This leads (I have no idea how but it does) to my eating habits while on the road. My last 3 dinners have consisted of 1) a tin of sardines and a packet of strawberry biscuits 2) a cup of jasmine tea and an apple 3) a bag of almonds and a chocolate. I have no idea how this happened but I just don’t seem to get to a town where I can get food and am usually shatter so just crawl into the guest house and hide in my room. I’ve managed to have the odd omelette or hamburger patty with mash potato for lunch at the dinners, however just occasionally. It seems that while riding on my own eating has not been a priority and it just doesn’t happen as I am just not conscientious enough. However now that the cash flow is an issue I am worried about feeding myself. I have no idea how I get myself into this mess as I never seem to carry enough cash, or when I do it’s in dollars. Ah well let’s see what tomorrow holds, time for bed…
So up early and I hit the cash machine, VOILA MONEY WOOHOO you cannot even image what a relief this is so it wasn’t my card but the ATMs for the last 500kms have been off line, not that there are many of them in Siberia. Now the problem is the machine spits out a single 5000 rouble note. In Russia the shops, including the hardware shop that runs the guesthouse, only open at 10am. The night watchman opened the gate to let me take my bike out and I did not see another soul and he mimed I need to wait until the hardware shop opens if I want to see the lady owner. Hmmm it’s now 7:45 I cannot get change for the 5000 note and I cannot wait until 10am I need to leave I have 758km to ride if I want to get to Chita. SO guilt ridden and doing a runner I hop on the Dizzy and head out of this one goat town.
I actually met the goat she kept me company while I packed up my bike and then ate all my almonds. She then stood on her hind legs putting her front legs on my stomach looked me in the eye and said “are you sure those are all your almonds lady” OK I haven’t quite lost it she didn’t talk but I can tell you that was the exact expression on her face. I polity told her I had no almonds and before she got angry rode away.
On the road I bumped into a German couple doing a 2 month trip from Germany to Vladivostok. It’s incredible how much seeing another biker on an adventure lifts ones spirits. 758km I arrive in Chita and decide I need a nice hotel for the night, what a mistake. After they checked me in and took my CC payment and sent me to my room they called me back to discuss my passport. All hotels photocopy your Russian visa and I really had a hard time trying to persuade them that yes although my visa had expired it was not my fault as my bike broke down. I literally had to beg almost on my knees. The lady was quite nice (maybe she wasn’t Russian) and EVENTUALLY said OK as long as I am out by 8am PHEW
I am now panicked that I must avoid big cities and hotels until I get to the border. So either it’s camping or flea bitten beds in one goat towns… well I made my bed I guess I have to sleep in it now