News from Ukraine

I started to write an article few days ago about Romania but my computer crashed when I was writing and I lost the article. So let’s do a quick summary of our the week spent in Romania and let’s talk about more recent stuff

Romania summaryMC Route de Braila008

– Straight roads middle of fields
– Technology from another century, as a man pulling a plow or horses used as cars
– 3 storms
– Internet almost everywhere (big contrast with the horses)
– Many hitchhikers
– Dead of a second battery and development of a system to ride without any battery
– Drivers so dangerous
– People not speaking English
– We were not lucky but we did not find anybody to offer us hospitality in Romania
– We did almost 1000 km with Marie Claire, our photographer, and Tom a very sportive guy who is paraplegic so he was biking with arms in a hand bike

Chez le prêtre030As you probably understood Romania was not the best part of our trip, but the good part of a bike trip is when a place is not really cool you just have to bike few kilometers (or hundred) and you are able to find a better place.
So we entered in Ukraine from Moldavia, because there are no roads to go directly from Romania to Ukraine in this area because of diplomatic dispute about some islands. The south part of Ukraine is sequence of fields with few roads. Speaking about roads, there are so bad in this part of the country that the locals prefer to drive on the side of the road where they created some trail. At the beginning we rode on the road but we rapidly noted that the quality of the trail is often better for the bikes and for our back. We just need to be careful about the interaction between dust and mechanic.
In this area we had a very nice bivouac in a church garden. The evening was fabulous. We talked with the pastor and his wife, whereas the children were very curious about our stuff: tents, bikes, lights… The wife was speaking just few English words and her husband did not understand any English but when you want to communicate you always find a way to do it.

Mer noire005After this evening we let Tom and Marie Claire and we rushed to the black sea. Emilie was so happy to discover a new sea that she spread her good mood for the next 5 hours till we reached Odessa. We had planned to stay 2 days there but the stress generated by not founding a place to sleep removes our good mood and our wish to stay in this city. So after a night in a crappy hotel, without hot water, we decided to delay our break till we found a better place.
The day after we did a new bivouac in a church garden. Yes, it is a nice spot for travelers. The guy in charge of the maintenance let us accede to a kitchen and bathroom, in one word “luxury”.

As a wild camping is not the perfect place to rest we continued our route and we met the luck two times during the day. First time, we were doing a break and an old man was very interested in our bikes, as his niece was speaking French, he and his wife invited us to contact them when we would be in Mykolaiv. When we arrived in the city we were about to call them but they were people waiting for us with a sign “Sun Trip”. This people had already hosted 2 others Suntripeurs, Dirk and Cédric (I would like to thanks Cédric for this very nice contact, we spent a very good time at Ilya’s home).

Supporters002I’m finishing this article at Ilya’s home after a day of rest. We had very nice conversations. Her girlfriend helps Emilie to go to a doctor for her back, which was very useful because we had to cross the city 3 times and the doctors were not speaking any English. Apparently the SunTrip starts to be quite popular here, today an organization called our host and told them “we know that you host people from the Sun Trip, if they want they can to visit a solar power plant (sadly it is in the opposite direction of our way).

I hope we will have the opportunity to have other days like this one to rest more and take time to write more articles to continue to share our experience with you.

Guillaume

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