Off to Chernigov


Pulled over for a late breakfast of orange juice and borscht. 90p or so. So cheap and so tasty.

Lots of the gardens we were driving past had livestocks. Cows, chickens and the like. Most gardens were also chock full of vegetables.

The bus shelters were decorated with colourful mosaics and each was as different as the next.

The Cyrillic alphabet is a nightmare. "P" is really "R" but oddly "P" is still the universal symbol for parking.

When we reached Kiev we split from the convoy with John in the ailing Terios and us heading North to stay the night with Kieran's friends in Chernigov (fifty miles East of Chernobyl). In the morning we'd transfer the roofrack from the Terios onto our Micra, Ted, and move as much of John's kit into ours. We could then give John's car to a local orphanage.

The apartment was in a block of flats with a large bomb shelter at its base. Apparently this is the norm. Lovely people set up with poppy seed rolls, potato and herb things. The simple meal of potatoes and eggs was quite the nicest thing i've tasted in a long, long time.

They left us alone to sleep (no idea where they went).

Ukrainian customs

Woke up at 7am with the intention of pushing on by 8am. Yet another convoy car with a problem. Two hours at a garage and they got a new clutch cable fitted for £30.

Drive. Drive. Drive.

Ukrainian customs. Pretty much straight through for us. We had a worry about John's Terios as Cillian had taken a taxi to the airport and to our utter disappointment we found that the car was registered in his name. Seemed to be okay for Ukraine but Russia could be a problem.

One car had only brought a photocopy of their V5. They had a l-o-n-g wait.

One team with an ambulance was asked to find $10,000 for a carnet. In cash. A fire engine was also asked for $10,000 in cash.

Our remaining problem is John's car being registered to Cillian. The current idea is to get some documents faxed to Kiev.

We headed towards Kiev with the intention of finding somewhere to camp. A team had mentioned camping near a lake so we drove around trying to find it. Quite a few of the roads were new and didn't appear on the maps. Some roads just stopped. Eventually, we found it. All tall grass, deeply rutted tracks and LOTS of mosquitoes.

After a bit more driving we found a £10 hotel. Soft bed/shower. Lovely.