BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Sunday, 8 April 2012

A little bit closer with baby steps.


Well we had some good news and some progress this week. The side trip to Ukraine with my sister has been sorted, booked, and a deposit paid. I've started digging out old info and letters of Dad's and it makes for very interesting reading. The things that he and millions of others suffered during a dark time in Ukraine's history should never be allowed to happen again. I have a large box of letters, all written in Ukrainian, but they do have names and addresses on them, so there is a start. I had three or four Aunties in Ukraine that I never met, so I'm guessing I have a heap of cousins to try and find. It will be a challenge, but we'll give it a go.

The whole visa drama looks like a problem created by misinformation. We were told we HAD to apply for a visa from Australia and the visa would only be good for three months from the date of issue. As we are leaving in May and won’t be in Ukraine and Russia until October that presents bit of a problem. Contact with both embassies proved very fruitful with extremely helpful people explaining I could apply for visas from a Ukrainian embassy anywhere in the world. Problem solved. As always, it's best to go straight to the source and ignore the so called "experts".

On the bike front it's not going so well. I’m pretty nervous about shelling out big bucks for a bike unseen on the other side of the planet. I’ve tried to buy three so far, but with the time difference and emailing back and forth, someone else snapped them up before I could close the deal. I’m sure the guys in the UK are a bit nervous about some bloke in Australia wanting to buy their bike as well. I really want to get one before we arrive though as last thing Suzanne and Paige want to do on their holiday is go bike shopping. They’d enjoy that about as much as I enjoy handbag and shoe shopping.

So with 46 days to go before we fly out I’m heading back on the web to look for a bike. Wish me luck.

For those of you who have been asking, the kitchen renovation and new floors have stalled. The tiler should be here this week (thanks Dave) and the kitchen cabinets shouldn’t be far behind (thanks Chris and Wayne). The loft conversion is complete and it’s an awesome storage area. The team at Attix are great and I’m more than happy to recommend them. You can see them here:

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