Dave Mills Continental Drift Days 207-220.....Sitrep

 Day 9 of Zero to Hero.!

Firstly my apologies, I posted this blog a week ago but to the wrong page and to get it back to here has taken a small excercise in physics!!!  Not that anyone at all cares! 

Hello one and all and welcome to my life on Koh Tao.

Now I’ve been here a while and I have settled in I will try and bring you all up to date on what has been occurring!

  Koh Tao Location  

Koh Tao Location 

 Soooo, I’m currently on the island of Koh Tao which is situated in the Gulf of Thailand and is approximately due south of Bangkok (please see map right).  Tao (I can call it Tao now rather than Koh Tao, as I’ve been here a while and I am now hip & trendy enough to be able to do so), is the northern most island in a chain of islands which are ‘Koh Samui, Phangnan & Tao’. Samui is the southern most island and also the biggest; it is a very popular resort and offers everything that you can expect to experience in Thailand..it’s a beautifull place and very popular with tourists.

Phangnan is very famous worldwide for the ‘FullMoon and Halfmoon’ parties. These take place on the appropriate days each month and it are massive parties that go on all night on the beach and in the jungle (see video below). It’s a short boat ride from Samui over to Phangnan and (depending on which boat company you use), another 45 mins to get to Tao.

 Koh tao is the smallest of the 3 islands and also the furthest north. It is basically a divers island and for this reason, is why I am here. For those who dont know, my daughter came out to Koh Tao a few years ago with the aim of becoming a diving instructor...and having visited the islaland in order to visit her, I developed a massive pang of jealousy and really wanted to come and do it myself. As I started my trip around the world, I had it in my mind that I would pause here and learn to dive properly and maybe go down the instructor route, but my dads illness made me reconsider the imeadiate future and i decided to do it now rather than a bit later.

 I decided to use the same dive resort as my daughter had, as I knew the setup and one or two of the people who worked here. It is the biggest resort on the island and is called ‘Bans’; it produces the most amount of qualified divers per resort, than any other dive school in the world per year. I also sort of knew the guy who runs the ‘Dive Master’ program for Bans and he is an ex Paratrooper from the UK, so has a similarly warped and twisted mind as I do

  Bans Beach from...or ‘the office’  

Bans Beach from...or ‘the office’ 

So I have started the route towards becoming a diving instructor, but that point is way off in the distance yet and there is a lot to learn and plenty of experience needs to be gained. I am doing the PADI route to gain qualifications, which stands for ‘Professional Association of Diving Instructor’s’ and has a course structure laid out, in order to take you from novice all the way to cape & speedo’s wearing super hero, who can dive safely and professionally and impart the knowledge of their marvellousness onto others. The course structure is “Open Water Diver”, ‘Advanced Open Water’ ‘Rescue Diver’ and in koh tao these are each a 2 1/2 day course (in the UK and some other parts of the world it can take a long time to do one of these course due to weather conditions and open water locations safe enough to take novice divers into...on koh tao the conditions and environment are perfect all year round..hence why its ‘Dive Island’). Each of the first two course teaches you the basic skills you need to dive and then builds on them allowing you to dive deeper and safer.

 

I had completed my Open water and Advance on previous visits to Tao, so I did a skills review (practice my drills and equipment use) in the pool, then a few fun dives and then went into my Rescue divers course, where you learn how to deal with so emergencies that could occur whilst diving. It was a great couple of days and we were busy dealing with casualties on the boat, on the waters surface and under the waves. It helped that with me on the course were 3 guy from Israel who are all ex military and so once again share all of my mental deficiencies and idiosyncrasies! They are Kyle, Jonas and Bar and are all mid twenties and as fit as you like, so I’m constantly walking round sucking my gut in and trying (but failing miserably), not to be in the ‘fat at the back club’. However 3 better guys to go through the course with I could not have asked for and we do have some good laughs and share the common bond that exists between squaddies everywhere.

 So having completed my rescue course I could now begin the “Dive Master’ program, which takes you from a competent but inexperienced diver and turns you into someone who has mastered the art of diving and is beginning to use their skills to help qualified instructors teach people who are at the start of the process.

Life is great, the island is beautiful, I’m relaxed and happy...I am in paradise and have a tank of air strapped to my back...I’m with people who share a passion and have a similar outlook on life. Also Koh tao is part of the migratory route for whale sharks (bloody big ‘fisheys’) who if your lucky, you may get to see at some of the dive sites around the island....I must be lucky as I saw one within 30 seconds of jumping in the water on my first dive....should have bought a lottery ticket that day!! (See video below)

Onwards...... 

Dave Mills Continental Drift Days 205-207........(Day 1 of Zero to hero!).

Hello, welkomen, Bienvenu, Howdy, now then & Ayup.

 My Dad on the day he returned home...loves ya dad x

My Dad on the day he returned home...loves ya dad x

 

If Anyone has been reading this......anyone at all......you may have noticed a slight gap since the last time I wrote in the captains log. In my last writings I had arrived in Beijing and had survived having everyone and their dog trying to rip me off due to the obvious mug handle on the side of my head! 

  PUSB!  

PUSB! 

If you had been following my trip you will know my father had taken ill and I had made the decision to return to the UK, in order to assist in my dad coming out of hospital and settling back into life at home after having suffered a stroke. I have been back home for a month exactly and have seen my dad making great progress in his recovery and he is a credit to the human spirit and its ability to bounce back.  Whilst home I also managed to catch up with a lot of friends, watch my beloved Coventry City FC play a number of games in their persuit of world dominance, take a quick trip out to my pad in Portugal which incorporated a memorable night out with my next door neighbors and a birthdaying Irish fella....I also had a really big think about things!

   Portugal Posse..

 Portugal Posse..

 

Whilst I had been journeying across the european and Asian continents, I had made the decision that I wanted to become a diving instructor and basically live a peaceful life on beaches and below the waves. This came about from taking my daughter to Thailand  a few years ago, so she could do exactly that (I’m now following in my daughters footsteps!). I had decided I would do the training as part of this trip, once I’d pushed through China, Laos and Cambodia. However having been home I decided to slightly reverse things and go straight to Thailand...... for two reasons..1) I could get back to the UK quickly if things at home deemed it nessasary and 2) I could bounce to Laos etc when I needed to do border runs for a Visa and see all the ancient locations I have planned. 

SO!!!!! To cut a long story short, 3 days ago I flew back out to Thailand, landed in Bangkok, slept, then flew to island of Koh Tao where I am going to transform from ‘Zero to Hero’ and become a diving instructor, complete with ‘Ray Ban’s’ and sun tan!.

I liken this slight change in plans for my round the world jaunt, similar to what happened to Ted Simon during his around the world trip on a motorbike, as is immortalised in the book ‘Jupiters Travels’ (excellent book..a big influence on my expedition & also the ‘Long way round’ by Ewan Mcgreggor and the tit he went with!). Ted planned his journey to last 2 years then ended up spending 2 years living in a hippie commune in the states before cracking on again, taking 4 years in total!.

  Excellent Read!  

Excellent Read! 

Today was my first day back under the water and, as days go, it was a damm fine one. I did a skills review in the morning to brush up on my skills and drills (I’m already an advanced diver....sun tan, no shades!), then a 30 meter dive and a shallower one in the afternoon. In true fashion I excelled at being a biff....on the first dive, as I jumped in, I forgot to hold my weights belt and BCD (dive vest), which was pointed out by the instructor, then as I entered the water my left fin came off and nearly exited stage left!....In an attempt to rectify these mistakes on the second dive, I held my belt, BCD and made a clean entry but forgot my hand over my mask, which meant it was sat at 45 degrees across my face once I surfaced!!...“I may be at the ‘zero’ phase for some considerable time!!”

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However...within 5 minutes of being in the water on the first dive, we encountered a “Whale Shark”, so all thoughts of being a complete muppet vanished as that magnificent beast swam amongst the watching divers and gave everyone a truly amazing experience!!

 

Currently having problems posting pics and video but the link to the video of the whale shark is here  

 https://youtu.be/3bCyC_6Kuo0

 

Onwards.... 

 

Dave Mills Continental Drift. Days 200 - 204

   RIP TILEY!!

 RIP TILEY!!

My stay in Ulaanbaatar was ok but uneventful really. The beauty of Mongolia lies in the vast rolling openness of the country and not, in my humble opinion, the capital or any of its towns / cities. It has pretty much the same shops as most western cities and outside the centre you can find all manner of Branded and non-branded goods. One major downer that I suffered was finding I had lost my Tiley Hat!!! The green Tiley hat I have been wearing is a beautiful thing…it has a lifetime guarantee if damaged etc but this unfortunately does not cover it being left somewhere by a biff like myself. I THINK it may be somewhere in drug dealer blokes car but I’m not 100% sure. A new Tiley hat has gone to the number 1 spot on things to buy on my short return to home (also with that go boots and trousers as both are falling to pieces!).

I caught the night train from the capital out towards the border with china. It travels across the Gobie Desert which is a beauty to behold. It’s rolling plains stretch to the horizon with just some very low grass / vegetation as a slight covering. I watched the desert roll past for an hour until it got dark and then had a reasonable sleep. I did have to laugh at the Chinese guy on the top bunk opposite who was not afraid to let a good rip roaring fart go, even if he was in a packed carriage and I even had an urge to join in but the ‘iffy guts’ situation is still not 100% resolved and I didn’t want to risk it!.

The next morning we crossed the border after another 2 hours check on the Mongolian side before leaving the country; in comparison the checks on the Chinese side went …”passport please…thank you….enjoy your stay In China” an apart from electronic fingerprints, that was it!!

The border town on the Chinese side is Erlian or also known as Ernehot . I presume (but we know what presumption did), that it has grown purely because of the border crossing point and also the fact that it is a major point for palaeontology, with a major fossils location just outside the town. It’s not a big city at all and has been built on a grid system. You could walk one end of the city to the other in less than an hour and less than half our width wise. It is a bit ‘Stepford Wives’ in that its immaculate, the cars do not go above 20-25mph (which is a good job as EVERYONE just pulls out or turns without looking), and it seems everyone owns a shop! (Don’t forget this is in the middle of the Gobie desert).

The fossil area has been turned into ‘Dinosaurs Land’ and I am again presuming that when it opened they had very grand ideas of a themed park type affair that would attract thousands of visitors…unfortunately they may have forgotten that they are in the middle of the Gobie Desert and the only people there the locals and a train passing through every 2-3 days. I visited the park and enjoyed myself wandering the site; it has areas where they have uncovered many fossils and have left the pits open and built structures over them to preserve the finds. I enjoyed the place and would recommend that if you ever find yourself in the middle of the Gobie Desert and have a spare couple of hours on your hands that you need to fill before dying of thirst, then the Dinosaurs wonderland on the Chinese / Mongolian Border could help take your mind of impending doom!

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I looked for accomodation online before I left Mongolia and found a very cheap hotel right on the edge of the city. I wondered what it would be like as it was Uber cheap compared to those in the centre …17 minute walk away!...wen I got there it was fantastic, the hotel was excellent, the staff brilliant and I basically had the place to myself….it was top draw.

I caught the night sleeper bus the Beijing and it took just less than 12 hours; I arrived in the capital this morning whilst still dark and had no idea where I was. I also had no internet as the “great firewall of China’ is basically stopping 99% of every app I have on iPhone – iPad working. Now for those clever sods who are saying ‘well….You need a VPN which will allow you access to everything’……well I bloody well bought one and its still not bloody working.

I took 2 tuc tuc rides which both took me to the same places (which were closed), and had one minor disagreement with one of the drivers who wanted to charge me enough to retire with; luckily enough being fat and ugly sometimes works in your favour and when I told him to go forth and multiply etc, he seemed happy to do so!

I have done some exploring today and will hit the centre tomorrow before pushing onto the airport for an early flight back to Blighty on Saturday.

THIS IS NOT THE END of this trek by any means…family comes first and I have to go back to see my dad and help where I can …BUT it will return to Beijing in the near future and continue….and I ill have a new Tiley Hat!


Onwards.

Dave Mills Continental Drift Days 170-175

From Altai to Baikal…..(Part 1).

  Lake Baikal, Eastern Siberia  

Lake Baikal, Eastern Siberia 

After a great experience in Altai, it came to that time where I had  to move on again and it was at this point that the network of people who had colluded to get me to Altai in the first place, came together and started to sort the logistics of getting me back to Novocusnetz in order to push on to Irkutsk.

I have to Thank Natalia and Dimitri for the outstanding present that they gave me, of 2 handmade & painted wooden plaques (made by Natalia) …thank you guys xxx

So on the Sunday at approximately midday, I was collected from right outside the admin building of the camp at Mazherok, for a lift which had be organised for me by Mikail (Crazy mad Russian Driver from Biysk). The car was full but there was a young lad on board who spoke English, and via him I had many questions fired at me about my trip and England etc. Great people and the trip flew past even with the large amount of traffic jams..... which were caused by 2 things

1) The amount of people leaving Altai after the weekend and heading back to the cities.

2) The fact that there are very many crazy mad Russian Drivers on the roads and all of the traffic jams were caused by accidents, with most involving at least 3 or more vehicles….Honestly these mothers are crazy!

It was also strange to see how a lot of the countryside we passed through looked exactly like England!! 

   Siberia???    

 Siberia???

 

When we arrived in Biysk who was waiting for me but Mikail himself. Not only had this excellent bloke (and don’t forget I only met him briefly when he was the driver of a lift arranged for me by Ksenia), organised the first lift to back to Biysk but was also going to host me at his apartment that night, before sending me on my merry way the next morning to Novosibirsk to meet the trans Siberian Express to head towards Irkutsk.

Firstly we went to visit Mikails son who was in hospital with a broken arm….slightly different to the UK where your arm gets put in plaster and off you go. In Russia with kids (he was about 13-14), they keep you in hospital for 3-4 weeks!!! After the visit we went out to buy some food for the meal that Mikail was going to cook that night, and in true Russian styleee it was going to be a feast.

At Mikail’s apartment we had a visit from his mother (who lives in the Block opposite), and came over to see the English bloke her son had stopping in his apartment (she did not believe him). Mikail had bought me a scarf from the company he works for and I promised him I would take it with me and send him pictures from all the places I stayed on my trip.

  Mikails Scarf

Mikails Scarf

Mikail made fish for the night as well as a number of other dishes and obviously this was swilled down with beer we had collected from the beer shop (Mikail doesn’t drink vodka, which makes me question if he is actually Russian??). He also made a very good Borsch soup, which during this trip is something I’ve discovered I have a particularly taste for. It was a great meal and a nice evening and Mikail, I thank you very much my friend.

The next day was an early start to meet the next lift Mikail had arranged which took me back to Novosibirsk. Once there had a relaxing 5 hour wait before I met ‘Trans Siberian Express” which would take me to Irkutsk. Now Irkutsk is a name I remember from back in the day, when I was the undisputed ‘Risk’ champion of A company 2RRF!! (If you wanted to take and hold Aisa, you had to be strong in Irkutsk!).

So began a two day train journey. I have taken a number of trains whilst in Russia during the World Cup and you always got a 4 person carriage. On this trip I had booked into the 3rd class sleeping compartment, purely to ‘give it a try’.  Despite being a long trip it was pleasant and I quite enjoyed the company, as people came and went from the bunks around me. I basically spent 2 days lying down though and was more than happy to get off by the time we arrived. One thing about these trips is that you may spend up to an hour in some stations as you pass through; during this time everyone gets off and wanders the platform buying food and drink etc from the vendors there.

After 2 days I arrived fresh and ready to explore Irkutsk (a bit of a lie there as I was knackered). Luckily enough though, to get me out of my lethargy I had to have a root canal filled, due to a previous filling parting company with my tooth....I have to say though, it was the best dentistry I’ve ever had, I literally felt nothing.

During the time I have been writing this I have received some bad news from home. There is every possibility that my journey will have to be suspended / aborted….Gutted in many ways!

 

Onwards....? :0( 

Dave Mills Continental Drift Days 170 - 171....Altai

 Altai Holiday Days 3-6

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Day 3

After a good nights sleep we had a breakfast in our little hut and headed off to do that days activities. Firstly we drove to a small lake that has the most crystal clear water in it and some really beautiful patterns on the bottom that look like eyes (see pictures), we then pushed on again through the rolling tundra to see a place called “red Mountain’, which is a geological formation that is some beautiful shades of red.

It was whirls driving here that Constantine asked me if I still had my key with me from the room the night before. I told him I had and he informed me I should have handed it back before we left (all in broken English). I had left all of my kit in the room which was apparently the wrong decision as we were not supposed to be going back there!!! This was just one of the issues from the communication problem, but hey……if that was the worst to happen, then its not really a problem. The rest of the day we moved between different locations seeing lots of the area and its unique sights.

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We did a circle and passed the location where I had left my stuff so that problem was solved and the late afternoon turned into a bit of a singsong on the wagon, as Sasha and Yulia 1 went through the entire back catalog of Russian classic national songs. It was a mellow and fun day but by the end I was tired and Sasha’s non stop talking and singing slowly moved from ‘quirky and entertaining’ to ‘annoying and deserves a throat punch’. I think I got my revenge later though, as we were all  sleeping in one room and I think I went into full on snore mode, which I’m sure everyone will have found to be as much fun as the 373rd rendition of a Russian nationalistic Ballard.

Day 4

Today was white water rafting day.

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After a mellow breakfast we mover a few kilometres to the point where we were going to Launch the the rafts from. A couple of instructors had driven out in from Mazherok in the early morning and bought the boat and all kit required. The guy who was going to be in charge of our boat was a chap called Ivan and he was built like a brick shitehouse and looked like he could rip your face and arms off without even thinking about it and then use your fingers to pick his teeth with (of which a fair few were missing). He was however an excellent bloke and handled the boat through the rapids with expertise of someone who knows them like the back of his hand. I can say without reservation it was a truly marvellous day and one I will remember until I pop my clogs. The river, rapids, company and overall beauty of the area was mesmerising.

We had no dramas and successfully navigated all the rapids we went through, under Ivan’s instruction….’he would shout “russ”, which I eventually figured out wasn’t him shouting to his mate Russell, but the order to Row!  If we were going through a tricky rapid his shouts would have more of an edge to them…”RUSS!!” And trust me we ‘russed’ for all we were worth, before arms went missing etc.

At the end of a great day we ate a meal on the banks of the river then drove back to Mazerok arriving tired but happy just before midnight.

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Day 5

A well deserved lie in was followed by a light walk into the hills around the Mazherok area which we used a speed boat to get to. A nice and easy day yet still incorporating some beautiful scenery; we also visited a cave system in one of the nearby mountains and then went on a cable car to the top of one of the winters ski slopes. Pleasant and chilled day after the few previous days full on.

Day 6

Another drive today of 200km to get to lake Travisi (I’m saying it how it sounds, the spelling may be incorrect), which is the second biggest fresh water lake in Russia after lake Baikal (which I’m currently heading to as I type this...as i finish this I’m at Baikal lake and trust me Travisi lake is a puddle compared to Baikal!!). Once there we went in fast motor boats out onto the lake to a location on one of the distant shores. Once there we alighted the boats and went for a short walk to a waterfall where we posed for the customary pictures. It was a nice and pleasant afternoon powering around on the lake and was a really nice and relaxing way to end a very enjoyable week.

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Onwards....... 

Dave Mills Continental Drift.....Search for Gornaya Shoria!!

Day 158 – 165 (Part 1)....lots more to come as I’ve been unable to post!!

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Day 159 saw me out and about in Novosibirsk again, generally wandering around and taking in the sights. I did have a late lunch at a Restaurant called ‘Biblioteka’, which is owned by a lady called Natalia. She is a very interesting lady who has worked in the Restaurant trade for a number of year in various locations worldwide, and has now returned to Siberia and started her own place, which is where I was eating. She had organised a nice surprise for me, in that she allowed me to make my own ice cream using liquid nitrogen, which was a great experience (see video), thanks Natalia.

I had organised to move down to a location called ‘Sheregesh’, which was about 700km south of Novosibirsk, and had arranged an overnight bus to get me there. Well that was an experience! It was your normal everyday coach and I was sat next to a guy who should also have paid for half of my seat, because he certainly occupied it along with his own! Most of you will not know this, but I suffer from ‘Disco Leg’ (restless leg syndrome), whenever I try to go to sleep sitting up. It makes long trips on any form of transport a complete pain in the arse, as I normally arrive completely knackered. Basically within about a minute of nodding off to sleep my legs go into spasm and it wakes me up (feels very weird).

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Now I may be wrong but I think the large chap occupying half of my seat, may have suffered from ‘Disco arm’, as he would jerk awake with his left arm shooting up in the air. It seems our strange individual quirks fell into sync with each other, as, when I fell asleep, my leg would go into breakdance mode waking me up which then immediately triggered fat bloke into some ‘Night Fever’ disco moves with his left arm….this must have looked blood strange to anyone sat near us and I know for a fact I heard a few giggles after a couple of our ‘Grease the Musical’ routines!

After 12 hours of dancing, we arrived in Sheregesh, which is a very small town hidden in the depth of Siberia. I had booked a hostel for a couple of days and was very much looking forward to some sleep but, as has happened many times during this trip, the place I had booked was not at the location its shown on its webpage, and no one was answering the phone or replying to texts or e mails. I wandered aimlessly for a while and ended up back at the point the hostel was shown on google maps, just to check if it had materialised in the 15 minutes since I had last been there. I saw a guy stood outside and approached him and showed him the e mail confirmation I had for the booking. He tried to call the hostel for me but also had no joy. Then (again as so often has happened), the guy signalled to follow him, walked inside the building that was supposed to be the hostel, and showed me a double ensuite room that was part of the small hotel he was manager of! He said it would be about £1.20 per night more than the hostel I had booked, so I said “yes thank you very much please thank you please”. I dropped my kit, hit the sack and woke up 8 hours later with a bladder that was pushing my eyes out of my ears.

It turns out that Sergi (the hotel manager), was just a goddam excellent bloke. Not only did he sort me a place to kip, the next day he set about trying to solve the problem of getting me to the Gornaya Shoria Megaliths, which I had basically dragged my arse half way round the world to see.

This proved to be an extremely difficult task, as the information of the exact locations of the megaliths is both sparse and conflicting. However Sergi called Physics professors, archaeologists, local guides and anyone he could think of, in an attempt to get the exact co-ordinates. The trouble is …..is that it’s a massive area and there are very many similar formations all over that particular region, so trying to identify which one was the place I wanted, from the grainy videos on ‘YouTube’ was very difficult.

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Sergie found a local guide called ‘Nikita’ (“oh Nikita is it cold…in your little corner of the world etc”), and he explained that he could take me to a couple of places nearby which maybe what I was looking for, so it was organised for a couple of days trekking to visit these locations.

The next day we set off into the hills, along with a family, in order to check the first location. It was a great days walking and really allowed me to view and get a feeling for the area that is known as ‘Gornaya Shoria’….and it really is huge!!. I could see that there were many hilltop features that had similar characteristics to the location I’m looking for and this obviously leads to the thinking that, purely on the numbers game, they must be natural formations??

The first day was great but the location did not have as many of the ‘straight line, 90 degree angles’ that had made me sit up and take notice in the first place, when seen on YouTube. Nikita was excellent and did some of his own investigative work and felt that the site from a previous expedition could be considerably north of our current site, but could not say definitively?. We made a plan for a second day on the hills and pushed towards a location we could clearly see from atop the first days objective.

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Day 2

The second days walking was equally as enjoyable and bought me to a location that had many similar features of the place I was looking for. It was very interesting to look around and I will write a separate piece about the whole Gornaya Shoria location and megaliths. I will say that I cannot disprove the ‘null hypothesis’, that they are anything other than natural formations, but I do have to say that EVERY time I looked at the structures I could picture them as the ruins of a VERY VERY ancient structure, of which the original shape and purpose has been forever lost to the ravages of time. This fanciful thinking however, has no place in a decision making process based purely on palpable fact.

In Order to try and ascertain if this site, and others within the Gornaya Shoria region, were something other than geological features, would take a sizeable and well equipped expedition which could analyse rock samples, deploy ground penetrating radar, produce detailed and accurate maps and compare data from almost every location in that vast area. And a very basic starter would be knowing the exact location of previously considered locations

It was with this thought in mind and also a question from Nikita that lead to me considering my plans for the week. My original plan was to spend the week in search of the Gornaya Megaliths I had seen on many videos (see YouTube video attached), but with it being such a vast area, the chances of finding it were limited. Nikita was not available every day and he asked my what I was going to do for the 5 days that I would have to kill before heading back to Novosibirsk. This thought combined with my inability to rustle up a well stocked and funded expedition in those 5 days, lead to a radical change of plan!

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Onwards

Dave Mills Continental Drift Day 160

 HOW TO MAKE ICE CREAM, SIBERIAN STYLE

Please see the Videos below of me making Ice cream, in the ‘Bibliotek’ Resturant, in Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia. A massive thanks to the lovely proprietor Natalia x

 

Dave Mills Continental Drift Days 151 - 158...Sitrep.

Days 151 -158

So what has been happening in my little part of this massive world?

  Arriving in Novosibirsk   

Arriving in Novosibirsk  

In my last blog I had arrived in Omsk and was not feeling very good. This, as it turned out, was a bit of an understatement, as I was almost extremely very dead……or so it felt. My tiny room in Omsk became the scene of immense suffering as my body locked in to a battle with the deadly man flu virus. I did not move out of the room for the first 2 days, except to crawl (yes crawl!), to the shop next door to get more water. My temperature matched that of the surface of the sun, my nose dribbled more than a Geordie Toon fan and my chest was producing a substance which had the consistency of molasses and the colour of…of…well something very green and nasty. In short ….i was close to death.

This whole thing didn’t help with my mental state either. I realised I was on a massive come down after the World Cup and that this horrendous disease was due to having burnt the candle at both ends for an entire month, but I suffered from a HUGE bout of “I really cannot be arsed”. All I wanted to happen was to be transported back to a bed in England, to lie there whilst a multitude of people bought me medicine, food, water, grapes and flowers and sang soft songs to me in order to ease my suffering and to aid my transition to the next life, which was obviously going to happen. After 3 days I thought it might be a good idea to take some of the antibiotics I have been carrying since I set off and strangely enough these eventually started to drag me back towards the land of the living.

I managed to get out and about in Omsk which is pretty much a city as you would imagine a city to be in the middle of Siberia. It has a population of approximately 1 million, lies on the meeting point of the Irtysh and Om rivers and is not the most pleasing on the eye. They are holding a festival of music this year though, during which many bands will play at various locations around the city ie kind of busking. I found one such band which was a Reggae/ jazz fusion who were superb and really rocked.

I had come to Omsk in the hope of seeing some strange skulls they have in their museum of culture. In approximately 2009 a number of skulls were found in the area which had an extended cranium (see Video); the skulls had been deemed to frightening to put on public display but are most definitely held at the museum. Now why do I wish to see these I hear you ask.  There are many such skulls that have been found world wide, on every continent and can be dated back to antiquity, depending on who is doing the dating.

The accepted theory is that it is all due to ‘skull binding’ of babies heads in order to deform the cranium and extend the skull. To me this obviously leads to a few questions.

1) Why. Why would you want to extend the skull of your baby by binding the head in twine at an early age so that the soft, as yet not fully formed cranium, extends, thus lengthening the head.

2) Why is it a world wide phenomenon. Again we see a ? Ritual (if that’s what it is), which is practiced worldwide, on different continents, between societies that we are informed were not in contact with each other??  If you have followed my blogs you will know that I have said this about a very many subjects and is one of the many reasons I do not accept traditional history because what we are told does not match what you can physically see and hear on the ground.

3) Is it possible that the skulls were not (or not all), due to human interference and were in fact natural??

I obviously cannot answer these questions with 100% accuracy, but can speculate using the physical evidence on the ground?


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1) one theory (which to me has a lot of logic to it), is the theory that (if the skulls were deformed by binding), it was done as a form of mimicry i.e to make the child look like something the adults had seen or was a strong part of their history. It has been theorised that it was to look like the gods, or the rulers. If you find this a little hard to swallow then simply google any Egyptian hieroglyphs and you will always see that the Royalty are depicted with elongated skulls…coincidence…hmmm?

2) If there was (as I theorise) a civilisation that has been lost to time (and for which the physical and written evidence is scattered all over the planet), is it possible that those who rose to or claimed the power on the planet had physical differences (ie extended craniums), of which we have multiple examples both of and attempts to copy??

It was this thinking in mind that drew me towards Omsk hoping to visit and view the skulls.

However it unfortunately was not to be. As stated earlier the museum does not display the skulls as they state it would be too frightening to the public (hmmm?). I asked about the skulls at the museum and was bounced around a few departments before I started to push the issue. At first it was denied the skulls were in the museum and then the story changed to that no one was allowed to view them at all. They really do not want people to see them….conspiracy theory obviously!

Despite my best efforts it did not happen.

Somewhat disappointed I retreated back to my room and despite an improvement just could not seem to shake the man flu which had nearly claimed my life!. I eventually pushed onto the city of Novosibirsk which is a large and surprisingly cultural city, with highly regarded Opera and Ballet schools and theatres. The city centre is very chic and trendy and there are some very quirky bars such as you would see in Camden etc, if in the UK.

I have toured the huge zoo they have here, which is not something I normally go for as I’m not a fan of locking animals in a cage. Whilst I had a pleasant afternoon I have to say that some of the animals were definitely showing signs of confinement, by pacing repetitive tracks and repeating the same physical movement at the same point in the pen each time they reached it. Also…the Lion….king of the jungle….had a cage about the size of the average front room in any house! No wonder he just lay there looking pissed off!

  The only Picture I took during my trip to the Zoo!!  

The only Picture I took during my trip to the Zoo!! 

As the new week dawns I’m almost feeling 100%. I don’t want to feel like that again please, it was not very nice. I’m planning my trip to Gornaya Shoria which is somewhere I have been really looking forward to. It’s in southern siberia, in the mountains and if …IF…its what some people are suggesting it could be, it alone could change human history?? However it could also just be a natural feature?? We shall see??


Onwards…

Dave Mills Continental Drift.

 World Cup Wash Up.

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Wow……just bloody wow.

That was one of the best months of my life, what an amazing experience

I am going to try and break the whole thing down to its component parts.

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Football

I have seen the FIFA president saying that, in his opinion, it was the greatest World Cup they have ever run and I cannot disagree with a word of that. There have been some immense games with completely unexpected results; big teams fell early and created a competition which left every remaining team with the sneaky belief they could win it. This was demonstrated with the outstanding performance by the Croatian team who worked their nuts off to get to the final by combining a skilful team of players, with a great team ethic. That ethic is was made them beat England in the Semi, as they never gave up and kept applying pressure which the England boys couldn’t handle.

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There were some fantastic games and for me the South Korea destruction of Germany was the highlight. Again a team who had no pressure on them, turned the thumb screws on a team who had all the pressure in the world heaped on their shoulders, which ultimately caused a complete collapse. Brilliant. I don’t have any sympathy for the Germans, purely because they have had lots of glory previously and their time will come again.

Diving….This annoyed the shite out of me and was a major trait of the South American teams and the French……Neymar Jnr made himself look a complete twat in front of the whole world but the French number 5….mututti or something like that….what a wanker. The French played some excellent attacking Football but that tosser made me dislike the team because of the sheer amount of simulation he got up to…when FIFA look back at the tournament with a clinical eye they need to get on top of that shit!

England

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It was a great time to be a travelling England supporter as they actually managed to play some football. The last gasp winner against Tunisia was, I believe, a major factor in Englands journey through the competition; that goal by Kane took the pressure off the team and also took it away from the fans. Instead of fans trying to work out mathematical equations, which had coefficient factors and pie charts of what England and other teams needed to do to progress, they just went totally ballistic and threw beer all over the place! It changed attitudes immediately from ‘is this just going to be another disaster’, to ‘ooooh we can do this’.

Now the competition is over and the feeling of euphoria has ebbed, we can look at the England display and try to figure out what needs to be improved etc.

 

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1) England played some very very good football at times, with superb inter passing play that would have had Brazilians dribbling down their shirts; The problem was that a vast majority of time it resulted in no end product.

2) Raheem Sterling. Played really well but cannot hit the net…its something like 20 games + without a goal…that needs to change or he needs replaced. It would be great if his movement was the reason for others scoring but its not…they are not!.  Strikers are there to get goals….shape up or ship out.

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3) Learn to be ruthless. If we score early, as we do in so many games, we then have to learn to bang 3 more and kill a team off. Not sit back thinking we are great…..!

4) Jordan Pickford….what a brilliant keeper we have there…excellent.

5) Have a plan B & C….we seemed to have one style of play only….lets just move on and try new things.

Overall a young team did very well….the future is bright…the future is Three Lions.

Russia.

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I cannot heap enough praise onto the country and people of Russia. You have been the most perfect hosts. Your preparation was outstanding and delivery exemplary. The warmth and friendliness from the people of every city has been overwhelming and has ensured that Russia has found a special place in my heart. To everyone I met, I thank you so much for being the superb people you are xxx

I also think this has been a great thing for Russia as well; they have shown to the world what they can do and have quite rightly took centre stage in this world competition.  I have found out within the last 24 hours that the Fan ID, that you needed to get into games but also acted as a visa, has been extended until the end of the year (This now removes any time constraints I had to get through the country and means I can slow down and enjoy all there is to offer). This has come about because the Russian government saw how a simple system for the fans brought prosperity…it’s a win win situation.

The Fans

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What a crazy time we have all had.. I can honestly say I have partied with someone from every country represented at the tournament. It has been such a blast. The international language of football breaks down all barriers and when combined with Russian Vodka becomes the basis for a hell of a ride. We have laughed, we have took the piss, we have consoled each other; we sang, drank, danced, talked, drank, then drank some more.  Alcoholics Anonymous’s membership has increased by 60% and I need an immediate liver transplant.

A special mention and thanks goes to Frankie ‘Knuckles’ Nevin who became my travel buddy and a massive part of the whole experience. Also :- Chris, Oldham Mark, Kate, Matt, Clarke, Svetlana, Bob, Elena, Oleg, Alexie, Ellis, Robbie, Troopz, Cockney Yank Chris, Joe, Facu, Crazy Croat Bastard, CJ, Cosmo, Henry the Bike, Josh the bike, fat bloke with dodgy haircut who always sat next to me at games, Casey & Jay from BFBS, Tim, Yuri, bloke I saw and spoke to at every game but have no idea who he is, Jensen button the taxi driver from samara, the Mexican polygraph operator, the columbian drug cartel, and every other silly sod I shared time with throughout the competition……THANK YOU.

Final thought…..England in a Semi Final…I bet that pissed the Celts off!

 

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What Now.


Well its taken me almost a week to get to the point where I had enough drive to be able to write this. I’m currently on a leg of the Trans Siberian express to get me to Omsk on the western edge of Siberia. The plan was to get there quickly to allow me more time to explore, but thanks to Mr Putin and the Fan ID thing, I may now have plenty of time to play with.

I’m full of Man flu but the germs are in battle with alcohol to see who has control of my body.

I’m back on the trail of a lost civilisation and think Siberia could hold many of the answers. Lots of places to visit and I cant wait.

I am a happy man, life is good; I feel free and content.

I have a partial answer to the 3rd question I set out to explore during this journey “can England ever win a major tournament again’…

Answer=  not this time…. but it’s coming.

P.S

To bring this whole thing up to date. I have arrived in Omsk after what seemed forever on the train. I booked a very small room for 8 euro per night and have basically been asleep for nearly 24 hours. It would appear that vodka had slowly eradicated any physical defence mechanism I possessed, which in turn has allowed the ‘man flu’ to sweep victoriously across my weakened physical form and completely dominate my every waking moment….i am man down :o(

 

PP,S  final diagnosis = sinusitis 


Onwards……(ish),

Dave Mills Continental Drift Days 130-140...Sitrep.

England V Columbia. Moscow Spartak Stadium.

 England V Sweden....Delayed Blogging

England V Sweden....Delayed Blogging

Well bugger me with a fish fork, England only went and won a penalty shootout!!!

Before we get to the game bit though there were a few days spent existing in Moscow before match day. I caught one of the FIFA free trains from St Petersburg to Moscow, which was absolutely spot on. If you are unsure what I mean by that then, for the duration of the tournament, There are special free trains laid on by FIFA to transport fans to the various cities that are hosting the matches (of which there can be a 1000 miles plus between). To Book onto the train you require a valid match ticket for the game, a Fan ID (holds each individuals passport details and also acts as your Visa), and your passport. The trains are great and help you save a lot of money on transport costs.

 Samara

Samara

After arrival in Moscow myself and Frankie Knuckles, moved into an apartment in the west of the city near the Spartak ground. The place was supposed to be plush with modern facilities but was in fact a absolute dosshole. Dirty sheets on beds, washing up in the sink, floors dirty etc etc. After a ongoing discussion with the owner we decided to leave and get a refund and moved to another place more central to the city. There than began two days of alcohol abuse during which we met up with a select group of England fans and formed a strong and very unbalanced drinking squad. We all watched the Russians qualify for the quarter finals and then went out into Moscow to watch the whole city go into massive party mode. It went mental, people flooded the streets waving flags and sounding car horns; It was a fantastic atmosphere and to be stood in and around Red Square whilst the capital celebrated was a memory I will cherish.

 English Louts!

English Louts!

The following evening we found a great bar on the street of lights (one of the streets off Red Square), and held an impromptu gathering which lead to the first bit of bad blood that I have seen during the whole World Cup. The bar was full of Colombians & Argentinians and our group of English. It was a good atmosphere and everyone getting along. Some singing started and in a preview of what was to happen in the stadium, the English contingent was beat on volume due to the 3 times as many South Americans. This made them very happy each time but then they did not like that the English would just go straight from one song to the next and keep going. They have 1 maybe 2 songs which they sing loudly and then finish, but as soon as they stopped all they would hear is our voices hammering away.

This was all taken in the spirit that it should be and before long all groups were intermingled, chatting and drinking. There were though 2 Argentinians who were getting very anti. These 2 guys were throwing the dirty looks about and I could see some of the English were starting to sharpen their bayonets. It came down to these two guys having a chip on their shoulder about the falklands!!! Neither would have been alive during the conflict as both were probably mid to late 20’s but they were not happy and one even had the Falklands tattooed on his arm. Things were not far from tipping over when I tried a different tactic. I went up to the most vocal guy and offered to shake his hand…he refused so I stuck with it. I offered to buy him a beer and just kept trying to shake his hand. His refusal to shake hands or have a beer slowly turned everyone in the room against him and all the South Americans started asking him why he had bought politics to football….eventually he had enough and got up and left along with his couple of English hating mates….there is More than one way to skin a cat!

Game day and well what can I say….again England fans were in fine voice behind the goal but the stadium was a mass of yellow shirts for Columbia. The Columbia team played a dirty game and the refereeing was very weak. It was 5 minutes from the penalty being given before Harry Kane hit the ball and during that time the Columbian team were almost assaulting the referee whilst their team mates tried their hardest to destroy the penalty spot. Great save by Pickford lead to a winning corner producing extra time and dampening the Fans spirits.

I was convinced we had blew it and was a bit depressed to say the least. I forced myself to watch the penalties, with the reasoning that how many times in my life would I get to see a World Cup penalty shootout live. Henderson’s miss sent me to a dark place and it became obvious that if Columbia were going to win there was going to be trouble in the ground. Then…. sweet baby Jesus and the Orphans…. we only went and pulled it off, meaning the party continues for a few more days at least. The England fans behind the goal stayed for about an hour and a half afterwards to just singing and having fun, it was a special atmosphere.

I went straight home after this as I was drained and had no energy left. It was a mixture of 3-4 weeks of partying and the emotional rollercoaster of the game but I felt sooooo tired.

The following day saw another free train to Samara and the surprise of some lovely beaches with very hot weather. It’s chill out and relax time before we do it all again on Saturday.

My nerves are healing, ready to go again and my tan is topping up.

C’mon England

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Continued…..

Well in true World Cup tradition my blogging has fell by the wayside for a few days due to me just having to much fun and then spending time afterwards recovering.

Since writing the above I have.

1) Taken an overnight train to Samara

2) Been swimming in the Volga River and chilled on the beaches that run along its banks.

3) Watched England destroy Sweden and qualify for the Semi Finals

4) Booked a train to and accomodation in Moscow from Wednesday morning until the end of the competition.

5) Sat at Stalin’s desk in his secondary war bunker which was in Samara.


This is the first tournament I’ve been to where England have got this far…its virgin territory for me but one I’m loving every minute. One very minor negative point from it though is that its narrows down the amount of time I have left after the competition to explore the rest of Russia due to visa time constraints…I will need to plan my time and trains are going to be the only option to see what I want to see..

Am I bothered?????.........Niet

PPS… now back in Moscow and its Semi final day…..I’m so tired!!


Onwards…..

Dave Mills Continental Drift Days 127 - 130 ......Sitrep.

England V Belgium Group Game....watched from St Petersburg

   With ‘Chris’ the Cockney Yank.

 With ‘Chris’ the Cockney Yank.

Hello All.

My Names Dave ….and I’m an alcoholic.

Once again I am typing this whilst sat on a train. This time I am leaving the beautiful city of St Petersburg, where I had headed to watch the final group game between England & Belgium. First of all I have to stress that it really is a stunning city, the architecture, cathedrals and monuments rival any Ive ever see, but they are everywhere.

   St Petersburg 

 St Petersburg 

I would love to say I toured the whole city top to bottom, back to front but I would be waffling. Instead I have immersed myself into the World Cup party, and in the process qualified for lifetime membership to Alcoholics Anonymous. As stated this is my 4th major football competition and I knew they were hard work but my god this is quite literally killing me ;o).

But hey ho!.

Interesting Story.

What follows is a story I was told by an England fan whilst in the fan fest in St Petersburg. The individual will remain nameless and If you read this you will understand why. Also if you consider yourself to be of a sensitive disposition ….your probably best skipping this bit..

So 3 England fans had bought tickets to see Englands second 2 group games in Nizhney Novgorod and Kalingrad respectively. They had booked flights and links between both locations….they were ready…they were motivated. The day to depart arrived and it was from this point onwards were things went a little bit tits up! As stated the first of their games was in Nizhney Novgorod but as it transpired they had booked flight tickets to Novograd…which is a completely different city and is also no where near Nizhney. This slight oversight meant that they completely missed the match due to being no where near it; now this can be seen in a slightly positive light, as at least you will have a cracking story to tell everyone when you get back to the pub …..the only problem is that this was just the start of their misadventure.

Undaunted by their mishap the 3 friends went out and enjoyed what Novograd had to offer, all getting so rat arsed that they could not find the very expensive hotel they had booked and so slept on the floor in the park over night. The next morning they found the hotel they had ‘stored their bags in’ and 24 hours later they caught the train to St Petersburg and on arrival went out for a little session..the only problem was that the session went like this.


1) It lasted 2 days

2) During the session they met some ….ladies who earn a living from being predominantly horizontal. The ladies asked the guys to take them to dinner….and they did so…it cost them the equivalent of £1000…..

3) Un-daunted they then went drinking with the ladies, which again cost them an arm and a leg and ,with 2 of them, rendering them incapable of completing the deed for which they had met the ladies in the first place.

4) It did not prevent the ladies robbing all of the guys money and watches etc.

5) When they woke the next morning they realised that, apart from being robbed, they had missed their flight to Kalingrad…thus preventing them seeing england play the final group game.

6) This was enough for one of the trio who booked an expensive flight back to the UK and departed.

7) The other 2, now found themselves in St Petersburg, Which was full of Argentinian and Nigerian fans, without accomodation. All they could get was one very very expensive hotel in which they could ‘store their bags’ before heading to the fanzone to watch England final group game which they should have been at!!

When I last saw them they were well on the way to being hammered….skint and had no flight to get home as the one they had booked was from Kalingrad…… they were both supposed to be back at work in 36 hours.

It did lead to a very funny incident though… there were some celebrating Mexicans who had a plastic vu vu zela type trumpet, which was annoying as hell and which they were blowing with gusto. One of them came right over to one of the lads (who is a stocky fella) and started blowing the trumpet like a man possessed. The England fan just reached out gently grabbed hold of the offending wind instrument and then slowly crushed it in one hand, cutting the puffing Mexican off mid flow. This generated a cheer from everyone in the fanzone and had me rolling on the floor with laughter.

Whilst in St Petersburg I also met Chris who I had hung around with in Brazil during the last World Cup and who I had spotted in the Stadium in Nizhney…small world


Since the time of the above writings I have:-


1) arrived in Moscow

2) Watched Argentina, Spain & Portugal all get sent home

3) Drank a distillery’s worth of vodka

  Collecting Columbia tickets with Knuckles!  

Collecting Columbia tickets with Knuckles! 

4) Watched Muscovites go ballistic at their sides triumphant win

5) Not slept much.

6) Formed a partnership with Frankie (knuckles) Nevin who has become my travelling partner.


It’s great.


C’mon England, play with Pride….its there for the taking, it really is….Believe…BELIEVE


Onwards……

Dave Mills Continental Drift Days 120-125....Sitrep

England V Panama Nizhney Novgorod

  Chris, Me & Frankie  

Chris, Me & Frankie 


As mentioned in my previous blog my time in Nizhney started with a slight accomodation hiccup. The family that I eventually ended up staying with however more than made up for that issue by being the nicest hosts anybody could want. The mother is an oncology Dr who literally works every hour of the day, 7 days a week, to pay off a debt that was left after her husband passed away a year and a half ago. Despite this they showed the utmost generosity and would give you the shirt from their backs if you needed one….terrible people these Russians

Nizhney is located approximately 350-400km east of Moscow and sits on the meeting point of two rivers (one again being the Volga which flows down to Volgograd, the host of Englands 1st game). The day after my arrival in  Nizhney saw the game between Argentina and Croatia, with large numbers of supporters from both teams being in the city (South Americans don’t need visas to get to Russia and there are big numbers of fans for each team from that region). I met with the two brothers from Brighton and a third guy, who I had bumped into previously called Frankie, who is a ‘Gooner’. We headed out into town and watched the Croatians show Argentina how to play football, after which we joined them in the city centre as they took the piss out of the dejected Argie fans. Despite all the Croat singing, you could still hear England songs coming from our quartet, much to the annoyance of one Croatian who complained “its our day, you should not be singing England songs’, to which another volley of England songs, sang at an even higher volume, was the reply he received.

In trying to be as honest as possible with this blog, I can only say that the two days following this were basically a repeat performance of the first. I have drank far to much vodka and seen very little of Nizhney, outside from the city centre and, of that part, predominantly just the bars. It has however been a superb laugh; I met chris who is a friend of Frankie and also a raving Arsenal fan. Chris has been wandering the Earth for a couple of years now, basically enjoying himself and I have nothing but the utmost respect for that. He has a great sense of humour and is just an easy guy to be around. During one of the evening sessions myself, Chris and Frankie were joined by a couple of scousers in a bar on the edge of the river and also a Fellow Coventry City fan called Brian; Now Brian has achieved some notoriety recently when he always sits in the same seat at the snooker wearing his Coventry City top, of which moves have been made by those who run the sport to stop him. Despite all their efforts Brian has still managed to get the same seat next year after queuing for 25 hours for the ticket…’go on Brian lad’.

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The Day of the game beckoned and with it being the first game of the day, it was an early start and off in to the town then stadium. It was a VERY hot day and it was never going to be a fast pace game as that would be un-sustainable in that kind of heat. A Job well done by England with a nice bit of creativity in set pieces and some well taken goals all round.


View from The Stands.

Those of you back home may or may not be aware that there are a few differences during the World Cup than you don’t get if you go to a game back in the UK……They are:-


1) There is no segregation. All fans and nations are intermingled…you may get strong pockets of a certain team but its pretty open

2) You can drink in the ground….this is a major WOW…beer…..in your seat during the game…I KNOW!!. Not a weak strength beer either just full on strength Budweiser…happy with that!

3) England Fans are in fine voice…not sure how it sounds on the TV but it the stadium all you can hear is England giving it Some clog!

4) Huge hairy Russians don’t like getting drowned in beer every time England score. I watched one man mountain, on the bottom tier, loosing his rag because he had been soaked for the 5th time that half, from the 2000 England fans in the stand above.

5) Gabby the TV presenter (cant remember her second name…blonde lass, big hands (if you get the drift?), also doesn’t like a beer shower, she was sat pitch side and copped more than the odd pint.

6) There was at least one England fan who could not figure out that, in order to throw his beer everywhere, it should ideally leave the plastic pint container in which its purchased. The England fan who it nearly knocked, out when it hit him square on the head, was not impressed with this oversight!

7) I saw two England fans arrested….one for dancing….admittedly he was dancing on the handrail at the front of the tier, with a 100 ft drop to the fans below, but to be fair it was a decent moon walk he was doing.

8) The other was nicked for lobbing his beer (whilst maintaining his pint glass)….i think that’s akin to getting arrested for whistling during a hurricane!

I am now officially man down. I need a few days rest and recuperation so am headed to St Petersburg to chilax. I don’t have a ticket for the Next game so will watch it on TV, then I have tickets all the way to the final after that.

As I type I’m on the first of two trains to get me to St Petersburg, and its full of football fans of many nations…It looks like the ‘Train of the Zombie football fans’, as everyone is mostly dead, sweating alcohol of one description or another, farting and snoring. This is what the World Cup is all about…peoples of the world all suffering monster hangovers together, in a hot,  non-air conditioned metal box at the height of summer…..get in!

 

 

P.S

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It’s now 24 hours later than that typed above. Despite being in St Petersburg for most of that time, I have not seen a lot of it as I’ve been asleep….i think I needed it. Ive just met up with Chris, who I last saw in São Paulo during the last World Cup and we have just had a very nice dinner thank you please!! Lots of Argentinians about ready for the crunch game here with Nigeria today..will be watching that one.

St Petersburg is beautiful ..


Onwards….