Story of a tourist from Germany

Bicycle trip Stephan Werner. Story of a tourist from Germany

2012-05-03 > 142km. 412hm / sunny 27°C – 32°C / Ø18km/h / pedaling time 8:00hrs / elevation 133m, today passed 1000km mark since Simferopol (day 9) For some unknown reason, this morning I received a lot of gifts, whenever I stopped to ask for directions or just looking at things, mostly women gave me apples or sweets and wished me a safe trip. Russians are truly very friendly people.

Around noon I crossed the border to Kalmykia, In one of the first Kalmykian villages I saw a temple type of building, so I made a short detour to have a closer look, when I got there, a very friendly Kalmykian man signaled to me to come closer and he opened the gate and the doors for me, to have a look inside. (ref. pics,,)

Kalmykia is so far the most interesting part of the trip. One feels like being in China or Mongolia. in this part of Europe, the Kalmyk people are actually the offspring of the Mongolian invasion under Genghis Khan. They really had an eventful history, and are happy to have their own semi- independent province, also being the only Buddhist country in Europe,,,, more to follow,,, N46°18.428’ E044°15.912’ ELISTA, Elista Hotel

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2012-05-04 > 0km. 0hm / sunny 32°C / Ø0km/h / pedaling time 00hrs / elevation 133m – today I decided to stay in Elista (Capital of Kalmykia) – what an fascinating place, had a great tour of the city with many interesting sights,,,, N46°18.428’ E044°15.912’ ELISTA, Elista Hotel

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2012-05-05 > 89km. 238hm / sunny 32°C / Ø15.2km/h / pedaling time 5:52hrs /, strong head wind again,,, left Elista about 13:00h Endless straight roads, few places to get water or food. Prepared to sleep out in the bundu tonight, but was then informed that there is a guesthouse in a small Kalmykian village called Yashkul. No running water, toilet in the backyard,,, good food and Kalmykian tea (like Mongolian tea with milk, salt & butter) N46°09.966’ E045°20.107’

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2012-05-06 > 118km / 479hm / sunny 31°C / Ø13.3km/h / pedaling time 8:52hrs / day 12 / total 1225km, extremely strong head wind again, all day,,, Landscape, like steppe, During WWII the German Wehrmacht was stopped here and pushed back by the Soviet Army. Big monument on the side of the road. Found well hidden space behind a hill to pitch tent for the night. Cool 13C, and quiet night, some mosquitoes, N46°16.988’ E046°46.246’ out in the bundu,,,,

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2012-05-07 > 117km / 501hm / sunny max 33°C / Ø13.5km/h / pedaling time 9:23hrs / day 13 / total 1344km, extremely strong head wind again, estimated 40-50km/h, all day except the last 20km. On the way many lakes, without water, only salt, perhaps they have water during the rainy season. Very few places to get food or water. (highlight of the day: a cold coke at a truck stop,,,) several places selling dried and smoked fish along the way. Near the Volga delta very many dead snakes and turtles on the road, run-over by cars, I counted an average of 12 to 15 per km.

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