Friday, 6 July 2012

To the border of poland

Today is my fourth week on the road and a week since I left Talin.At this time of writing i've just crossed the border into poland no checking for me although everyone else was after all im just a man on a bike' what on earth would i have to hide, physically or mentally!  The night before last i was skirting the Russian border hoping to get a tyre in they make it very difficult,the main roads tarmarked are guarded the side roads are all gravel with big holes,but i like a challenge and rode down a gravel track. 10 min in and a vehicle came hurling towards me dust from the road flying into the air, oh shi* just play dumb.
The open backed truck pulled up to my side and started talking I guess in Russian i spoke in welsh to difuse the situation and then tried pigeon english,little english, no rusian speak,Putin good man,viva Russia, he pointed to the road and shrugged his shoulders and pointed to a road on the map,he then pointed to my bike and to his truck suggesting i put it in the back. i slapped him on the back and nodded together we hauled my steed into the truck with some grunting and mopping our brows. I got into the front of the truck and spent the next 20 min talking Russian,using the international language i've got very familiar with of nodding and shaking my head,laughing and cursing when he did. I think we had managed to put the world to right,when we got to my stop. The bike which i was suprised still there, due to the bumps in the road,was pulled of and with a man hug we went seperate me back into Lithuania he to his russian life. A very kind man pic to follow. That night i found a camp siteon the map in a village called Skirneumune,  it turned out to be someones house with a garden it also housed 9 lithuanian working men away from homenin garden sheds however their was a shower and cooking facilities all for 4 pounds. That night we shared vodka together and stories using international sign lanuages and i managed to relay my rusian day with them with the help of maps and drawings. Putin was frequently used with the hand action of a gun and falling down. some more vodka later i was shown some hand guns for me to buy, using vodka as currency i declined gesturing the action of cycling to fast for bullets. If i had bought my vodka pistol i would have shown fear at the border and then i would have been more than just a man on a bike.
Latvia and Lithuania and Estonia have been memorable in a strange way, and now i have Poland, the sun is 29c hills have returned i've used my middle front cog for the first time in 5 countries


  1. I for one am glad you didn't buy a gun. With the amount of fights you get yourself involved in, you'd shoot someone every 50 miles or so. With your mastery of welsh martial arts and the way you wander into adventures it's all getting a bit David Carradine in Kung Fu. On two wheels. Glad you're through the Baltic states in one piece. Take care of yourself and that valuable titanium nose.

  2. James I'm deeply shocked and jealous. After refusing my hippy (Peace love and understanding) orientated "man hugs" for years you go and give a complete stranger, (a Russian) one. What's going on are my man hugs not good enough for you ? I want a complete explanation when you get back of what Russians have that Englishmen don't (apart from good vodka) Don't buy a gun you are a deadly weapon already. I was in Poland in 1995 I bet it's come a long way in that time. I remember seeing old bent over women cutting wheat in the field by hand from the train window. A lot of drunks in the big cities (casualties from the war) probably all died by now. Krakow is amazing, hope you are going through there, Warsaw too. Happy cycling