The crossing from the Ukraine to russia was great we traveled on the ferry from Kurch to Russia and onto Dagastan it cost about £15 , we were quite worried about what we would encounter when we got there , all we found was great people there was very little traffic at this boarder so this is the way to go , they even gave us our own girl to help us fill in all the forms , we didnt actualy know we were heading for Dagastan at the time we just new it was Russia , the first day saw us riding through a great big delta area so many river crossing we cannot remember ,we found a room by a truck stop and were glad of a good nights sleep , (roads sofar are good ) next day we rode a great open plain for about 400 mile again good tarmac, a long day saw us camping in a field with a good army boil in the bag meal in us , a quick check of oil levels on the bike and a sound nights sleep.

Up early and off to the near by village for a quite coffie , or so we thought !the coffie shop owner was a russian Dell Boy and had phoned the media , we came out to all the local reporters and photogrophers ,wanting pic`s and interviews , not being used to fame our minds were not in gear ,,,,,,,

Back to the real world , which means YES YOU GUEST IT 10 clicks down the road getting reamed by the police AGAIN

After we settled down for a long ride over what can only be described as russian steppe, about 420 clicks down the same main road it ended , they just hadn`t built the last section , so a wild camp outside the village and attack the dirt track first thing in the morning.

The dirt lasted about 40k and i loved every minute of it (later found out my bike was shit on the soft stuff though)

early afternoon saw is in Astrakhan and a posh hotel so we could register our visas.

we planned on staying in the city longer but being conference session our second hotel room fell through,,,, 22clicks out of town we stopped for a cold drink and met zulafia who worked in the shop, she spoke good english and informed us it was also a road house and we were only 40k from the kazakhstan border , so that was us sorted we stocked up with food had a shower put the bikes round the back and gave them a wash ,,,, then just relaxed and watched the traffic go by (drank beer)

zula supplied us with as much information as she could find out (thanks Zula)

for the first time i felt we were properly ready for a border crossing