Thursday, 27 August 2009


I was thinking yesterday after 3 or 4 days in Russia I wouldn't have much to write about. A bit of camping rough again. picking better spots and starting to feel more comfortable with darkness :o)

Then yesterday happened. And not in a good way. The day started with the wind behind me and on a fantasticly smooth hard shoulder. I've had stomach upset for a week now and so not the strongest - so attempting 180k with no money might have been a mistake. It ended with me having defied death for 4 hours along a busy road, having fallen into the road on a particularly bad bit, and then as I was getting into a particularly unpleasent and smoggy volgograd I had two attempted robberies of stuff on my bike!! Gypsies. I ####### hate pikies!! - to quote a line from one of my favourite films!!

I was chased by 2 dogs and then each house I went past 2 more dogs came out - by the time I'd gone about 100m it was like the pied piper of Hamelin - but nasty dogs that wanted to eat my legs rather than rats or children. I'd tucked the whilstle under my shirt and couldn't take my hands off the bars to get it out. I won't make that mistake again.

Got to city centre - no hostels, found hotel - very expensive. Asked for cheaper one so had to cycle long way into slums of city to find a hotel with more Pikies outside wanting to have a go on my bike!!? Same price!! arrrggghhh. cycled back and took nice hotel for lots of money but slept like a king.

Last night I was seriously asking WHY??? Is it like this from now on???? And if someone had confiscated my passport and put me on a plane home I would have been overjoyed. Sleep, food and a pleasent trip to the toilet has made me feel hugely better and optimistic. And seeing my emails this morning has made me feel really happy and ready to take on the world again, literally!!

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