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Old 03-20-2012, 01:56 AM   #30
randel OP
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Mattighofen
Oddometer: 318
Sorry for everybody for letting you down for so long. New job and other changes were keeping me away from posting more. I hope I can improve my writing speed now

So, let's go on with day 5. Surprisingly we woke up already 6am, one hour earlier than usually. Jänx checked his bike rear tire and of course it was totally flat. So, tire repair workshop started really early today

I was preparing our breakfast on the same time.

As we say in estonia (free translation) - trained man, good tools - it didn't take two full hours to repair that tube (poorly, as we discovered it later on ) KTM sidestand was really helpful to broke the bead of BMW's rear tyre!

While we already had our tools out, I changed rear brake pads too. 5 minutes and done.

So 10am we were on the road, tires and brakes fit again and hopes high to reach Georgian border already today!
Next hundreds of km's were not too interesting, flat landscape, many fields around, just like yesterday. Sunflowers were popular

For lunch we wan't some meat! Shashlik - don't decide about taste by how this place looks - it's amazing how good that meat can be! Just some salt, pepper, fire and ready!

Dogs also appreciated that smell of meat. We could see dogs walking everywhere we stopped.

Oldest job in the world

Our day was uneventful until late afternoon. Than it all changed. And not to better.
First warning came, when we were driving by some small local market. One car started moving right before a small Gazell truck which I was just started to overtake. Truck driver instantly turned left but couldn't avoid collision and I haven't seen a truck driving on two wheels from so close distance, maybe one meter away. Luckily I could avoid hitting it by some inches (no oncoming traffic this time, huh) and no other things happened than my heartrate was tripled for some time.
It was probably around 5pm when we arrived to North-Ossetian border. Less than 200km to Georgian border, which we expected to reach before sunset. Wrong!
There was a passport control on the road and two lanes of cars waiting. As the left one was shorter and seemed to move faster, we picked that lane - after short chat with local soldiers and with their suggestions...
5minutes later we arrived to very angry officer, who was yelling to as and requested for "propusk" (some sort of permission)..We had to park our bikes near passport control office and enter. That same officer collected our documents and explained what we did wrong. As he explained, that left line was for police cars only! Yeah right - and every police officer in Russia is driving a BMW with dark tinted windows and shaking hands with passport control officer! But now we have done a really serious crime and be punished. They must collect our driver licences and we must wait for a court to take place in four weeks! It was clear that they expected us to pay them, and not officially, of course. After listening for all the bad things waiting for us I asked, how much it will cost that they let us go. And the amount was ridiculous - 18000 rubles! It's around 450 Euros, for driving maybe 20meters on the "wrong" lane and not disturbing anybody. We were quite shocked about the arrogance of this people and started to negotiate. Two hours later we agreed to 60Euros and a bottle of "Vana Tallinn" liqueur - our very special national alcoholic drink, which was very famous all over the former Soviet Union and works also nowadays as we can see

So, we finally got back all our documents and were allowed to drive on. But sun was already very low and we had at least two hours drive before entering Georgia. We were warned not to drive during night in this area and Vladikavkaz was infamous about criminals and terrorists. But we haven't any other choice, so let's go and hope for the best!
We arrived Vladikavkaz at 9pm, still 40km to border, which should be open from 6am to 10pm. When we stopped at traffic light in the middle of Vladikavkaz, one Lexus SUV drove next to us and driver shout from the window to us - I wan't to drive your motorcycle! Stop after that intersection!
And maybe he had only best intentions, but this day has been not the best for us this far, so we were quite shocked. I told over the intercom to Jänx, let's accelerate away from this guy! As lights turned green, we started like streetracers, overtaking other cars and exceeding every possible speed limits. We saw from mirors SUV following us for some time, but finally they lost us or gave up. Huh...
We finally passed Vladikavkaz, but discovered that it was way too late to try to reach border on time. What to do? Mountains everywhere, no possible place to put up our tent and actually not very encouraging situations behind us. We pulled over to small parking lot to discuss over prospects we have. While we were reading our map, few guards from nearby building walked to us. They were quite polite and told us, that no problems, we can drive on and cross the border, which should work 24hours now. And while we were skeptical about that, we decided to try our luck and drive on. Our hopes were high as we drove up to the mountains and closer to border, but maybe one km before border crossing we were stopped by two soldiers (in total darkness btw). No, you can't enter, border is closed for today. Damned!
They told us though, that we can put up our tent anyway if we only leave border zone. Ok, let's try then. It's not easy to find a place in the mountains in total darkness but maybe an hour later we found a place on dry riverbead maybe 100meters from the road. It's better than nothing, it's already 1am and we are exhausted. We decided not to put up our tents, but sleep next to our bikes, ready to run, under some plastic sheeting we have took with us for such situations. It was actually almost impossible to sleep, that plastic sheeting flapping loudly in the wind "crap-crap-crap-crap...." but fatigue took over finally...

Today's route

Beyond clouds 2011
Beyond arctic circle 2010
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