Friday, July 2, 2010

Homeward Bound

Bron and Ky are on their way home or at least we know they were in the airport in Boryspol  by 9:30 this morning.  Their train was over 30 minutes late but Kostia got them to the airport in record time.  Hillary Clinton is in Kyiv today so traffic will be fouled up all day but they must not have had too many roads blocked off yet.  Technically the plane leaves for NY at a little after 11:00 this morning, so even with only 90 minutes they will be OK. . . I hope.

Bronwyn was antsy to get home.  She missed her husband, of course, but she is also her mother's daughter and if the Regina skyline is below the horizon, she is too far from home.  But she says she will come back again.  Ky could have stayed all summer but has some serious dissertation stuff to have complete by early September.  Tanya was all for her to pack her next summer's work and live here for the summer next year, communicating by internet.

Just before getting on the train.
 We put the girls on the train to Kyiv in Simferopol yesterday at 4:15 and were home by 11:45.  If you add the 2 1/2 hours from Alupta to Simferopol, it took 10 hours to drive the 600 km each way.  Bad roads in places (mostly near home), heavy traffic, many villages with 60 km speed limits and many many trucks loaded to the gunwales and traveling as slow as 50 on the good stretches.

Our trip home was not without incident.  After sitting for a week, the battery was dead.  The hotel owner jury-rigged a set of jumper cables from electric cable and had us going in no time.  The girls gave me what for for not having a set of jumper cables.  What kind of Saskatchewan farm boy was I?  THEY each have a set in THEIR cars.  And coming in the week earlier, we got a batch of bad gas and the engine light was on when we arrived indicating fouled plugs.  On the way out I kept the engine revs up and by the time we got to Simferopol, the carbon was burned off.
I forgot to get more cash in Simferopol so we headed out with 70 hrivnas and not enough gas to get home.  Not smart.  Bank machines are where you find them and using credit cards at filling stations is problematic.  Tanya finally spotted a bankomat by a highway restaurant in a little village and we filled up in Krivii Rih, just 65 km from home.  We might have made it, coasting on fumes but . . .

I hope the girls' trip home is without incident.

We had a great time and it was so good to see them.  They can write about their adventures as it is their story to tell.


  1. Great that you had two of your girls/women visit you. The visit was too short, I'm sure. (They could have been there for six months, and the visit would still have been too short.)

    Don't leave home without a full tank of gas and booster cables. Didn't you learn anything out here in the wide open, unpopulated spaces? Sheesh!

  2. Rob-bear,

    My father is absolutely famous for trying to get where he's going on fumes. In my lifetime, no less than three times did we run out of gas, and no less than twenty times did we cut it close.

    Dad, recall the time the Zielke family rescued us? Or going out to Uncle Deans place? Old habits die hard. But, I still love you.


  3. Since they put computers in cars that tell you how many km until empty, I have never run out of gas. I have coasted into service stations on fumes many times, I will admit.
    In my life I have driven maybe 1 million km. At 12 l/ 100 km you can figure how many l of gas, then at 60 litres per fill, how many fills and at 10 minutes per fill how many hours of my life I have spent at gas stations. I hate wasting so much time if the tank isn't really EMPTY.

  4. Yes, and add all that up and do you get the amount of time you've walked to gas stations holding jery cans?

    The only reason this annoys me so much is I find myself doing it now. And sooner or later I will run out of luck.

  5. That's about 333 hours at gas stations. Or 8 weeks if you worked full time at the gas station at 40 hrs per week. Someone had to do the math.


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