After all our big hopes of travelling through different countries of Central Asia were crushed, in the end we would have to do with one BIG country – Kazakhstan, which, after considering all the pros and cons would have been perfectly fine with us if it was not for one slight problem.
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.
“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 →
While spending the last days in Kiev, the feeling that we have stayed in the city for too long, never really left me. It was time to move on. I think it is kind of tricky with cities, if you stay in one place for a long time you start to become lazy, you get used to the comfort which cities offer and as a result, you end up spending too much time and money. Of course we also did something useful in Kiev, if “filming” a short hyperlapse video can be regarded as something useful (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc9RkejUOig). One way or the other, on 8th October we finally got back on the road.
Crimean red sparkling wine. We tasted it on the last evening in Kiev, but unfortunately it was not tasty.
In the morning we packed our panniers and, together with our host Roman, drove to the central train station. The plan was to get from Kiev to the Moldavian (Transnestrian) border (to the city Kotovsk) using Ukrainian train network and then to jump on our cycles and pedal to Chisinau. I can almost hear people asking me “How can you call yourself bicycle tourist, if you are travelling with trains all the time?” I can almost hear myself answering this imaginary question “Firstly, to travel by trains in Ukraine is even cheaper that to travel by bicycles. Secondly, these trains are almost like social clubs where you get to know a lot about people travelling with you. Thirdly, it is a lot faster to travel by train and as we have to be in Crimea on 1st November, train is our only option to see more.” Actually, this was neither the first, nor the last time, when I had similar discussions with myself.