Around the Black Sea - Summer '07

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by der_tobe, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. der_tobe

    der_tobe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Saxony, Old Europe
    Hello you FF.

    Inspired by famous members of the asylum (like Shoganai, Kaneman, Striking Viking etc.) I decided to come out of the woodwork...
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    Well, this is my first (real) post...and it's about...guess what...RIDING.

    And more precisely about riding around the Black Sea on my 1150GS (oh well, not really MY fault that I own it - I inherited it from my brother who was killed 3 years ago...He loved to travel with the bike...so I owe him that it be moved adeqately:D

    This RR is will be written mainly using the notes from my diary...(no! not diarrhea! - although that IS an entry in the notes...)

    Well, let's begin with some boring statistics:
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    Distance traveled: ca. 8700 km
    Gas burned: ca. 550 litres
    Oil used: 0.5 litres
    Beers consumed: ca. 60 litres
    Days on the road: 33
    Crashs: 0.2 (well the bike needed a rest and laid down :D
    Ass..les met: 0
    Friendly people: 20.000.000 (ungrateful that I am, I forgot to count them)



    Well, here we go...

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/12653228@N03/1321621394/" title="Fotosharing"><img src="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1019/1321621394_37e822eb8c_o.jpg" width="800" height="677" alt="PICT1078.JPG" /></a>
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    61,697
    Sounds like an awesome trip :thumb

    :lurk :lurk
    #2
  3. earthbm

    earthbm Ducati ADV

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    All the leaves are brown elsewhere
    errr. what can I say... Nice trip? RR a bit light on pics and words, but to the point and comprehensive as far as info goes :rofl
    #3
  4. der_tobe

    der_tobe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Saxony, Old Europe
    The first thing I did before leaving home:
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    ...well, how else would I know the total mileage of the trip?

    Actually this whole trip started way before this whole trip started...if that makes any sense: a couple of weeks before starting I had to get my visa for Russia. This was an adventure in itself - and didn't leave me less scared of the whole undertaking :eek1
    Honestly, the day before I actually left I was almost sh...ing my pants...I was afraid of my own courage.

    But as usual, after the first couple of kms you begin to relax - there are simply too many other things to see, smell, take care of (or worry about)

    And indeed, after crossing the border to Poland (which isn't really a big deal due to Poland's EU membership) everything was different: the cities smelled more dirty, the rural areas more like cow. Everything seemed more real.
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    I passed through some beautiful landscape but somehow wasn't in a traveling mode yet. I did take a touristy photo of the highest mountain in the "Riesengebirge" though (something like "Giant's Mountains"):
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    After a nice, if a bit rainy at times, day and 434km I arrived at a nice campsite at this huge lake.
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    I finished the day with an authenic Polish Pizza and some of this:freaky

    One entry in my diary for that day: I have to arrive in this journey - I am too occupied with technical stuff to notice all the little roadside details.

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    more tomorrow if you want...
    #4
  5. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Salida, coloRADo
    :lurk
    #5
  6. Rascious

    Rascious Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    34
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    :lurk
    #6
  7. tintinopsella

    tintinopsella Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    77
    Location:
    İzmir turkey
    :dg

    so far looks like a great report coming..
    #7
  8. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    875
    Location:
    Off route, recalculating
    Oh Great. Another report thats going to have me logging in every twenty minutes......:rofl
    #8
  9. nerudarider

    nerudarider nerudarider

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Istanbul, Stockholm
    This just has to be good! :thumb

    Bring it on please!!! :lurk :lurk :lurk
    #9
  10. der_tobe

    der_tobe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Saxony, Old Europe
    Headline for the day: Rainbowday.

    I got up at 7:30 after a rather noisy night...I wonder where my slight headache came from... :slurp

    After having a rushed breakfast and packing all the stuff the civilized traveler seems to need i decided to let the GPS do the navigation for the day...(that luxury would soon be over anyways as I don't have digital maps for the rest of the trip...)
    I wanted to get as far as the south-eastern corner of Poland - I knew from previous trips that that area is really beautiful.
    In order to avoid raod tolls the navigator makes me ride in all directions but east...well, not really.
    I pass stinking industrial areas as well as beautiful and historic Krakov.
    Suddenly my ABS lights begin to flash - I don't know what it is and don't give it much further thought... maybe tonight i will disconnect the battery in order to reset the memory...

    After Krakov the landscape is getting more gentle. It makes you forget broken bike systems, metropolitan stress and I have the feeling that the trip is about to begin...

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    In the evening I camped at this nice lake...but the picture of serenity is misleading - you just can't hear the discos, casinos, pubs etc.

    After ca. 600km of riding, one broken ABS, a bit of rain, beautiful rainbows...and some nice Polish beer I went to bed much calmer than the day before.

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    more? later!
    #10
  11. der_tobe

    der_tobe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Saxony, Old Europe
    Headline for the day: Maintenance-Expectations

    Well, after adequately starting the day (you know, shower, food, morning s...) I decided to disconnect the battery of my bike in order to solve this little ABS problem...well, not really solve it but make the computer forget that there were any problems in the first place...:D
    The 1150GS being built very, erm, thoughtfully, it is necessary to lift the tank to reach the battery.
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    Of course you'll have to remove the seat first. And the luggage.
    It turns out that the little bastard of a fault memory is not as forgetful as I thought...well, at least I tried.

    After everything is re-assembled (you know, I studied arts not engineering:deal ) I hit the road for just a short trip. (admittedly, I wanted to get away from this very noisy campsite but stay in the beautiful landscape a bit longer)

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    After only 80kms I arrived at a nice little campground by this nice little river.
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    I did what I had to do upon arriving: (note the foreground) :beer

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    That "Zywiec"-stuff is amazingly good...but maybe I'm not objective.

    After a little nap I was woken by a loud MOOO right beside me. Who started my bike??
    ahh, It's only this and nothing more!
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    Feeling hungry I decided to do something about this.
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    Then, I carried on with the proceedings of the evening. Namely: sit by the campfire, drink beer, talk with strangers about women and the rest of the world, listen to the singing of the girl that sat beside me, fall in love...
    ahh. it was so romantic.
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    What a day!
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    more later.
    #11
  12. Damir

    Damir AKA Pudla

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    379
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Cool! :clap

    :lurk
    #12
  13. Cooltours

    Cooltours Rider of passion

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
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    1,497
    Location:
    Zuerich, Switzerland
    Klasse Report! Lecker lecker!! I bet these paniers don't look that shiney anymore now, arn't they?
    #13
  14. der_tobe

    der_tobe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Saxony, Old Europe
    When I woke up at 9 o'clock I realized it would be too late to pack and cross the border to the Ukraine...
    Well, this isn't entirely the truth but I needed an excuse to stick around for another day - I was really fascinated by the owner of that singing voice from last night. She and her friends wanted to go hiking on that day.
    So, I asked if they would take a rather un-fit biker along... smiles...and yes they would give it a try.
    So, hiking was the menu du jour.

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    They had shown me the trip on the map - it looked very exhausting...and the impression was just right...
    Anyways, now it was really too late to leave. And the views during the hike (landscape and otherwise :D ) vere really rewarding...but I'll spare you the details:wink:

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    That's the one we were climbing...
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    Me on top: (at least that was what I was phantasizing about:shog )
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    Well, after a really strenuous but beautiful "walk" we came back to the campsite, had a refreshing bath in the river (sorry folks, no photos), ate something and met by the (ever going) campfire...

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    I really enjoyed that day but didn't try much more with the girl. After all I really wanted to go all around the Black Sea.
    In some (many) weak moments though, I regretted having left the campsite the next morning...:raabia



    on to Ukraine.
    #14
  15. Cooltours

    Cooltours Rider of passion

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    Location:
    Zuerich, Switzerland
    Phooo...! They sang the guy rock bottom?? :eek1
    #15
  16. der_tobe

    der_tobe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Saxony, Old Europe
    dirt on my bike? nah! especially not with a broken seal for the oil-plug...
    didn't lose much oil, though. just enough to make the surface of the panniers sticky enough for all the dust...
    #16
  17. der_tobe

    der_tobe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Saxony, Old Europe
    Ukraine !

    I'm leaving one of the greatest campgrounds I've ever been to at 9:30. I have to go. Although it is somehow painful, if you know what I mean.
    Well, let's get over and done with.

    In the next internet-equipped town I searched the net for some advice on my still broken ABS. I found something, printed it out and decided to give it a try in the evening...some serious plugging and unplugging of electronic connections involved...SCARY.

    Well, first I'll have to cross that border to the unexpected...ever heard of "procrastination" ??

    So off to the border I go. Pass the queue and leave EU territory. The formalities are easy enough. you need 3 stamps. And you have to fill in a little entry/exit form. Really no big deal if you have a passport from a "rich" country...
    I ask one of the officers about the speed limit for bikes in the Ukraine. Supposedly it is at 80km/h. He looks at my bike and says: "Wiss sis sing you cann go 120. sis is more like a carr."
    Well, considering Ukrainian bikes (and cars, for that matter) he might be right.

    What's next? Yes. I need some money: I stop at one of these little exchange offices but haven't even the chance to enter it - some nice ladies wave packets of Ukrainian money at me cheering "IKSchange. good rate!" Now, let's give it a try. I have no idea about the exchange rate but hey, these ladies look honest enough:lol3

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    Before entering the first bigger city of L'Viv (or Lemberg) I ride through some really nice landscape...I have the immediate feeling of being at home. STRANGE. It seems someone in my subconsciuos knows its way around. Really strange.
    I became first interested in this area after reading a book by a brilliant American author: Jonathan Safran Foer. The book is called "Everything is illuminated". I highly recommend reading it and then going to the Ukraine. (please tell me about your experiences :ear )

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    I grew up in the eastern part of germany - the former GDR. In those times we had to learn Russian in school - now that knowledge pays off. (the Ukrainian and Russian languages are very alike)...
    I am far from good in my language skills but at least I can read the roadsigns.

    Entering Lemberg, the chaos of the traffic is getting almost unbearable (along with the heat). I search and find the local BMW dealer and ask him if he can help me with the broken ABS. He says he can't. They don't have the software for motorbikes on their diagnostics-computer-thingy... well I still have this printout form the internet...

    Note the tram rails in the lower left corner. Not good for motorbikes...

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    The first fuel stop in the Ukraine has me a little surprised. I CAN pay with my Visa card but I have to pay BEFORE I actually fuel up. So I have to guesstimate how much I will be needing...:huh
    After fuelling up the bike won't start...swearing on my side...calming down...trying again...I find out that the bike will only start with the idle rise pulled, even though the engine is warm...this is the only time it behaves like that though - had me a bit panicky.:eek1

    After ca. 340kms I find a nice spot to sleep. It was quite a search though. In the Ukraine it is hard to find REAL campsites so you have to "bushcamp". Well, the spot I found is nice. But that's what others before me must have thought, too. Plastic bottles everywhere. The Ukraine being a poor country has no real waste disposal system. The people get rid of their stuff wherever they are...
    I am a little afraid of rats but decide against pitching my tent. The 1000 star hotel will have to do - it is just too hot outside.

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    That picture was taken right from the sleeping bag...

    'twas a nice and somehow adventurous first day in the Ukraine.

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    more later.
    #17
  18. DRglidarn

    DRglidarn Panzer pilot

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Trollhättan, Sweden
    :lurk
    #18
  19. nerudarider

    nerudarider nerudarider

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Istanbul, Stockholm
    Hi there der_tobe ! Very nice report, and it will be interesting to see those places from your point of view.

    I had a trip passing through most of the areas you've been to. You can read it here if you like:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=259016

    Thanks for sharing :thumb
    #19
  20. der_tobe

    der_tobe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Saxony, Old Europe
    When I wake up at 7 in the morning everything is soaking wet due to the dew.
    I have a fast breakfast, pack and by the time I am ready to hit the road, or shall I say track, everything is dry already. The sun is blazing down on me as early as this...

    It takes a while to find a bigger road. Last night I left the major road in order to find a spot to sleep. Today I don't want to go back and try to put the gps compass to some use...
    Well, I have to admit that I am no off-road expert. So, I go rather slowly across freshly cropped fields until I find a village... from there it is possible to find my way back into a more recent century...
    As soon as you leave the major roads in the Ukraine everything changes: a collection of potholes in the dirt is supposed to be a street, the infrastucture as we know it goes down to zero. But still the people are friendly and noble. In most cases when I left my Bike I didn't even take the keys along...

    Finally i made it back to civilization.

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    The main direction for today is south east. The bigger roads do have tarmac with the occasional huge pothole. The trucks on the roads lose every part that isn't welded to its place. All these screws and bolts and things land on the street... It seems like a miracle that I didn't have a single flat tire on the whole trip - it seemed that everyone else travelling on Ukrainian roads had some tire problem (some sooner, some later)

    At some point I thought "oops, this feels like a flat tire." everything felt squishy and unstable. I stopped and noticed that it wasn't my tire but the street - at temperatures of over 50°C the tarmac just went liquid...

    After ca. 450kms I find a nice spot for camp and decide to give that still malfunctioning ABS another try. I still have that weird printout, remember?
    According to the instructions I remove plugs, attach cables to pins, switch ignitions on and of, hold buttons pressed and am full of hope. Well, I'll test ride it tomorrow...

    Here are some impressions of the camp that night:

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    Just another story: at one point the (omnipresent) police pulled me over. Supposedly I had ignored a STOP sign...they wanted 50$...yes, dollars. I argued with them: why don't you want ukrainian money? and where is that stop sign? they showed me the sign in their little book but I wanted them to show me the REAL sign. The answer to that: "OK...give us just 10$."
    There was no stop sign, there wasn't even an intersection:deal

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    more tomorrow.
    #20