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Korea, Russia, Stans To East Europe (page 28)

Lena River By Boat/Barge Day 3

A relaxing start, looked at the phone which said 7.15am and my thoughts were “nowhere to go or be” so I will stay here for another ½ hour which saw me up at 9.52am. 

No stress this is a battery charging mission for me too so happy I clocked up some Zzzzeds.

Having the taste of smoke in my mouth I could guess what was going on outside and the fact it was a little dark too, yes it was massive smoke with about 100 metres visibilty max, on exiting the tent there was ash over it and everything.

Airey sight of a coal barge coming downstream

It took the heat out of the sun which was pleasant too, I start my illegal cooker to boil some water and within an instant they send the muppet down to tell me off.

Muppet: can’t use cooker

Me: why not?

Muppet: Dangerous and too much smoke when it starts

Me: what about the fucken forest fires?...you can’t see shit!

Muppet: Good point, but you can’t use it.

Me: will you supply me with hot water for a cup of tea?

Muppet: No

Me: Fuck off then.

One of my truckie mates was there and heard and saw it all, he is a BIG bastid and he got stuck into the muppet and gave him BIGTIME shit, no idea what he said but it was heated and a few others came to the party, muppet lost, cooker ok....I love democracy LOL

Also, the Captain would not even let me onto the bridge either for one photo, the boat guys are a bit different and the truckies dislike them so truckie telling muppet to fuck off was a stand not just for me.

Back to the programme, I was invited for lunch with the truckers (muppet and Captain not allowed), stir fried rice with meat and carrots and a separate side salad of tomato and onion in vinegar and of course a good healthy fruit drink called Vodka, yes it is part f the staple diet.

The table was planks with valve body couplings for gas...as ya do.
Mi amigos...bloody good bunch

Good times, day 3 of 5 and the entertainment is on every day, talk about trucks, travel, chics, the best Vodka and general shit with everyone understanding Vodkinglish and with me my Vodkrussian.

As the fun continues there are selfies and cheers, Croatian, Turk, Russians, Georgians…and a Kiwi, great mates over a great lunch, I now have so much food left that I have to eat as they will not accept anything I bring to the table saying I am a guest and to keep it for my travel.

I can’t explain they have big truck to carry stuff and I have a small moto so I need to eat it down but their hearts of gold won’t have a bar of it, then to make matters worse they gave me food to take on my trip, gonna need a trailer soon LOL.

I am grateful but I had a lot, luckily I had an opportunity with my neighbours

If ever you have doubts about whether to travel to a place you cannot speak a word and do not know a soul throw that out the window and get into it, you will find a new dimension of fun you have not seen before, being insane or slightly that way helps.

The only unfortunate part of this trip (apart from the muppet who actually was quite entertaining) is the massive forest fires surrounding us smashing any chance of a view of the surroundings but that is the way it is, I can’t believe its 3 days down already on this 5 day trip, I thought it was gonna be quiet.

Learning...., that is what we do every day, today I learnt the hard way that charging the Garmin In Reach and a flat cell phone was too much for 45 to swallow without the engine running, I only found this out when I checked my phone and it was doin some stupid shit…I turn the key on and 45 did not respond…ouwh dear.

My truckie mates saw the look of despair and quickly figured out shit had happened, a quick chat with them and out came the jumper cables, took the battery outa the bike and within ten minutes there was enough hoof to start 45 so I left her running for 20 minutes. The truckies stoked to help and I managed to share two packets of biscuits/muesli bar thingies in appreciation to lower my load too, win win.  

Most days the trucks start up to keep their battery full cos they have TVs and all sorts so tomorrow when they start up I will do the same so the noise is no issue or muppet might tell me off again LOL.

Battery out
Bank of 6 big truck batteries in parallel feeding 45's small battery...excellent work

Now an interesting fact, as the scenery changes and our elevation increases so do the type of bitties in the air, now we have these invasive little midges and they will fly into any hole, the horse flies seem to have disappeared but I do not know if this is a product of the bush fires though.

Also, even as far up the river as we are we sit at only 250 meters so not high, when you see the size of the catchment for the Lena river you can easily see how epic floods come through and smash the place to pieces.

Now some product promo, now and then you have good stuff and and you also get great stuff.

This is about the Hilliberg Staika, I won't rat on about the spec cos you can find them here https://www.motomox.co.nz/shop/show_single_product.php?prod=188

So this in my view is the ONLY true 2 person tent with its dimensions, double entry and vestibule means easy access for both occupants (not a biggy at this point) but if it is stormy on one side you can get out of the leeward side.

Now the bit that bought all this on, the venting at the top ....brilliant engineering and design.

Unzip the two vents and it hoovers hot air out quickly but you are still protected from rain etc by the top outer cover meaning watertight but venting.

This was particularly noticeable when on a steel barge deck and I could not be more appreciative of this feature than at this time.  

Mesh mozzie curtain closed, vent opened
Mesh mozzie curtain open, I can see this being excellent for getting rid of condensation too and will report back on that

As one has time to look at other things I took the time to put on some stickers from various moto crowds, the coolest thing is that when people in the know see these they know they are earned simply by their location. So for me when someone says where have you been I point at the screen and the story is told. 

My highlight was when the big dude in the blue shorts with his shirt off (in the pics above) who was somewhat of a ringleader in the truckies circles asked "how was the road to Magadan through Ust-Nera etc "?, I said I didn't know as I didn't go that way through Ust-Nera, he was quite sure that I had to have gone that way, it took some explaining and pictures of Tomtor and explain the Old Road, at that point he said "no way", he went back and explained this to the others next thing there was a mob with phones taking photos, I was the guest of honour then and a mad man in their view.

Although I was already accepted by them being invited to the truckie lunches this stepped it up again, was kinda coul I have to admit. 

Twomotokiwis
Author of this article: Twomotokiwis
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