24.03.2009 5 °C
We were up and ready to go by 10.30 as we had umpteem miles to cover and a couple of borders (it turned out to be 3 in the end, twice through Moldova!)
Our hosts at the apartment in Galati were so kind and as well as the fantastic apartment they provided, they also led us to the Romanian/Moldovan border which saved us time. The border took us some time and we had to leave one motorbike at the customs check in as insurance and then ride half a km to a little hut to buy a green card to drive through the country. They're certainly doing their best to boost their economy!
We then embarked on the journey through Moldova. The road at first relatively good, the odd pot hole here and there, then it then got quite a bit worse and the middle of the road was broken up tarmac and the sides were compacted gravel. We found we had to chop and change between the two depending on which was smoother! Most of the other cars on the road were old school Ladas, with suspension perfect for the job. Industrial!
We reached the Ukraine border after around 40miles and were greeted by a Customs guard on the Moldovian exit with a slight smirk on his face! Not sure whether he was amused about what we were doing or what was maybe in store for us!
Up the road we hit the Ukraine Customs. Not too difficult in the end and we passed through without handing over a penny! By this stage it was 2pm and although we'd done two borders, we'd only done the 40miles through Moldova! We asked a friendly Moldovan heading back into Moldova how far it was to Odessa. He advised around 180miles, yikes!
We set off with the idea of stopping quite soon for food. This idea basically went on all the way to Odessa, as we found nowhere to stop for either a cash or food!
We arrived in Odessa famished. We had a hotel booked, but unfortunately did not understand any of the road signs to get us to the centre of the city. In the end we had to ask a cab driver to guide us to the right street.
After unloading the essentials from our bikes we wandered out and stopped in the first restaurant we came to and basically ate lunch and dinner in one!
225 hard miles covered today.