Monthly Archives: December 2014

Year 2014 – The road so far

Our adventure started on September 15th, 2014. December 31st we are 2250 kilometers from home, having traveled about 4700 kilometres by road.
We have had an amazing time visiting Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, the breakaway state of Transnistria, Ukraine again, AR of Crimea, Russia and finally – Georgia. We are now residing in Tbilisi and plan to be here till the middle of February. We are still looking for ways to acquire two bicycles in the place of stolen ones but we will continue our journey to reach the place furthest away (Pitt Island in New Zealand) by any means.

Marking the end of year 2014, we looked back on the road so far. We are offering to take a peak at our adventures from September to December 2014 through this short video compilation.

Music: “Smile” by Møme.

Pozharnik in the Pushkin’s Kitchen

Artem is the 7th host we are staying with through Couchsurfing network. Just an ordinary guy who’s living in the center of Odessa and probably working some 9-to-5 job. Of course, as all of the CSers he probably likes to travel. And we’re sure that he is completely aware of our arrival time. At least, those were our presumptions about him. If you don’t know enough information about someone, you create a character in your head before the first meeting, just to get a better image that this person is real, that’s how the human brain works, well, mine at least. And that’s fine as long as you don’t start developing other thoughts and conclusions based on those presumptions. Because in reality the world can turn out a lot more interesting than one can imagine and the people in it can be even more unique than we think when saying the conventional “every one of us is special” phrase. Continue reading

In and Out of Transnistria in 10 Hours

“Goodbye, the Land of Wine!” we shouted out loud, it was 16th October – the day we left Chisinau and Moldova. Of course, if you have read any of our previous posts involving leaving cities, you’ll already know that it was definitely not an early morning activity.

By the time we got organised and said farewells to our new friends, it was already early afternoon and we decided to say goodbye to the city itself by having a meal in a simple Moldovan diner “Strelka” using our last Moldovan money – leu (MDL). Suppose, we got a little over-excited with our order, choosing 3 courses each – we definitely got a bit over our heads, particularly because we intended to cycle straight after the meal. This resulted in not having enough of the right cash in our pockets (we were around 1€ short). We contemplated of going to a currency exchange place to get some more money, but then again, getting more leu was something we would not need anymore, since we planned to cycle to the border of Transnistria that afternoon and back in Ukraine after that. Thankfully, the women at the counter accepted some of our Ukrainian hryvnias (UAH) instead, this proved to us once more – there are good, understanding and kind people everywhere. Continue reading

Chisinau – celebrations, parks and dubossari

Riga-Chisinau – 2640km travelled. Distance from home – 1150km.

Stefan the Great and EU

Stefan the Great and EU

Before visiting the previous capitals on our way – Minsk and Kiev, I already knew at least something about them but the next stop – Chisinau was a blank page in my book. Continue reading

Running through Moldova

Good morning, water condensation! While still lying in my sleeping bag, which is half way open because otherwise it would transform to a portable sauna, I hear a familiar song being played by Ivar’s mobile.   “Čšs, čšs, tuk, tuk, tuk! Ripo tvaika bānītis. Panākt to un noskriet var katr(i)s mazais Jānītis” (English translation would sound something like this “Cshh, cshh, tuk, tuk, tuk! The steam train is rolling down. It and be caught and outraced by even the small Johnny”). We woke up almost each morning listening to the song “The steam train is rolling down” by E.Goldstein/A.Kruklis, performed by Women’s vocal band of Latvian Radio (listen to the song on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJogkSrhUrM). As soon as the song was over, you don’t have any options, you have to get up, put on your cycling shorts and start pedalling.

Ba-bam, ba-bam, ba-bam, ba-bam! We were greeted by the familiar sound of the highway once we started to cycle down the road. The road was built from concrete plates which were covered with a thin layer of tarmac. The problem was that nobody had actually tried to renew the tarmac surface and thus the road was lined with holes and trampolines at regular intervals. During the first few kilometres of the day, we were just listening to the disturbing noises our bicycles made each time we hit a hole. Fortunately the Ukrainian tank road did not manage to do any serious harm and the only real annoyance was that we had to stop from time to time in order to rearrange our bags as they were randomly changing their locations on the rear rack.

The tank road

The tank road

Continue reading