From Odessa up to Kharkiv

Posted by on 24 September 2012

Missing pictures of the route up to Odessa.

The route from Koziatyn to Pervomaisk, the missile museum:

The route from Pervomaisk to Odessa:

The rest day in Odessa felt good, I did some laundry, cleaned up my boots, riding trousers and me and Vlad talked a lot. About bikes, bikeclubs, politics, religion and the differences between Holland and the Ukraine. Vlad is a chef-cook and he and his wife prepare and sell lunches. Vlad spends most of his time in the kitchen cooking and cleaning while Luda helps with peeling and chopping of the vegies. She then goes to Odessa where she sells all the prepped salads and hot meals. They work very very hard and long hours. They live with 4 cats, 6 dogs and a bunch of chickens.


I set of the next day to Kirovograd where I looked for a hotel and had a walk around.

The route:

Coming into every city you can see these sort of concrete signs this one says Kirovograd they are very handy when it comes about meeting peope. They say just wait at the city sign and we will come and get you:

My first Lenin statue:


In Odessa I contacted Valerij. It turns out he is in Kiev getting ready for a big change in his life, the birth of his child. If I had known before I would have changed my route a little and would have gone to Kiev before going to Odessa. But it is yet another good reason to come back to the Ukraine since we did not get the change to meet in person this time. He did encourage me to go to his hometown of Svitlogirs’ke as some friends and his family would be waiting for me. So off I went….

The route:

He told me to contact him about 60 km before Svitlogirs’ke. So I did and he told me to take a little detour as the road would be better and it would be easier to find his hometown. But the TomTom seemed to know where it was pointing me and well I can be a bit stubborn so I followed the GPS and ended up lost on a large factory for gravel. Going into some road that was only mend for those 20 ton trucks are allowed in. So I was followed by a truck with security guards who told me to follow them.

Me trying to follow the TomTom GPS:

They showed me the way out and as there was only one road it did not matter much that the GPS was going crazy.


Valerij’s father came to pic me up and brought me to this house where we had some dinner with some Vodka to celebrate the birth of Valerij’s daughter. He did not speak much english and I speak only about 6 words of russian we did manage to have some understanding about Valerij’s trip, my trip and I got the massage to go and have some rest as some friends would be coming later.

When I woke up Valerij’s sister, lyuba and a friend, Vova had arrived and we had some dinner and some more vodka. After that we went to a bar for some more beer and vodka. That evening there was a thunderstorm and a lot of rain. Lightning must have struck not far as all electricity went out and we continued drinking with the help of some candles.

It was a very cool and interesting evening as there was only one guy speaking english but he was pretty drunk and a lot got lost in translation.

Ukrainians are prepped for everything since there was still no electricity the next morning and the watersuplly was cut we had to shower in the garden:

It has a large container on top filled with water. As my head was hurting a bit the cold water helped.

In Svitlogirs’ke even the cats like motorcycles:

We had a walk around and went down to the river bank.

During the storm the sound system got broken in the bar (the bar is owned by Valerij’s parents) So I was asked to have a look but unfortunately unable to fix it:

They had a spare hifi all in one tower so that night they did have music again. I did adjust the projector settings so that the image was a bit better.

That night we had shashliek.

We went to the bar again after dinner and later even visited the local dico:

As far as I understood Svitlogirs’ke is a little unique as it is not that big and far from any city it has its own disco and a very active nightlife.

I did not drink much as I would be leaving the next day. Vova and Lyuba also where hading back to there homes so we decided to leave together.

Vova owns a Honda AfricaTwin and it was fun to ride together for a while. Valerij asked me if it would be OK if I would be interviewed by a local newspaper and of course I had no problem with that. So we went to Kobeliaky for the interview at 13:00 o’clock. Luckily though there was somebody to translate:

Valerij! do not forget to sent me a copy please!!!!

There was another Vova in Svitlogirs’ke who has a friend Igor in Kharkiv were I was going to and had booked a hotel. Igor then had some friends in Poltava which is on the way to Kharkiv. In Poltava there is a aviation museum so Igor proposed that I would had to Poltava wait at the Macdonalds and his friends would pick me up and go with me to this museum.

We then went to one of there houses and had a coffee before I set off to Kharkiv the family again were very nice and I had cookies, fresh apple juice and coffee. His mother wanted to sit on my bike and we made some pictures and I gave them some of my stickers. One of them immediately got a spot on the rear window of his car.

I then set off to Kharkiv and found the hotel and contacted Igor. We had a walk around and a beer. As he had to work the next day we kept it short and I hope to meet him again today.

The route to Kharkiv:

Will be here till Wednesday morning and had for Russia.

Valerij, my friend, congratulations with your daughter. I hope we once get to meet. Here in Ukraine, in Holland or somewhere on the road.

Vlad and Luda, thank you for letting me stay in your wonderful house filled with lovely animals.

Thanks to everybody in Svitlogirs’ke, you guy’s have been great fun.

Again guy’s if you ever have the opportunity to come to Amsterdam write me a E-mail or give me a call.



2 Responses to From Odessa up to Kharkiv

  1. Neeltje

    Hoi Steven. De kaart is weer helemaal up-to date gestickerd. Wat leuk al die mensen onderweg. Feliciteer Valerie ook namens mij en ik hoop dat je het artikel kunt krijgen. Wat spannend je bent nu bijna in Rusland. Ik ga nog even op internet kijken naar die plaatsen waar je nu bent. Sarah komt vrijdag garnalen eten en dan willen we met je skypen – kan dat? Hoe laat?
    Eén van de lampen van onze versterker is kapot. We zitten zonder geluid en moeten het nu doen met een transistorradio tot jij terug bent. Pech!!!. In de kroeg hadden ze ook pech. jammer dat je dat niet kon maken. Ik ben heel benieuwd naar je belevenissen straks aan de Russische grens. Heb je in Rusland ook contacten ? We leven helemaal met je mee op reis.Leuk hoor. tot gauw kus Neeltje en groeten van André

  2. Everhard

    Man, wat een geweldige belevenissen!!!! Wat leuk dat je al die mensen ontmoet, al die dingen meemaakt.
    Ben trots op je. Je doet het geweldig. Zelfs een intervieuw!!!!! En heel leuk om al je belevenissen te lezen, de foto’s te zien etc. Succes aan de russiche grens! Groetjes en ga zo door!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *