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Post 116: Leaving Russia 'Official'


(Posts 110 to 116 are being added here at the same time. It’s been six days away from the Internet but I’ve finally arrived in South Korea, .. where no Western Mobile phone will work)

A single headlight appears at the crest of the hill,.. the unmistakable rumble of a single cylinder motorcycle. For the very first time I meet Dan Honciuc, the mysterious man behind countless text messages and emails that I’d received whilst in Vladivostok. His arm is broken but his ex-army KTM 400 is well on the way to recovery. As he arrives on the dock at Zarabino and before his engine is killed, ….. he points out the inaccuracies in my earlier Blog entries. His KTM was only broken when it landed in the back of the truck, …. it wasn’t damaged in the accident, ‘KTM’s are great bikes’. I can only smile and stroke the Tiger’s mane, …. I’m sure I just saw it preen its whiskers. We haven’t been formally introduced but here on the road you just know exactly who everybody else is.

As experts in the Russian customs procedures we point Dan in the right direction whilst we enter the customs masters office in order to receive a severe spanking for inadvertently allowing our Triumphs to overstay their visas.. The atmosphere is formal and I’ll spare you the details, .. but three hours later and 1,500Rr lighter we were free to leave Russia, ….. albeit now each with a criminal record.

The ferry is good, … it’s empty, … a 200 Car Ferry containing just 3 motorcycles and no more than forty passengers. We leave the Triumphs looking lost and out of place alone on the massive car deck as we seek out and find our ‘floor space’ on the ‘Economy B Deck’ above. It’s basically the same as the ‘Economy A Deck’, … but without the karaoke rooms. The food is good, the floor is spacious and the voyage unlike all of our others, …… is uneventful. I’d like to be in a position to report disasters, calamities and mishaps, … or even alighting from the ferry in the wrong country as we did when leaving Albania, ….. but on this crossing, nothing of any consequence happened.

We’ve arrived in Sok Cho, …. It was painless and the town is beautiful. The bikes are now onboard a truck and making there way to the port of Busan and onwards by ship to Seattle. We’ll take a bus to Seoul tomorrow, .. or maybe the next day. Dan has headed off with his bike on a truck to Inchon, … he’s light enough to fly, .. we’re not, .. too many pies.

On the dock here we met a German guy with a camper van who we’d last seen in Zarubino on Saturday. Unlike ourselves, he’d been allowed to sail and landed in Sok Cho on Sunday morning, … but he and his camper were still parked on the dock. Unfortunately he’d overlooked one minor detail in his planning. Germany for some strange reason never signed up to the ‘International Convention on Road Traffic’ in 1949 and to this day German nationals are not allowed to drive in Korea. (Yes, … that was news to me too). Fortunately for Poor Circulation, …. Great Britain did sign the convention.

2 comments:

Spider said...

Great to see you back Blue 88! Reading your blog has brought tears to my eyes - through laughing and crying - you tell such a good story! Keep it up - the blog and the incredible journey! : )
Spider

cheap ferries said...

Aye, i agree with Spider - this blog has held my attention for months now. Much more interesting and exciting than watching Ewan McGregor and his rich mate riding round the planet!