Hot Sand And Burnign Hearts

August 5th 7th

We have been riding through some kind of unrealistic, fog-like smog. It smells burnt. We do know of the forrest fires and I think:”This has to be over soon.” 150km out of Nischni Novgorod thick smoke is wafting across the street. I can stare into the mid-day’s sun with bare eyes and I recognize its corona through the smoke, like a sooted pane of glass. In my rear mirror I see Alexander’s KTM coming out of wafts of mist and it looks like the smoke is pursuing and swallowing him . There are a few burnt remains of trees on the roadside. Yet no fire is to be seen anywhere.

The smoke gets thicker and thicker and my eyes start to tear. Breathing gets harder, too. All the time we see fire trucks racing down the streets at top speed. For security reasons at some gas stations fire trucks with fire fighters have been stationed 4p.m. and I have the feeling the sun sets and it’s getting dark soon. We are looking for a camping ground next to some water and we find a little river. I afraid of getting caught off guard by the fire and I insist on a space near the main road. We are so exhausted, that we instantly fall asleep despite the noise of cars driving past. Next morning our bikes are covered by little flakes of ash, which also mesh with the morning dew on our tents. Close to Vladimir the smoke is the thickest. We decide to leave Russia quickly, even when it gets brighter around the Moscow area.

Posted 14 Aug 2010 by Andi