Let it be known to all friends. Ek kan nog steeds my moer strip, en deeglik ook.
I spent the last day in Yekaterinburg by cleaning, lubricating and checking the KLR. It is so easy to neglect maintenance if all is going well. Doesn’t matter what the circumstances are, I start every day with a clean and lubricated chain.
While checking the bike I discovered a broken pannier bracket. The bad roads left their mark. I was lucky and at the third garage I found a welder. The young gent welded the bracket within minutes and when I wanted to pay his boss said in poor English “Our present to you.”
In one of the next posts I am going to write about my time in Yekaterinburg and how the time there proved so many stereotypical perceptions about Russia wrong.
The ride further east with a clean bike was so good. I stopped in many towns and soaked in the daily life. But a cold north wind was blowing. The needle of the heat gauge of the KLR barely picked up.
For quite a time I rode next to with the Trans Siberia Railway line. Within 24 hours one of our KLR friends is going to pass there on his way to Yekaterinburg. It is a pity that we are missing each other with just over a day.
I enjoy the riding in Siberia. Next to the road are extended potatoe and wheat fields, stretching to the horizon. Directly next to the fields the huge Siberian forests start and go on forever. I felt at easy and never experienced the huge emptiness as threatening. I knew my KLR would bring me to the next city.
And that was where I stripped my moer. To the non-South Africans, I became a little bit irritated.
On riding the last 40 km to Tyumen it became cold, very grey and a thick haze came rolling in and covered the city. I stopped at a hotel and they refused me a room because I was a foreigner! Bliksems! I was more irritated by the arrogant way the two ladies showed me the door than by the fact that they showed me the door.
My visa is nearing its expiry date and it gets time that I point the nose of the KLR towards St. Petersburg (the Amber Room!!!) and then Finland. I still have nearly 3 500 km of Russian riding before me.
In the mean time I think how I am going to pay those two ladies in the hotel back. Where can I get a muishond here in Siberia?
Regards from Tyumen!
Tyumen (Russian: Тюме́нь) is the largest city and theadministrative center of Tyumen Oblast, Russia, located on the Tura River 2,144 kilometers (1,332 mi) east of Moscow. Population: 581,758 (2010 Census)
Tyumen is the oldest Russian settlement in Siberia. Founded in 1586 to support Russia’s eastward expansion, the city has remained one of the most important industrial and economic centers east of the Ural Mountains. Located at the junction of several important trade routes and with easy access to navigable waterways, Tyumen rapidly developed from a small military settlement to a large commercial and industrial city. The central part of Old Tyumen retains many historic buildings from throughout the city’s history.
During the initial stages of World War II, when there was a possibility that Moscow would fall to the advancing German Army, Tyumen also became a refuge for the body of the deceased Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin. Lenin’s body was secretly moved from Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow to a hidden tomb located in what is now the Tyumen State Agriculture Academy.
Ps. Please forgive any spelling mistakes! I am in a rush.