exclusive establishment the atmosphere is bright and electric. The girls smile wistfully towards us and we of course smile back. Poor Circulation are killing time and enjoying cheap entertainment whilst the girls have far more commercial motives. And so it is that we bid them farewell and retire early with our virginities and wallets in tact.

It is with great sadness that we have to leave our new best friends behind, … but we will always have the most amazing memories of our time here in Volgograd to look back on. Hopefully there will be future encounters with Roman and Slava, Volgograd’s finest ‘Legitimate Businessmen’, ... but in the morning we move on.

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