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

Post 84: Towards Ulan-Ude

We’re in Ulan-Ude and about to head out on the eastern leg of our journey across Russia. Progress will be slow and Internet access scarce. If I’m not on-line for a week or so then that dose not mean that we’re having problems, ….. it just means that Russia is rather large.

Last night almost 100km short of Ulan-Ude, Alan dropped his bike whilst negotiating a deep muddy track. This is the third time that he’s fallen but thankfully each time the Triumph-Online engine protectors have saved his bike from serious damage. All of these accidents could just as easily have happened to me, it’s simply a question of ‘luck’ and has absolutely nothing to do with experience. The road conditions here are less than ideal, often changing without notice and low speed ‘spills’ are part and parcel of overland travelling.

The accidents have understandably knocked his confidence and it feels as if he’s now beginning to see problems in everything that we do. Unfortunately I seem to view these things a little differently and while I never want anybody to have accidents, I understand that we’re riding around the world and should expect things to be more difficult than riding at home.

Today Alan’s mentioned several times that he likes the idea of placing the bikes on the Trans Siberian Railway (TSR) for the final 3,200 miles to Vladivostok. Reports of the road conditions to the east of us from Chita and along the Amur Highway are not good. We talk to drivers of this road at every opportunity and there is a reported 200 mile stretch of totally broken road and mud ahead of us with the remaining 3,000 miles being far less than perfect. I’m no more skilful a rider than Alan and I share the same fears, …….. but I’m also determined to ride all of the way to Vladivostok.

If Alan’s confidence doesn’t return in the next couple of days, and understandably it might not, then it would be great for him to travel to Vladivostok on the TSR, to arrive ahead of me and to arrange for onward passage to Alaska. It will just be a ‘different experience’ for both of us and sharing our stories afterwards will be a fantastic way to pass our time together in North America.


texastengu said...

Great going so far!
Keep your chins up and onward through the fog.
Have Alan listen to Chris Rea's
"Road to Hell"LOL.

colstrumpet said...

I'm following your blog and really wish I was doing such a monumental trip, maybe one day.... It is often the way that travel chums need to take different paths for a while. It's best if you each do what is right for yourselves and not feel forced or worse 'obliged' to stay together. I hope that you can travel together, for safety, companionship and the benefit of two perspectives for decision making. Ride safe.