Day 44 of 80 :
Some moments you never forget, like this moment when you’re speeding down a hill at full throttle and crouched down, concentrating so hard on the potholes that you don’t notice the rusty, clattering minibus rushing 20 inches from your left elbow. The driver is looking you straight in the eye, grinning a fat grin with 3 yellow teeth and a gold one, and giving you a thumbs up while his wife is taking a video and his 4 kids in the back seat are just ecstatically cheering and waving.
Probably the loving father thought it would be a good idea and an entertaining highlight for his family in their otherwise rather boring backwoods life to scare a little scooter rider trying not to get run into the ditch by a big truck.
But then the adrenaline level drops back to normal and you smile because you survived another Russian road challenge 😂!
Then you come to a bend in the valley and suddenly the road runs parallel to the Trans-Siberian Railway and the goosebumps and joy you feel when by chance you are driving alongside this train at that very moment is hard to describe.
In Ulan Ude I tried to find the finish line of the Mongol Rally because I wanted to know if I was faster or slower than the teams with which I crossed the Caspian Sea. However, I failed in my navigation via Google to finish a race I never started. When I finally left the city, Google decided to send me down a back road, and suddenly I was all alone with no traffic in the wide open countryside. I was first delighted and then a little worried and it just had to happen! The road simply turned into a dirt road with deep sand and rocks. What was shown on the map as a national road simply turned out to be a dirt road. On the way down from a hill, in the soft sand mixed with stones, I almost fell.
I survived that too and found a hostel in a very small village where I might be considered the first German in 75 years. With a beer, a piece of bread and ham from the village store I sat then in front of the house with two drunken Russian truck drivers and I was glad that I may also experience the next day full of small challenges !