Remember when I crossed into Ukraine and said that there was an EU border patrol official there who was from Poland and spoke English? He was extremely interested in my bicycle touring adventures and he helped me communicate with the border officials in Moldova and Ukraine.
Well, three days after entering Ukraine, I was passed by a small Land Rover with EU markings on its side. When the car pulled to a stop in front of me, I prepared myself for the worst. But when I saw who was in the car, I smiled. It was my EU friend (Christoph (I think that was his name)) from the border of Transnistria/Moldova/Ukraine. He and two of his co-workers were in the car and they got out to speak with me about my trip, take photos with my bicycle and wish me good luck.
The men could hardly believe I was riding my bicycle across Ukraine in the wintertime… and they were even more shocked when I told them I had been camping in my tent for the last two nights. I did fear that telling this might get me in some kind of trouble, but they didn’t seem to care. They were really, really nice… and if it had been warmer and the circumstances were different, I would have enjoyed spending some more time with these three men.
Instead, the men each shook my gloved hand, got back in their vehicle and powered their way up the long, dirt road in front of us. I followed the vehicle on my bike, but by the time I reached the top of the dirt road we had both just climbed, the Land Rover was long gone and I was on my own once again in freezing cold Ukraine.