Thursday, July 13, 2006

OOPS, Another Wrong Turn

And I quote " After surviving such places as Central Asia, the Caucasus and Afghanistan, we decided we were invinsible! Reckoning that suddenly altering our plan to enter the Ukraine, instead of crossing the border into Turkey, without guide book or plan would only be a minor struggle, easily over come. Easily! Never the less spending a record breaking 48 hours on a rat infested, rusty, half sunken cargo ship (it was actually really nice though, haha) across the Black Sea was still a little intimidating!" That was Ammon being the narrator to our trip right as we decided to actually do it!
Yes, it was the calling of the sea (let's just hope the next chapter isn't "Under the Sea") that took us across the Black Sea to Ukraine! It all started that sunny day in the park and sitting on the shore of the sea. Ammon approached us with his newest options. He gave us the choice between plan A or B. You wouldn't believe but we ended up taking plan D! Plan D was basically "Forget about plan A and B and take a completely different route". Those are the times that everything starts to spice up. Most of our extreme changes and altering of plans are drastic and decided upon very quickly (I'm still trying to decide how much thought we really put into doing it before hand. Pretty much a leap before you think really, hah!). We were in Batumi trying to figure out how the heck to catch one of the cargo boats going over that way. We got stuck there are few days longer than we'd have liked because they are so unhelpful and just say "Come back next week". You'd think it would be a quick go down to the office, ask for a ticket, buy the ticket and make sure you catch the right boat....No no no. It gets a lot more complicated when you're trying to work with a bunch of different people who barely speak english, aren't willing to put in the extra effort to decode your sign language and either they plain old don't have a clue about a boat (even though they're working for the company) or you get 10 different answers of dates, times and places. Therefore you're left hanging not knowing if a boat even exists!! Geez mareez! A couple days later Ammon went asking around again and came back very...very pissed and frustrated. I think it would be best if I didn't quote the things he said then, hahah. They were saying that the boat didn't even leave from Batumi but from another port town 1 1/2 hours up the road in Poti. It didn't take long before I was in my room packing everything then basically running down the street to the Avtovaksal (bus station) to catch a bus to Poti.
The next day we went to go find the office where we could buy tickets. The first thing they told us when we asked was "Come back in one week" but then they changed there mind and sold us a ticket for the one going at 1:00p.m. Hahah, it was 11:00 a.m. when we were there so we had to rush back to the hotel, throw everything into the bags as fast as possible, then bolted back to the office. We made good time! We got a bus to the dock where our ship was anchored. So exciting!! It's kind of funny because we ended up sitting on the boat for 8 hours before it even left. They were loading all of the cargo trains and trucks etc. It was so cool to watch the tiny tug boats help push us out to sea...They're adorable! The two sunsets that we saw were beautiful. The rooms were really rather big, clean and livable, we got 3 meals a day(those are both nice changes, hahah) and the crew was extremely nice ( a change from Georgia, haha) like a cruise! I can't get over how much I love boat rides. Always reminding me of Titanic (isn't that supposed to make me NOT like them!?!? haha). Bre and I are such dorks and still go "I'm flying Jack!" and "I'll never forget you!" and all the other quotes "I see the statue of Liberty already. Very small of course!" Lol. Bre and I got to go below deck and play ping pong with the crew ( all Ukrainian)and poke around with all the stuff in the "employees only" sections that were "forbidden", muahhah. The crew even had a pool! I really had a blast considering I was stuck on a boat for 2 days with not many places to go. I was really sad to leave all my newest friends. I had great first impressions of Ukraine.
When we arrived we had planned to stay in Odessa but instead hopped an overnight train to Kiev, 10 mins. later! Everything has been really boom boom boom, pronto lately. I love the trains and am so excited to be using them again. We haven't ridden one since India. The sunset that night was one of the best so far! Brilliant orange, pink and purple over the endless fields of sun flowers. Now I know why man was inspired to make floresent colors. In the middle of the night I woke up thinking "Oh great! That's it. The boat's going to sink this time" because of all the rocking and noise on the train. Hahah, then I leaned over and saw the trees and said out loud to myself half asleep...."Trees?!?! That's not water. Oh're on a train Savannah not a boat!" I miss my boat!!!
Now we are in Kiev and leaving to another city tonight on another overnight train. We have to get my new passport but it'll take 3 weeks and it's too expensive here to be sitting and waiting. We'll be in Warsaw, Poland really soon. I'm really really liking Ukraine and wish we could stay longer!! Oh yes and poor Ammon is druelling over all of the long legged girls in their short, short skirts and blond hair. He says "I'm going to have to poke my eyes out to stay sain!!" I think I'm going to have to too with all these blue eyes, blond haired beauties (obviously the guys) walking around in no shirts. "Hubba hubba, meow meow, woof woof!" There are lots of cathedrals here in Kiev and I love the style and architecture. I could listen to the chanting and music in them all day long....... I have to admit though, I'm not the biggest fan of their paintings. I guess you'll hear from us in Poland soon.


At 10:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


Maybe you should remind Ammon that a huge chunk of those lovely ladies are sex trade workers - that should turn him off and calm him down reeeeal quick! However, being the super researcher he is I imagine he already knows that one of the biggest segments of the economy over there is the sex trade (ugh). Which reminds me, be very carefully about hanging out with men (and women) you don't know, sex trafficking is a huge industry and you would be surprised how easily someone you have just met can "sell" you to someone else. Yes, yes I know I am paranoid, if worrying was a career I'd be set!

Alright, time to get back to packing, I only have a few days to get everything organized for Brazil. Say hi to everyone for me.

Take care,

At 6:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Easy on the boys Grace! I can't handle grinding my teeth anymore.



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