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Ukraine we’re coming for you – how I brought my Campervan back home, Part 2

Ron Holzschuh und Claudia Hiersche

It’s hard to believe, but this time with taxi driver Sergey by our side, we finally got lucky again. The 270 km long drive from Lviv to Chernivtsi took 5 hours, due to the ukrainian road conditions, which would say “Hello” to us for real only the next day. Sergey was a very professional,  reserved and trustworthy driver. That the roads on which we drove, actually had catastrophic conditions, wasn’t noticeable under his driving style at all. We only stopped 2 times for a pee and coffee break, et voilà, we’ve finally  arrived at midnight. My family has a hotel in Chernivtsi and so we were warmly welcomed despite the delay. Then it was just one more night of sleep until I would finally be able to embrace Russell again after 2.5 months of separation.


The day my dream came true to own a campervan

The sun was shining, we enjoyed a typical hearty, homemade ukrainian breakfast with sausage and gretschka (buckwheat) on the terrace of the hotel, when I saw him coming round the corner, my Russell. (At that time he didn’t have his name yet. On how he came to that, please wait for Part 3). Anyway, I was as excited, as someone would be on a first date. Lots of questions came into my mind. Like, would he actually be looking like as on all the pictures ? Do I like his smell ? I remember when I first climbed into the cargo hold, there was still the smell of gear and oil. He belonged to a gardening company that sold lawnmowers. I hoped that the conversion would wipe out this history. I started walking upon him and as I came closer, the situation felt more like, I would finally see a missing, beloved person again after many many years of separation. I was close to tears. See for yourself…


It was love at first sight. He smelled so wonderfully of fresh wood, he presented himself completely virginally. That blew my mind ! He was just perfect. With this guy by my side, everything would be just brilliant. Yesss ! 💪 Now we still had to bring my baby home safely.


The return

After Viktor had given me a detailed technical briefing – Russell is now well stocked and, if necessary, can give himself everything he desires to get going, electrically – we had a final look at our route on Google Maps. When we left the hotel ground, internet connection wasn’t an option until we would reach Poland. We knew the names of the streets and exits that ought to be taken on the way to the border in Krakowez. What we didn’t know, there were hardly any signs on the streets. Now we remembered, even Sergey who drove us through the night the day before, took the wrong way two times, despite his GPS ! And so we moved straight into the disaster. The ride Chernivtsi -Lviv, lasted 5 hours yesterday, now we were on the road for that part only 9 hours, thanks to the ride through ‘Pothole – Land’! Here again a little insight…

(For English subtitles please klick here … and watch this video on my YouTube Channel)

One might be forced to think we had been drinking all the way out of sheer despair, but that’s not the case. The only thing we had, a lot, was coffee. The goal of reaching and passing the border on the same day/night was extremely important. The hope  to withstand the whole procedure at the border faster at night was our motivator. Unfortunately, on this trip Russell also suffered extremely, not only because of the potholes.


The ultimate travel tip for Ukraine

Do not refuel at small petrol stations!! Be sure to approach large chains ! Only then it is certain not to catch adulterated gasoline. Viktor already gave me this advice on our first trip to Ukraine, but apparently not only the streets had holes, but also my memory. On top, at all major gas stations you’ll find free WiFi! 👍😉 Unfortunately we only found out after our visit to the Pothole – Land. The gas station in the video above, definitely was safe haven for us.

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