31st day of the trip. 12 July 2018 Volgograd, Russia

In the morning Viktor brought us some breakfast. We ate and went to check out the Mamayev Kurgan (Мама́ев курган) memorial complex. Later we went to get some oil for the bike. Overall, the Volgograd city was really long – there were about 115 km from on end of the city to another. We filmed some frames of the city and realized that ecology for them was a second priority – there were factories in the middle of the city. There was also a metrotram that goes under and also above the ground.

We took the tram and went to the war museum dedicated to the battle of Stalingrad. We found out that here in Volgograd they also have a tractor factory, where in reality a military-industrial complex functioned. After we saw the city, we took a small bite and went for the search of oil. We called to the Bike post boss Viktor, who offered to take us for a drive around Volgograd with a tricycle. What an adventure! We took a cab to go and buy the oil and Viktor was meeting us there to drive us with a Trike (tricycle), which was pretty interesting. It was a first time experience for the both of us but, while we were driving, we thought that it would have been better, if we would have driven here by ourselves, because Viktor had built this tricycle by himself. Its engine came from the ninth edition Zhiguli. We planned to get closer to Moscow today, so we said our goodbyes to Viktor and started to drive towards Moscow but after 100 km something started to smoke out of Sandijs’s bike. We stopped – the gear in the back had a broken bearing. We had no other options but to go back even though we hade spare bearings with us. Right before this happened we wanted to stop and tighten the chain. I guess we had a bad feeling of some sorts. Unfortunately, these things tend to happen and that is also a part of the adventure. So we stood there and tried to call someone, who could come and pick us up. But then we thought about hitchhiking GAZelles. And then a miracle happened – a driver named Artjom stopped and agreed to take us 100 km back to Volgograd but we would have to help him on the way to load the goods he had with him at a construction material store. The guy seemed pretty interesting. He told us a lot about his life – he was also driving around Russia but now, after the birth of his second son, he did not want to drive so far from home. Sandijs was on the GAZelle but Jānis was driving in the back. After less than two hours, we were back in Volgograd. We took the bike to the best handyman in Volgograd and in the meantime Sandijs and Viktors on a tricycle and Jānis on his Husqvarna went around the city in the search of rubber bushes for the nave – it looked like these were also burned out. It was funny to see how Sandijs in his motocross riding gear sat on a tricycle. It was obvious that he was not a fan of our dear Viktor’s driving manner. 😊Viktor is a wonderful person and a great jeweller, it’s just that our understanding about safety on the road differed. 😉Sandijs stayed with the handyman to help him with fixing the bike. Jānis and Viktors went back to the bike post. When Sandijs came back with his bike fixed, you could hear his good mood in the roaring of the bike. Everything was okay and fixed, so we could go and rest for the night, so tomorrow we could move closer to home.

Today we drove 210 km. One of us on a bike, the other with the GAZelle 😀 ! Many thanks to Jānis for the patience, while driving behind the GAZelle with the speed of 65-75 km/h 💪 even through the harsh heat!

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