I'm Leigh partner of Dazzer some of you may have meet him on ride outs in the UK and Europe.
I had never been on a motorbike untill I met Dazzer which was back in January 2002. Back then the thought of camping would have never crossed my mind. Who would have guessed that 10 years later we would be selling our House and setting off on a Trip of a life time . The events of the last 11 months have been amazing covering over 40,000 miles and we still have a long way to go .I'm going to try to share our trip with you and hope you enjoy it.
The date was set to leave the UK on May the 7th 2012. The day arrived in a flash. You take months planning and then still with Hour's before we leave we were still getting the last few things togeather..
It was a Bank Holiday Monday and we had a few friends meet us for breakfast. Setting off on the ride to Hull where we were to catch the ferry to Belgium .
Swidders and Val and Basil and Hazel / Dazco / Craig / Yatty / Debz / Fritz and Bev lead us along the back roads to wetwang where we all stopped for Fish and Chips. Saying Farewell to friends is never easy ,worse still when your going away for so long. Watching everyone ride off was emotional
Craig stayed with us and continued to the Port. The ferry to Belgium is a over nigh sailing so we found our cabin and then headed to the bar.
I made the most of the 3 course meal on the ferry
Arriving in Belgium at 9am we headed down to Germany and on into Austria our plan was to move through Europe in only a few weeks. we have ridden here many time and its expensive so we hoped to slow things down from Bulgaria onwards
Sorry more food photos . were making the best of it before things get different
Breakfast in Austria. I think the photos of the food will become less in size and more interesting as we travel on.
So many stunning views in Austria and we were lucky this time to have good weather.
unlike the rain and snow we had there in 2008.
The roads in the north of Italy are perfect for riding with beautiful views
Stunning Northern Italy
wild camping in Italy and our Breakfast ...Sack the chef :lol: .
Bring Back P and O ferry food I say ;)
Well our first 5 days riding we have had excellent weather through Belgium Germany Austria Italy and Slovenia .Things were to Change for the worse late Saturday night while at a camp site outside Rijeka in Croatia.
Unknowing to us there was a very bad storm heading our way which would cause gale force winds along the coast line.
Our camp site in Croatia. The calm before the storm
We had a very heavy thunder storm that then turned into the strongest winds I have ever known. at 5am Sunday morning I awoke to the tent being riped apart it was unbelievable .. leigh and I trying to get out of our sleeping bags while holding on to everything to stop it blowing into the sea.
we stuffed everything into the large holdall and headed fo cover under the beach bar. The tents alloy poles were bent and the side of the tent had ripped open. By daylight we could see just how bad the damage was to the rest of the campsite. most of the awnings on the caravans had been damaged and a number of trees were down.
We were lucky in that a couple from Slovenia came to see how we were and then took us to a hotel near by . Leigh went in their car with all our kit and I rode the bike there. It was only 2km down the road but was hard with the very strong winds.
Now were drying out our kit and hoping the wind will have dropped by Monday morning so we can head down the coast towards Dubrovnik.
After two day's stuck in the Hotel in Rijeka due to the roads being closed Ddue to the very high winds , we managed to break free at 430 am and ride around the closed road signs.
The coast road down Croatia was stunning , This most certainly is a must ride road.
Now were heading to a Hostal called Boat Boots Bikes in Vitina in Bosnia run by Nick and Ivanka.
When we arrive it turned out that we were the first guests as they had only posted the Hostal on the internent the day before. So while Darren and Nick were talking bikes , Ivanka and I nipped out to re stock with Wine and food for our evening meal. Thanks to Sam Manicom for telling us about this great Biker's Hostel .
Heading south we stop at Mostar , famous for the Mostar bridge which was sadly blown up in the war on the 1990's
Old style farming on the outskirts of Sarajevo
A sad reminder of the war of the 1990's
Passing through Sarajevo there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground for the past weeks storms. were making our way to Doug's place Moto camp Bulgaria .Its raing heavy and as been for the last 12 hour's .were about a hour ride form Doug's place and the rain is lashing down and its getting dark. Do we find somewhere now or ride on . Dazzer does not like riding in the dark, but we decided to ride on slow. there is little traffic on the roads and soon were pulling into the Village. It was a great relief to see a friend of our's ( Iain and Debz left the same day as us to ride there BMW outfit around the world )
Iain opened the gates and with in a second we were sat next to the fire with a hot drink.
We stayed here a few days to rest and do a few tweeks to the bike. Another English chap Will was also staying there he had arrived a few days before us and was going to follow us all to Turkey where we were to stay at the Istanbul bikers club.
Moto Camp Bulgaria
Polly and Evo made us very welcome and looked after us very well. we have a invite to visit them in Florida later in the year.
Bulgarian Churches are very impressive .
The weather is still looking grim as we ride south east heading to Turkey. Stopping short of the Boarder we spend another wet night in the tent in Bulgaria.
Waking to the sun beating down on us was a welcome sight. we all packed and by 8.30 were heading into Turkey.
At the Turkish boarder we were charged 50 e for insurance for the bike which we thought expensive. The only other country we have had to buy insurance in was Bosnia and that cost us 5 e.There We were sent to a house across the road from the Boarder crossing office and a old lady fills out the government insurance form. while I was sat at the kitchen table she gave me a large bowl of Strawberries to eat, then when I was leaving she gave me more to take with me . So were stood at the boarder eating strawberries with the two boarder guards !. The 5 e for the insurance was well worth it seeing that we got a large bag of strawberries in the price..lol
Turkey also charge 15 e for the Visa, it also took us about a hour to get through the boarder crossing.
Were staying at the Istanbul Bike clubs flat which is not expensive at only 15e pp pn. which for being so close to the city centre is a very good price.
Istanbul is amazing . Dazzer is not a lover of Cities but once you get over the bad driving the city itself is excellent
Turkey surprised us the people are wonderful, food and accommodation is cheap, only down side was the cost of fuel !!!
We all take Mehmet Aver out for a meal to thank him for all he as done for us.
The blue Mosque
After a excellent few days in Istanbul with the Istanbul bike club who were just a great bunch of people and we hope to return again . The nigh before we left they had a party
Leaving to catch the ferry to Yalova .Our next destination is Cappadocia
Camping here was cheap about 5 e each. I awoke at 5 am to the sound of the burners on the hot air balloons
Inside the Carved homes
The riding in Turkey was fun. Roads were quite good and once away for the cities were free of traffic .Its hellish hot now into the high 30'c in central Turkey.
Every time we stop for Gas the staff make us Tea and ask if we will eat with them.Very kind people indeed.
We arrive at Mount Nemrut just before sunset, so decided to stayed the night in the bunkhouse near the summit.
evening meal in the bunkhouse
The staff awoke us at 4am to walk to the summit to watch the sun rise, it was very cold but amazing to see.
The monument at the summit of Mount Nemrut
We have a invite through the Istanbul Bike club to stay with one of there friends in Sanliurfa. Arriving late afternoon it was so hot we were drinking none stop .
Taking up most of the narrow street with our bikes.
Darren and I choose to sleep in our tent on the roof while Iain and Debz got the room.
Close to Sanliurfa is a place called " Göbekli Tepe "
Göbekli Tepe is a Neolithic hilltop sanctuary erected at the top of a mountain ridge in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, some 15 kilometers (9 mi) northeast of the town of Şanlıurfa..
It is the oldest known human-made religious structure. The site was most likely erected in the 10th millennium BCE and has been under excavation since 1994 by German and Turkish archaeologists .
Whats seemed strange to us was that The site was deliberately backfilled sometime after 8000 BCE
more info here