|I am woken in the wee small hours by something walking over my chest, with my hand inside the sleeping bag I punch the air violently ‘Kev’ there’s a mouse in the tent. A muffled half asleep voice ‘are you sure?’. I’m wide awake now shining the head torch ‘I’m sure’ I see not only is there a mouse but he has chewed another hole above the existing one as I placed a dry bag to stop the midges coming in. Kev too is now wide awake and two holes mean war, no more oh cute little mouse. Stark naked he chases the mouse round the eaves of the tent with a boot whilst I train the headtorch on it. It’s not long before Kev one, mouse nil. We sleep for what little is left of the night.
Next morning we attempt to start the bike by waiting till the full has warmed it and also place the stove under the sump to warm the oil. Kev wraps the rope round the rear wheel and with me at the controls we attempt to ‘bump’ start it. A few a tries proves this method will not work, back to plan B remove one battery and either charge this one or get someone back to bump start using the other.
Kev makes his now familar trudge up to the main road I pack as much as possible but leave the tent and airbed up. A car stops at the bottom by the time I realise and run down it has left. Time passes another car I’m up like a shot and run into Kev on the track he is with Alexander and Serge father and son, our heros. It seems it was harder to hitch than yesterday and the only reason they stopped was Kev had the same hat as Alexander. Kev originally thought this was putting some people off and had removed it a couple of times.
We start the bike fine and I suggest we blow the bead out on the tyre whilst they are here. It’s having none of it they disapear off to get a bigger pump, we start reassembling the bike, they return shortly with something not much more powerful than ours. We’ve had to shut her off again as shes getting too hot, so really want to get the rear tyre on whilst they are around. Removing the rear wheel Kev joins them in the car to find a tyre place I reassemble the luggage. They return this time with with goodies Kev stocked up on ice creams, bread, sausage and cheese and of course vodka which Kev had bought as a present to say thank you. Alexander promptly breaks the seal insiting on a toast to his new found friends. Kev tries to refuse as he wants to take the bike for a spin to charge it up enough for tomorrow. No is not an answer. Kev off loads some into mine for the second toast and luckily Serge who has remainded sober (the only Russian we have found to) passifies his father so we don’t have to do the third. Pleasantries over we finally wave goodbye to our friends who give us their phone number incase of problems tomorrow.
We mop up some vodka with bread, saus and cheese and in the fading light I clear up as much as I can when Kev goes for a quick spin to the charge the batteries.
Another eventful night we scare off the mice a couple of times but are woken early resulting in another chase. This ones a bit quicker and takes a bit longer but joins its mate outside they don’t get the hint.