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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by un_swe, Sep 4, 2009.
As i write this the ferry is leaving sweden and we are on our way.
Worked until 1000 and then drove home and make a couple of things before it was time to strap the bags on the bike and run down to the south of Lund to meet Anders.
After a little bullshit we drove down to Trelleborg to take the ferry from there to Rostock, from the beginning the idea was that we would take the evening boat with departure 2230 but there were no available tickets so we took the 1630 with the arrival in Rostock 2100th Now we were not from the ferry until 2130
And it didnt take long before the rain clouds came together and decided to open up on us, on with the rain gear and move on, 0220, we took into the Hotel Belmondo in Leipzig to sleep there.
The bike ready to roll
Anders my co traveller
Waiting in the harbour
on the car deck
And something to eat and drink
A rough passage for some
And here i am ready to go
We arrived in Rostock around 2130, and it didnt take long before the rain started to fall. We pressed on down to Leipzig were we checked into the hotel Belmondo around 0220. After breakfast we started 0830 with our aim set on Bled in Slovenia, after an uneventful trip along the autobahn and through Austria and in to Slovenia by the Karawankeltunnel 7864 meters long we arrived in Bled around 1830. After a well deserved shower we treated us to a couple of local beers and enjoyed life for a while.
back in the room it was time to empty the cameras and get a good nights sleep before the coming days long transport on 1100km:s.
Breakfast at the Belmondo
Dinner at the autobahn
Entrance to the Karawankeltunnel that leads to Slovenia
Andreas hostel in Bled
Profile so far
Can't wait to see more. 12 years since I was down there.
From Sweden to Bosnia.. This is going to be great
Sunday day 3
0720 we started from Bled with the rising sun on our faces, this didnt last for long before a cold fog rolled in. After a quick breakfast at a gas station we moved on and the sun burned through the fog. A new thing my friend Anders are practicing is drive by photo on the run, an art he doesnt fully masters yet. if i hadnt been grayhaired already i would have been it by now, to watch him move around in the lane trying to get good pics in 120km/h + is something that make the cars and me equally nervous. Being behind him during these manouevers are a sight you will never forget. After Ljubljana we passed Zagreb on the highway this has to be one of the most boring stretches i have ever travelled. This continues all the way to Belgrade in serbia. When you arrive in Belgrade its like a wakeup call, everything from people on bicyles to families waiting for a ride on the exits on the freeway.
After Belgrade we continues toward Nis and later on to Kumanovo in Macedonia, there we located a motel named Milano2 that would be our home for the night. We are making an attempt to get the female receptionist to provide a road description for us that will take us back in direction to Kumanovo in the morning, she doesnt speak a word in english or german but happily continues to provide information speaking macedonian.
The rest of the evening is used for planning the coming day when we are going to visit the OP where Anders served in back in 93, after a good meal it was time to hit the sack.
Andreas Hostel Bled
And the profile of the day
And thats all for tonight.
Updated with profiles.
Please, add as much information you can. There are almost no ride reports on Bosnia, and I would love to
add a good one to the ERRI. Ride carefully!
(Jag har bott på skolgatan 44 i Malmø. Men jag har endast Rikssvenskan kvar)
The alarm was set on 0700, but i was awake at 0530 and did feel rested, little did i know that i would meet the travelguide from hell this day. After breakfast we headed off to Kumanovo to find the main camp, and so we did. Anders wanted to get a pic in front of the gate but that wasnt possible, got to be real secrets they have in that army gate today . After that we headed in direction of OP S-5-1 that was manned by Swedish troops during 1993-1994, after Lipkovo the gravel started and the climb started after 2 hours we reached an old UN outpost that was manned by Macedonian border police now. We got invited for coffe and could stock up on our water supply. Our conversasion was on broken english and german and we could soon get a sitrep on the conditions of the roads in the area.
As they said some can be passed using a defender but the others are a no go. After the coffe was finished we thanked them for their hospitality and went up the mountain, after 30 minutes we reached the OP, but the fog was so dense that a view was impossible. The plan was to take a route that would lead us to Skopje and then to Ohrid. There are 4 tracks leading down from the mountain and in the fog we took the wrong one, the track got worse as we moved on and soon the mud and water stood 30-70cm deep. we continued forward thinking that it had to be better at some point, after 1500 meters we ended up in a dead end. Totally exhausted we took a 30 min break in the rain and fog to gather some strength before the attempt to get back up for the steep track. This was the start of a 6 hour long march from hell for us wresling with the fully loaded machines in the slippery mud trying to get up the track. As you can imagine a lot of strong language was used when we moved on a meter at a time. if you managed to get 5-10 meters up you had to rest for 5-10 minutes before you could continue. I have done a lot of things during my life both as a civilian and in the army during different tours abroad, and i have never been so tired in my life. Cases stuck in the sides of the tracks chassi got caught on stones and other objects hidden in the mud and water. At last we managed to get to firmer ground ant then we decided to go back to the starting point of the day, the Milano 2 motel, we was not fit to travel after the day that we had gone through. When we came back to the motel we had to take care of our gear and dry it up for the coming day. And one thing is sure the beers that we drank after all was taken care of had to be the best tasting beer i have tasted, and i someone wonder how long did we travel this day it was a total of 100km all included, the hell stretch was 1500m down and 1500 m up i know i was there
Anders putting in a "snus" tobacco the first thing in morning.
My africa twin
Just a small appetizer....
In front of the Macedonian cp
The friendly borderguards
On the OP
Little did we know what was waiting on us.
One stuck africa twin
Tired as we never been
At last on firm ground
Beer is gooooooood
And the profile of the day
And that all for tonight
. Great. But I don't understand why cooking, food is real cheap and usual pretty good.
You do have my attention. Bring it on!
The reason that we cock the most meals is that during the day we dont eat a large meal, instead just a quick snack. And often we arrive at camp fairly late, after 10-12 hours in the saddle.
That's the reason I don't cook (beside I don't like to carry pots and stove). I am to tired (to lazy) to cook after whole day ride, it's much easier (to me) to find a restaurant.
At 0630 tha alarm sounded and 2 tired old men fell out of their beds with stiff legs and big smiles. We had some breakfast and then it was time to load the bikes for the long drive to Croatia that we had planned for the day.
The route was going to take us to Tetovo(Macedonia) to Tirana (Albania) to Shkoder (Albania) to Podgorica (Monte Negro) and hopefully all the way to Dubrovnik (Croatia). 0800 we started the long haul, the area around Ohrid is spectacular in some ways with the mountains surrounding the great lake there, and when we reached the border station between Macedonia and Albania we meet a group of riders from Serbia (Mc Lions Valjevo) that had been to a meeting in Macedonia and now was on their way to Monte Negro for another week of riding there. We decided to stop for a drink at the nearest cafe after the border. When you enter Albania you see all of the bunkers and fortifications that run like a belt around the whole country, it doesnt matter in what direction you look bunkers everywhere.
After a couple of km:s we found a suitable cafe where we had something to drink and then had a few laughs and so before it was time to get moving again in direction to Elbasan before the climb over the mountains to reach Tirana. The lions joined us for the ride as long as they could keep up with us, The road went down with a lot of sharp curves and serpentines that brings out the devil in me so i pressed on. When we came down and was getting down on the lowground there was hoses spraying water up in the air and i wondered why until i saw a sign saying "lawazh" then i figured it out carwash!. at least 30 of them in every little village. No lack of water here, another thing that caught my attention was that thera was written "shitet" :huh on almost everything, ok i know there is a lot of shit but do they have to write it down on everything. And yes we figured that one out to "shitet" probably means "for sale". Just a bit before the climb over to mountain after Elbasan we lost contact with the Lions from Valjevo and we started to move up the mountain. This road across offers some of the best views i have ever seen travelling on a bike, been to Norway with their trollpath and so on but that is beaten with a horse length here.
No barriers on the most of the way over and on stretches that there were you could see the broken barriers where cars and so on had went of the cliff and gone down with certain death as a result. On every spot for a lethal accident there was a stone with pics and dates of the deceased, after i counted close to 200 on the way up i stopped.
On the top of the mountain you actually ride along the ridge for a while, the road is ca 3,5 meters wide there so you can see both sides on the mountain from the bike and its a long drop down.
This road demands 100% concentration or else......
When we reached Tirana it was another type of ordeal that awaited us, traffic totally uncontrolled in our eyes:eek1 but perfectly normal for the locals.
Use the horn and drive offensive was the game of the day, 1200 and +30celsius full gear makes you sweat a bit. Tirana is a city of contrasts in one lane you have a horse carriage and in the other a Mercedes AMG 6,3 litres ,talk about different lives. After we left Tirana we sat course toward Monte Negro, in Albania there was more roadkill than any where i have been travelling before. Gods punishment must be to be reincarnated as a dog in Albania, dead dogs everywhere. Garbage are just thrown out on the roadside and when there is to much you set it on fire, Anders and i discussed if there was aneed for a chest xray after this but we decided to live without it . When we arrived to the border station there was about 50 trucks waiting to pass, no chance we would wait in line so we drove up like 2 dumb tourists and was quickly processed and passed into Monte Negro.
After a fast transit through we came to Croatia, and even took a ferry ride before we decided to stay at Villa Cakelic in Mlini. We arrived at 2100 and had a quick meal before it was time to hit the sack after 640km:s on very small roads and over a couple of mountains.
Early Morning sun
Ander loading up the super enduro
Passing through the land of lions (Macedonia)
Albanian toll road (50 cent euro)
On the way to Ohrid
Anders after fuel stop
Mc Lions right before Albanian Border station
Bunkers by the road
At the cafe
Colours of Mc Lions
Having a cold one