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Old 02-20-2012, 03:11 AM   #22
asilindean OP
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Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Oddometer: 132
Day 3 - Odessa Simferopol Backisaray - 480 km

Odessa – Simferopol is 450 km of bad roads. I took us 9 hours to make it there. Of course we had planned to be there after lunch, and for that purpose and also to avoid the morning traffic in Odessa, we left the hostel at 7 in the morning. But, as they say, if you want to make god laugh, tell him your plans.
We left Odessa early and soon after exiting the city it started to rain. To be sure that we are not going anywhere as planned, 70 km outside Odessa we had our first flat tyre. Hoping for a quik fix I tried and used the in/famous tyre repair spray.
It worked.....for another 80 km, then flat again. This time I had no choice but to use the spare tube. When taking out the old tube I saw that the valve was damaged.

I replaced the damaged tube and from now on I was always worried that if anything happened I had no other spare tube. Luckily nothing did.

Some bikers on the road

It was a long day.
We arrived in Simferopol around 4 in the afternoon and after a quick search we found the hostel where we had reserved a room.
The hostel was located near the train station, and the area was very busy. The rooms of the hostel were very small and bad smelling. The private room we had reserved was not in the hostel but in one flat 15 min walk from the hostel. I went there to see the place and Oana stayed with the bike. The owner showed up almost one hour later, time by which I have developed an intense feeling of paranoia. Something inside me was screaming to get the hell out of there. There was also no secure place to put the bike. When asked the lady from the hostel if it’s ok to put the bike near the Police station and she said that it’s not safe I reached a decision. Oana was pretty tired and was not very keen to get on the bike again but we agreed to make another 50 km to Bakcisaray and search for a room there. It was a very good decision. We left the city making our way in the extremely dense traffic and arrived in Bakcisaray less than one hour later.
We stopped in front of the Khan Palace where we were meet by a local guy, Timur who speak good English, and after the initial reluctance, we accept his invitation and let him take us to a hotel. The name of the hotel is Meraba and is situated right behind the Khan Palace at a distance of 5 minute walking. The hotel was run by 2 very nice young ladies, who speak English and they give us a very good room and breakfast for the price of 300 Grv. They also have a safe place to put the bike.
The thing that Oana liked the most there was the kiosk from the hotel courtyard.

The hotel

restaurant where Timur work

Timur, the young man who we meet was of Tatar origin, born in Uzbekistan and like many other Tatars his parents were deported from Crimea in various places of the former USSR during the communist regime. Although later the Soviet regime "exonerated" them, it has denied permission for the Crimean Tatars to return to Crimea. After the disappearance of the Soviet Union they choose to come back to their ancestors land, Crimea, and start a new life.
At the present time there are around 300.000 Tatars in Crimea, representing 12% of the population of Crimea Autonomous Republic.
The principal religion of the Crimean Tatars is Islam. As Muslims, they are Sunnis of the Hanafi school. The Crimean Tatars adopted Islam during the tenth through twelfth centuries and it became the state religion under the Crimean Khanate.
The status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is regulated by the Constitution of Ukraine and Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine but is the only region which has the autonomy status. The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People or Parliament is the supreme executive body underpinned by a network of district and local “mejlises”, which are formed in every settlement where the Crimean Tatars live. The Mejilis are elected for 5 years through nationwide voting based on a mixed electoral system.

Timur invited us to the restaurant where he worked, situated across the street from the Khan Palace, and there we had an extremely tasteful local diner. No beer thou. Dinner was around 300 Grv.

On the right Timur. If at any time you meet him send our best regards and let him take care of you

We spend the rest of the evening laying in one of the kiosk from the hotel, making some notes on the events of the day and drinking a very good tea served by the owner of the hotel and made from local plants.
Worth mentioning here is the fact that from Simferopol the road condition improve greatly. No potholes, good asphalt.

asilindean screwed with this post 02-23-2012 at 04:45 AM
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