Chernychevsk - July 13, 2015

Hope you've all had a productive day, or a nice restful one. Mine has been a bit of both.

So I got the sidecase bracket welded. Olga, the girl who watches the front desk came outside just as I was about to head of to the auto shop I had seen coming into town and said that this man with her would take me there. OK. So I followed him. Well he didn't take me there, but did take me to some back-alley shop where the mechanic there had a strikingly familial resemblance. Anyway, it was in an old wooden garage where instead of a lift, they just have a hole in the ground that the mechanic can get into. Anyway, the guy looked at the bracket, I pulled it off the bike and he welded it right up. Didn't want any money, so I paid him for it anyway. The guy who had taken me there asked me if I could find my way back to the hotel, sure, and when I got back, he was sitting in the office. My guess is that this is a family run hotel. Daughter Olga watches the desk and does other things here, Dad does the maintenance and stuff, and Mom runs the business side. All very nice. Hope they're successful. They're the most service-oriented folks I've run into in Russia. When I asked at the desk if they had secure parking, Olga said yes, and it's free to all of their international guests. I figure that's been about three of us maybe. I'll pop them on various maps including Google, OpenStreetMaps and add them to the list from Horizons Ulimited. At least people won't have as much trouble finding them as I did.

Which by the way was pretty hilarious. I just happened to see a sign to this place along the road, but it didn't give directions. So after wandering around a bit, I stopped at a gas station and the lady pointed it out on my GPS and drew some directions. Down to the bridge, cross it, 4th street, turn right. All very straight forward. Followed her directions and, well, I've included a photo of the bridge. So after finding the correct bridge, I still had to ask. Hey, and that worked just like it worked in Russian class! Perfect. Thank you Tiiu!

So I came back and did a fix on the tail box bracket. If it breaks again, I'm afraid it and the box will never see home again. But they may have a nice ending in a dumpster somewhere. I'll just have to strap another bag to the back of the bike.

The weather is supposed to be good for at least a week... well hot and dry. At least no rain. But it is very hot AND dry. I washed my jeans for the first time since leaving home and hung them up in the hotel room. It's been an hour and they are almost dry now.

The cafe has another hand-written menu and so instead of struggling with that, I will probably wander over and buy some fruit again. Plans are to leave be in Chita tomorrow, and then a long day to Ulan-Ude. The Australian folks who were about two weeks ahead of me have had some serious bike problems and don't have it sorted out yet. It would be great to link up with them, although I might only be able to contribute a fresh set of eyes on the problem... and perhaps more importantly, a bottle of vodka.

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Samuel Longiaru
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