1 Jun 2011

Ukraine

Now we are really roughing it, in a small suite at the VIP Hotel in Izmail in the Ukraine. We had to go through 3k of Moldova to get to the Ukraine, so 2 border crossings, close on 5 hours in total. It was made a lot easier however by a young, very pleasent female Moldovan border guard who came over to the Ukraine side to translate for us and then made us tea whilst we waited to be searched.

As we arrived at the first border point we had to queue in blazing sunshine, by the time we got into Moldova an amazing dust cloud preceded a huge thunderstorm with torrential rain that lasted almost into the Ukraine.

The first few miles of Ukraine is like a wasteland, with roads considerably rougher than Romania in parts, and the parts that aren't are even more dangerous as you never know when a huge pot hole will appear. The last hour or so was completely dark as there was nowhwere to stop with swamp land both sides of the road.

Izmail is spread out in large 'blocks' and is poorly lit and the Tom Tom, that has been superb up to now, had a fit was directing us all over the place (trying to reach the centre) and after getting us within half a mile suddenly wanted us to do 7.5! After disapearing off in various tangents and through various craters we eventually came across a Hotel, they had no parking but directed us to one that did and whilst it has blown todays budget we were glad to get in a room. By this time it was 10pm but with the help of a young local we found a retaurant and had a suprisingly pleasent meal.

It is now another sunny morning and the forecast is good to the next 10 days!

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