Chasing Rainbows, RTW on a H.A.T.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gperkins, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. DunkingBird

    DunkingBird Been here awhile

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    Lately, reading about accidents troubles me a bit. So I know I'm getting older and have lost a part of my lightheartedness :muutt

    By the way I have the impression a lot of countries are struggling with their economy in a similar way.

    https://www.google.de/publicdata/ex...GEO:MKD&ifdim=region&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

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  2. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Hi DavidM1, we are setting aside up to a month in Turkey. Katrina and I were first there in about 98 or 99, (memory is fuzzy) and loved the place. I can't see that it will be any different. We have seen the big ticket items though, Euphesus, Pamukalae, Galipoli, Blue mosque, Topkapi palace, Covered market, Goreme and so it goes.

    We don't won't to fall into the trap of just sliding straight through. But we need to set aside some time in Greece to tear the bike down and get some necessary maintenance done. Also, I know for one, that I'm currently a little exhausted and now that we have booked our flights back home for a 3 month break over our southern summer. The thought of just getting there starts to play on your mind. It's a trap i won't to try and avoid.
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  3. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    There just doesn't seem to be much basis for any economic activity. Since the Russians pulled out their economic crutch has been removed. All the old Soviet factories lay in ruins. Mind, my take is they were all propped up by the central government anyway and were bound to fail. Factories that is.

    In both Yerevan, Armenia and Tbilisi, Georgia you see Lada's sharing the roads with high end BMW's and Merc's. My best bet is most of the expensive cars, were achieved by ill gotten gains. But as you pass through a country like we are, you just never really know.
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  4. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Love my Tranny

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    @gperkins - will be interested to see what shape your forks are in. How many kms on your bike now?

    Quite a few are reporting wear internally on the hard anodized coating (internal). My view is your bike has been used as designed and intended so I'm interested to hear if you think you are experiencing any stiction? Are you planning to strip your forks when doing maintenance in Greece? Cheers from downunder...
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  5. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University

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    We all know to whom this one is for, hello MrKiwi. :wave
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    ahem! :dirtdog

    i'll take it too! :-):y0!
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  6. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Love my Tranny

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    ha ha ha
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  7. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University

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    Graeme, fantastic sculptures and art work!
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  8. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Oops, my apologies Shaggie, I had a seniors moment there.

    Massive blue Kiwi juggling an 80's disco glitter ball indeed.
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  9. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    The internal wear on the forks is a definite issue, no doubt about it. I fully expect that ours will also be effected, probably more than most. Apparently Honda Australia are currently "evaluating" the situation. I've pretty much given up on Honda Australia, getting them to support their product is like pulling teeth. I'll just open the forks up and deal with it one way or another.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with the bike. But a first incarnation of any model is pretty much going to reveal some deficiencies and there is no denying that you get a lot of bike for the money. So to produce and sell the bike at such a cheap price point they are going to cut corners somewhere. Spokes and hard anodising are clearly two areas.

    I can't say I feel any stiction as such. The front end is simply too soft and we have the probable problem of worn anodising. By Feb 18 it will be rectified one way or another.
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  10. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Tbilisi Georgia really has hit the tourist scene and it's easy to understand why. Old cobblestoned alleyways and ramshackle structures meet modern and often striking architecture. All the beautiful people can be found in the spruced up old town byways sipping outrageously expensive food and drinks. You'll find Katrina and I a few streets back chowing down on a $3 kebab.

    A mountain of gastronomic pleasure. In my formative years this would be at 3am after a big night out with the boys. I'm now a little more cultured.
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    Oh yeah, 3pm before a coffee with the Missus.
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    A Georgian delicacy, hazel nuts on a string coated with candied grape syrup. No we haven't tasted, perhaps we should.
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    There does not seem to be consensus as to how Georgia came by it's name, but Georgia being predominately christian, St George of the dragon slayer fame is often proffered. But even that is in dispute. I have no idea what the truth is.
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    Here in Tbilisi if you look hard enough you see plenty of new(ish) buildings built over the old. No bad thing I think. Here is a timber building built unashamedly over the old Tbilisi fortified walls. Elsewhere in the "old" world, such old structures would be barricaded off, descriptions afixed, heritage listed and entrance fees applied.
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    I have absolutely no idea what is going on here, other than it's a kid peeing a rainbow over a couple walking hand in hand. Ahh the mysteries of the world.
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  11. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    A short walk around Tbilisi today, a mixture of the old and the new. The architecture here is a strange juxtaposition of traditional and modern.

    Today was actually one of the first days in the entire journey that it wasn't particularly pleasant to be outside. A cold front must of been passing through, causing severe winds and quite chilly when out of the warming rays of the sun. Certainly a warning of what is to come.

    Tomorrow we move to the eastern regions of Georgia to enjoy some of the wines that this country is famous for.

    The old.
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    The new.
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    We didn't expect to see a bronze of Ronald Reagan on our walk around Tbilisi. My guess it's in recognition of his role in the bringing down of the wall. Georgia from our reading is certainly turning more to the west and away from it's recent past.
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  12. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Last night we knocked up a $5 improvised meal, including a bottle of red wine that Georgia is justifiably famous for. Today we shall venture forth, visit some of those winery's and sample some of their wares......................wish us the best of luck. :photog
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  13. DunkingBird

    DunkingBird Been here awhile

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    Don't worry with a swiss knife everything will be fine :1drink

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  14. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    That cork screw might get some use these next few days. Other than the obligatory crazy drivers, Georgia is a joy. It's morning here and we are just awaiting a delivery of fresh bread and sweet cakes from the bakery across the road from where we are staying. Great way to start the day, anyones day.
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  15. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We are, I'm sure all very familiar with the violent break up of the former Yugoslavia. Following the collapse communism, Georgia also suffered similar violence. Albeit perhaps not on quite the same scale. None the less many thousands perished as two Georgian states, South Ossetia and Abkhazia fought for their independence from Georgia. South Ossetia is located in the north central region of Georgia and Abkhazia in the north west. Georgia no longer has control over these two break away republics, but still considers them as part of Georgia. Very few countries other than Russia acknowledge them as independent countries, the up shot of the political mess is if you are traveling through Georgia then it's advisable not to pass through these two areas. You maybe allowed entry into them, but you may not get back into Georgia.

    So having left the wine region of Kvareli we made our way over to the NW and into the Caucus mountains. These are in fact the highest mountains in Europe, not the Alps. Google maps is a pretty average map resource but I could make out a vague road leading from Tsargeri to Mestia through the old town of Ushguli. Katrina, it has to be said was none too keen on riding pillion up another shitty goat track, as she so eloquently put it. "Oh well suck it up girl, we aren't coming back any time soon".

    A bit more St George symbolism going on here I think.
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    The good bit of shitty goat track, Caucus mountains Georgia.
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    The ancient village of Ushguli in the Caucus mountains, Georgia. Main claim to fame is that it is the highest inhabited village in Europe. Hmm, me thinks there are higher in Switzerland, Italy, France et all, but hey who am I to rain on someones parade. None the less it was a lovely little village high in the Caucus's. Oh it also has a myriad of defensive towers. Rather than have one large perimeter defensive wall, each family built their own tower to which they could retreat and defend in the event of an attack.
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    Ushguli village defensive tower with Caucus mountains as back drop.
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    We dips our toes in the sea, the Black sea. The first time since Malaysia, hmm, when was that now? :hmmmmm
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    The sun settles upon another successful day on the road. Somewhere north of Batumi, Georgia.
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  16. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Wow, today's was the most messed up border crossing of the whole trip so far. Georgia to Turkey, nearly three hours waiting in a queue with the bike in mid 30's heat and all the bike gear on. It wasn't just my temper that was fraying I can tell you. Then there was the usual Asian queue etiquette, ie no friggin etiquette. Katrina not being the driver/rider had to go inside the building and force her way through with hundreds of other queue jumpers. She reckons she had it worse than me, i doubt it somehow.

    All good now, we are in Turkey, a country we have been to before and enjoyed immensely. I see no reason why this time should be any different. At least we brought a couple of bottles of red with us from Georgia. Mind, although Turkey is predominately a follower of Islam, they are technically a secular country and you can buy alcohol here.
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  17. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We've been chauffeured around Trabzon, Turkey in this little beauty, by our amazing hosts Sedat & Yagmur. Oh yeah we do like Turkey, we have done, since our first visit here in 98.

    84 Toyota FJ40, still like new after 100000 klms, I like..... a lot. Katrina & I used to own a 78 BJ40 ( diesel ) back in the day.
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    This 54 Chevy Belair used to be Sedat's as well, until he it sold it to a local restaurant.
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    Sedat and Yagmur, our generous and gracious hosts in Trabzon, Turkey.
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    Fishermans co-op, Trabzon, Turkey.
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    We are really going to take our time here in Turkey. As mentioned above we came here back in 98 and we hit all the big ticket attractions. Cappadocia, Pamukale, Galipoli, Ephusus, Istanbul. So chances are we won't see all these again, but we will try to get to some out of the way places, essentially along the Black sea coast then cut down the middle and then follow both the Mediterranean & Aegean coasts. We loved the country and it's people then and I see no reason why anything will have changed.
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  18. DunkingBird

    DunkingBird Been here awhile

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    After all the bad news I really like your positiv feedback from this marvelous country :thumb

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  19. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Thanks Dunkingbird, sadly what is in the press often does not necessarily represent what is going on, on the ground. Our experience is that people all over the world are essentially the same. Friendly, joyful, hospitable, generous and the list goes on. But the press does not want to report that. Dramatic events are what they want to report and sadly what many people want to see.

    We learnt just how safe and trusting people were here nearly 20 years ago when we travelled through here along with Egypt and Jordan with our two sons when they were about 6 & 7. Hmm, definitely good memory's, although Egypt can be a bit tough, yeah Egypt can test your patience and does have it's moments.
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  20. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Turkey is proving to be exactly as we expected, great hospitable people. Mercifully the weather has cooled to low 30's temps, cool in the mornings in fact. We are making our way along the northern coast line of Turkey, the Black sea coast. Today was more than 200 klms of the following and hardly a car to be seen. A little like our Great Ocean rd back in Australia, but in some ways this is better. More twists and turns, running inland at times, then we stop at a little cafe for the inevitable chai.
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    We say our goodbyes to both Sedat and Yagmur ( rain in Turkish ), Trabzon, Turkey
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    We are waved down and meet some Turkish bikers on the road, names will forever remain a mystery. Katrina looks a little exhausted, to be honest we are both a little fatigued.
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    More wonderful hosts in Sinop, Turkey. Elif Su, Devrim, Aytekin and Tarik
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    Tomorrow we are going to put in a big one and hopefully get to Bursa where we will meet up with an Turkish AT rider with his own story to tell. But we will save that for later.
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