11.300 km around the Black Sea

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BenMen, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. BenMen

    BenMen Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    46
    Hi,
    I'm back from a trip around the Black Sea. 24 days, 11.300 km, and 21 countries crossed, with my friend Thierry.
    Roughly, we've been through Italy, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Ukrain, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia...

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    We saw a lot of things, incredible landscapes, charming and welcoming people (and others less welcoming)...
    Here's the link to my pictures: http://www.2roues2yeux.com/mernoire

    Click on "PHOTOS 1" on top, and then click "Lancer le Diaporama".

    These are only the first part of the pictures (Turkey and Georgia). The rest will follow as soon as possible.

    Here's a little preview (to make you want to visit my website :D ):

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    Enjoy!
    #1
  2. peterdejongh

    peterdejongh Adventurer

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    Location:
    belgium
    superb picture's !
    Looking forward to read some stories from this fantastic trip.

    I'm bound to leave for Russia (and if possible Georgia) beginning of July... so, all information is welcome
    #2
  3. zadok

    zadok Long timer

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    Superb pics. You have a good eye. Looks like a great trip.:clap:D
    #3
  4. LC4Dakar

    LC4Dakar Been here awhile

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    Location:
    SF Bay Area and Las Cruces, NM
    How did you get between Russia and Turkey by land? Are the borders open now?
    #4
  5. BenMen

    BenMen Adventurer

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    Thanks for your comments.
    @ LC4dakar: We've been from Turkey to Georgia (easy), and then from Georgia to Russia, via the Kazbegi/Vladikavkaz border. It's open for non CIS residents for the moment, but things could change anytime. All you need is a russian visa.
    #5
  6. Octane

    Octane K1300GT

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Var, France
    Hi guys,

    Great trip you did there, and excellent photos !

    I am actually considering doing almost exactly the same one next year, starting from the south of France.

    I have a few questions for you if you don’t mind :wink:

    Why did you choose to go inland in turkey, as opposed to the black sea costal road?
    Where did you take insurance for countries that are not covered from green card? Are insurance available at all border points you crossed?
    Would you say it is doable with the stock tires on 1200gs adv.(even if slow and difficult) ? I have a K1300GT now but will switch to 1200gs adv at the end of this year.
    Do you think it is doable by camping all the way (esp Georgia/Russia)?
    Also what kind of camera was used? Photos look gorgeous.

    Thanks!
    #6
  7. BenMen

    BenMen Adventurer

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    Hi Octane,
    We prefered to go through Turkey, because we wanted to visit some places, and go near the iranian border, at Dogubayazit. We also wanted to visit Ani (Armenian border) near Kars. That's why. One of the reasons is also that we wanted to be fast in eastern Turkey, and this route is faster than the coast one.
    My friend Thierry, who lives in France, has an insurance that covers all those countries (MAIF I think). I live in Belgium, and a lot of countries were not covered. I tired to buy a green card at the Georgian border (Vale), it was impossible, and they told me it was not a problem. Same thing at the Russian border. So I crossed Georgia and this part of Russia without insurance. In Ukraine (Kerch), it was ok, I bought a green card (+/-5 euros for 15 days). At the moldavian border, I had to give 20$ "under the table" to the customs guy because he saw Moldavia was not covered on my green card. I had no green card, but I could enter. The other countries were covered, except Macedonia, but there was no problem, they didn't asked.
    Most of the trip could be done with trail tyres, depending on your skills off road. If you wish to go to Ushguli in Georgia, you'll need more serious tyres. The end of the military road is in very bad condition (pot holes...) but it's ok with trail tyres like Tourance or Anakee. Heidenau K60 is a very good compromise, and they'll last all the trip without problem.
    Camping (wild camping i mean, because there are no camping sites around here): in Turkey and Georgia: no problem. In Russia, it depends where you go. In Kabardino Balkaria, don't think about it, and don't ride there by night, it's dangerous, even for Russians, they told us.
    I have 2 cameras: Panasonic LX2 and Fujifilm X100 Black Edition.
    I hope these infos will be usefull to you.
    Regards,
    #7
  8. Octane

    Octane K1300GT

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    Dec 23, 2009
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    Location:
    Var, France
    merci pour les infos :1drink
    #8
  9. BenMen

    BenMen Adventurer

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    #9
  10. zoltar

    zoltar RIDE THE WORLD

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    Location:
    Warsaw
    Hi, NICE trip!
    Could you tell me where this photo was taken?
    View is incredible!
    Cheers
    #10
  11. BenMen

    BenMen Adventurer

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    Hi Zoltar,
    Sorry for my late answer. It was taken on the military highway, between Georgia and Russia. It's on the georgian side. But since then, they've put tarmac on the road.
    #11
  12. BenMen

    BenMen Adventurer

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    #12
  13. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    Fantastic Videos. Thanks so very much for sharing. Love reports from places I'll never see in person. :clap:clap:clap
    #13
  14. BenMen

    BenMen Adventurer

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    Aug 27, 2008
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    Thanks achesley,
    I tried to add the youtube videos in this post (embed) but I couldn't do it (if somebody can help?)
    I'll warn you when part 3 is ready.
    #14