A short trip around the Black Sea

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by rtwdoug, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    Wanna follow along? SPOT tracker link;

    http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=2e1b4de3265776584

    This summer, I'm doing a short trip, as I was busy at home, & late getting to europe. Plus, I have to go back early to race in the Cannonball on my '28 Indian from New York to San Francisco.
    I've been wanting to ride around the Black Sea for a few years, but never was able to do it. I had planned to do it on my 48 Indian in 08, but the crappy US shipping company I was using screwed up the crate full of bikes I was shipping over, and I had to cancel. In hindsight, that was probably a good thing, as I would have been in Georgia when Russia invaded.
    In a way, that would have been quite the adventure, but being in a war zone on a 60 year old bike just doesnt appeal to me much. I've been to several places right after a war, but not during one.

    Also, Im not going solo this time. I had planned on it, and Poly (my girlfriend) and I had planned on a southern euro trip in May, but due to commitments, I couldnt get over here in time. So, I told her she could do the Black Sea with me. (gotta keep the gals happy) So I probably will play it a little safe, but theres still some areas we will go thru that are a bit sketchy. Chechnya, Dagestan, & Abkhazia

    all 3 are on the 'travellers advisory warning' list, so that means they MUST be interesting!

    But Im sure just like other sketchy countries I have ridden thru that are on that list (turkmenistan, transneister, kosovo, iraq, canada, etc)
    the people will be nice, and I'll have fun!

    Since neither of us is Russian, I dont think we will have many problems in the first two, and I havent heard of any fighting for the last few months (they are trying to break away from russia) Whether this means that things have calmed down, or all hell is fixin to break loose again, I dunno.
    Abkhazia is a breakaway province of Georgia. Its now under Russian control.
    I had planned to go clockwise around the sea, but you cannot go to ABK and then to georgia, as the georgians are not happy with the situation there, & may throw you in jail if they see evidence that you have been to ABK. So GEO first, then to ABK (providing our visa requests are granted)
    After GEO, we'll head east thru Dagestan to the Caspian sea, then back thru Chechnya to the Black sea coast, & down to ABK, then back north & west to Ukraine, Moldova & Romania.

    Of course, I planned the trip to be able to hit a couple biker parties, one in Turkey, and one in Sevastopol, on the Crimean.

    the trip should take about a month, & we leave tomorrow.
    Mileage looks to be about 6000km (4000 miles)


    Oh, and the bikes, Poly will be riding her Yamaha Tenere, & I'll be on my Harley Dirtster



    Doug

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    #1
  2. Deuce

    Deuce Crazy Canuck

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    IN like a dirty shirt :1drink :bmwrider
    #2
  3. Motoranch

    Motoranch Trail Boss

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    In :lurk Wish I could call a month long trip short !
    #3
  4. Omar

    Omar Muddling thru

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    Doug,

    Do have a great trip, and please keep a log and lots of pics. You are going to have ball. Wish you a wonderful and safe trip.
    #4
  5. adaleb

    adaleb Adventurer

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    Enjoy. "And take lots of pictures...."
    #5
  6. Radioman

    Radioman Moto rider

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    :lurk Ride Doug Ride
    #6
  7. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

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    :lurk
    #7
  8. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Good to hear you're sharing the ride with us and Poly :thumb

    :lurk
    #8
  9. ttomek

    ttomek n00b

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    Hi Doug,

    I hit this thread just after I've started wondering where should I go this year for holiday. So I've started to search 'kosovo' and your post was on the first serach page. I'm wondering why, even if you're not going there ...

    I'm a bit disappointed you're not following some good example and still planning to go there on two wheels :rofl

    all the best for You and Poly,
    Tomek.
    #9
  10. D.T.

    D.T. Difficult but useful

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    Holy shit. What a trip! Looks like he's headed to Istanbul.

    Looks like a bucket list trip for me.
    #10
  11. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    Made it to istanbul, Poly is freaked by the traffic. theres alot of it, but Ive seen much worse drivers.

    I got my visa approved for Abkhazia, 3 days after I emailed the application, I have to pay 10usd when I pick it up in Sukhumi.

    Why cant all visas be this easy???

    Oh, and on Kosovo, I rode thru there several years ago. it seems alot safer now.

    Doug
    #11
  12. L.B.S.

    L.B.S. Long timer

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    lol heh heh :lol3

    :D
    #12
  13. Kristof Granit

    Kristof Granit Been here awhile

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    Subscribed.

    Sochi/Novorossiysk last December:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=17588005&postcount=36


    Sevastopol July 20&21st
    http://wolfshow.ru/ru/programma/bayk-shou-2012-sevastopol

    With my friends we intend to leave Novorossiysk early morning the 18th to catch one of the first ferry.
    http://pereprava.com.ua/
    #13
  14. AlpineGuerrilla

    AlpineGuerrilla Been here awhile

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    Sounds like a nice trip. The Caucasus is a very interesting and beautiful place, perfect for motorcycle adventures. :clap

    Have a nice ride, doug. Looking forward to your pics.
    #14
  15. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    So, what's up ?

    I hope you avoided the floods.
    #15
  16. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    we are right behind the floods. in Samsun, TR, they had mostly cleaned the mud off the main highway. we didnt explore around there, as the traffic was horrible, but some areas were a mess.

    I'll try to upload some trip pics soon, but you know how prompt I am at doin that......

    Doug
    #16
  17. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> We had a mostly easy ride thru Bulgaria to the border, took a different route this time, as there is not a ‘main road’ there are a lot of options. No problems at the border, everyone friendly as usual. We then got on the main highway to make Istanbul before dark. Poly was not happy with the traffic there, but I’ve been in worse. You just have to deal with it. We arrived at the Istanbul Motorcycle clubhouse, where I finally met Mehmet. We had talked online for a couple years, but never met. They have an apartment for rent above the clubhouse, it’s a nice place, & the bikes are parked inside. Its not the easiest place to find, it would have been tough without a gps!
    We also met Fern, she is from the UK, & is traveling to Australia on a DRZ400. I had heard about her thru some other friends, she’s a nice gal, & fun to hang out with.

    The next morning we went to see a few sites, as its Poly’s first time in TR. We did the normal stuff, the grand bazaar (which was more like a shopping mall, nothing like I expected) it was ok, but pretty boring, nothing like the big market in Marrakesh, which is total bedlam.
    Then we went to the Blue Mosque, which is big. And blue. And to the big Sofia mosque also. We left the bikes parked, as its a lot easier to get around with the metro & walking. There is a lot to see here, but Im not much for big cities, so one day of fighting crowds is enough for me. Watching the different people is always interesting tho, and as longhaired guys with tattoos are not so common here, I got watched a bit as well.

    So heres some pics…..

    Badgers? Badgers? We don’t NEED no steenking BADGERS!!!!

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    Sunflowers in bloom, in Bulgaria

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    Mehmet, at the bike club

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  18. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Entrance to the bazaar
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    #18
  19. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    #19
  20. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> The blue mosque

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