Just like work...
I ended up staying another day at the well overpriced hotel in Tyumen as I'd forgotton that it was Sunday until a moment before I left and I needed to buy some oil at the only bike shop I've seen in 10,000km. I thought about just going anyway and finding another bike shop down the raod somewhere, but with the DR having just clicked over 12,000km and really needing an oil change I thought it better to stay. That and I'm getting lazy. So I checked out this morning and made for the bike shop, they spoke about as much English as I do Russian, but I got acroos what I wanted. I had brought an oil filter with me for this changing of oil occasion as I pressumed Suzuki DR650SE's would be thin on the ground in these parts of the world, but it had been damaged in my homemade tool box. I didn't think it was that bad and still usable, but the staff at the bikeshop insisted that I get a new one, problem being that they were a Yamaha dealer. Well I thought this was a problem but they just told me to take seat in their lunch room (complete with their own chef!!) and they would go and find one. After an hour of searching they arrived back with nothing. I had in the mean time eaten most of their food and drank a couple of liters of their coffee, good times. So I used the old one, they offered the use of their workshop to me as I insisted that I do the job myself, its not that I don't trust them, it's that I don't trust anyone to work on a bike that I ride... call me old fashioned if you like... I also managed to buy a set of winter gloves, as the brand spanking new ones that I bought for this ride were lost in Japan when some idiot forgot to secure his bag to his bike correctly.... And riding in the rain when it's five degrees is about as much fun as having a heartattack.
So with a sump full of Motul's finest synthetic I took off to try and get some kms down before sunset. Didn't happen. First the roads were s*** and full of trucks, then it rained, then I was pulled over by the cops who all wanted to know who, where and why. Then I was pulled over again, this time for over taking where I was not supposed too, what could I say? I didn't come here to obay the road rules? I had really got used to the lawlessness of the far east, I'm sure I rode for 2000km without seeing a cop. But not anymore, they were everywhere. So, after heaps of confusion and the cop continually saying that he'd take my licence while his mates laughed at my inability to understand what the he was talking about, I asked how much the fine was. They wouldn't tell me for a bit and then finally I got out of them that it was a massive $A5.00. Needless to say I will continue to overtake wherever I feel appropriate. I love this country.
I made it to Kateringburg and found a place to stay with somewhere secure to park the bike, as with any trip away from your own country the more you take with you the more of a pain in the arse the actual trip becomes... taking a motorbike puts a whole new light on "pain in the arse" sometimes, to have the mighty DR stolen now would definently bring me to tears so I'm getting more and more careful about where she is parked overnight. Damn bikes....