Silk Rd - Kiev to Odessa

Ukraine: Kiev to Odessa 6 July – 13 July

The group is now done to 18….. with the departure of Barry and Val. They set off on their own as was planned heading for Romania. After a week of assisting the youth education programme that they have helped to set up, they will continue onto England.

Had the remaining group not been distracted with the anticipation of heading off to Obrien’s Irish Pub to watch the All Black/ Lions game there would have been tears I’m sure. And what a game in a great place. They had reserved a room for us and set up a projector and large screen. Fortunately or perhaps not, the Lions supporters kept to the other room although cheers from both sides added to the atmosphere.

Three of the ladies, Alli, Enid and Sam, chose to set off and find the railway station that reportedly had wonderful tiled mosaics. it was a perfect Saturday morning for a brisk walk. Then a nice adventure thrown in trying to make themselves understood at the metro.The purchase of tickets were necessary in order to descend the 2 very steep and very fast moving escalators onto the platforms a very long way down. It was quite exciting.

Delicious coffees were then enjoyed sitting in a picture book, garden cafe. Kiev was indeed a wonderful 2-night stopover.

The excellent, guided city tour the day before had set us up with fascinating knowledge of the area’s history. And to think we were actually staying in the same hotel where snipers had chosen to fire from and kill a hundred local citizens. Both riot police and demonstrators were victims. This took place just 3 years ago during a demonstration protesting against the illegal vote count in a recent Presidential election. Last night we watched from our hotel room as a peaceful but loud procession made its way down the memorial street.

This blurb is being written as we make our way to Odessa 400 km’s or so away. We were all a bit smug thinking that 5 hours should see us cruise down the motorway. Wrong.

We learned that unfortunately our wonderful English traveling friends, David and Vivien are to leave us tomorrow as David has a detached retina. Time had to be made before we drove off in order for their flights out of Odessa to be arranged.

Then off we all eagerly set. David and Viven are in Greg’s vehicle while Nick is driving theirs. Fortunately he had arranged a local navigator to assist with this leg. Lucky young Nick.

However within 20 kilometres the 3 lanes of traffic heading South came to a grinding halt. We all crawled for about an hour at least through roadworks and then a traffic accident.

However as dusk Is upon us now we have satisfied tummies after a quick sit down dinner stop. Viven and David’s last supper with the group. It feels strange.

The scenery is still interesting and stunning. There is wheat, sunflowers and other crops patch working their way forever on both sides of the road.

Two hours to Odessa.