Things has not gone our way so far, yesterday it took us 2 hours to get past Passport Control at Samara Airport. They dont get tourist here and 5 guys arriving  who claim to be tourists was not acceptable, language was major issue and both Sergie and Dimitry were not there to help. After the KGB looking guy gathered all the info and phoned Sergei and checked our story out things slowly started to change, then I started handing out little bead-work Owels and the lady got a necklace and then we were through.

But today has turned into a nightmare, getting money changed at the bank went smooth apart from about half of our Dollars being rejected by some special money tester machine. But then we ran into a problem with getting new insurance for the bikes, they changed the rules and now it turns out we should have gotten insurance for the entire period the bikes were in Russia even though it was winter and temp of -30, so getting new insurance has taken all morning and we had to go to 5 places, but it sounds like we are now winning on that front. Then the big challange of the day is going to be at Customs Office as our Import Permits has on the vehicles has expired and we need to get then extended before we exit Russia in 2 weeks.

We are now waiting for Dmitry’s friends to help us with Customs as Dmitry (a local laywer) has important business to attend to, it is a Monday and his life continues, we on the other hand need to jump through some hoops still.

The Big One Part 3 big camera 024

We are waiting in the hotel foyer and have good Wi-Fi, so let me post some photos to introduce the team.


This is Mark, our friend that now lives in Houston, works in China (most of the time) and rides bike with us in Russia.

Our help has just arrived, so more of the introductions late.