Kiev, but maybe not tonight.
Arek, Matt and I intended to drive the 700km from Poland to Kiev, leaving first thing in the morning and arriving around dinner time. That certainly didn’t happen.
Within 2 minutes of Matt teaching Arek how to drive the van we got pulled over in a speed trap. Thankfully the officer was fantastic and let Arek off with a warning.
An hour later, we encountered the dreaded boarder crossing. See part one for details.
Finally on Ukrainian soil, we drove into the night heading towards Kiev. It first happened at 11pm, Arek was driving, Matt was Facebooking and I has lying on the back bench enjoying my book. POW! And the car jerks to the left, then to the right, and everything came to a screeching halt. We all look at each other with bewildered eyes, “Are you ok?”, everyone was 100%. The left rear tire was not flat, it exploded, sheading the rear bumper with it! As fast as a Formula One team, Matt and Arek changed the tire while I looked out for oncoming traffic, averaging speeds of 140 km/hour.
Mission accomplished, we jump back in the van and drove away. One kilometer later, POW! And the car jerks to the RIGHT, then to the LEFT, and everything came to another screeching halt. Back RIGHT tire blew up! Out of spare tires, we pulled off the road as much as we could and tried to rest until the morning. Not an easy thing to do in a country where the biggest cause of death is alcoholism.
The next day, Arek and I trekked down the highway in search of a savior. Our heroes were discovered at a tiny gas station a couple kilometers from our van. Between Polish, English and a lot of charades we managed to get the young men to drive us to the van, help us take off the second wheel, drive Arek to a mechanic, get new tires, drive him back and they even offered to help us put the tires back on! Sweetest guys in all of Ukraine!