Vladivostock, this is the end my beautifull friend Ducati Multistrada
Khabarovsk/Vladivostock : last stage of my trip. During this journey, people always asked me where I was going like that, with all my bags ? I answered so many times « Vladivostock » that today, this is the end my beautifull frend : Vladivostock.
Khabarovsk from I start this last stage is really a nice town. At day time, it now looks like San Francico with its sloping streets and its nice houses. It was Sunday, it was market day. You could feel that the people were living a little. They had been working hard the whole week, it was also time to go to the Datcha to take advantage of sunny weather before winter comes. I love this carefree attitude moments. Like for me, today, nothing matters.
It is the end of my beautifull trip. I can’t stop zooming on the GPS to see the complete journey I made and I can’t believe it. 12.000 kilometers in 19 days, it is huge. Quarter of the way to go round Earth. Landscapes, people, adventure. I stopped one last time in a village to exchange with old people selling their fruits and cabbage. I spoke with the russian grandmas. I still do not speak russian but I don’t need it to understand that they can’t believe I am coming from Moscou. And when a grandma shows you a clove of garlic and puts her hand on her heart, it does’nt mean that she wants to mary you. This is just to make you understand that it is good for your heart.
I bought plums and took garlic with me. I will make a « Tchernobyl style salad » when back at home. I am just kidding, we’ve all took advantage of this rainbow. I sat off again on the road. Compared to Moscow, everything is different here. For me and from what I saw (I don’t pretend to know Russia) there are three Russias. The Moscow one, very noisy, fearlessly. Vladivostock area very close to Japan, only 2.000 kilometers, a city towards the sea. And the third Russia in between this two first, with the old Ladas and the old fashioned but lovely russian style.
On the way to Vladivostock, I can’t see anymore Ladas. Only second hand japanese cars are being imported here. Nadia, Chaser, Top Box, only strange names. I find it difficult and dangerous driving in Russia, but with a right hand driving car it is just suicid. When you follow a car which is behind a truck, you can clearly see the passenger giving instructions to the driver, wether he can pass or not he truck. There are advantage and inconvenience. If your wife is the passenger, the best is to wait that you have parked your car before you may think about overcoming. If your mother in law is the passenger, don’t listen to her. Overcome as much as you can, hopefully, her pacemaker will break down. If your baby is at the front, in his special sit on the reverse side of the road, you’d better let a blind personn drive, it is less risky.
This is funny, but I still can feel nostalgia. I am both happy to finish and I feel nostalgia. Nevertheless, I can tell you it’s been sometimes very hard here in Russia on a personnal point of view. Not being at home with my kids for the start of a new school year, see them having their first lesson of motorbike on a track …
But still, I had Spleen arriving in Vladivostock. I slowed down a little bit with the Ducati Multistrada, I removed my earplugs, and « opened » my nose. I looked really stupid, but I didn’t care. I started to look, ear and breathe as much as I could. More, it would have been a robbery and I would have been caught at the customs for importing illegal good : happiness !
Moscow/Vladivostock, I don’t pretend to be a hero but I pretend that I have had really nice time. And I will miss everything here in Russia. The people, fabulous. The holes in the tarmac. The long Transsiberain straight lines, the landscapes, sometimes monotonuous, sometimes incredible. The way people drive. I am not a travel agency, I don’t need to sell you anything, but about Russia, I take the whole lot.
I dragged my feet to Vladivostock and it was like in a dream. A wave of emotion came over me.
There was a light drizzle, some fog around, I almost expected a submarine coming out of the bay. At the hotel, I removed my bags and gave a huge kiss to the Multistrada. I promiss this is the truth. I am not Valentino Rossi to kiss my bike, I did not win anything but we trusted each other with the Multistrada. At the beginning, she told me, « my name is Multistrada Enduro ». I said « ok, we will see ». I took here on destroyed roads, off road, and she never ever disappointed me. She gave me confort, trust, and a huge personality.
By my side, I confess that I abused the trust of the Multistrada. I am going to tell you something I did not to anybody, even Ducati. The Bike has now 21.441 kilometers in total. At around 14.000 km, I saw a message on the dashboard saying « oil servivce » which meant that oil had to be replaced. I had no time for it. There were no motorcycle workshop on my way. Maybe if I could have find oil but with poor quality. So I decidde to continue like that. In total, more 11.997 without oil change ! I added only 200 ml oil in the engine at half way. I set up once the rear chain tension, and changed the tire. That’s all. I really love its frame, its fabulous engine and its confort for that kind of trip. She became my best friend during this journey. A chinese mortorcylcle would have not survived event one day on those destroyed and bumpy road. So, thank you Mutistrada, and thank you Ducati Ducati for this unforgettable experience. Good luck for the next riders to keep on this nice story of Globetrotter 90.