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22  Februrary 2019 

2017-PROJECT CARPATHIAN BALKAN Day 03 - Ukraine

Memo to me and all the other wild campers out there: When crawling plastered into the tent, don´t forget to snap off grass stems which could get in contact with the tent. Because of that I was  held awake surely for about 30 minutes.

The wind was gently pushing grass stems to the outer hull of the tent. The noise in the tent sounded like a animal which was rummaging around in the close surrounding. It took some time until I was able to find out that the grass stems are the source of the noise.  Besides that, I slept well, which was necessary: The incoming day in the Ukraine was a lot more exciting than expected ... .

This day led us right through the hilly areas of the western Ukraine. Highlight of the day surely was a about 40km or 25mi long ride on top of a hill chain which is connecting two valleys. It often happens that plans have to be changed. This day it was necessary due to a closed border point between Ukraine and Romania, which resulted in a big detour, as you can see at the map above. Total distance this day: 360km or 220mi.

Last night wild camping on the hilltop was fresh. Especially the second half when a gentle wind came up. Around 0500 I woke up. I forced myself to stay in the sleeping bag until 0600. After doing the morning toilet while ...

enjoying the view over the west Ukrainian forests, I packed my stuff and settled my black beauty Чернотa. Carefully and with still a bit stiff legs we rode on along ...

finest gravel. I stopped a few times ...

for eastern branded Lorrys and Cars.

The villages in the hilly areas of Ukraine are poor. Most of the people here are living from the work ...

in the woods. For the difficult terrain they need bastard-vehicles like this one! 0_o

I used a stop in the village to make a few pictures of their cars ...

and lorrys.

Around 0900 the terrain went more and more ...

challenging for Чернотa and me.

So: Which way you gonna choose? After inspecting this climbs per feet we took the far most left one. With a bit of struggling we finally left this step behind us.

 

The sometimes difficult climb went on until we reached ...

the forest boundary. Nearly on the top ...

we came to this strange place. I had no idea what happened here?!? Whatever, off we go!

As we arrived at the top of the hill chain the landscape opened and we followed this spectacular track for about 40km.

As a Austrian I am not sure if "summit cross" is the correct word for this "hill cross". ^^

That was the first time that i have seen a orthodox cross on top of a mountain. It makes me wonder if there are also David-stars or Arabic-half moons mounted on other peaks!?!?

After the hard climb in the morning this tracks have been a real pleasure to follow. The scenery ...

was impressing and changed ...

only slowly along many...

and many ...

kilometers. In the end of may there was still snow here at a height of about 1600-1800m.

"On top of the world! - Yeah!" Up here at this "summit cross" ...

this abused bash plate of unknown origin was found. It´s damage shows well, that its not that easy to get up here.

There have been many horses which seems to be wild.

Around midday Чернотa and I ...

needed a brake. We took the opportunity and stopped at a spring. There I set up the kitchen on a stone and cooked two packs of instant noodles. Exactly for that I took this noodles with me. Many calories, in a fast way. So there is more time for ...

enjoying the great ...

panorama. After lunch we went on and finally we came ...

to a old 70tys cable car. Here we began with the decent, which led us to a ancient looking ...

try of a sky tourism area.

Rolling further down we met this guys with their relatively new built KAMAZ Truck. They outed themselves as KTM-Fans in a short talk. (When you have a closer look you will find some KTM Stickers on that bad ass machine)

For me the following context was interesting: The people and villages are mostly very poor, but plenty of churches are really impressive and wealthy looking. My conclusion is that the Ukrainian people are very religious and willing to spend money to the church.

These is one of my favorite pics of the trip. It shows well what it´s like to live in the Ukrainian countryside. Plenty of wood is collected for long and cold winters. Each little farm has its own little property and most of them have a few cows for self sufficiency. The farms are often connected with soil roads like this here, which, when they where dry are nice to ride, but when they are drenched due to rain, it has to be horrific to ride them with a car. Short after that photo I came to downhill section ...

which was as wide as the handlebar and really muddy. OSM said that its drive able with cars. I don´t think so. ^^

We went on along it and on the bottom we nearly got stuck in a unremarkable mudhole, but Чернотa and the quite fresh Mitas E07 tractored us out.

Also the Ukrainian fire brigade is using this sort of lorrys.

What a gate!

Short after the following picture...

with this classy wood house I arrived at the Ukrainian/Romanian border in Sighetu. There the officials told me that the border was closed. I should take the next border point in Siret (That´s a 250km detour!). That brought us in troubles. I intended to fuel up in Romania thus I havn´t enough fuel to ride to the alternative border point.  I also was lacking of Ukrainian cash and the next ATM was far away. Tom you fool ... .

I got it managed to get about 50km eastwards to small city with 3 ATM's. The first didn´t accept my Maestro and neither two different Credit Cards. The second one the same ... . Oh boy! Finally at the third ATM with my third/last card I got some Ukrainian Griwna. I fueled up Чернотa and went on further east ... .

I wasn´t long pissed of due this detour because it showed us ...

a few real eyeopeners.

Only a few kilometers before the border point Siret Ukrainian police stopped me and told me that there was no license plate on the motorcycle. "Shit!" I have lost it. It was clearly due to the plastic frame was broken. Thinking back I was able to remember a loud metallic "pinggg" noise a long distance behind. Probably the reason for the loss was a stone thrown via the back wheel against the plastic plate holder. (Later I made a better plate holder solution: KLICK)

I told the police officers, after showing them all the papers, that I will make a paper plate which will do the job. But that wasn't enough...

The younger cop of both policeman was definitely the bad cop. The only German word he was knowing was "Strafe" (=penalty). As he told me that I have to pay 102,- Euro I glanced at him and asked him if he is serious!?! That´s about a third of his monthly income. That must be a joke!

After long arguing around with him, his colleague told me to go back to the police car. The younger one also came back to the car and indicated to me, to have a seat at front seat of the car. Whats now? Are they kidding me? They´ll arrest me? WTF!?! He sat on the driver seat and powered off a dash cam mounted on the front window. Than he told me to sit in. I did with a bad feeling. He showed me that he will take only 50 Euros but he have to give me a bill with speeding. Maaannn!

I said OK, gave him the money and off we went. *phew*

 

While planning this trip I was sure to have troubles like this. So I took 100 Euro in small notes with me as, lets say "development aid". That the half amount will be spent already on the third day was  still surprising. Short after the police control I stopped at a waste bin and got some old cardboard for the new improvised plate which you can see in the picture above.

At the border to Romania I met a guy also called Tom, a BMW Rider from Rostock Germany which was also riding in my direction.

After the border control which took me a bit longer as usual due to the lost license plate, Tom and I palavered a bit and determined to find together a small hotel or equal for staying the night.

Shortly after the sun went down we ...

found after the third try an adequate quarter for the night. It was a 100 year old Romanian house with 2 rooms located within.

Due to we both had an exciting day in the Ukraine we made a plan. I was the chef and cooked for  us some tuna spaghetti with tomato sauce on a very old oven and Tom was out for organizing some beer.

After a shower the food was ready and we both had a nice palaver while having dinner. This showed us some real interesting equality's between our two persons.

Around 2300, stuffed with spaghetti and filled up with beer, i felt into the bed after this real adventurous day. *zzz zZZ ZZZ*

HOART | ADV | DAY | VE | EQ CO

 

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