Tuk to the Road

The trials and tukulations of Jo, Ants and Ting Tong the tuk tuk and our three-wheeled odyssey from Bangkok to Brighton...in aid of the mental health charity Mind. For more information please see www.tuktotheroad.com

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It’s a Brazilian

24th August, Hotel Alef II, Krakow (Poland)

Oops, I have been a bit lazy at following up to our night on the tiles in Odessa. Suffice to say it was quite an eye opener and most red blooded males/lesbians would have been in heaven.

Ants and I were extremely tired as we had a bite to eat in Arkadia beach prior to going to Club Ibiza. I had no idea how I would muster the energy to go clubbing, but we decided to go anyway and see what it was like. We ordered a Mojito each and surveyed the skinny tarted up girls. If I had turned up naked with just the Yi apron on I would have still felt underdressed. The amount of make up on display was to the extent that you couldn’t tell if what was underneath was attractive or otherwise.

I started fantasizing about my bed and just when I was thinking about trying to make a break back to the hotel a Levi’s fashion show started. The girls wore not much other than jeans and the guys somersaulted down the catwalk. After this a crazy guy wearing shiny green tracksuit bottoms, a clashing green T-shirt, a back wig and sunglasses hit the stage with a microphone and proceeded to fire everyone up and dance very badly. We hit the dance floor and were treated to a semi-pornographic display by the scantily clad dancers. The title of this blog is a tribute to those girls. It was a real laugh and we decided to leave while we were still having fun, rather than waiting until we were knackered. We also were aware that we had a long drive ahead of us the following day towards Lviv.

The following morning we set off for somewhere between Odessa and Lviv, with the intention of probably camping. As the sun began to set we pulled off the road and found a quiet wooded clearing to set up camp. Unlike in Russia, there were no killer mozzies, but instead we were bombarded by bugs who liked the look of the head torch. After supper Ants had a bit of an accident and let out a yelp. I though she had been stung (again) but it turned out that she had managed to get boiling water all over her right hand. Poor Ants ended up having my dirty T-shirt wrapped around her hand which had been covered in cold water, while I ferreted around in our Nomad medical kit and found a burn dressing. I then proceeded to bandage her up like a boxer, hoping that her injury would not stop her driving the rest of the trip back to the UK. It is a running joke between us that we don’t want the other one to get hurt in any way that will stop them driving. Much as we adore driving TT we are not too keen to have the sole responsibility of driving her.

The following morning we dragged ourselves from our idiot proof tent and packed up, both of us feeling grubby and tired. We hit the road and headed for Lviv. Luckily we had already reserved a hotel room, which meant that the only stress would be finding it in a reasonably large city. One of the things that can really do your head in after a long day on the road is arriving somewhere, getting lost and/or not finding anywhere to stay e.g. Samara in Russia.

As we drove into Lviv it became quite apparent why the city is a world heritage site. The combination of the attractive buildings and cobbled streets made quite an impression on me. Our hotel was a bit tricky to find as it was tucked away of the street, but it turned out to have just about the best location of any hotel in the whole city i.e. bang in the centre.

The next day we had planned to explore Lviv, but only managed a half hearted attempt due to our ongoing problems with fatigue. I can understand why we get tired on this trip, but why Ants and I seem to have spent most of the trip not sleeping soundly is extremely annoying and means we get a double dose of tiredness. When we get home I am going to get into my bed for 24 hours and not move.

That brings me on to yesterday. We left Lviv at 9am and hoped to be in Krakow in the evening. The border was only about 100km away from Lviv, but we were delayed by TT suffering from a broken accelerator cable. We changed it, but I made the job a whole lot more challenging by removing the wire from its plastic sheath. At the border we joined a very long queue of about 100 other vehicles. We had to wait for about three hours, which wasn’t too bad considering how many cars there were. Just as we neared the front of the queue the heavens opened and TT had a shower. Not only was it raining but it was also cold. Ants and I shivered away cursing the weather and border crossings.

After we had successfully left behind the Ukraine we had to wait for about 30 minutes in no man’s land before being processed by the Polish officials. This was the easiest entrance to a country we have encountered. As Poland is part of the EU we didn’t need any stamps, visas, declarazia, import papers etc….they just entered TT’s and our details on the computer and we were free to go.

Poland turned into a bit of a reverse culture shock, like in Almaty. I have never seen so many road signs in my life and Ants and I dry wretched when we came across a 24hour Tesco, a Shell garage and a McDonalds all within a couple of miles. Yuk, things that I have not missed about England at all are the multinationals reminding you of there presence every couple of miles.

I had tried unsuccessfully to book a hotel in Krakow over the internet and so as I drove Ants rang around 15 hotels before she finally found one with a room for the night. The phrase, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again” springs to mind.

The drive to Krakow was frustrating for a number of reasons. Firstly, the road to Krakow passed through towns and villages with such frequency that it made driving a slow process i.e. constantly slowing down to 70kmh and often 40mph every time a house appeared. Secondly, TT started making the most unbelievable hissing sound- I initially thought the sound was coming from road works. We pulled into a garage and I got on my back and had a poke around. I thought I had found the problem when I spotted that the hose from the air filter had come loose. So I resealed it and hoped that the hissing would stop. We drove along for a few km before TT started making a racket again. The weird thing was that she didn’t always make a racket and the whistling came and went. By this time it was dark and after 11pm. The final challenge was lots and lots of road works, which meant more slow speeds. Still, I was driving in true granny style anyway because of TT’s hissing and the darkness.

We eventually arrived at our hotel at 12.30am last night. I felt like it was 7am and I had been clubbing all night- not pleasant. Will tell you more another time, I am all blogged out. Jo xo


Blogger Stan-Rhode Island said...

I can't believe that your almost home. My advice for when you get there......enjoy the welcome, have a wild (how wild depends on you) party.

Then go home, lock the door, pull down the shade and sleep for at least 24 hours.

I truly hope you girls write a book about your adventures....with photo's.

I truly admire what you two are doing.

Question: What happens to TT when all is said and done ??

10:14 AM  
Blogger heid_honcho said...

TT should be auctioned on ebay.

4:47 AM  
Blogger billyloco said...

TT should be studded out ... hehehe

2:12 AM  
Blogger coho said...

Looks like I know where to take my next vacation.

PS. TT should be put out to pasture at the end of the trip. Someplace where he can rest. I recommend my house. :)

1:43 PM  
Blogger Sandra White said...

phentermine - health insurance - debt consolidation - home equity loans Nice comment.. I ll come back for sure :]

2:31 PM  
Blogger pip said...

TT is female - don't you recognise the temperament? She should be fussed over and cossetted when she gets home.

1:28 AM  
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