Wednesday, 22 August 2012 Vladivostok, Russia (0 miles) Total Trip Miles – 4723. 0 hours riding
Weather Temperature in the upper 50’s & lower 60’s with driving wind and rain
NOTE Expect to be back on the road tomorrow following the Siberian Railroad route to Moscow…good possibility I’ll have some limited access to phone & internet services over the next 2 weeks. Please continue to check my blog daily for all updates.
23 August – Khabarovsk
24/25 August – Skovorodino
26 August – Chita
27 August – Irkutsk
28 August – Krasnoyarsk
29 August – Novosibirsk
30 August – Omsk
31 August – Tyumen
1 September – Ufa
2 September – Novgorod
3 September – Moscow
3/4 September – Russian/Latvian Border
Awakened this morning by driving heavy rains & winds – sounds like a train going by outside my hotel room…decided to just relax most of the day and prepare my gear for the bike.
After finishing lunch at the hotel cafe, I walked down to the train station to snap a few pictures of the Siberian Railroad train and pose in front of the monument marking the end of the line for the historic train in Vladivostok – 9288 kilometers and the basic route I’ll be taking beginning tomorrow. I met a couple from Australia, Malcolm & Jan, the evening before that had just completed the Moscow to Vladivostok trip and mentioned the monument – just had to get my picture at that historic spot…of course I did!
Just after 3pm, Svetlana with Links, Ltd stopped by the hotel to pick me up for our appointment with the customs office…she also said she needed to swing by the ferry terminal and pick two people for the same purpose. After arriving at the customs office, I introduced myself and learned they were from Argentina – their names are Julian & Lorena along with their riding partner, Trico, who they picked up in Spain 9 years ago. Trico even carries a passport from Spain – there are countries like Japan that require a 6 month quarantine period and he is forced to live with relatives from time to time…you just can’t make this stuff up!
Together, they have been on the road for about 10 years working from country to country…some 80 plus often camping or staying with people they meet along their journey.
The customs process took about 3 hours…seems just about everything takes about 3 hours in Russia!
For dinner I had traditional Siberian dumplings & a Jack on the rocks to help commemorate the beginning of a ride I have dreamed about & planned for several years…many hours of thought, sweat, money now comes down to the next few weeks…I’m excited and blessed to have family, friends and co-workers supporting me – without them, I would not be at this place in time. Can’t help but think of an old song from the 80’s by Phil Collins that sums things up, “In the Air Tonight”…I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life.
Tomorrow morning I am meeting Svetlana at the terminal to pick up the bike, pay my customs & port fees and hit the road bound for Kharabovsk…this is for Isabel, Adrianna, Amelia and all kids struggling in this fight against cancer…Rally On!
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!