After Shanti-Dom, we cycled 70km to Minsk. Getting into the city was not so easy however, and somehow we had to cross the big ring road that circles the city. Consulting the GPS, we found that the easiest way was to follow a small footpath for 300m – but we soon found out that the footpath was up a hill, just through a corn field (with 3 trailers…) You could already see the huge wall of housing blocks approaching. All over the horizon!
Minsk was not so pretty on first impressions – huge, identical tower blocks all around. It is not allowed to cycle on the road in Belarus if there is a sidewalk. People stared at us as if we were aliens. Especially when, at some point, we had to cycle through a market. After that, the sidewalk ended in the middle of nowhere, so that we had to switch to the road on the huge junction. No traffic-lights for non-car-traffic-participants. So we just ran to the middle of the street when the first part of it was free. Then we joined the traffic of dirt-puking vans, old cars, new jeeps and trolley-buses. Somehow we survived. We had to cycle on the pavement for a lot of km through the city to a hotel in north, also facing our next obstacle – the train tracks, and having to carry our bicycles (and trailers) up and down stairs.
We finally arrived at our camp site. A soft-air-battlefield next to a hotel at a highway. Beautiful. At least there were lots of public showers at the lake. But it was way to cold to have the desire to jump in that lake, the Minsk Sea.
But we used the time to bleach and dye the hair of 4 participants of the Biketour.