Skovorodino, Russia to Chita, Russia – Day 29

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Saturday, 25 August 2012 Skovorodino, Russia to Chita, Russia (744 miles) Total Trip Miles – 6624. 13 hours riding

Weather Temperature in the first half of day in the mid 50’s with rain, clouds & fog. Mostly sunny skies in the afternoon with temps in the upper 60’s

Started stirring about 4:30 am and decided to rest a bit longer since it was raining…wanted to get back on the road at sunrise, which I did. The first half of the day was tough given cool temps, rain & fog, but the weather did break to make a great riding day.

Dealt with quite a few bumps in the road and areas under repair…I just wanted to make Chita before nightfall. Mistakenly, tried to pass a 1000 won Korean bill for 1000 rubles to pay for gas…needless to say the attendant just wasn’t very happy with me.

Take a look at the road signs in Russian…they show both Chita & Skovorodino – kind of cool.

Today marked my longest distance in one day for this trip and it allowed me to squeeze another day out of the schedule.

Terrain went from mountainous to huge open plains with cattle and farms….many small towns could be seen in the distance with most very simple of wood and metal roofs. It is obvious they were poor; however they were some of the nicest folks – I felt very comfortable in this rural region which seemed much like mid – America.

Rolled into Chita at 7 pm looking for the hotel booked with everyone I talked with sending me in a different direction. Finally talked with a man who spoke good English and he recommended a different spot and said the hotel I had planned to stay in was a bit rough. You can’t make this one up…It’s called the Panama City Hotel and at least it’s gated offering more security for the bike.

If you would like to make a donation to give all kids diagnosed with cancer a better chance at living the full life they deserve, please visit Rally Foundation & Rally Around the World or Text “RALLY” to 85944 to give $10 to WIN the fight against childhood cancer. Send this message to 10 of your friends…Be a RALLY 10 to WIN!

Kharbarovsk, Russia to Skovorodino, Russia – Day 28

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Thursday, 24 August 2012 Khabarovsk, Russia to Skovorodino, Russia (631 miles) Total Trip Miles – 5850. 11 hours riding

Weather Temperature in the mid 70’s with mostly sunny skies

For breakfast I had Siberian dumplings and coffee in a large room with other guests – many of which were military or other uniformed, government workers. The hotel had a look and feel of a government dormatory hotel…while quite nice rooms, the halls and other common areas just did not quite have the hotel feel. I also found it quite odd to be sharing a room for breakfast with Russian officers and enlisted people…how times have changed in my lifetime to allow me that opportunity and given my dad was a career military officer.

Off about 8am and ended up gaining an hour in my day heading west. Initially had intended on an extra days travel to Chita due to road conditions, however made good time and was able to reduce
it to just 2 days.

Out of the entire day, there were about 25 miles of rough unpaved, road under repair or construction – it was extremely difficult managing the bike in many spots with deep loose gravel.

This was going to be my first day camping on this trip and, of course, it was in the heart of Russia. I had some apprehensions on just pulling off on the roadside and pitching my tent…not sure about safety and even laws that might prohibit.

After having plenty of time to ponder it – you know, like 10+ hours on the bike, I decided I needed a good cell phone signal first and then I’d search for the perfect spot hidden from view of the roadway. Looked at a couple of spots that just didn’t work for out for various reasons and decided on a spot with a small road like four wheelers might use…the site over looked a beautiful meadow and was wooded – perfect cover. Even though I had insect repellent, the mosquitoes just about carried me off!

For dinner I heated some water with a fire stick and added to a mac & cheese camp meal…it just didn’t quite have the typical taste, but I managed to eat most of it.

Kind of crazy to be chatting with Shanon and also taking a call from Chuck at 2:30 am on his way back from Atlanta while lying on my sleeping bag in Siberia of all places …people used to get sent to Siberia – are you kidding me!

Had some light rain with thunder & lightning overnight but I managed to sleep pretty well…maybe it was the constant sound of passing trains throughout the night – clickity clack.

If you would like to make a donation to give all kids diagnosed with cancer a better chance at living the full life they deserve, please visit Rally Foundation & Rally Around the World or Text “RALLY” to 85944 to give $10 to WIN the fight against childhood cancer. Send this message to 10 of your friends…Be a RALLY 10 to WIN!