I left Astrakhan around 7am as I had told the gang at Bikecity34 that I would be there by 2pm. Made it by 2:10 so not too bad. Nothing really remarkable about this route.....so I won´t bother.
When I got to the bike store, they were waiting for me. Helen, the English speaker, was off ill, but I spoke to her on the phone and everything was soon sorted. As well as changing the tyres (from Denis in Moscow) they cleaned/oiled my chain and did a general check on the bike. Remarkably, no problems. We decided to leave the repair on the X-Tank till I get home as it would take a day to sort out there and I wanted to be moving on into Ukraine early the next day. I´ll post a photo of the multiple holes I´d put in it when I´ve stripped it off.
I booked as sort of boutique ´truckers´hotel just by the M21 (route across to Ukraine) about 15kms out of Volgograd. This worked out very well except that I couldn't get their internet to work. For anyone interested, or passing through that way, the Hotel is called ´Maximum Hotel´and it is not where it is shown on the map supplied to Booking.com. I´ll post the exact location when I get home.
Just a few pictures today....starting with BikeCity34 with my bike being worked on out front.
Anna, the lady standing just inside the garage is the office manager on the day I was there....Helen does this role too. She even prepared me some lunch ! No idea whether I got charged for that too and I don´t really care. It was unexpected and very welcome.
A better photo
Interesting truck waiting at the traffic lights by the store. Looks like it comes complete with stove!
Me when I got to the hotel
That's about it for that day. The next update will be a very brief visit to Ukraine. 2 Hard days on the road but a very welcome rest day in L'viv and a chance to stay with Blackside, a Ukrainian bike who I met on this forum.