Archive for May, 2009

Cue The Dancing Bear …….

Posted in 1 on May 23, 2009 by LaContra

Those of you that have been following this blog for sometime may recall, way back in March,that I was invited by the Moscow 4×4 Club and its President, Leonid, to attend one of their rallies on the outskirts of Moscow.

Now it was (supposedly) the last official day of winter and they celebrate with a bonfire and games for the kids…..Now in a previous ‘game’ I was deemed to have lost and as such I had to play ‘the bear’.

I must say that all of this was highly suspect…..hmmm, the foreign guest ‘loses’ and we get to take the piss outta him and gain some revenge for losing the Cold War (I figure)….anyway, I digress……

Of course I threw a well aimed spanner into their devious post-communist plans!……the bear suit was a tad too small for the likes of me….so the show had to go on….with just the head.

Now of course

(a)   I can’t hear a word they are saying with the bear head on….


(b)   I can’t understand a word of Russian anyway.

So the kids got to decide what the bear had to do….

First I had to pretend I was  drowning

Then I had to do a dance……

Follow the link…….if its in Russian, press the English option in the top right of the screen.

Hit download, it’ll take maybe 4 mins….

As promised….x

…roll tape.


A Bunch of Goddamn Junkies

Posted in 1 on May 15, 2009 by LaContra

So it would seem that my slaving away writing to provide you all with 4 months of high quality free entertainment isn’t enough….


….some of you seem to  think that I should explain myself and my plans as such….


Usually I’d just tell y’all to fuck off.


But what the hell……so……

Contra presents:

Yalta….The Reprise Summer Mix

(No I haven’t taken up DJ’ing… Ben Parker is enough!_

You may recall that I have mentioned a chap named Marcus who owns the Hostel in Kyiv….Well ol’ Marcus has a few of these enterprises scattered around the Ukraine and has a wider informal network of Hostel owners.

Seems that Marcus offered me some work when we met in Yalta….but since nothing was concrete I continued to travel back into Russia and on to Rostov-on-Don and to Stalin/Volgograd.

When I arrived in Stalingrad I was left facing some hard choices

1. From Stalingrad, continue east and I’d be in Kazahkstan within a few hours…..

2. From Stalingrad head south to Astrahkan on the Caspian Sea,  then into Chechnya, and into Georgia……(War zones aside…this seemed the most likely option)


3. Marcus rang..told me that if I wanted to come back to the Ukraine I could use the truck and trailer to deliver bunk beds all over the Ukraine as they are setting up some new hostels…..that didn’t really sound too appealing….


He said that after the deliveries he needed someone to work in his new hostel in Yalta situated on the seafront for the summer season…someone who could also work in the Kiev hostel when he and his girlfriend wanted to work in Yalta for a break…..

So…get paid to drive my truck around Ukraine for a month or so?

Then, spend the summer holiday season in Yalta?

Free Accomodation on the beach?

With my own transportation?

hmmmm…….lets see

Summering in Kazahkstan






Well Duh!

So thats my summer taken care of….and I’m planning on maybe doing some 4×4 day tours to the Submarine Base (See Balaklava Post) and to to the Black Sea Command Post (See Object 221 Post)…just for a bit of fun and cash!

So…if any of you need an exotic vacation in the sunshine….please feel free to contact me for information about accommodation, travel arrangements, and tours etc…………


… Bognor.

PS…If you leave a message here I’ll send you an email when travel resumes……………I doubt whether a blog about running a traveller hostel in a gorgeous ex-Soviet Holiday spot for the summer surrounded by young Russian tourists on the lash would be entertaining……….


(but I might be wrong).


Posted in 1 on May 8, 2009 by LaContra



It is said of course, that all good things must come to an end….

So be it…….The End


Posted in 1 on May 2, 2009 by LaContra

When I was in Kiev I needed the rear lights of the truck repaired. A mixture of off-road hooliganism and arctic temperatures has screwed up an earth or something…..

No rear lights

Only one brake light

No reversing lights

……..Unless the headlights and the fog lights were on

Or the trailer was attached…

…and if I put on the high beams everything went off.


So if you recall Sergei (from Microsoft, had put his business card on my windscreen) well he put me in touch with BTR auto service

Boy was I surprised….

They met me at the main road and guided me to the workshop which turned out to be…….

Off-road Nirvana……








And when I say Off-road……


Fuck do I mean OFF-ROAD…..!!!



Boy did my truck look outta place round this workshop!

So 2 guys spent 3 hours dismantling the rear lights, testing everything and then basically rewiring the entire rear of the vehicle


….and then the boss (another Sergei) refused payment in lieu of putting their stickers on the truck!



I am assured that this sticker is the equivalent of a 4×4 passport in Ukraine and boss Sergei is the Godfather of Ukrainian Off-Roading!

Lucked out again!

In the first week of July they are organising a 7 day rally from Kyiv to  near the Polish border, about 900km, in 7 stages….They have invited me to attend and all of you 4X4 aficionados who read the blog….Leonid!..Denis!…from Moscow 4×4….Landy Dave in Greece…Scrap Brad in Bristol….The Rally crew from BOAB 4X4 in Worcester ….y’all reading this?

….and if its too late notice this year…you should definitely ink it in for next year….the venue is great and the people at BTR are simply amazing!

Check out their 4×4 madness at

For rally registration email Irina at BTR