Kamaz, kamaz, kamaz, kamaz, kamaz..............
What am I going on about? Well, yesterday on our 550km drive from Bakshiserai to Odesa we came across a queue of Kamaz i.e. big phat strong Russian mega trucks, on the M24. I first spotted a line of about 0.5km of trucks snaking around a dirt track by the side of the road. As we drove along the road the line of trucks went on....and on.....and on......for a total of about 10km. I have never seen anything like it in my life. It got to the point where we actually started to find it a bit freaky. We didn't stop to say hi to them, but waved at a few as we drove past in the opposite direction. I would have loved to know what they doing in that queue. It must have contained nearly all of the Kamaz trucks in the whole of the Ukraine. Ants and I feel that we are almost part of the trucker fraternity, as we have some appreciation of what it is like to drive.......lots and for long distances. In my early 20s I had considered being a trucker or cabbie, but now I don't think I could deal with driving as a career. Big up respect to truck/cab drivers all over the world.
So, briefly back to Bakshiserai after boring you all to near tears with my truck monologue. I really think that on this trip I have developed a strange fascination with tarmac, trucks and just vehicles in general. GEEEEEEEK!
We went to Bakshierai to visit the ancient cave city of Chafut-Kale. It was a mega uphill walk of at least 2km, which was tiring in the searing heat of the day. Personally, it didn't float my boat all that much i.e. a bit boring, but the view from the top was well worth the hike. I bought a drink at the top of the hill that had what looked like a passion fruit crossed with a pineapple on the label. On tasting this beverage I realised that it tasted like no other fruit I had ever come across, so I looked more closely at the label and realised that I was tasting a concoction of multiple E numbers- yum.
The drive yesterday was nothing particularly interesting and we arrived in Odesa as the sun started to set. After six days using squat loos and outdoor showers I was seduced by the glistening metal and glass structure where we now stay, the hotel 'Ripoffski' Odesa. However, Ants and I both agreed that despite the identikit rooms, the price was worth it for the comfy beds, cleanliness, powerful hot shower, swimming pool, buffet breakfast, gym, free parking etc. The frustrating thing about yesterday's drive was that our darling TT had started pulling to the right again. Just when we thought she was sorted, the same problem rears its ugly head again. We both think she has raging PMT at the moment.
After checking in last night and settling into our room, Ants started to read all of the blurb about the hotel that you get in such establishments. Ants read that as we were staying in a superior room then we ought to have an adjoining room with a balcony. A quick call to reception resulted in housekeeping bringing us a key to unlock the locked door in our room. I was in the shower at the time and Ants popped her head around the door in hysterics. She had unlocked the door and walked in on a couple in bed together. She quickly retreated and relocked the door. We then planned all sorts of unpleasant tricks on our neighbours, a few of which I will mention: taking everything from their minibar, putting Boovie and Wirral (our snuggle blanket and pet squirrel) in their beds, climbing into bed with them ourselves in the middle of the night etc........I could go on, but I have only told you the more innocent pranks we hypothesised. I can tell you that 24 hours on, we have not done anything to our neighbours.
Tonight, Ants and I are hitting Arcadia beach in Odesa, home to many nighclubs and bars. Tomorrow we are taking TT to another mechanic and then driving north west towards Lviv, where we will be spending monday night. Tomorrow we will probably be under canvas and eating pasta with tomato puree. Have a good weekend all.