Eastbound, to the Stans

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Boarder06, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

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    These Ural badges are pretty easy to find, even in Germany:ural-team.de

    #81
  2. jackalsour

    jackalsour Dreamer

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    I need to order a few of those myself :thumb

    Also subscribed for the long haul :lurk
    #82
  3. WesleyDRZ400

    WesleyDRZ400 Adventurer

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    Boarder, wheres your update :D

    I am heading of to work soon and if i don't have something interesting to read during the day i might actually have to head out of the office and do some work:lol3
    #83
  4. Beezer Josh

    Beezer Josh Moto-Amish

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    15.6 miles from the U.S. Capitol
    I love the mountains set against the water...and that's an excellent use for a life preserver! Is that a cross on the point on the left?
    #84
  5. mart´n

    mart´n Adventurer

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    The westcoast of Denmark
    Enjoyed your last trip to Iran immensely, so I´m definately in on this one too!
    :clap
    #85
  6. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

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    It appears to be a cross. Not sure. I remember seeing a small island with some artwork and sculptures on it. This may be another piece of art.

    I just wedged a piece of cardboard between the bike and the railing.

    Well, update is coming very soon. I had a busy time in New Zealand. Off to Europe now.
    #86
  7. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    About time !!!
    #87
  8. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

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    Alright then, time for an update during a long stopover in Singapore.

    Sorry for the lack of postings, but I had to make good use of the riding season in New Zealand :D

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    So, I left the Valbona valley early in the morning

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    The weather was a mixed bag all day. I had heavy rain, sunshine, and everything in between, including heavy fog. The road map seemed to be more of a guideline. There were long stretches of road construction that had turned into mud. Roads didn't exist where my GPS map told me they should be but there where new roads being build in other places. I just followed the general direction I was going and that was fine.

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    Coming up to this little river crossing (that's the new main state highway) was interesting. Super slippery mud on a steep downhill grade

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    Just before the crossing I met some pretty miserable looking Polish guys on big GSes. One of them fell down during the crossing and broke one of the indicators off. He was pretty pissed about it.

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    I eventually popped out at Lake Ohrid and made my way to a little campground just outside Pogradec. There was a dirt bike parked up outside so it seemed like a good place to stay. Had a great evening chatting to the German owner, who's name I unfortunately I forgot.

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    In the evening my phone shit itself and I had to do a factory reset and spend half the night reinstalling all the software again.

    I actually left reasonably early but realized in Pogradec that I left my ID at the campground. So had to return :fpalm

    Crossing into Macedonia was easy enough. The Macedonian customs officer wanted to impress me with his impeccable German. Unfortunately, the only way he knew how to strike up a conversation was a full on inspection of my bags. I would have been happy to just talk to him!

    It was still pretty early so I decided to try to make it all the way to Bulgaria. I had enough fuel and food that I didn't need to get any money.

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    I crossed into Bulgaria in record time and found myself a room in a little pension in Petrich.

    The next morning I was winging it on little used dirt roads along the border to Greece.

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    I had lunch at lake side restaurant in Dospat I knew from a previous trip.

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    BTW, this area of Bulgaria is a great for offroad exploration.

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    Eventually I came into the ski areas, also popular for summer holidays.

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    When I arrived in Plovdiv I went to the guest house I had my parts sent to. The girl at the front desk told me that the Bulgarian postal service does not deliver packages and I have to pick it up from the post office. Sure enough, somewhere in the tiniest of small prints on the DHL web site it does say that DHL just hands it over to the Bulgarian Post, which may or may not deliver. Considering this, the steep rate that DHL charges seems to be a bit of a ripoff.

    Anyway, I went to the central post office early in the morning. The town was still waking up.

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    I asked around and eventually made it to the correct counter. The very grumpy looking old woman started yelling at me when I asked her something in English. She started to get more and more agitated and tried to wave me away. It was quite hilarious. All the other postal workers stared at us and looked embarrassed. Although I don't speak any Bulgarian, it was clear that she kept yelling at me that she can't be expected to speak English and I should get lost. Well, I stood my ground with a big smile and eventually she wrote down the address of the post office that would actually receive my package.

    At the post office another customer spoke German and we figured it all out. It would be a few more days until the package was due to arrive.

    So, where do you think is the best place in Bulgaria to kill some time?
    #88
    SmilinJoe likes this.
  9. mrwwwhite

    mrwwwhite Been here awhile

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    Is good that they managed to get over without scratching any TT jewelry :)
    Great update! :clap
    Skipped Romania whatsoever or is coming in the future?
    Doug's?
    #89
  10. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

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    Not on this trip. Have been there before, though.
    #90
  11. Cuttle

    Cuttle twisted

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    do we get another ride report? :ear
    #91
  12. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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    MT/Bulgaria
    Amazing... Was this photo taken in Macedonia, and where exactly?
    Thanks in advance!! :freaky
    #92
  13. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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    MT/Bulgaria


    So cool--I think I might have been at the same restaurant last year, second part of June... The place also had a little hotel, and offered a great view of the reservoir.

    Good to see that Plovdiv has retained its early morning charm :) I had walked these streets countless times, mostly well into the night and always liked how trees closed above the street to form a tunnel. I miss that.

    P.S. Sorry for the rude lady at the post office, that was uncalled for, epsecially since the country nowdays depends mostly on tourism...

    #93
  14. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    Karlsruhe, Germany
    :lol3

    The same happened to me ... I then learned that you can ride halfway across Europe without an ID or passport ...

    Well, if you were near Plovdiv I think I know the answer ...

    :lurk
    #94
  15. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

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    #95
  16. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

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    I thought she was pretty entertaining. It is all part of the current situation in Bulgaria and some people struggle with the changes.
    #96
  17. RoninMoto

    RoninMoto Wanderer

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    Amazing pictures. Now I have to subscribe to this one also. I'm mad at you like SEB now.. because I have to follow central Asia RRs. I have the fooking addiction. :deal:rofl

    I wish I had more time in former Yugoslavia. It was December when I went through so I had to stay on the coast. I'll have to return there also. :wink:
    #97
  18. davidpernic

    davidpernic n00b

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    Jake wants to know if ytou ever found those missing boxes?
    Got a sunburn in Karamea today.
    #98
  19. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Christchurch, NZ
    On the way back from the post office

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    I saw a couple of guys standing by a bike with a new tire. I needed to look into some new tires and thought they would know for sure where to get some. I started talking to them and Encho offered to do a tour of the local tire places with me. I think we covered them all and I got some promising info and phone numbers. Great guy and I really appreciate his help.

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    After a quick lunch with Encho I was off to the Buzludzha Monument

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    It was pretty windy and the roof has taken some serious beating since the last time I was in there. The noise inside was incredible. Lose parts of the roof were rattling like crazy. I decided to leave my helmet on.

    Unsurprisingly, it also looks a bit worse for the wear since I was there last in 2009

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    I carried on over the Schipka pass and as I got closer to my destination, it seemed like the roads weren't getting all that much traffic and started to grow over.

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    Just in time for evening drinks I made to Motocamp Bulgaria in Idilevo.

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    Perfect place to chill for a few days.

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    Enough time to watch a local stunt riding competition

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    and get some tires ordered and mounted

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    A short trip to dinner turned into a mini adventure

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    We did get some tasty food and made it back some time after midnight. Little did I know that this was just a warmup for Doug's TAT Harley side car trip :-)

    When the package with my parts arrived I rode back to Plovdiv to pick it up.

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    With an early start next morning I made it to the border in good time. The last gas station before the crossing even had it's own MIG fighter jet.

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    No issues at the border and good time on the toll road to Istanbul. Mehmet Zeki Avar was already waiting for me at Kuzgun Motor, my passport in hand. Either the visa agency or the Russian consulate had screwed up my visa and instead of the one year, multiple entry visa I had gotten a regular two months visa. With May being a string of holidays in Russia, I couldn't get my passport back before I left Germany. Well, it all worked out thanks to Mehmet. Time to celebrate

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    Mehmet is a tireless ambassador for Turkey and the epitome of hospitality. He has helped many a traveler and is full of useful information, not just about Turkey. I don't know how he fits it all in his busy days.

    Abdurrahman and Taylan from Kuzgun Motor are true champs. Not only did they let me stay in the little club house next to the shop, they also let me use the shop to do my repairs.

    Well, the clutch housing I ordered didn't come with the parts (I only got it a couple of weeks ago!). So, I couldn't change the LHS, with clutch housing, water pump and all. Changing the clutch housing seems to be the only cure for those who had the early water pump failure on the GS650, like I had. I did change the clutch cover though. Also a known potential trouble spot with that engine.

    I had been to Istanbul earlier that year and wasn't really motivated to go sight seeing. I did make it in town one night. The park between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia is always a happening place at night.

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    After a couple of days it was time to say good bye and thank Abdurrahman and Taylan once more for their great hospitality.

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    #99
    SmilinJoe likes this.
  20. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

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    Hey Dave,

    Yeah, I think I have to check Jake's place one more time. Didn't make it to Karamea this year. Too bad I missed you guys. Would have been great fun.