So we left Kierans parents and the luxury hotel on the 16th of October, + headed off to the Why Not Hostel, where we met one of the owners (hey Peter!) and piece by piece passed all our stuff through an outside window. We’ll do a video soon and show you the place properly, but for now it’s suffice to say the hostel is amazing and everyone who owns and works in the place is fantastic. We’ve had a good few nights drinking here (including random vodka shot nights and a halloween party), and they have a projector hooked up downstairs for movies.
Missing the point though, the reason we’re on extended break here is down to paperwork for Russian and Kazakhstan visas. We got in touch with all the right people within the first week, and because they’re not exactly normal visa requests, we have since then been waiting. Currently (02.11.2012) we are still waiting on business invites for Kazakhstan, but they should be sorted after the weekend and we can start the processing, which will take up to two weeks, plus a week getting our passports back, and then a final week getting extensions on our Ukraine visas.
It’s going to take a long time and we’re sorry for this apparent holiday, we assure you it’s not. We’re living off cheap pasta to cut down costs, and are not leaving the hostel except to shop. Fortunately for us the hostel staff are cool people and throw some good nights, otherwise we’d be going mad. It’s not a holiday, and we’re desperate to get back on the road, especially seeing as the weather is getting worse daily and we’re losing potential good walking weather.
On lighter notes, we enjoyed our 200th day on borderwalk! We got in touch with some friends back home and organised what we think is a contender for the worlds longest distance drinking game, between South Wales and Kiev via Skype (hey Bethan, Sarah and Lottie!). We almost included Nigeria but unfortunately our friend couldn’t get reliable internet (hey Khadijah, sorry you missed out!).
During a few of the nights drinking in the hostel we were introduced to Ukrainian ‘salo’, which if you search you will find is literally animal fat mixed with garlic and herbs, served on dark bread with Russian mustard. It is incredible how much it helps you drink, and Arjun quite likes the taste.
We enjoyed a hostel halloween party which we did on an absolute budget (face paint that cost pennies), where we met various people from all over the world who turned up, including a guy from Wales who worked in Kierans local town!
And finally, the other day we watched 007 Quantum of Solace in preparation for 007 Skyfall, which came out on the 1st of November in Ukraine. As we were leaving the hostel to go to the cinema, we got into a bit of banter about how amazing it was that we were actually going outside (we really are saving as much money as possible!), only to find out that all the cinemas in Ukraine dub films in Ukrainian. A little upset, we went to find out for ourselves, and it was true. So we still haven’t seen Skyfall, no spoilers please.
Hopefully we can get the visa processes started from the start of next week, in which case we should be back on the road in about four weeks. A long time we know, but it really is out of our hands. We apologise, and really are eager to get started again.