Monday, 24 October 2011

We Set Out Across the Ukraine

Blog posts in the Ukraine will be out of date, as I have been having difficulty accessing the internet with my Ukrainian dongle, which only seems to work in large towns!

Friday 30th September.

On Monday the 26th September Rupert and I drove the horses back to the border to start off on the crossing of Ukraine. It was quite amusing to see the familiar faces, in particular helpful veterinary officer Andrei, seen below with me as I set out. He had to get special permission to allow the photo to be taken so close to the border as one of the guards objected.
The distant slag heaps remind one that this is in fact an important industrial region.

I bought quite a detailed map book of Ukraine at Stanfords in London, but as Rupert said, it really only suggests what is on the ground - here he is having a baptism of fire on a road that was marked as metalled on the map, but turned out to be a heavily rutted earth track. Thankfully his army HGV driving experience came in handy.

But the countryside I am riding through is delightfully rural, with picturesque little houses set in their own plots among fruit trees.

Water supply is from wells, sometimes public as below, though many people have their own well on their plot.

Everyone keeps poultry, and flocks of geese are a common sight wandering along the lanes.

Some delightful Ukrainian children - they are all very polite and friendly.

In fact everyone bends over backwards to help us. Valeri below went out of his way to show us a short cut route over the hill in his car, and threw in a visit to a memorial to a local war hero as well. And kissed my hand when he left! Is he a dwarf, or is Rupert a giant?

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