Hmm, just to make double sure that my foot knows who is boss I hiked another 15+ km up another mountain to a random and rather tiny lake in these wild Ukranian mountains. Actually, after such a long uphill treck it seemed more like a puddle. A very cold yet very satisfying puddle.
There were a few Ukranian tourists kicking around up there who were quite suprised to see two English folk hanging around.
Being the MAN that I am, I decided I would go for a little dip! It was rather cold but not too cold for an English man a few of the Ukranians tried to take a dip but it was short lived and they only lasted about a minute.
Amongst the brief bathers was a delightfully proud Ukranian beauty. She had no shame, at all and after seeing me splashing around in these waters, she decided to bare all and join me in the water. Unfortunatley… She didnt last long.
After my paddle we headed back down the mountain for some potato pancakes and cvas – dirty fermented bread version of coke. Same delightful treat you can get in Russia, Poland etc
Our host is pretty awesome, she just demands things and people seem to do it, i..e. Our dinner which was shipped in from some hotel up the road.
After a much deserved dinner we started our long 300km journey back to Khmelnytsky (our hosts home town) this is an extra long and dangerous journey when combined with road cows, and huge pot holes which need to be avoided at high speed. The darkness added to the fun!
During our journey back I had 6 interesting strangers sat beside me on the back seat.
1. Drunk man going to the next village, I managed to comprehend and join in the the conversation, albeit with a single word.
2. An old religious woman with a bag of collected flowers and herbs who dished out some panflet on churches.
3. A couple of young girls who our host invited into the car after asking directions for the pharmacy in a random town.
4. A woman who only lasted 30 seconds and was removed after trying to bring a stray along for the ride.
5. A genuine run of the will hitchiker who was going all the way to our final destination. We enjoyed a rather nice chat about male life.
Its a little wild out here, but it just seems more friendly and hospitable than Russia so far.