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

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Our escape from Volgograd

Hotel Volgrograd, Ulitsa Mira, Volgrograd, Russia

After an unintended four day sojourn in sunny Volgograd it looks like Jo and I will actually be heading south again tomorrow. The Ukraine here we come, referred to as our ‘last doggy spot’ by a post on this blog. I think the doggiest thing there will be the Polizia, we just hope they fall for TT’s charms as all their international counterparts have.

We arrived in Volgograd on Friday night intending to stay here for just the weekend. A new DV camera was being delivered to us on Monday morning from the UK so we had to wait till its arrival.

Monday morning arrived but the camera didn’t. After tracking it down to a depot in Moscow and pestering the staff at our hotel hourly we decided there was nothing to be done except head for the beach, again, and wait. If it had got as far as Moscow it couldn’t be too far away. Our patience and sun-worshipping was rewarded by the arrival of our package when we got back. Phew, we could hit the road again this morning.

But the courier company had obviously been a bit rough with the camera and having excitedly re set it and headed into town to do some filming last night we quickly ascertained that its focus was gone. I despaired. We’d already hung around in Volgograd for longer than necessary and although Dan at ITV very generously said he’d send out another camera, that would have meant risking wasting more time and potentially having the same happen again. I lay ahead for most of last night puzzling over what to do. Did we buy another camera here, risk another one getting sent out or find someone here who could fix one of our two cameras….today?

The last option seemed the only viable one so first thing this morning I was on the phone to Rudy in Yekaterinburg… could he try and find us a Sony centre here?? Of course he could – 10 minutes later he emailed three options and in a flash I was in a taxi to ‘Planet Service’.

A bevy of techys gathered round the two cameras, heads shook and the word ‘Nyet’ was repeated far too many times for my liking. But I wasn’t taking no for an answer. Somehow they had to fix either the sound on camera number one or the focus on camera number two. Today. After much cajoling Sergei, one of the overworked engineers, gave me his mobile and said to ring at 3.30 pm. He’d see what he could do.

And do what he could he did. At 4.30 pm I was walking out of the centre, having thanked Sergei, my new best friend, profusely, with camera number one intact. The relief. The gratitude. So now Jo and I are back on track, with all our equipment in tact, and ready to head home. I’m so happy, albeit a little tired from my sleepless night. Moreover, Chaz, my wonderful friend who is going to edit the footage we have shot, emailed today and said she’s watched the most recent batch of tapes we sent back and is really happy qith what we’ve got. Its so good to hear that all the effort we have put into the filming might actually pay off somehow.

Off to soak up the evening sun now and read my book, A Million Little Piecesby James Frey. Its one of the most compelling books I’ve read for ages, I highly recommend it.

Bye bye from Volgograd and more soon xx Ants


Blogger pip said...

Interesting to see that a lot of your blog comments come from outside the UK and they seem mainly from the USA. Does MIND have a sister charity over there?

8:19 AM  
Blogger Massive Crunch Crunch said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Massive Crunch Crunch said...

You do know that Frey fabricated many of the most compelling details in that book and that it's more fiction than a memoir, right?

I suppose it's still a decent read, but the misrepresentation made by Frey kinda ruined it for me...

8:53 AM  
Blogger Alexander said...

Ants, since you've mentioned ITV, does that mean they going to do a program about you and Jo?
If the answer is yes what are the chances of me getting a copy?
I'm from Ekaterinburg originally,but been stuck in Manchester for the last 12 years)))
Good luck!

10:12 AM  
Blogger Colin said...

Hi Ants & Jo !

Been pretty busy recently, so been catching up with your news quickly but been unable to post any comments. Sorry about that.

Can't believe you're virtually on the home leg. Asia seemed so far away that I thought you'd be ages in that area. Sorry you can't do a slight detour towards the Matra mountains and the town Gyongyos as you'd have comfortable overnight accomodation, free of charge, as well as some good local cuisine (without wriggly things).

As usual, my message is: stay happy and stay safe !!

Lotsa luv, Colin.

12:42 PM  
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4:59 PM  
Blogger Rudy said...

2 alexander:

Heh, i also frm Ekb, i would like to stuck in Manchester for rest of my life ;)) U are happy russian :)

2 Ants & Jo:
So how is was sony service centre? is it possible there to fix ur camera?

9:54 PM  
Blogger Alexander said...

to Rudy:
My theory is that a happy russian is a russian who is happy in Russia)))) (i.e. change "russian" to any other nationality and "Russia" to one's home country)

If we engage in this discussion, we only going to be hijacking girls blog:-)
You can find my email on E1 Автоклуб under username Ляксандр.

4:04 AM  
Blogger tuktotheroad said...

Rudy they fixed it - SO happy. Thanks.

Camping in a field near the Ukrainian border now, being eaten by mossies. Country no 6 tomorrow xx

PS Know re Million Little Pieces but still think its a good book x

11:16 AM  
Blogger Simon said...

Hi heard your interview on radio five live this morning. Best of luck for rest of journey.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Rudy said...

Yasterday we saw here two of VW beetle blue and green from Mongolia Rally (Yakatakteam). Its realy stenge, First two of Engl girls ride tink tuktuk came to E-burg frm Bangkok thru Mongolia, now its some another Engl ppl passing our boring city on the old vw beetle to Mongolia ;) Tell me what is going on? Is it some kind of plot, and UK want to enslave E-burg? :)) Its okay, i'm agree :-D

12:08 AM  

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