I'd pulled the bike to bits the night before and was starting to develop a theory around keeping it cool and moving. I knew it would start-just not how long it would run. I got up before the other guys and went down to the car park. It was a beautiful, warm, still morning and no one was up yet. I fired up the bike and rode off towards the lakeside road, and spent the next half hour just grooving along a beautiful lakeside on my own. No fireworks, no gear (I'm usually ATGATT) and never over 45. The bike ran well and I felt I was starting to get a grip on it. Was I? We'll see but I was happy enough to go back to the guys and tell them I was OK to get moving.
We all saddled up and went to the next little town to get some breakfast and gas up.
Gas/Petrol stations are a little different in the East..that's what they sell. Fuel. 80 Octane everywhere, mostly 92 octane, and diesel. VERY occasionally 95 Octane but no candy bars, no groceries, not even oil sometimes. And you pay up front. The good thing is it's dirt cheap. Forget credit cards. Cash or no fuel.
One of the guys wanted some oil and I wanted to try mixing a little in the fuel to lube the pump as an experiment. The attendant let us rake around in the "store" -just a jumble of boxes where everything was thrown, and whilst we didn't get exactly what we wanted, we got something near enough.
We then went in to the "town" proper for some breakfast and found a little cafe right in the centre of the main street. As ever the local treated us like martians initially-I suppose they don't get many foreign bike groups through, and most of the bikes there are the 150XCC Planet 2-strokes .Luckily my bike was running well at the time or they'd have pissed themselves laughing at my State of the Art moto getting dragged around...even their heaps of shit will start and run reliably.
Everything settled down after a minute or two and we all trooped in to the cafe.
As so often the choice was extremely limited-Denny's it ain't and I'm so glad- so we just ordered some of everything they had -it was feckin' brilliant.
I'll step back now-some of the other guys will want to post before we get back to the Steppe for one of the best experiences of my life.
OK....Just one pic then
The enormity is nothing less than staggering