08/06/2010, 21:51
Filed under: Russia

Hey, so here we are in Samara. we’ve cycled a long stretch of more than 1000km  between Moscow and Samara.

In Moscow we had good times with Mr Alex Teddy and Sacha, and also with the couchsurfers&host crew.

We ve been cycling all the way on the same road : the  M5. so sometimes it looks like a motorway and sometimes like a little countryside road, but with the same traffic : some big trucks mostly. so its hasnt been the nicest road we’ve been onto. we’ve tried to go off track of course. we took this really nice and quiet road on a sunny day, happy to leave the busy and stinky M5. but after the 2nd village on our way we got lost and were not sure about which way to go… so we asked that girl who was just walking on the road. she said she didnt know where the village we wanted to go to was and told us to ask the baboushka a little bit further. so we asked the baboushka a little bit further, who almost went into an argument with her husband who saying it was the other way. so they asked this drunken man who was walking passed. unfortunately he was no help either but all agreed that we should come back from where we came from and sked in the previous village. And thats what we did. we rode passed the girl who was still walking on the road, and got to the previous village and after many attempts, this man with his old dad knew where the village was, and they explained to us that there was no road to go to there, only dirt road! so that signed the end of our “day in the countryside” and the next day we got back onto our M5 (to be pronounced M piat)

so this made us loose a lot of time and we have a visa limit and can’t get lost everyday. so to catch up the time we cycled 90km per day for 3 days. that was quite tiring, especially when its 35 degrees! think we never cycled, sweat and ate ice cream altogether so much in our lives!

we made friends on the way, some really nice rencontres. in Ryazan, Penza and Samara, everybody is so nice and helpful, and this really reboost us when sometimes the spirit is low. couchsurfing is quite nice for it makes us meet people and experience just what people usually do, eat, drink and talk about. and we dont meet many people on the M5, villages are usually away from the road…

anyway, good feeling when we meet people, we re fast on the road (maybe muz’s efforts finally made us lighter..) so it s all good.

today we went to the beach in Samara, and experienced the russian tanning : you just stand in the sun and turn round from time to time like a donner kebab, and take a few breaks in the water (very cold in the Volga!) or have a rest on your towel. oh and you can also use your water spray to spray yourself. we havent been on a beach for a while so maybe this is just fashion and not russian…

tomorrow we will head towards the kazakh border, he he. quite excited, yeah!!


19/05/2010, 14:51
Filed under: Russia

Le train de CHernigov a Moscou, c’etait royal, rien a voir avec les trains couchettes en France. Super comfortable, et c’est pas des compartiments de 6 lits, c’est tout le wagon qui est rempli de lits! Y’a meme de l’eau chaude a volonte pour se faire du the/cafe.

Arrivee a Moscow sans probleme. On attend Alex, un pote de Bristol, et on fait la causette avec une dame estonnienne qui parle pas anglais mais qui veut a tout prix qu on aille a Tallin car c’est une tres belle ville. On a beau lui dire que c’est pas vraiment sur notre route, elle n’en demord pas.

Quand meme a preciser : notre russe s’ameliore de jour en jour. On peut maintenant lire le cyrilique, et puis on a notre petit vocabulaire pour pouvoir acheter a manger,et  communiquer quoi!

On a aussi encore fait de la bureaucracie de merde. Tout etranger arrivant en Russie a trois jours pour se faire enregistrer son visa a la police de l’emigration. Tu parles, ca se fait a l’hotel pour une somme pas specialement modique : 20€ chacun! La Russie coute cher en visa et trucs administratifs! Tout le monde est d’accord pour dire que ca n’a rien a voir avec la securite mais que c’est juste une histoire d’argent. Forcement. Y’a d’autres moyens moins chers, mais alors faut avoir de la patience et du temps, et faut trouver les bonnes personnes qui sont en regle, ce qui n’est en fait pas evident.. Echec aussi pour l’obtention du visa Chinois, ils veulent qu’on le fasse au Kazakhstan..

bref bref, on va enfin aller voir Moscou demain, la place rouge et Lenine, se detendre quelques jours et re-enfourcher nos velos ce weekend, direction Samara puis le Kazakhstan!!!