Day VIII-Kharkiv, UA to Volgograd, Russia

We’d anticipated a long day in the Silver Streak saddle, but hadn’t quite expected such an epic! Good early start & a rural short cut got us to motorway we needed. All signs in Cyrillic now. Takes some doing pre-coffee. The slip road sign clearly said left! So it was a surprise to suddenly have 2 Mercs coming towards us. One of those moments where no reaction was best. If I’d panicked, it would have been game over. A close shave. We cracked on towards Donetsk. Good roads interspersed with building sites. The next bit was tricky. We didn’t have a map from the last town in UA until Astrakhan (a long way away. 2 days away in fact). We tried following a tour bus but realised that it was being towed. Asking people was fruitless. The only map I had was a postcard-sized World map. Plus the countries were all written in English. No dice! Somehow we found the name of the town & got there. It was all too easy… 2hrs later after filling in & re-writing form after form after form. Then there was the simple task of car insurance (to be purchased at every border. Oh yessss!) We got lost immediately & it was a bit like asking for directions from Leeds to Southampton (in Russian). Got coffeed-up & aimed for Volgograd. Midnight was optimistic & the roads suddenly disintegrated outside town. 2nd-gear job. After a couple of laps of town. We found our digs & unloaded the Silver Streak. It was 3:30am. A 20hr+ day. We promised ourselves a steady day tomorrow…

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