South Africa has had a somewhat chequered relationship with the USSR. In the days of apartheid it was perceived by many SA citizens as the arch enemy while at the same time many of our countrymen where also in exile in the USSR.

For Linda and I it remains an anomaly which we have often dreamed of exploring. And now it is a reality.

We call it “back in the USSR” as our route will take us via the “Stans” , today independent countries but at the time part of the USSR.

“Back in the U.S.S.R.” is a 1968 song by The Beatles. During the 1960s the Beatles were officially derided in the USSR as the “belch of Western culture” and in the 1980s McCartney was refused permission to play there. According to The Moscow Times, when McCartney finally got to play the song at his concert in Moscow’s Red Square in May 2003, at the age of 60, the crowd went wild. When asked about the song before the concert McCartney said he had known little about the Soviet Union when he wrote it. It was a mystical land then, he said. It’s nice to see the reality. I always suspected that people had big hearts. Now I know that’s true.

We hope to also experience the renowned big hearts of the folk we meet along this journey.

Our route will start from our friends at SW-Motech in Germany at the end of April 2012 and take us via Austria, Serbia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan ,Siberia and finishing in Vladivostok ,Russia hopefully before the snow and sheet ice sets in.

We hope you will enjoy the trip as much as we will.