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Old 07-15-2014, 04:12 AM   #1
Don T OP
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Cool2 Wanderlust, vacation and a V-Strom – heading out to explore Southeast Europe.

Right now I'm at work - for the last time in a month :)
When I left for work this morning it was on a bike packed and ready for vacation.
The bike is now parked in the garage next to the ambulances and when I get off in the morning I'm heading out on new adventures.

As time and Internet access allows I'll try to keep this RR updated.

I don't have much of a plan for this trip - only that I would like to explore the Southeastern part of Europe.
Especially The Carpathian Mountains and The Balkans beacons me.

I'm bringing my camping gear along and will probably do some wild camping along the way. Besides that I hope to be able to take fellow inmates up on their tent space offers.
But I expect that most nights will be spend in hotels, B&B's and the like as I appreciate the comfort of a real bed.

Tomorrow the adventure begins - stay tuned.



Don T screwed with this post 07-15-2014 at 04:22 AM
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:38 AM   #2
Radzz
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You lucky b###ard....have a really good trip and enjoy..looking forward to your RR:-)
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:30 PM   #3
Don T OP
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16th of July:
Vordingborg, Denmark – Liberec, Czech Republic – 781 km.


I managed to get some sleep during the night so I felt great when I hit the road just before 8 am.
Prior to leaving I had been in contact with Bigboyxl who has an offer in the tent space thread.
As I wanted to make it to his place on the first day I had some distance to cover. The day was mostly spend on the Autobahn but from time to time I did some shortcuts using secondary roads. It was a good day of riding.
Late in the afternoon I arrived at Bigboy’s place and was greeted by him and his dog.
He has an Internet store selling good stuff for advriders and he was busy shipping parts to customers as he had just been away for a few days participating in the Stella Alpina. It sounded like a really cool event.
A short time later a Russian couple showed up. They were on their first ride to Europe and had (like me) decided to take Bigboy up on his tent space offer.
When everyone was ready we headed downtown to get some dinner. Later Bigboy gave us a guided tour around town. Liberec is a really nice place.
It was pretty late before we arrived back at the house.





Bigboy



Liberec by night








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Old 07-18-2014, 01:43 PM   #4
Don T OP
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17th of July:
Liberec, Czech Republic – Rzeszów, Poland – 622 km.

It was still early when I got up. I had some bread, sheep cheese and coffee with Bigboy and his dad before continuing my journey. Bigboy had been a fabulous host and I hope to see him again in the future.
Bigboy had suggested a route through the mountains so the first couple of hours of the day were spend on great roads.
During the day the weather got really hot and thunderclouds were building. In the afternoon the temperature suddenly dropped from 33 to 17 degrees in 5 minutes and the sky opened up. It was so bad that most cars on the freeway pulled over and stopped on the shoulder. I didn’t and had the flooded road almost to myself. I find it to be a kick to ride in the rain when it’s that bad. The shower only lasted 10 minutes and afterwards the temperatures started to rise again.
Late in the afternoon I arrived at Losiu’s place – another ADV inmate offering tent space. His house is located in a nice rural area 20 kilometers outside of Rzeszów. He had the house to himself as his wife and kids was away horseback riding in another part of the country.
It didn’t take long to decide that we were going to spend the night out on town in Rzeszów. As we both like beers we took the bus to get there. After a good pizza we visited a bar/micro brewery that produces their own beer. Sometime after midnight one of Losiu’s friends gave us lift back to the house. It was late before I hit the sack and I slept like a dead man.







Losiu's place







Hanging out in Rzeszów




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Old 07-18-2014, 01:58 PM   #5
Don T OP
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18th of July:
Rzeszów, Poland – Nyiregyháza, Hungary – 292 km.

For some reason it was difficult to get out of bed in the morning.
After a good breakfast burrito, a lot of orange juice and some coffee I was fit for fight again.
Losiu decided to send me of by showing me a good route from his house. That way he also had an excuse to take the KTM 690 Enduro he picked up a few days ago for a spin. There are some really nice roads in the area. When we splitting up we talked about him coming to Denmark (maybe later this year) so I can repay his hospitality and show him around the little kingdom up north. It had been a real pleasure to visit him.
I continued south through Slovakia and spend most of the day riding small roads in the northern parts of The Carpathian Mountains. It was a bountiful mix of Forrest and rural areas. The road quality varied a lot from smooth tar to mainly pot holes. It was another very warm day, and the thunderclouds were yet again building. I had dry roads the whole day but the Storm was close all afternoon. Every time I stopped I could hear thunder and see flashes in the dark sky to the east.
It was still early when I arrived at the hotel I had booked in the morning on the computer. It is cheap (like really cheap). The room is small and simple but it is a spa hotel with swimming pool, sauna, steam bath, Jacuzzi etc. - just what I needed.
Tonight I’m drinking soda.













Cheap hotel in Hungary






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Old 07-18-2014, 02:01 PM   #6
Don T OP
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I'm sorry that a few of the pictures are lying down.
For some reason i can't fix it now - I'll try later...
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:24 AM   #7
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Hej Skat.Det ser helt fantastisk ud alt sammen.
Jeg ville řnske, at jeg var med.
Kćrlig hilsen Katrine
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:59 PM   #8
Don T OP
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19th of July:
Nyiregyháza, Hungary – Durau, Romania – 508 km.

The day started flat and fast heading east out of Hungary. It was still late morning when I crossed the border to Romania. Next up was Maramures. I entered the Mara River Valley at Baia Mare and exited at Prislop Pass. It’s a beautiful area with rough roads. Rough roads were a theme for most of the day. I continued southeast on small roads through the Carpathian Mountains. At 8 pm I was busted after 11 hours of demanding riding and checked in at a hotel in Durau which is situated in the national park “Ceahlau”.

Mixed traffic in Romania - in some areas there are more horse-drawn carriages than cars.



Entering Mara River Valley







The valley











After Prislop Pass





Numerous small suspension bridges crosses the Bistrita River.





My trusty steed parked right in front of the hotel in Durau



Rough roads had left their mark on the inner bag for my top case.


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Old 07-20-2014, 12:47 PM   #9
Don T OP
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20th of July:
Durau, Romania – Corbeni, Romania – 435 km.

I got up early and started the day with a walk in the woods before breakfast. At 8.15 I was back on the road following Lake Bicaz south. After I had crossed the dam I hit 60 kilometers of biker heaven: road 12C from Bicaz to Gheorgheni. The first part was narrow canyons and tight hairpins going up the mountain. The second part was wonderful sweeping curves mixed with some more hairpins going down the other side of the mountain - all of it on super smooth tarmac. Perfect, simply perfect!
The rest of the days riding was nice but nowhere nearly as good. Maybe I’ll experience another high tomorrow..?
Tonight I’m staying at a boardinghouse in Corbeni where I can see the Transfagarasan from my balcony

From my morning walk







Along Lake Bicaz







Biker heaven





Manually operated railway crossing



During the afternoon I passed by Bran Castle (Dracula's Castle). The place was crowded with tourists, so I just snapped a quick picture.



There are churches everywhere in Romania









Shortly before I stopped for the day I passed this sign


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Old 07-20-2014, 02:30 PM   #10
Saso
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Thanks for sharing this RR - I'll be following your route in late September and early October!
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Old 07-20-2014, 03:14 PM   #11
KleineDK
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Happy Trails

Ligner lige en tur for mig, trćk vejret dybt og nyd turen
En hilsen fra en jyde med udelćngsel...

Regards Jesper
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:20 PM   #12
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Hey Don T :)
I'm glad you enjoyed the stay in the south-east of Poland. You're welcome to come over any time you're travellling through the area. And as for beer we had together...
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:19 AM   #13
Don T OP
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Thank you for the replies it's nice to get some feedback.

It took me leaving the country for my girlfriend to make her first post on Advrider

Saso >
You have something to look forward to. Especially The Carpathian Mountains is a treat for bikers.

KleineDK >
I'm really enjoying this trip. The only thing that could have made it better, was if my girlfriend would have been able to come along. She would have loved to, but she spend all of her vacation in May when we got a new dog, so now she has to stay home working and looking after the little beast.

losiu >
Thank you. I hope to be able to take you up on that offer. You are absolutly right regarding the beer


I'll update the RR later today. It was a spectacular day yesterday...

Cheers
Tonny
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:22 AM   #14
Don T OP
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21st of July:
Corbeni, Rumania – Turnu Ruieni, Rumania – 456 km.

At breakfast I shared a table with two guys from New Zealand. They had done The Transfagarasan the day before (Sunday). They were full of praise but complained that the road had been very crowded.
As I pulled out from the boardinghouse I was on the fabled road and it soon started to climb. By chance I hit the road on a Monday morning which meant that I had the road almost to myself– great! The Transfagarasan turned out to be everything I had hoped for.
When I got north of the mountains I headed west to ride another famous road – The Transalpina.
As I got near the town Sebes I noticed that all the signs for Transalpina were crossed out. I just ignored that and let the GPS guide me. When I entered the road I found it almost deserted. The road offered some interesting riding. The surface constantly changed between smooth new tarmac, old tarmac with lots of potholes, broken up concrete slabs and rough gravel. The V-Strom soaked it all up.
In Curtea de Arges I turned right and followed a small river out of the mountains. It turned out to be a scorching hot afternoon with temperatures around 35 degrees
Late in the afternoon I arrived in the small village Turnu Ruieni at the home of the Ciric family. I have stayed at their house every year for the last 5 years when I was participating in the EnduRomania. It was good to be back. When I told them of the days ride they were very surprised that I had been able to ride the Transalpina. It had been closed for a while due to rockslides and was officially still close. That explained the deserted road and the often very poor riding conditions.
It turned out that I had arrived in Turnu Ruieni on the day of the yearly village fęte. In the evening the youngest son of the family showed me around and introduced me to his friends. I shook hands with a lot of people that night. It got late before I hit the sack.

The Transfagarasan











As I was leaving the road I had a chat with Chad. An American soldier working and living in Germany. He spend all his vacations exploring Europe on two wheels. He seemed like a very nice guy.



When translations go wrong



Transalpina















Leaving the mountains







One of my rare visits to a gas station. For this kind of riding I'm getting around 30 km/l (70 US MPG) giving the V-Strom a range of 600 km/370 miles.



Almost there. The castle ruin that have given Turnu Ruieni below it name.



The men of the Ciric family. The patriarch in the middle flanked by his two sons. The youngest son Bogdan on the left and on the right is Christian who happens to be the priest of the village.



A night out on town. The fęte involved live music and a lot of dancing in the church square. As it got dark the whole village turned up. Everyone from toddlers to the very old was participating. Drinking in public is frowned upon in Romania so between dances people retreated to the surrounding houses to quench their thirst.















It was well after midnight when Christian's daughter of 1˝ year decided to join the party


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Old 07-22-2014, 09:22 AM   #15
Blader54
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Excellent report! Nice to see a ride through this part of Europe, and to learn of new roads! Thanks!
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