Saturday, July 08, 2006

Bikes on a train

We pack all our stuff and leave for the station. On Saturday the traffic is pretty light so we quickly make our way to the station. Too happy to reach it I just dash through a no-way sign, which of course immediately attracts a couple greedy cops who make an easy 2000 rubles (receipt? we ain’t giving no freakin’ receipt..).
We then try to explain why we’re on the platform with motorbikes, that we want to load the bikes on the train, and that attracts train attendants who then tell us no way, this train doesn’t have a cargo wagon.

So I wait on the platform with the bikes, while Anders goes with the guys in the office to sort things out. That took 2-3 hours, so I have time to chat with a few Russians very interested by our gear. Finally Anders comes back with new tickets for 2 days later, for another train that has a cargo wagon for our bikes. He explains me he’s been “discussing” in the offices, calling Gallia several times on the phone to translate back and forth between him and the Russians. Meanwhile a guy came to me introducing himself as a biker as well (riding a Glodwing). We chat a little bit as he speaks decent English, and he tells me he has a place to store the bikes while we wait for our train. It turns out to be one of the head train attendants in the station, but off-duty as he didn’t wear a uniform. He was around by chance, heard our story (guess it quickly made its way throughout the offices) and the bikers connection made the rest.

When we had our new tickets we left our bikes at that garage right at the train station (that seemed to be used for the personal use of the boss to store his bike and 4x4) and headed back to Gallia’s place where we met those 2 bikers, also invited by Ivan to stay at his place (coming from Croatia and Serbia). One of the guy is a professional video producer, and he is carrying his whole gear on his bike; a semi-pro HD cam, a pretty heavy tripod and even a light reflector and projector.. He found our trip interesting and insisted on interviewing us. So he started set up a whole video studio in Gallia’s apartment in the middle of the night and asked us to talk about our trip.. Crazy.

We spend the next couple days sightseeing in Moscow, the Kremlin, etc..


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