28th May - 8th June 2003
We left Asha mid-afternoon, cycled just a few kilometers and then camped. After all the stress over the visa registration it was good to be back on the road and free to stop when we wanted to stop, rest when we wanted to rest and eat when we wanted to eat. The mosquitos troubled us a bit but we found that an open fire drove most of them away.
The Urals were very green, the sun shone and the roads were smooth and quiet. We had a brief spell on the main Ufa - Chelabinsk road which was horrible, too narrow and too busy, but apart from that the roads seemed perfect for cycling. Here is Ju roasting chicken legs for our dinner one evening:
Things went awry one day when what the map showed as a "hard cover road" turned out to look like this:
To make matters worse it was pouring with rain and the mud clogged our wheels. We ended up camping in the forest nearby and continuing the next day when the rain had stopped. The other problem we had is that each day the mosquitos got worse. The campsites were idyllic, often in meadows of globe flowers, but they were always damp and there were always hordes of mosquitos. (At least we thought they were hordes at the time - it was much worse in the Siberian taiga)
But I like to remember the Urals as blue skies, undulating green hills and quiet roads:
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