Half way through Russia
The new bolt is still tight, the motor is running perfectly on six liters or less. "There is oil leaking from somewhere, so there is a little loss", Manni reports via fax to the "Around The World" office in Bremerhaven. The handy has become useless, no sending and no receiving anymore. Day by day Manni, "Matterhorn" (Karl-Heinz) and "Difty" enforce their way deeper and deeper into the apparently endless width of Siberia. "Wherever we come we are treated very friendly and right away there is a huge gathering of people. A day before yesterday we had big press reception in Kurgan." Kurgan is situated between Ufa and Omsk, about in the middle. They try to make their way through the crowd of curious watchers to the mayor of Kurgan. Manni and Karl-Heinz hand over the pennant of the city of Bremerhaven to the mayor and deliver the best of wishes from the mayor of Bremerhaven, Mr. Richter.
Being asked by the press or other media what they think is most dangerous in Russia, Karl-Heinz answers: "The mosquitos!" Then they are being escorted to the press center for a local TV interview. Again and again they are being questioned about road conditions and police controls. Their answers are positive. Outside again Manfred spontaneously gets out his guitar in the backyard of the center and plays some tunes, when all of a sudden a female Russian journalist starts the German song of the "Bremer Stadtmusikanten". The next morning starts with a solemn reception at the townhall.
Then it is time to continue with the trip, and press attaché Mr. Ivanovich escorts the two adventurers to the outskirts of the city. Saturday, June 12th, they reach Omsk, capital of the region. A city with about 1.5 million people. Manni and "Matterhorn" get along better and better, and they enjoy the hospitality of the Russian people. They take European breakfast, but through the day they stick to the Russian kitchen. They are having no problems at all at controls. The police seems to be more interested in the travellers and the car as in what´s inside the car. Every 75 km there is a control. Sunday they leave right after breakfast towards Novosibirsk. " 585 km ahead of us", Manni writes in his fax, "impossible for us to make it today!"
gbm, June 16th,1999