As for me and my house we will serve the Lord....

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Humps, bumps, holes and what there are how many? part 2

many roads in Ukraine are more patches than road
( read part one first!)

We drove on, finding a shino-montage at 7 am near Uman, but no one came out when Garry knocked, even though the sign read  24 hours,  so he gave up and we moved on. He found another half an hour later and got both rims pounded out and the one tire put back on the rim, and back on the car, while Garry wound the spare back up under the car.

At this point my camera battery went dead, so no photos of the exciting end of our trip!

At 10:30 we found lunch when Garry had to refuel- more delish hotdogs! This pair was heavy on the spicy mustard compared to the ones the day before, but just as tasty, as were the nacho chips he found at this gas station, which were as close to Doritos as I have tasted here.

really it was more like brunch at 10:30
Yes these are the first ones from Monday's photos -
but they looked exactly the same!

\We continued on, driving north toward Kiev, the GPS had decided on a different route than the one I had printed from google maps which was more directly west, but Gary was happy with the smooth four lane highway as we got on the highway toward Liev .... so we continued on. There were storks with babies in nests in villages as we traveled along (really sorry the camera died- maybe on the trip back I can get a good photo.) There was an exciting moment when a babushka crossing not quite in the crosswalk on the highway, which involved brakes squealing and swerving when we saw her- it was not that close, but scary none the less for all involved.) A few of the crosswalks had stoplights for the pedestrians to activate, and we saw one place where they could walk over the highway, but I cannot understand why they do not have more of either for people to use to get to the other side of their village that the highway was built through. There was less farmland as we got further along in the day and then we got into more mountainous areas, as we approached the Carpathian region. The houses and cows and cropping here really make you think Heidi and the Alps.

We were near Liev at two o'clock and the GPS sent us... across some peaks and valleys that were tourist-view worthy, but not recently maintained, in its effort to get us to Polyana. Dinner was scheduled for six pm and it seemed we would make it, even if 2 1/2 hours had grown close to four as the GPS led us up and down roads that would make great truck commercials. Garry expertly swerved to avoid bad potholes, as we bounced slowly through the really bad sections of broken-down roads. We drove though mountain villages with really bad roads, saw people out making hay, cutting it with scythes, piling it with wooden rakes onto tall slim piles formed on stakes to dry. We saw dry loose hay piled into wagons driven by teams of horses, rotor-tillers, Ladas and even trucks going home.... we saw cows wandering loose, unattended near the road, some were even looked like Brown Swiss and were even wearing cowbells as they walked around eating grass on the side of the village road, or just standing in the middle of it.
 Garry stopped at an ABC store and bought some ice cream bars around 5:30 pm- the time the GPS had told us for hours we'd be at our destination.  We were not...yet there, but close. We had been on the phone with Daryl and told him we'd arrive soon, they were holding dinner until 6:30 since one of the buses people were on from either the train or plane from Liev had not arrived yet either.

About six o'clock we drove down a gravel path close to our destination, but the road disappeared on the GPS, so we turned around, the third time by he asked the guys working in their driveway about how to get to Polyana and when he said we were looking for a hotel, they said there was no hotel there, we must want the other one. Interestingly, one guy was concerned that Garry was using Russian to communicate, but decided we must be Slovakian so it was OK. ( You may know that Western Ukraine uses the Ukrainian language instead of the Russian spoken widely in the east. )That was when they helped us find the other Polyana in their oblast, but not their region on the GPS. Garry told them were were from Ka-na-da (if you say Canada they don't know what you mean) but it took two tries pronouncing it in Russian before one guy realized he had met some real foreigners.

 At first Garry thought the right Polyana was 20 minutes away, but then it said was an hour and twenty minutes... so he had me phone Daryl to say we'd be a while. The as he sped through villages and down winding mountain paths (once he doubted aloud that it was a road the GPS had us on, but then he remembered that a marshutka (minibus) had come out of it as we entered it) I realized it was a shame that we had gone to the wrong Polyana, because I needed to pee. I asked how long the GPS was saying it would hour and 18 minutes... we had been driving for a least 30 minutes since leaving the nice guys, so I asked for a short stop when he found suitable bushes.

 Finally, after taking a winding road which gave us a real scare when he rounded one corner and discovered a half washed away pavement that had collapsed down the mountain at some point in time... yeah, we kept following the GPS anyway (later I found out the buses had gone on the same road) we found the town Daryl had said was closeby, and then the right Polyana, or Pole-ya-na, as it is pronounced. 

view from our room
The hotel was easy to find once we found the right town, so we met everyone, and had a late dinner afterwards. It turns out there are 12 Polyanas listed in the GPS and it only lists the oblast, so we had a 50/50 chance of getting the correct place. Too bad we weren't more lucky, we could have had our dinner hot!

We will be here until Saturday morning for the conference, so look for the exciting details of our trip back to the farm. Garry hopes to buy a cowbell as a souvenir, after seeing so many yesterday.

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