After a couple of rest days I was ready to move on. Now with Open Street Maps in the GPS I started out towards Elista. Elista is a town with a big Mongolian population and budist temples. I was quickly out of Volgograd, and then started the Steppe. The steppe is just flat grasslands, it should look a lot like Mongolia. The temperature was about 45 degrees celsius, so I was sweating, and drinking as much as I could. After a couple of hours I stopped at a small lake where some locals where drinking and having a swim. Suddenly out of nowhere a bicycle came towards me, and then he yielded “Do you speak english?” He stopped, and we started talking. After a while I found out it was Heinz Stücke, world famous traveler. We went 500 meters to a Cafe and had some lunch together. After a nice lunch with a lot of talk about traveling I continued towards Elista.
When I entered Elista I tried to find Hotel Elista. I didn’t have an address, so I stopped at a gas station and asked, she pointed me back down the road I came from. So rode back a bit. Stopped in a busstop and tried asking if they knew Hotel Elista, they spoke no english so I tried with sign launguage. But no luck. Drove around a while, and then had the bright idea that I could look”Hotel” up in my parlour. Then I could se what it looked like in Cyrillic, then drove around looking at the signs on the houses, and found a house with both “Hotel” and “Elista” in Cyrillic on a sign at the roof. It was 50 meters from the bus stop where I had asked... So close and still far way if you don’t know what to look for. Went in and got a room. Spent the afternoon walking around the town seeing the temples and sitting at the central square watching people playing chess.
When I went to bed I felt a bit weird, a bit like I was having flue. During the night I was awake a couple of times, not feeling well.
Heinz Stücke and a local
Cafe, made really good Gulash