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5 May 2011

Belarus – Russia
Gomel – Bryansk

250 miles
10hours 7mins

We both woke a little excited for to day’s adventures as to day we were hitting the Russian border! After breakfast we got going around 8:30, it was a rather pleasant morning – not being to cold ad dry.

We drove around 40 mins to the border or rather first border. It was a little strange for us as this was an open border so Belarusian’s and Russians can pass with ease. It was for us – not so good as the guards just looked at our passports and waved us through. So hear we were in what we thought was no mans land between Belarus and Russia but it wasn’t – we were in fact in Russia…. This could spell disaster as we had no Belarus exit stamp and no Russian entry stamp! The decision was made to go back to the guards and ask once again, they showed us another border on the map around an hour south of this one.

Off we went in search of this mystery other border crossing, yes that’s rite we are back in Belarus! We stopped in a small village as Simon needed fuel and rather risking carrying on he decided to go back to one that we passed a couple of miles back.. I waited wile he went back. The village was very quiet with only the odd car and passer by. One man did come over to say hello and with a little signs language we got by. Still wile I was waiting for Simon I managed to get a little more of my diary done. It wasn’t long before I heard the rumble of the BMW motor bike carrying Simon. We were back on the road and continuing our search.

We seemed to be driving back and beyond down small farm tracks. We arrived at this small border crossing and I mean small, but still it looked official. As this was the Belarus exit border we didn’t even sit in a queue… in fact there weren’t even any other cars there. It was quite funny as the border was a little bit of paradise with mowed grass, nice fences all around, they even had bird houses all around. Almost seemed to me as when the border guards they made the bird houses as there were so many around.

It was a very straight forward border crossing only taking around 40 mins or so. We then learned it was a three way border, turn right for Ukraine and left for Russia! So after much thought ha-ha we turned left! There is was the Russian border queue, not as bad as a couple I’d seen but still bad enough. It seemed everyone was passing from Ukraine to Russia. It was your typical border with everyone out of their cars standing around. We relaxed for a wile and even had a drink (of water) and some munchies. After a wile a man came from what seemed out of the blue but was in fact parked behind us. He was very keen to chat and with no English and with us with minimal Russian but after a wile he just wouldn’t leave us alone. He seemed keen to chat to Simon as I took a step back and sat on my bonnet to observe and take a few pictures. I looked to me Simon had made a new best friend.. Simon to excape wondered off down to the front of the queue. He returned around 15 mins later saying we were able to go to the front of the queue.

Its quite difficalt to describe this border crossing as there were no big buildings, just 3 or 4 sheds almost like a road cheak point. Once again running around doing paperwork getting stamps, copies of passports ect. And around an hour and a half later we were through. One of the guards said “you come from Belarus, just go” he bdidnt have to tell us twice… we were off! We were in Russia… with a quick pause to get the insurance sorted we were on the road! Well hear we were on the russian roads ant to be honest we didn’t get the feeling we were expecting, the roads were terrible the driving even worse. They called these motorways or main roads…. Yeh right!

After a few hours dealing with the tramlines (groves trucks make in the road) we could go no further. We reached a town called Bryansk were we got a cheap motel where we got a bed for the night. Both exhausted and straight after dinner it was time to hit the hay.
Night night!

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The wrong Russian border, only to be used by locals.
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