In Never! Although, not quite Never Neverland...
Wednesday August 1, 2012 - 54.00574° N, 124.10904° E
Never, Amur Oblast
N 54 ° 00.574, E 124 °10.904
Wed Aug 1st 2012
8th day, 385 kms since Neryungri
Temperature rising today up to 36 degrees celsius (97F).
Very excited to say that I have completed tonight my journey cycling through the infamous M56 Lena Highway!
I can now revel in some serious asphalt!
990kms of it until I reach Chita, Zabaykalski Krai, on the M58 highway which was just completed in September 2010.
Before leaving Tynda, I thankfully got the help of yet another Tynda darojnik named "Kola" who welded back efficiently my Rolling Jack Ass centerstand on to my bike frame!
Then I was able to "enjoy" a nice and rough section of 166 kms of gravel road, (except for a fantastic 6km section of pure beautiful asphalt, built last year to ease a gnarly mountain pass), ate at a stalova/café ran by uzbeks, niched on top of a mountain pass, camped one night deep in the woods and treated myself to a gastinitse/"hotel" in Solov'yësk, on my 2d night where a georgian armenian ukrainian russian man named "leon" treated me to some wonderful homemade Georgian food!
On my way, I also continued to meet welcoming darojniks/road workers inviting me for tea, the intriguing italian hitchhiker Clem on his way from Magadan to Rome and countless Uzbek truck drivers trying the best they can to amend their broken trucks in order for them to return to their homeland and pick up their next valuable cargo of delicious uzbek fruits and vegetables and return to the Far Eastern Russian market...
Finally, I am very very happy to report that I continue to receive great support from the Darojnik/road builder community!
Indeed, tonight, I am once again invited to stay in a darojnik base, this one named "брус", mostly inhabited by 140 Tatar and Russian men, relocated in this base for 6 months from Naberezhnye Chelny, in Tatarstan, Kamaz homeland!
Pretty amazing base to say the least where I could experience a great banya, a tasty stalova, impeccable sleeping quarters, laundry facilities, a sport complex, incredible gravel making machines and above all this impressive 35 meters high German Benninghoven asphalt mixing plant which can put out 128 tons of asphalt per hour, definitely more than my heart can hold...
Talking of which, I now need to go get some sleep, so that I can enjoy some of that bling-bling asphalt tomorrow morning before the temperature rises again in the mid thirties (celsius)!