During my travels I’ve come across some interesting places and some even more interesting people…

…and many of them have been mentioned in the travel-blog so far…but here are some others that deserve an Honourable Mention in Dispatches…

1. The Nova Hostel in Moscow….Run by Alex and in the heart of Moscow for about £25 a night which is ridiculously cheap by Moscow standards!

This is where I met the 2 idiots who were off to cycle from Vladivostok to Portugal…Thanks to Alex for his local knowledge and support!

2. The Hostel Tiu and the Hostel Love in Kyiv, run by ex-pat Marcus and his girlfriend Luba (who basically runs the place AND Marcus). This place saved my bacon while I was waiting for the truck brakes to arrive….an endless stream of crazies, waifs, students, and lost souls pass thru here to my endless amusement….such as:

*Erik from the States, living in SPB and studying Russian along with Jenny and Johanna……..

*Jeremy the Texas farm-boy who had never left the States until he came to Ukraine 3 weeks ago hoping to get a Russian visa….but he really can’t explain why. Still has corn growing out of his ears, loud and red-necked but in a sweet naive kinda way…and

*Padraig the Irish Dairy farmer who was on holidays from working on the farm he runs……in fuckin desert of Saudi Arabia!

He farms the Crown Prince’s dairy herd…all 50,000 of ‘em inside giant air-conditioned barns!…

He said he ain’t never met no one like me!!??…like me?

He’s dairy farming in the desert for fuck sake!

3. Thanks to Stuart Brereton who sent me another download of Pink Floyd Animals to replace the copy I gave away.

4. Thanks to Richard my long suffering friend and mechanic in Bristol who still often passes useful advice down the phone line but now for free!

5. The Ukrainian Border Guard who took a bribe of £10 rather than make me unload the entire truck at the border crossing…and the 3 militiamen who didn’t arrest me trying to enter Chernobyl illegally.

6. To Sergei, the Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft Ukraine (and off-road enthusiast) who saw the truck on the street with its Russian Ladoga Rally Stickers on the doors and left his business card on the windscreen offering assistance if I needed it in Kyiv!

Who ya gonna call?

Who ya gonna call?

7. And most importantly to my beautiful, gorgeous, endlessly patient, and long suffering girlfriend Sylwia….who smuggled the brake pads and a few other car parts into Ukraine when she came to visit me here for a few days!

Who ya gonna call indeed

Who ya gonna call indeed


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