Its thrusday night, we have not received a call for work… Chernobyl scrolls across the screen on the tv for shows to watch.

“Hey wanna go check out Ukraine?”

Anyways, we have now booked a ferry for the wagon and I am off and running to get all packed up. We have a relatively uneventful drive north and stay just south of port for the night. The next day we pull up to port and get started on customs procedures, out vehicle is not in the system. This instantly kills an hour of our time as they try to sort it, the main issue is that out rego plate have only 7 letters and no numbers so the system has issues pulling it up. With all that sorted we head through security and into the parking area, it is packed, packed I tell you. Trucks everywhere. We go hand in our passports and get all of our paperwork for boarding.


With a few hours to kill we pull out chairs and enjoy some tea and cookies while a few more vehicles pull in, a total of 11, yet the ship will carry over 100 trucks. Loading takes a few hours and we get called down to the dock to load the wagon. Woohoo!! Except back in our room, one of the front desk ladies comes and says the police want to see you, mind you this is after an argument over covid vaccine, they say we need 2 weeks from our last vaccine but Ukraine’s official website doesn’t mention this. A grey area for sure but technically we are in the right, worrying we are going to have issues we walk to the police station and meet the officers working, absolutely friendliest bunch of customs officers we have met, they nee dour residency cards, and nothing more. That’s it, the gate is up and the ship pulls away from port at 2am.

We will spend the next 25 hours crossing the black sea, and with the bar open we meet a group a friendly Ukrainians who had just finished pedaling around turkey. A few beers and laughs later we all head for dinner. We were very lucky to meet them as they helped us a ton in the customs area as we got off the ship as it was all very poorly marked.

This ship pulls into port at 7am and it feels like we have stepped back in time, the sky is grey, the clouds low and there is old soviet buildings and abandoned equipment along the shores. Now to wait for the trucks to clear a path for us to escape.

3 hours later we get to the gate of the port and are allowed to leave. We motor into Odessa and do our standard issue work of getting sim cards, some beer and finding a place on the beach for a drink. What a great start to the trip.


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