Albania – Following the Ottoman trail

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Louisdut, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Louisdut

    Louisdut Been here awhile

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    A month ago three friends & I returned from an amazing trip. Over the next few weeks, still sorting photos! Before our memories fade, we will be posting pictures and tales of our trip through Greece, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia & Italy.

    Here are a few pictures to get things started….

    Greece

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    Albania

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    Kosovo

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    Montenegro

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    Bosnia

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    Croatia

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    Our trip started in Venice, I had transported the bikes in the van from the UK, my three riding companions flew in …

    Our group name was ‘KTM made me do it!’, this first came about on our Pyrenees trip in 2011, and continued on our Morocco trip in 2012 .

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    From left to right

    Berin (Martin) KTM690, Louis HP2, Welshbird (Nicky), Dr JM (Janemarie), KTM 690’s

    We all met up at the hotel Antica Fenice where we’d arranged to leave the van, spent the evening wandering around Venice.

    Coming into land…

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    A spot of sightseeing…

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    The next morning we were all up bright and early, to ride 4 miles to the port to catch the ferry to Igoumenitsa, Greece.

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    We collected our tickets, the ferry was loaded efficiently, but they pack ‘em in tight!

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    Met on deck for beers

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    We were then treated to excellent views of Venice as we sailed along the Grand Canal..

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    We then had 27 hours to kill on the boat, which was really comfortable, good food & drinks at decent prices, plenty to see…

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    Teased by the view of the Albanian trails passing us by…

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    Albania on our left

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    and Corfu to the right

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    Keeping track of our progress..

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    Little did we know that this was the start of things to come, Dr JM changed, packed & ready for the off first! Only managed to beat her once (by dishonest means!) full story to follow.

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    Headed into port, where we could see the hotel we had planned to stay in that night.

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    By the time we unloaded the bikes, found our hotel, we were loosing the light….

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    Shared our tea with these two lovely creatures…

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    The next day was to be the first proper riding day, where we were heading up to the Greece-Albanian boarder.

    To be continued….
    #1
  2. haggeo

    haggeo Been here awhile

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    cool!
    #2
  3. Marine By Choice

    Marine By Choice Sergeant 0311

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    Really looking forward to this report:clap
    #3
  4. Possu

    Possu de-nOObed!

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    Three friends? I thought one of them was your Wife? :D

    Looking forward to the rest of the report, especially Jane's video's. :thumb
    #4
  5. Louisdut

    Louisdut Been here awhile

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    Yep Ok Two friends and my best friend Mrs Louisdut :D and She's team manager for my next adventure :thumb

    Louis
    #5
  6. Pumpy

    Pumpy Exiled Pumpernickel

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    Fantastic pictures, Louis!

    Good to see you at the Dirt Bike Show today and glad that our little chat prompted you to finally start this long awaited report. :D

    I look forward to your story - as well as to the tales of your three friends... :evil
    #6
  7. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

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    Great pics!

    :thumb

    Looking forward to more.

    Thanks,

    JM.
    #7
  8. Wildman

    Wildman In my castle

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    :lurk
    #8
  9. Dr LC8

    Dr LC8 ...soon or later

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    Nice one.

    I loved riding in Albania off road. Great trip!
    I have been on the same Ottoman Bridge:deal. Very cool.

    Ciao

    Nic
    #9
  10. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    What is the add-on... yellow/red straps... holding the green fuel bottle ?

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    #10
  11. Louisdut

    Louisdut Been here awhile

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    Hi

    The green bottle is for oil as the Hp2 drinks a little oil over a few miles :D

    Yellow/red straps which are around a small KTM tool box are for the "just in case moment" lucky we did not need them on this trip :thumb they all fit out of the way under my loop bag on a home made bracket

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    Louis
    #11
  12. Louisdut

    Louisdut Been here awhile

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    The plan was to take a scenic tarmac road to my Greece Waypoint 002, then ride some unpaved roads to an Ottoman bridge and an area in the mountains with a panoramic view.

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    We were woken early by thunder, lightening and torrential rain, so we delayed our departure by an hour by which time it had stopped raining.

    On route to Waypoint 002 on the scenic roads

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    As we got higher the rain started to fall again

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    Then we rode through the mist, with limited visibility

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    We had a brief rest in baking sunshine, while the storm rumbled around us, unfortunately the closer we got to the Ottoman bridge the storm was getting too close and we changed direction as it seemed pointless to head for fantastic views without visibility!!

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    On our detour we did spot an alternative bridge.

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    We then headed to our Hotel Bourazani for the night

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    We received a great welcome, our luggage was even cleaned for us!

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    Our host George, was a wealth of knowledge of the local area as his family had lived there for centuries and was very happy to help with route planning.

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    What a fabulous place…..

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    Only to be let down by British bikers!

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    The bikes were tucked away safely for the night

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    A quick check of the next days route, it became the norm to agree each days route, from the list of routes I had prepared the night before

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    As you soon be able to tell we were missing our two dogs so it was nice to have these two for company

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    This was the route we actually rode on Day 1

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    #12
  13. Possu

    Possu de-nOObed!

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    Is there any truth in the rumour that Martin had the luggage cleaning girl specially imported for the trip?

    Keep it coming. :thumb
    #13
  14. live2ridetahoe

    live2ridetahoe RN

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    Looks awesome!!

    Subscribed!!

    JG
    #14
  15. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

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    This will end well ...:deal - I see that northern Greece is still a paradise for dirt riding :evil
    keep it coming !
    #15
  16. Louisdut

    Louisdut Been here awhile

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    Me & Martin did have a discussion about finding a way to bring her along for the rest of the trip but neither of us were brave enough to raise this with the wives :ddog
    #16
  17. Clem Kevin

    Clem Kevin Nude With Boots

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    Thanks for doing this, this is the parts of these countries I never got to see after spending months traveling through them backpacking.
    #17
  18. Louisdut

    Louisdut Been here awhile

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    We woke up to a cloudy but thankfully dry morning, with just a 10 minute ride we were at the Albanian border, there border guards seemed pleased to see us, there was no hassle we were asked to show our V5 and insurance documents and were waved through.

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    A further 100 metres of tarmac and we took a right onto our first unpaved track in Albania, where myself and Jane discussed steering dampner settings

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    The clouds lifted and we enjoyed a nice easy trail to get us warmed up

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    We took a stretch of tarmac road where we came across this war memorial.

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    We then turned off the tarmac towards the mountains :D

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    The trail soon turned very tricky and didn’t seem to be well used, I started to think that I’d made the wrong bike choice coming on the HP2 :eek1

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    Even though they were difficult trails the views were stunning, we stopped for lunch and I suggested turning back as we weren’t covering enough ground as it was so much more difficult than expected and we had along way to go before reaching beer and a hotel in Permit! But my riding companions wanted to carry on and we all agreed that if we had to spend the night out under the stars then so be it :thumb

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    The trails did start to get easier in places which gave me hope that we’d reach a hotel so I wouldn’t get a ear bashing off Mrs LouisDut :hide

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    The tracks started to look unused again and we had to battle our way through the vegetation, I was please to see the loggers as they’d got up there somehow and we could follow there route down. They were pretty pleased or maybe surprised to see us too.

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    We turned a corner in the mountains and could clearly see a great unpaved track our route down to permit and I could breath more easily.:clap

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    We rode into Permit and found a great hotel with underground parking for €10 each per night with breakfast

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    This was the route for Day2

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    #18
  19. Dr JM

    Dr JM Been here awhile

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    Finally just the incentive I needed to start to edit 30+ hours of footage. Here is a taster of what is to come...

    <!-- This version of the embed code is no longer supported. Learn more: https://vimeo.com/help/faq/embedding --> <object width="500" height="281"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=78474876&amp;force_embed=1&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=1&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;loop=0" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=78474876&amp;force_embed=1&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=1&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;loop=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="500" height="281"></embed></object> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/78474876">Albania 2013 - It begins...</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user7478857">Dr JM</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
    #19
  20. MTrider16

    MTrider16 Ridin' in MT

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    I like the start. Looks like it was a great ride. :clap

    David
    #20