They showed up and we set off for about another 7 km to the campsite.
They said it would be better to stay together and since I was not going up and out off first gear anyway I would not be that much slower…….so we thought:
The road was very bad and it slowed them down, you can see them in the back. But then this rolled in:
And the weather turned from bad to worse and so did the road as it started raining.
The gravel road changed into a dirt road and soon enough me and the bike fell and I had to unload the bike to get it upright and had to bend the pannier mounting frame back so that I could remount the pannier and get the bags back on. Some of the guys helped me to get the bike down a hill as it would not be possible to drive down. In total me and the bike fell 3 times. The sun had set and it was dark we had to push the bike for about 2 or 3 km before the roads where good enough to drive again. Me and Vitaly felt missarable and I was wandering why the hell I decided to go with them. Also I figured that since we are now really in the middle of nowhere, how I would be able to get the bike out of here if the rain continued. We did not make any pictures of this part. When the road was good enough to drive again we made it quickly to the campsite. It had stopped raining and since I was riding again our moods changed and we put up the tents and got a fire going and I was invited to join them for dinner since my instant noodles made them feel sad for me. We talked a lot and finnely went to bed around 1 o’clock.
During the night it started to rain again and I had a hard time to sleep again. One of the guys did not bring a tent as it was not suposed to rain. So the next morning I found a guest in my fronttent. I felt glad to at least pay something back for all the help I received yesterday.
Morning impression of the area:
The rain from last night did not seem to have done much damage to the roads. nonetheless Vitaly and his wife decided to go with me in case I needed help puching or lifting the bike again.
There was a lot of fog and we all had a hard time smiling but at least I was riding.
But up some hills they had to push
But bit by bit the road got better and so did the weather
TomTom still having no clue what so ever
And then the sun came out
We made it to the ferry where I would be picked up by Dimitri and some of his friends coming from some bikeparty and Vitaly and his wife would wait for there group.
Since we had some time to spare we waited for them on a small beach near the ferry and had some lunch with tea and coffee.
When Dimitri was near we left the beach and had out to meet up with him.
I then followed Dimitri, his wife and two other bikers back to there home in Volgograd. We had dinner and some beer and went to bed.
The route from Mikhaylovka to Volgograd:
And a more detailed map of my Russia-extreme-off-road-training:
I am now at Vitaly’s home and all is fine. The bike has a few scars, as do the panniers, I got a sunburn from the beach and a sore left arm but it has been a unforgettable experience. I would not have done anything like this if it was not for Vitaly and his friend and I could not have done it without them.
Thanks to all you guys….