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Korea, Russia, Stans To East Europe (page 29)

Lena River By Boat/Barge Day 4

Smoke, yeap, my eyes are itchy from smoke, now I know why I don’t smoke.

Massive forest fire blaze on all around us, seems like big news where we are but out side of this region probably no one gives a shit, that is Russia. 

Actually just googled it and yeap

Get stuck under Volcano in South America, .... tick done that

Get smoked out from epic forest fires in Russia, .... tick done that 8-)...Jinx is at it again LOL

Another cruzy start, getting used to this, first off an inspection of the day served up, brown atmosphere full of smoke and ash all over the tent and invading all the small spaces including impinging on my “golf shoes”.

Tent with ash and the brown haze of sun and smoke
My golf shoes with ash coming in

Breaky was had, muesli with a coffee, good stuff, feeling more recharged each day and by the end of tomorrow we will be back on terra firma and into it.

Доброе утро on my walk around the boat and barge and it was chats about stuff, mostly they just wonna know about me and the bike because these guys all know each other and with fresh kiwi meat onboard it is quite a treat it would seem.

It is funny, while I am here and I am cool with what I am doing and I think lots of others must be doing it one guy here who can speak a bit of English and does this run a lot says he has never seen a moto traveller on board in all his years and especially no-one from New Zealand which seems to hold some fairy tale status here, they ALL know Lord Of The Rings.

Come lunchtime I decided seeing as I had bought some noodle packet thingies and they are bulky I would have one of those, heat some water, boom…lunch!!!

About one minute into my two minute noodle lunch the cooker ran outa petrol…so much for two minute noodles!!!

No stress, got a syphon tube for the job so went to 45 looked under the tray to find a sharp stick, a dead cable tie and no tube….gutted, the stick which I had managed to pick up probably on the Old Kolyma Road had severed my cable tie and swiped my syphon tube so it was gone burger.

3 minutes now and time was precious as we were disembarking the following day so I had to get my shit together, Macgyver step aside, some cunning thinking and a conveniently placed piece of wire I set too with a small pill bottle and made a small dunking dooffa which got me enough gas out of the tank at least till I get to Ust-Kut where I will try and get another tube.

Shit yeah!!!
Open top rockers

Now 15 minute noodles…. I should have just settled for bread LOL.

After lunch I wonder to the back of the boat, looking into the engine room the dude flags me in so I was into that big time. Into the engine room with earmuffs on it was so loud and the vibrations crazy.

The boat has two inline eight cylinder diesel engines with open valve tops.

The electrical for the boat is two 6 cylinder Kamaz truck engines both spooling up three phase generators and whining away like a stuck pig.

There is nothing small in there and everything dangerous, it would be a good 50 degrees C plus so only a couple of minutes and you need to get out, it is a cool place if you like mechanical things which I do.

The day rolls on and it is hot, in a funny way with the smoke it helped tame the heat and being on an all steel barge the deck under the beating sun gets fookin hot. Come dinner time we conjure up a plan, I had way too much food left because of all the highfalutin parties I had been too.

So, I bought the canned meat, loaf of bread, mash potatoes and some other bits and pieces, Edward, Sam bought onions and eggs, Mr Armenia bought some Armenian onion and eggplant mix which was beautiful.

The lads enjoyed a good feed and larfs with a combo of Russian, Kiwi and Armenian chefs brewing the concoction fit for a king.

The cooking begins
Guilty looks LOL
The team

Good times, full bellies and the discussion about which truck is the better one, same as NZ really but in a different language.

To finish off the day I had a hot milk, (I have way too much milk powder by accident), I know some of you now are going uwh yuck but it takes me back to my young days as a boy scout when we had powdered milk or at least I think that when it was, either way it sparked a memory from yesteryear thus I actually like the flavour.

I took my uwh yuck powdered milk for a walk to the front of the barge to do my Titanic thing and the view was worthy, I broke the cardinal rule of leaving the camera behind so it was back to camp at the other end of the barge, it is a good 80 metre walk and came back to get my pic, bearing in mind I have a smashed LCD screen so cannot see what I am taking a photo of and we are only talking a point n shoot smaller (not so) tough camera. Even with my smokey hazed evening everything was right and I wished I had the big camera then.

Anyway you get the picture, even with the smoky haze the river at this point smooth as and reflections on board.

Even with the epic fires smothering things in smoke it created an airy look which was kinda spooky coul.

Lena River By Boat/Barge Day 5

Already, funny I thought it might drag a bit but no, coulda easily had some more days but on the other hand I am looking forward to hitting the road too with Lake Baikal in my sights and the island if time permits. 

Look at this pic, logs, stacked four deep, I lost count at about 47053638528453.


Arriving at Ust-Kut the bridge was under a veil of smoke

The unloading was comical, I was first on so guess what I got to watch two hours of 30 chefs cooking the brew, there were instructions, shouting and all sorts with the poor truckies getting tied up in knots, one guy wound up his window ignored everyone and he reversed out in one clean sweep, the rest was a comical scene from "experts" trying to help.

Anyway, the main man who was alright said to me, we will get the truck out that blocks you and you can go, no point in watching the circus.

So at 9.30 pm I got off and got into town and found Hotel Lena with the view of updating the blog.

The room was spendie, the wifi was so crap I ended up using my phone on 4G and the staff were arseholes and didn’t give a shit because pretty much other than a hostel which was full there is nowhere else, I would not recommend this place to anyone.

Ust-Kut Bridge
Author of this article: Twomotokiwis