The Dekatria Project - Greece 2013: Ride to the Underworld

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Dekatria, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    These past two weeks I was on the search for some extra information regarding Greece, but what followed exceeded my wildest expectations - I have been truly overwhelmed by Greek people not only supplying me with new sights to see, but also willing to lend a hand, spreading the word as they do so. This true testament to the Greek hospitable nature has quite left me speechless, and leaves me wondering what awaits me when I arrive there.

    Now even though it will still take months for the journey to start I thought a sneak-preview was in good order, so here's a glimpse of the helmet I am to wear. It bears an appropriate quote from one of my favorite books, Petrarch's Canzoniere.

    I salute you. Glad you're here.

    [​IMG]
    #21
  2. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    The final piece of nav has arrived!

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, all of the navigation I do will be based purely on a map and compass as opposed to a satnav. Now, I know that the benefit of having a navsystem is that you don't have to lug around all those maps and whatnot, but to me that's just another piece of equipment that could possibly fail. On unknown ground, I just like my stuff as reliable as possible... and no matter how advanced navsystems get, you can't beat a trusty paper map for reliability.

    This could make checking the map as I'm going along a bit of an issue , but in Britain I figured out a good way to deal with this - figure out the route before setting off, write down the roads (and/or cities) on a piece of duct tape and stick it on my left sleeve or tankbag.
    When in doubt, the compass can always guide me in the right direction. The image of the route is always in my head, so I know where to go.

    Ofcourse this won't guarantee that I won't take a wrong turn, but the way I see it, that's also part of the adventure - figuring out on the fly how to go to the next destination, and when going wrong, trying to figure out how I could solve it. It's almost like a treasure hunt.

    As it is, how you get from A to B is just as interesting as the destination itself...

    The beast's surgery to the steering stem went perfect (they even saw fit to mend the indicator-button which dislodged in Britain), and now it's just waiting till a good rainfall washes away the plethora of salt that's smothered all over the Dutch roadsystem. Then, riding can commence again (and not a moment too soon, sheesh...)!

    Lastly, here's a thanks to all the Greek and Italian riders who have embraced the project over the past weeks. I went looking for information (I still am by the way, so all suggestions, tips and whatnot are welcome!), and the hospitality I got in return exceeded my wildest expectations. This Summer's helmet is currently covered up atop a cupboard, waiting impatiently for the trip... and I must say that, despite the amount of work still to be done, I'm just as eager.

    See you soon guys.

    [​IMG]
    #22
  3. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    Fundraising the roof!

    How's that for a horrible pun? :D

    With four months until lift-off, I thought it would be nice to make the fundraising a little more concrete. Henceforth, I opened up a 'Donate'-section on the site. Amongst other things, it shows you the way to the all new StayClassy fundraising page where you can already contribute with some of your precious hard-earned cash. When the Ebay auctions start in September I will put all the respective Ebay links on the Donate page as well. So spread the word!

    Speaking of which, I've also made the decision to make the helmet auction an international affair, and put it on Ebay alongside the other auctions. This way, all of you followers abroad will have a chance to pitch in as well, and maybe earn yourself the helmet. How awesome is that? :wink:

    [​IMG]

    In other news, riding has sort of resumed the past week... the only bad thing is that the Spring here in the Netherlands seems to have trouble waking up. Temperatures continue to balance around zero degrees, making the riding a tiptoe kind of thing as one of my golden rules for riding safety is not to bother when temperatures get below zero. Too much risk for slippery surfaces and road salt. I can deal with rain, hail and everything else the weather throws at me, but freezing temperatures are just a big no-no.

    So I expect some rising temperatures the coming days. This has gone on for long enough!

    [​IMG]
    #23
  4. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    In the latest update I'm giving a rundown of my apparel for the trip to Greece. If you have any suggestions to make, feel free to let me know :D
    #24
  5. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    With just over 2 months in the countdown left, I saw fit to add a new poetic Youtube installment online. Enjoy :wink:

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/DzhnIVSpfL8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #25
  6. Cerberus83

    Cerberus83 The Wingman

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Nice vid!

    Looks like you're missing one of the best roads in Croatia? You're pretty much avoiding the entire coast... Not sure how many days you have planned for your trip, but you may want to (re)consider riding along the coast.
    #26
  7. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    Thanks! I spoke with a Serbian colleague of my dad's a few weeks back, taking me through the entire Balkan route... and the idea was sorta the same as yours :D

    When it comes to that, I'm likely to stick to the coast as the air will be cooler and the sights will be better, but I leave it up in the air. Destinations are set, the roads inbetween... those depend on the mood of the day :thumb
    #27
  8. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    #28
  9. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    The itinerary is nearing completion! From Greece on I'm leaving it pretty loose - it could very well be I want to stay somewhere longer etc, so I'd rather not force stuff on myself, and take my time to soak it all in.

    Thus far, the ride is planned as follows:

    19/7 Bastogne
    20/7 Schwarzwald
    21/7 Zürich

    Italy
    22/7 Dolomites
    23/7 Lucca
    24/7 Montefiascone via Florence
    25/7 Sulmona via Rome
    26/7 Venosa via Pompeii
    27/7 Brindisi
    28/7 - resting day -
    29/7 Ferry > Igoumenitsa

    Greece
    30/7 arrival Igoumenitsa
    31/7 Patra
    1/8 Kalamata
    2/8 Cape Tenaro
    3/8 Athens
    4/8 Lamia
    5/8 Thessaloniki
    6/8 Ioannina via Meteora

    In mainly Italy I could still use a hand or two with accommodation, amongst other things. So if you want to help out, just let me know! :freaky
    #29
  10. jorrizza

    jorrizza newb

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    Good thing it's still on. Can't wait for the ride report this summer.
    #30
  11. Angelos

    Angelos Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    34
    Location:
    Igoumenitsa,Greece
    Oh boy,why would you plan a resting day in Brindisi???:rofl:rofl:rofl
    I suggest you take your bike down to Otranto and take a proper taste of south Italy.But if you still want to be around the harbour get yourself a nice room or pitch your tent in one of the villages 20-30km south from Brindisi (Torre san Gennaro,Torre Rinalda etc).

    PS.Plan some resting days in Greece as well.I can quarantee you are not gonna be able to get your sorry ass on that Transalp the next day after all the ouzo,tsipouro and beers down here...:evil
    #31
  12. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    I've got a room at a nice hotel, for the night of the 27th and the 28th. I'm thinking of just taking the kit off the bike for the 28th, and doing a ride shooting tantalizing imagery :wink:

    As far's Greece goes, there's space for a rest day there as well. I don't need to be out of the country by the 8th - I just like maintaining a rhythm :D could very well be I decide to stay somewhere a day longer.
    #32
  13. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    With the final few weeks until departure under way I thought it to be a good idea to put the cause behind the project into the spotlights again. So here goes!

    Prep-wise it's going good - the Alp's now had the majority of the preflight maintenance. Just the oil + oilfilter to go, and then it's just running around panicking for the final week until July 19th :D
    #33
  14. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    Getting closer and closer :D

    One of my colleagues came with the original idea of a 'picture send-off' - you can tag yourself in this Facebook picture, and using your profile pic she will draw you into the picture of which the original will be auctioned off in September as well. The more people get involved, the more awesome it will be, so please pitch in!
    #34
  15. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    [​IMG]

    Well, this is it. The moment I've looked forward to for 3 years is finally here. Sometimes I thought to myself just how big a nutcase I am for doing this. Hell, there have been times I wanted to just throw it aside and do stuff regular people do... but I knew that wouldn't make a particularly exciting story to read, right ;)

    The beast has now got fresh rubber, wheelbearings, oil and oilfilter as well, finally getting it at full strength for the 4500 mile ordeal that lays ahead.

    And me? Well the coming month, I'm just going to take it as it comes. As is usual with whenever I go abroad, I never watch any video or photo material from other people that have visited the countries in question - this way, I have no expectations. It's like going out to see a movie without having seen the trailer... I already know I want to go, and that's all the motivation I need.

    If circumstances permit, I will post small updates on the project Facebook page when I'm on the road. Rest assured though that after the trip, I will post an extensive ride report here, along with all the photo and video material.

    If you haven't done so already, have a glance at the auction goodies that will go under the digital hammer in September. Or tag yourself in the send-off drawing. It's all for a good cause, right ;)

    Basic itinerary for the road down is as follows:

    19th of July - Belgium
    20th of July -Luxembourg - France - Germany
    21st of July - Switzerland
    22nd-29th of July -Italy
    30th of July-7th of August - Greece
    (31st: Patras, 1st: Kalamata, 2nd: Cape Tenaron, 3rd: Athens, 4th: Lamia, 5th: Thessaloniki/Veria, 6th: Ioannina area)

    Everything after that is up in the air. I plan to be home around the 18th of August, but it could be earlier or later depending on how things go.

    Take care, and maybe see you on the way!
    #35
  16. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    Back home, it's time for the ride report to get going! First, a prologue:

    #36
  17. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,408
    Looking forward to the report! Just finished from page 1 and must say that you have "the right stuff"!
    #37
  18. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    Time for the report to begin! :freaky

    Ride Report Greece 2013 - Day 1 & 2: Bastogne & Schwarzwald

    Here's a small video. I'll make one for each report, using random outtakes from the two days in question. These mostly include random encounters, signings of the helmet, cool scenes and/or me behaving like an idiot. Today I've included Margraten war cemetery, Bastogne city centre and the Luxembourg carnage. Enjoy!

    <iframe frameborder="0" height="300" src="https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=590961297621025" width="500"></iframe>

    Tomorrow we go into Switzerland & Italy!
    #38
  19. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    Day 3 & 4: Switzerland & Northern Italy

    <iframe frameborder="0" height="300" src="https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=591518404231981" width="500"></iframe>
    #39
  20. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    Glad to hear that, cheers :thumb lots more is to follow the coming days!
    #40