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Posts Tagged ‘ukraine

10 Aug, 2009

The Long Haul: To Russia

Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

We were behind schedule and had to try and catch up. To accomplish this we decided to drive straight on through the night and try to hit Volgograd, Russia sometime the next day.

In Ukraine freeways don’t go around cities as much as right through them. And not directly through them–they take you in a confusing maze of paths through each city. This resulted in us getting a bit lost almost every time we hit a mjaor city. Signs would often disappear (see previous post), and we would be left circling city streets trying to find where the highway started up again. This is even harder to do when it’s dark out, which was the case for our entire drive through Ukraine.

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09 Aug, 2009

Odessa

Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

Odessa is a nice mid-size city situated along the Black Sea. There aren’t many tall buildings in the area, and most of the streets are lined on either side with oak trees, so it gives the city a small-town feel. After we woke up the first evening we went outside to do some reconnoitering of the area. We were situated near the center of the city, just two blocks from the central train station. We headed east to check out the beaches, as I had heard good things about them. Following that we had dinner at a kebab/sushi place (interesting combination, but it works!).

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07 Aug, 2009

The Road to Odessa

Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

It was midnight and pitch black outside at the end of the border ordeal. We were tired, hungry, and dirty. We were also very relieved and very thankful that we had gotten across into the country.

We had looked at a map the day before and saw tat Odessa was approximately a 300 kilometer drive from the Moldovan border. Should be doable in about three hours I thought. Well, I was expecting on doing most of the traveling in daylight. I was also expecting road signs and roads that didn’t look like they had gotten blasted to pieces during some recent conflict. Upon driving that first stretch of road past the border I could only think of one thing: the Ukrainians must really not care about anyone getting in and out of Moldova from their country. Massive pot holes everywhere…simple massive. A semi truck in front of us was having quite the rough time with the roads and we were doing our best to follow its path at a leisurely 5 MPH.

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06 Aug, 2009

Ukrainian Border Ordeal: Part Three

Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

So, keep in mind this is all in sweltering heat–not even the commander’s office had air conditioning. We hadn’t eaten much more than some granola bars and dried fruit over the past twenty hours. Neither of us had gotten more than a couple hours of fitful sleep in the car. We were low on water. We were dirty from road dust. We just wanted to get through this stupid checkpoint and make it to Odessa before nightfall to check in to our hotel.

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06 Aug, 2009

Ukrainian Border Ordeal: Part Two

Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

Why couldn’t our car accompany us in? Why, we didn’t have a passport for the car of course! It turns out that all cars registered in this section of the world receive a card that allows them to drive through other countries. As the car is a US car and also registered in the US, and because this ‘car passport’ doesn’t exist in the US, we didn’t possess one.

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05 Aug, 2009

Ukrainian Border Ordeal: Part One

Posted by: Scott In: The Rally

Here’s where the fun begins.

So we completed our one mile tour of Moldova and entered the Ukrainian border check point. To our surprise we see not one but three other rally cars waiting there. As there is a line about ten cars deep I go over and talk to the guy in the nearest rally vehicle. Their teams were from the UK and he sad that they had been there almost six and a half hours, as one of the three cars in their convoy had some vehicle registration papers that didn’t seem to match the numbers on the car. Oops! Each one of them had had their car’s contents inspected and had been fined for numerous offenses, including having money stowed in the vehicle ($15US fine). He was just waiting on the final paperwork to be finished before they could head off.

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    In the summer of 2009, two guys from Metro Detroit are traveling 10,000 miles from London to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in an effort to raise money to assist underprivileged Mongolian families in becoming self-sufficient.

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