Father Mark and Vadim

Father Mark and Vadim

 We finally set off to find a truck to take the Dizzy to Irkutsk to a mechanic. Well again no luck the drivers are just not having any of it, so once again we must tow Dizzy the now last 100km to the city. Uuuggghhh I hate this part but we have no choice. So poor Joan and Ihlena do yet another great things for me and finally get me to Irkutsk. There they call the local bike club and one of the members come out to meet us on the city outskirts and show us where the local mechanic is.

They take one look at Dizzy listen to all the details of his death and shake their heads. Then grin and say no problem stupid English woman (well they’re speaking Russian so I’m guessing here) we’ll do our best and take care of your bike. They say they will open Dizzy up and give a proper diagnosis then but at the moment from the description think it’s a cracked cylinder but know that I need to travel another10000km or more over the next 4 months and decide to put their heart and soul into getting me back on the road.

In the mean time Ihlena has contacted another biker who we will be staying with. In the translation I thought she meant a pastor (church man) but soon found out she actually meant a Russian Orthodox church priest black beard and all. Father Mark arrives wearing a black leather jacket and riding a Harley. He unfortunately he does not speak English but is with his closest friend Vadim who speaks very good English and is a real character. Vadim is an actor in the traditional Russian theatre and we just get along like a house on fire. He explains to me that Father Mark got special permission to have his bike and do bike pilgrimages around the city of Irkutsk so they have this whole Russian Orthodox bike club as well as a normal bike club. They showed me photos of one of the pilgrimages and it’s amazing seeing this Russian priest in his church gear riding a bike with a passenger carrying a large gold cross…surreal

No of course we don’t drink alcohol here this is a church, we only drink yoghurt 🙂

Father Mark is great and said (translating through Vadim) I am very welcome to stay at the church annex for as long as I need and make myself at home. The ladies who are in and out of the church annex some working there make me feel very welcome and keep feeding me 🙂

Ihlena and Joan sadly left today to continue their journey but we will keep in contact and I genuinely hope to see them again one day, my Russian angels.

I am very worried about Dizzy being fixed and at the moment feel like a grounded bird sounds crazy and silly but seriously I feel like a bird with its wings cut off.

Ihlena, Joan (John) and Father Mark