Bike shipment

Trip Start Jan 05, 2010
1
4
55
Trip End Feb 19, 2010


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Flag of Poland  , Baltic Coast,
Saturday, November 14, 2009

When we were leaving Bydgoszcz at 6 in the morning I didn't suspect that our long planned 'adventure’ could start so early. We were supposed to be in Gdansk around 9-10 o’clock. This gave us about 4 hours what seemed more than enough to cover a 165 km (100 miles) distance. With the bikes on the back of the truck we left Bydgoszcz on time. The journey was going smoothly until we entered a motorway. After 10 to 15 minutes the car suddenly stalled and we found ourselves on the hard shoulder in the middle of nowhere. The light on the dashboard lit up. To me it looked to like a diesel fuel heater – we had the same looking one in our 4x4 Isuzu in the Mongolian Rally, but Vlad and later on a friend of his, who came over in a rescue said it had to be an engine failure. Me and Vlad were trying to figure out what might be wrong with the car and when I asked about the fuel, he said we had been on ‘reserve’ for the last 50 kms. Fortunately enough an earlier introduced friend of Vlad’s was in the vicinity. After a phone-call he visited a nearby petrol station, brought us 10 litres of diesel fuel and after a couple of engine cranks the car miraculously started. I hope that everyone will remember to put petrol in their bikes in America :). I will carry 36 litres which is going to give me about a 600 kms range. We arrived at the harbour around 11 o’clock and were very busy until sth. like 3pm with placing our bikes in the container. In the meantime, however Rogal managed to try his luck at pulling virtually any girl in the customs department :) The one with a pierced tongue was indeed quite cute. I can’t wait till we get to Argentina :). I already gave him several pick up phrases in Spanish :) After the work had been done we went for a dinner at a local bar. The food was pretty bad and the beer foul and didn’t have any gas in it. I guess the owners wanted us to get used to S. American standards before we even got there. After the dinner everyone had to get back to their homes and I stayed in Gdansk for the night. I had to get to the airport some time at night, sleep over there and get on the plane at 6 in the morning. I passed the time walking through the city, in McD surfing the web, then decided to walk to the airport which was 15 kms away. It took me about 3 hours to get there. After a couple of beers at the local café and a football match between Man United and Chelsea on the tely I found myself a nice spot on the top floor of the building and went to sleep like a good clochard would have done. My night was spoiled by some aggravating border guards who wanted me to move over and were checking if I weren’t homeless. They had to be explained that the airport and the passengers are not for them but it works other way round. It seems like some things haven’t yet changed in Poland despite of over 20 years from the political transformation. Even the lowest rank polish enforcement officials seem to think that their role is not to serve the community but to execute their so called ‘powers’ on any possible occasion (to make them feel better I suppose). After a short conversation I found myself another spot to sleep because the one I was sleeping in was surrounded with a piece of rope, which apparently meant: "not for sleeping" – how could I not know that?:) The rest of the journey went without any problems, but I had to leave my disc lock behind because it was too heavy and dangerous to be kept in the hand luggage.
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