Cycling 12,000 miles from Lisbon to Shanghai
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Day 137 (13/11/09) – Antratsyt (42.40 miles)

The first few miles of the day clock by pretty easily despite the headwind and light rain. The rain then gets a bit heavier as we enter Torez and things start to go wrong from there! We should be following the same main road through Torez, on to Snizhne and then Krasny Luch. At the first roundabout it is not clear which is the main road but there is a sign to Snizhne. OK then, no problem. They would obviously signpost the main road, not some shitty little potholed dirt track of a back lane! Obviously! Or then again, yes they would signpost the shitty little potholed back lane.

The first mile or so is fine enough to lull us into thinking that we are on the right track and then it just gets steadily worse and worse until we are riding through so much mud that we begin to think we’ve taken a wrong turn and ended up in Glastonbury! We eventually slither and weave our way back to a reasonable sized road and ask for directions to Krasny Luch. I can only assume the question must have been somewhat lost in translation as the fella clearly thought I had said, “Excuse me my good man would be so kind as to point us towards another really shitty, muddy, little potholed back lane that may eventually winds it way to somewhere near Krasny Luch?” Anyway muddy pothole, mud, mud, pothole, muddy pothole ooh tarmac, mud, pothole, muddy pothole, muddy pothole, grumpy Yiebie, mud, muddy pothole, sacked navigator, muddy pothole, muddy pothole, mud, etc. etc. As we passed a couple of local chaps, who were more than a little inebriated (hey it was after 10am anyway), they pointed and laughed at us, generally gaining much mirth and merriment at our expense. I wish my Russian had been good enough to point out that, yes, we may be stupid enough to be cycling on this crappy excuse of a road, but their whole life would likely be spent in that muddy shithole backwater of a village. I contented myself with the thought that the last laugh was ours and squelched on!

Thankfully, after what seems like a muddy eternity we regain the main road and are able to make a bit better progress despite the increasingly hilly terrain. We get a bit lost (again) in Krasny Luch (which, incidentally, is where Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman ended up staying with the Kalashnikov and guitar-toting locals in “The Long Way Round”) but a helpful lady points us in the (mud free) right direction.

We then have a final big hill and we are in Antratsyt where we are flagged down for a chat by some policemen. They then scare us by telling us the nearest hotel is back down the big hill we’ve just slogged up and the only one further on is 65km away in Russia! Thankfully after checking our notebook for the name and address of the hotel we found in the Yellow Pages, one of the policemen remembers that there is indeed another hotel in town… phew. Funnily enough we end up finding two. Miraculous stuff.

A Very Long Day.

1 comment

1 Kirk { 11.16.14 at 10:00 pm }

exertion@bernstein.forbears” rel=”nofollow”>.…

tnx for info….