G-Wing, thanks! But,
About the "end that comes much too soon". It's only the beginning.
Here are the other parts.
By the way - i'm sorry, if my english isn't so good - i ust finished the translation from Russian.
In Abkhazia I settled in a hotel (former musical school), which was based on the territory of a 1000 years old temple. Very interesting place. The temple itself on reconstruction now so there's mayhem and repair.
The main sight in this temple is an organ inside. Acoustics of an empty temple turned the sound of an organ into something physically present. Later that evening, I managed to sneak inside while some guy was practicing under the surveillance of two german tutors. I sat in half-destructed hall, the clearest sound surrounded me from all directions and night summer sky was seen through broken windows. Nice.
Honestly, arriving in Abkhazia, I decided that I won't be riding anymore motorcycle this season, send it home via train, as myself. Yet, next day I was already spinning around the bike, drooling. Then, the next day I snapped. On the Road again! (c)
This time the route was back to Russia through the fine city of Sochi. “City of spa” - as it says on the billboard. Not the first I wanted to correct it: City of Traffic Jam. There's an orbital road around the city. (Especially, at night... mmmm. Beautiful road. It's highly above the ground, powerfully lit and lots of tunnels. With a bit of imagination it might seem as you're not on Earth because the views are awesome, like Star Wars). Anyway, there is one road through Sochi and cars are there all the time. You can only get by on scooters in this city. And why not? No license, nothing to lose. Arriving at the center of Sochi, I tried to tail those scooter-fellows. Useless. Moving among cars, inches away from mirrors and doors, those dudes got away from me. I decided not to went through the oncoming lane, so I was there for a while.
I hadn't got plans, so I posted a thread on the MAGNA-riders forum (I needed a garage and tools to fix my ride. Turns out 5 thousand worth of fix didn't going to last) and went to local base of Emergencies Ministry. Spent a night there.
Next morning I already had phoned Dima Laks from a forum. He lives in Macesta, so I drove there. He met me on the way, we rolled to the garage, where I parked my bike. Before I even managed to say “thanks”, 10 minutes later I already was showering, my clothes were washing as well, and 20 minutes from that I ate delicious food, made by his gorgeous wife Natasha. Thanks guys, seriously.
Not to leave it hanging, we approved together the repair plan of my bike and started right away.
Found problems is electric, knocked down and ailed steering column, pumped clutch and brake, changed oil and antifreeze.
With Dima’s help we completely serviced my bike. One day I even saw up the oil filter. I was trying to find out – is there any borings. Everything was ok. Only then I realized that it’s really possible – to return home.
But one time my bike taunted me. I was going to Adler – I had to buy a new filter and oil. I just had dissected cylinder head covers and adjusted valves. So I drove carefully trying to hear any wrong sounds from engine. And suddenly I hear monstrous grinding sound, I watch on the panel board – the engine is off, I watch on the engine – all the right side is covered in oil… I stopped on the roadside and realizeed, that the engine has swallowed valves with oil-removing rinds, and it’s totally dead. First of all, I decided not to panic. (For what? The worst thing already happened) and started to inspect the bike. And little by little I understood, that the source of noise was a truck, that just outran me, the engine stopped just because of the gas ran out and the oil on the ride side trickled down from the little chink under the head cover’s gasket. I switched on the reserve and Magna turned on like nothing just happened. I calmly drove to the shop and changed the oil in garage.
All this time guys were really sweet to me. Dima even skipped work for 2 days to help me with my troubles. And Natasha's cooking... I was close to the point of skipping Ukraine trip and stay there for a week. Buuuut, my stead was tramping the ground, and road's uncertainty lured me!
3 days guesting in total.
On my last day, in the morning I wanted to give my Magna and myself a Test-Drive. I wanted to a nice creek. They explained to me how to get there: go back to the route, drive for a while, then turn on Host and then calmly travel on the pavement until the final destination. I, naturally, mixed it up and drove right from Macesta.
Crossing another river, I realized that I mybe took the wrong turn. At least I saw some nice places.
I learned from the few locals, that there is a mountain road to the creek. I drove in search of it, and, naturally (again!), took the wrong turn. Instead I drove somewhere a bit remote. For 40 minutes I climbed some dissapearing road, jumping the stones like Tarzan, when I met some guys.
A little bit confused, they explained to me that that road was ends with a dead-end where there is a camp of geologists, they were examining some caves. And here I am with a chopper. Whatcha gonna do? I had to go back. It turned out that descending with a bike is far more hard and dangerous then ascending. Dropped the bike like 3 times.
But it wasn’t the worst thing that could happen. On the one of steep turn I saw something red down in the forest. I stopped. Someone drove on Izh-5 Planet and just dived down.
I turn off my bike. Nobody around. For a while. I started climbing down. I hadn't found a dead body with a broken neck, which my imagination instantly sketched. Didn't find the keys to the bike either. I guess, he's ok. Ok.
All in all, I wandered for 5 hours... but it was worth it! I found that bloody creek! (or something like that). I parked Magna on the toll parking (without money, of course) and went swimming.
Sadly, I didn't got my camera at the moment, but I swam to some waterfalls. Nice body massage. Then I wandered some more and returned to Dima. I had to pack my stuff and head to Novorossiisk: Night Wolves were going to perform a large fest, I wanted to go. Not that I really wanted to be at that fest, rather wanted to listen to Aria.
I hadn't arrived at Novorossiisk because of the storm. It was too hard to drive, when the wind shifted my bike on 1 meter aside.
In the end, I spent night on the shore camping. Bad idea! I couldn't even eat properly. The food in 5 minutes had become 1 part food, 1 part sand. Then I tried to put up a tent. Once again, BAD IDEA. Once I put the first pole, here I am: chasing the flying tent to the water. I hardly caught it. Screw the tent! Ultimately, I just got into a sleeping bag, leaving a tiny gap to breathe. In the morning, the half of the beach traveled through that gap into my bag.
Anyway, I was in Novorossiisk after noon.
Large amount of bikers moving out of the city made me wonder. I arrive at the field and yup: the fest was postponed because of the Nord-Ost for 2 days. Maybe more, depending on the state of the storm. It took me a lot of effort to know this. Organizers weren't really audible.
A took a peek at the field (tent camp place): about 10 motorcycles and 20 people, struggling to put up a tent. I saw 2 bikes. Drove to them. We met, and 15 minutes later we were already driving to find something to eat. Roma on the fresh Transalp 2009 and Yura with his wife Ksenia (married week ago) on Fazer. Both bikers were from Moscow, but they met here.
Roma, me and some old mad. He said, that he drove here from Stavropol on his bicycle. (Its sth about 400 km)
In search of a cheap food we accidentally came across some restaurant (tissues at the table, waiters and stuff like that). We were trying to leave, knowing that this kind of place isn't fit to our budget, when a kind voice of the wonderful manager stopped us. She was very nice, said that she won't let hard and equipped bikers like ourselves to go out hungry, especially since we were guests in town. And when she heard that I drove here from Novosibirsk... long story short, we got served 4 full-blown restaurant meals for a mere sum of 200 rubles per person (at least 600 rubles according to menu prices).
Then, following Yura's advice, we drove to Abrau-Durseau lake. Thing were getting interesting!
A very beautiful lake only 15 kilometers away from Novorossiisk. Then we parted: Yura had to go to Moscow, and me with Roma decided to wait for the fest... which turned out to be lame (lol). “Everybody treated the fest seriously, except the staff.” Instead of bikers fest it was a luxurious show for local fellows. Still, a fine show. It took place on the board of the battleship “Kutuzov”, which was harbored in the port.
Lights, fires, bad-managed sound, fireworks, Ariya, which played 3 songs – all that mashed up in some kind of lame action with no plot whatsoever. Not to mention thousands of people, full lack of free space and water to buy and cops, which led the crowd through the entrance with a metal detector one person at a time... naturally, it caused horrible lines.
But the beauty of this city was not the fest... absolutely random, but instead of two days in Novorossiisk, I spent a week there. I won't break into details, let's just say I found, what I was looking for a too long time. And I didn't want to go anywhere.
First two days before the fest I had been living in a rent house with Yura. He drove to the fest from Volgograd. I remember the night before the fest. Everybody was asleep, and I laid down and thought to myself: this is nice, I'm good and healthy, the bike is outside ready to drive me wherever I want and that life is beautiful, if you sort it out properly. That's when the phone rang. Probably, nothing is more scary in this world, than this kind of phone calls. Yura answered. Couple of thick lines... few days ago, when I was at Yura's, big and up-beat Sasha arrived in the evening. We chatted for about 20 minutes. Tea, small-talk... nice guy. Then he said something like: “It's kinda hot, I'm gonna go for a ride!” and he drove away on his RF-motorcycle. And now we got a call and a message: Sasha died. Frontal collision with a car. Funeral was in two days.
And here's you: lying on the bed, bike is still outside, but all you can think about is a car you miraculously managed to avoid and you're surprised you're still alive. And Sasha's not. Every normal person can not grasp the true meaning of death in his life. Actual death is too scary to believe in. Only it never asks what are your beliefs. It just takes everything you have. And it's not obvious how many times you need to be pointed out, that the same CAN happen to you (and if you ride a bike chances are even more likely), before you will appreciate what you have in life, understand and acknowledge this LIFE, that everybody claims to hate occasionally. Talk about hypocrisy, eh?
Anyway, after the fest I moved to live in a charming juniper grove. The bike, the rag, the sleeping bag. Nothing more, nothing less.
Something caught up to me, virus or acclimatization, it was bad. When I got to the place, I only managed to crawl into the bag, wearing everything I got and wrapped myself in a tent (somebody stole one of my poles, so installing it was notan option). In the end, I spent a day lying in a bag, crazy with fever, eating only pills, drinking water…
In the middle of a night I heard a ruckus. Someone had crawled to me and was licking my toes on hand. My sleepy “hey, kitty kitty kitty“ had no effect. It was still licking my toes. I turned my head... and my eyes met another pair of eyes, hedgehog eyes. He looked at me, grunted a few times and went to do his hedgehog business into the forest. Cute, then again, it all may had been my delusion from the fever. Anyway, I like animals. I believe it's mutual.
Next evening I got better.
This week I proved myself that Novorossisk is a very beautiful town, especially at night. I drove it all around, we even climbed the mountain with Roma, which had a great panorama of Gelendzhick. I wouldn't climb on my own accord, but Roma got to me, saying it's too scary. Imagine, the guy doing 180 kmh on the road, but afraid to ropeway a mountain. I had to see his face there!
During one of the evenings (Roma already drove away, heading Sochi), I had to be at the center of town at 22.00. And I finished all my stuff (swimming, eating, more swimming, take a nap at the beach and, you guessed it, more swimming) at about... 19. Went to a store, bought some food and head to Macdonalds, where I planned to eat the stuff I bought. When I left the store, I bumped into a hobo about 35 asking for some money. Normally, I never give money. But I saw something in his eyes, gave him 50 and went to McD's. Ordered a green tea and sat on a bench. That's when a hobo appeared again. Asking my permission, he sat near and put a 1.5 liter beer bottle on a table (my 50 rubles). We started to talk. That man kinda amazed me. Name's Arthur, 32. He told his tough story of 10 years that he spent in different penitentiaries, about his shortened leg (falled from a three-stories high), about his upcoming cirrhosis. He was from Ufa, lives in Petersburg when it's warm, moves to the shore when the cold hits. He told all that in a very up-beat manner, quoting Visotskiy and Nietzsche, and casually mentioning topics, which most of the normal people woulnd't even think of. Looking at my watch, I realized that 2 hours went by, tea and beer was long gone and I had to split. It's interesting that Arthur knows where he is in life and blames nobody. This is his freedom with beach nights and beer bought with a charity money.
In my 22 years, the main thing I gained is self-confidence. I strongly know what I can and what I can not do. I can trust myself. Well, ok. Trust in yourself? Try trusting the world...
A sat beside a man, that spent 10 years for breaking into people's homes, hijacking cars and stealing from a meat factory. I said goodbye to him (he gave me a memorable lighter), left the bag and went to WC. Basically, there was nothing worthwhile in a bag – chargers, screwdrivers, junk. I had nothing to lose actually. 5 minutes later, I got back, Arthur was gone, the bag was in its place... I started a bike, circled around in case I see him (wanted to add 100 for a beer), but he was nowhere to be found. So I drove away.
Sadly, but true. Sometimes, hobos that you know for a couple of hours are more trustworthy than somebody, you considered a good friend.