This morning we awoke to a cloudless sky and the sun (which rises at 4h00) already burning away on what would become the warmest day we had so far on this Leg, 22 degrees. Most of this trips riding has happened at between 12 and 15 degrees, (and every now and then it dipped below 10 gegrees.)
We found the only other hotel guest at our “5 Star” hotel this morning where we left him the night before, at the bar, still with a Vodka in front of him next, to his fried egg and pancakes, but from his hair I could see that he was horisontal since the last time I saw him at 2h00.
Then we left and this time I noticed the armed guards and extra armed guards in the street which Peens mentioned. Sergey had lectured us about how un-safe we are in this parts of Siberia (all the people he said had convicts for grandparents.) He asked us to stick together and be a group and not fall for any “tricks” people will try to pull on us, and he asked that we always hide our wallets, and then the newspaper article of the Japanese motorcyclist who was stabbed 31 times in his tent was repeated with gory details. As soon as he finished warning us we all raced off and soon I found myself at the front of the pack, all by myself.
We were now on the M53 and there were hardly any other vehicles on the road. The road winded through hills and as a result there were no longer swamps and water next to the road, so we finally got rid of all the Mosquitos and even the squatting-long-drops became squatting-flushing toilets, or “tanjets” the Russian word for a toilet.
The forrest streched as far as the eye could ses.
Along the way there were locals selling tea “Chai” made of leaves and bark found in the forrest and sweetened with honey. I bought Brusnika, a juice made from forrest berries and then Rocky bought Sera, it is used by locals to clean their teeth and is a tasteless chewing gum, boom-gom, harvested from the trees.
We rode through many small villages where there are only a row of houses on each side of the road, everyone has ducks, cows and chickens and a cow or two and all the old people are sitting in the sun wearing their kop-doeks, staring at the KTM Circus as we ride through town.
On the photos you will see the Siberian Express Rail going past, we had to stop several times as the road crosses this train line several times. Note the stoppers lifting out of the ground to prevent anyone trying to cross before the train comes.
See the photo of out lunch stop, it is a 24 hour Cafe about 5km out of a small town, but as there are no restaurants in these small towns, the local Kindergarden travelled to this little “truck-stop” for their graduation party, all the schools close for 3 months holiday and in August these kids are going to Primary school. Note how everyone is dressed up and the hair curled, well done to the teachers which we met and could speak to us in English.
We met some local bikers along the way who pulled us over and gave us the names of a Bikers Club in Irckutsk who would “put a roof over our head” direct quote from the translating program we were using to communicate.
We also “spoke” via translate app, to some kids in a town called Zima, the one-hores-town (we discovered the hores died years ago) where we planned to sleep tonight, and while Pie and Sergey went to look and be frightened by the state of the hotel, we had a selfie festival and once again became the focal point of town, even the only police-car of Zima came looking and found us driving up a one-way trying our best to get to the otherside of the railway tracks.