Day 200 | Friday September 30
200 days on the road today, it’s already a long time and I’m probably not even halfway down. What an amazing adventure it is already. I saw so many places, learned new stuff and met crazy amounts of people. And I want to thank them as without the help I’m getting from them I wouldn’t be so far.
I started this day with a goodbye breakfast with Natalia. Now at a nice Italian restaurant with charger right in front of the door, perfect. I thanked her big time as she really did a lot for me and treated me like a king.
To go more south towards Turkey I had to go a bit west throuh Moldova. Veronika knew a nice hotel who wanted to help me out. But than I had to enter Moldova first and this was a bit more complicated as expected. Somehow I thought the country was part of the EU but this was definitely not the case. At the border there were some complicated processes and it took a bit before I was allowed. About 50 kilometers in there was another border patrol, pretty strange as it was in the middle of the country. Again they inspected my car and I needed to come inside to fill out a form. It was completely in Russian language but the officer “could help me with this” wink wink. I tried to do it myself but it was not possible. Anyway the problem was I had no money with me. In my luggage I had some Russian money left and luckily the guy accepted this.I thought I was there now but only 10 kilometers later another inspection on the road. Again they cleared the car and they saw the 4 boxes of Dopper’s I have with me. The officer said this was commercial stuff and I needed to pay import costs for it, right in the middle of the country. Yeah right. And it was not a small fee, he asked 40% of the value. I was a fed up with this and called Sasha, a journalist who would meet me later today. I gave the phone to the officer, they talked for a few minutes and he would let me go. Good stuff.
I arrived at Villa Drago, a stunning complex with swimming pool and everything. It felt very western and according to Sasha, one of the workers it was owned by Inga who lived in England for a while. The complex was very modern and just at the end of the season so most people where gone. With Sasha I talked a lot and he treated me with some hamburgers. He explained that there is an autonomous region in Moldova with their own laws and border checks, that declared the reason why I was stopped multiple times.
Sasha, the journalist came by and interviewed me for national television. He told me there is not so much happening in the country so a story like this is very interesting for them. It will be aired on Tuesday and I will post the link in the blog.