Monday, 10 October 2011

We reach Ukraine

Monday 12th September
I have arrived at the Russia-Ukraine border!
I made good progress over the last week and had the excitement of crossing over two more major rivers - the quietly flowing Don ......

.........and the Donetsk, on a rather scarily high bridge, at least for me..........

Giving his son a ride on Bolashak is this friendly guy from Zimovniki, who gave us advice on routes and found an excellent cafe to eat and Skype.
John Wayne rides again ...........
We ran into another Catch 22 of bureaucracy on our way across Russia as it transpired that the Russian border police had not given us some necessary form to log our kms travelled as the Mercedes is too old to have a tachograph. But although it was not our fault, we were still required to pay a fine at certain points. However these two amiable officers let us off - apparently a ride on Bolashak goes a long way in these parts.

Bolashak and I arriving at the Russia-Ukraine border...I am now staying overnight at the nearby town of Shakhty as I need to sort out train ticket home for Baurzhan, and around £1000 worth of Ukrainian hrivnas before tackling the border. I have to hand over a deposit of 40% of the value of the horses there, to be reimbursed when leaving the country - something to do with controlling the importation of horses.

I will be very sad to see Baurzhan leave. He has been a trusty and resourceful companion, even though he managed to lose my tethers, run over my saddle, and get the lorry stuck on the steppe - but it all adds to the challenge!

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