From Never, to Chita

The bike had been locked in the hotel garage overnight, and there seemed no-one around who could unlock it. Eventually about 9.15am, I got access to the bike, and packed it up, leaving about 9.45am.

It was quite overcast, although no rain was imminent, so it was rather pleasant riding weather, and the miles rolled away under the wheels quite rapidly.

Still the same countryside, as the previous days.

The roads were getting bumpier, with many frost heaves and ripples evidenced by the rippling armco barriers.

It was a long day, quite warm although with periods of rain showers to cool things down a little. The constant strain of searching for the pot holes eventually took its toll, leaving me exhausted.

I was looking for a hotel for the night, after about the 650km mark. No such luck, althought I did pass one which looked rather disreputable and poorly maintained on the outside, which generally translates into the same on the inside.

I made it to Chernyshevsk and really wanted to stop. Pulled into a servo for fuel, as I was very low, with what looked to be a brand new gostinitza next door. I was correct in my thinking, however it was still so new it was not yet operational! Rode further down towards the town and stopped for a coffee, asking several people if there was anywhere I could stay. Out of luck, unfortunately,

This meant my best chance at getting decent acommodation was another 300km down the road in Chita - where I no doubt be arriving in the dark! I didn't want to ride at night, due to the poor, and getting worse, condition of the road. Quite late in the afternoon I came across some road works/construction, and boy, didn't I have fun through there! Large, deep, loose road base, with rarely any sign of what was ahead. Often it was just the change in surface colour that gave any hint of what was ahead.

But I plugged along on a gorgeous cool, balmy late afternoon/evening, as it is light until well after 9pm this far north. I was really enjoying the riding, despite the road condition.

Just on dusk, I rode into Chita, heading for a waypoint motel. Found it, but for some reason I couldn't really understand, they did not accept foreigners! But the nice lady pointed me off to the Turist Hotel. Found it on the GPS, punched it in and off I went. It was fun trying to work out how to actually enter the property, so I just parked on the street nearby. I asked a passing family if it was the Turist, and they said yes, and kept walking. However, the lady came back, and I think she was saying that it was not safe to leave the bike where it was. I motioned that I would register then move the bike onto the hotel property.

Got a room no problems, for the good price of R1850, with ensuite even, and lovely thick, fluffy white towels and good quality bed linens. Couldn't ask for better, I thought.

When I went out to get the bike, there was a car with two young, tattooed guys parked close to the bike, but as soon as I walked over to it, theylooked daggers at me and took off rapidly down the road.

The bike was moved up into the guarded car park, which cost me a whole R70 for the night. But at least the guard was there all night, and the bike was tucked away in a corner with its cover on.

It was time for bed, as there was nowhere open nearby to get any food.

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