Vytegra-Vologda-Sharya 780km, 10h
Sharya 24000 inhabitants.
We woke up early and went to breakfast room at 7.15 as agreed but it was all empty and dark. When we asked from the reception they said it is at 8.15 and that they are sorry. We had planned to first have breakfast and then straight away start the engines. This plan had to be changed so we decided that Sami will work with the blog and Mika will prepare his luggage since it takes a bit of time to tie everything to his bike. He also fixed the blinker that would not stay on its position on the bike. After the extra hour we had the english version of day 1 blog published and the bike blinker fixed and we could start right after breakfast.
When we started, the weather was cloudy and it almost rained but not really. The roads were in very good condition from the city and we proceeded with good pace. We had not filled the bikes up last evening but we knew we should be able to make at least 100km before more fuel was needed. However, the first ones after leaving the city were in about 170km from the start so we had to refuel from the canisters that we carried on the bikes. We had about 6 litres both so that would give us additional 100km (a little less for Mika).
We decided not to put on the rain suits since we were hoping that the weather would get better.
We stopped on a fuel station after about 70 kms and filled the bikes and the canisters. Sami had some nice discussion with the locals and they thought we were a bit grazy when they heard where we are heading. It is so good to have the map to show the plans since we did not have much of a common language otherwise.
At this point the weather had got much better and we blasted through the roads towards Volgograd. There were some roadworks on the way but that did not slow us down much. The locals were going fast through the roadworks so we decided to follow their example. We even rode past some local police officers and they clearly approved the way of riding so we continued like the locals.
In Volgograd we filled the bikes again and tried to find a place for lunch. Did not really succeed so we ended up buying some sandwiches (or something) with unknown filling from a small bakery store. What ever it was, it tasted ok and filled our stomachs. Accompanied with some sweet pastries, it was a good lunch!
Whe we were just about to leave, small boy came to talk to Sami. He wanted a photo and when we finally understood that, we lifted him and his brother on the saddles and the parents took the photos. The kids were very happy about this and we felt happy to make them happy!
From there on we continued in good weather but on bad roads. Lots of ruts and bumbs. It is amazing how much the bikes can take! We actually could continue on rather good speed. All the cars were really suffering on the conditions, we just enjoyed.
At about 4pm it started raining a lot! We had to put the rainsuits on for the rest of the day. luckily when the rain was at its worst, the roads happened to be ok or good. On the bad roads rain wouldhave been a disaster.
Later on we needed to refuel again and started looking for a gas station. Not one was to be seen but the navigators knew about one. We were a bit sceptic since the gas station did not have name and was located in a small village but when we got there, we were able to buy some 92-octane benzin. The fuel pump and meter was very old fashioned but worked and we got the fuel to get to the end of the day. Would have been nice to take a photo of the station but that was forbidden!
Our way from the station took us through a very narrow tunnel and horrible small village roads but we made it back to main road. After that it rained every now and then, also some thunderstorms, and the road conditions varied a lot but we made it to Sharya nicely with total travel time of 10 hours.
At the hotel we got our wet gear to heating room of the building, that was good since otherwise it would all be wet in the morning. The we took quick showers and had dinner in the hotel restaurant (according to google there were 3 restaurants open at that time in the whole town).
Naturally the menu was in Russian so it was fun excersice to figure out what to order. We managed and got a good meal with low price. We were very hungry since lunch had been very light.
We wanted to see the town, so we took a taxi to the city center but since there was not much to see and just a few people, we came back soon and went to bed to rest.
Another great day! It feels that the trip is now really started after two days of riding and it is good to carry on…