The goose flies south

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by catweasel67, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    12,870
    Location:
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    G'day all from stop 1 on my journey from Vienna to Kalamata (northern Greece). I plan to travel down the eastern Adriatic coast and back up on the western, basically doing a circle. The bike is a Breva 1100 so I'll not be getting "dirty".. At least I hope not :)

    Stop 1 - a service area on the A2 just into Burgenland. Goulasch for lunch. Hope to get to Croatian coast this evening but have doubts. Am looking forward to Montenegro and Albania. Both are, for me, unconquered territory.

    Stop 2 - hotelling it tonight. Am in a town called Krapina, I think. Location a tad vague as my sat nav is messing with my head. I was surprised to be entering Slovenia, was expecting to enter Croatia direct from Austria. That probably tells you more about my nav skills than anything. The ride down was sweet. Awesome countryside, quiet roads, perfect weather. Tomorrow I hit the Adriatic coast.


    PSI (puckered sphincter incidents) 0.
    Breakdowns 0.
    Lost stuff 0.
    Naked totty 0.
    KM to date - roughly 250

    and now some pics as taken with a Sony Cybershot 10mb pix (easy to use, almost idiot proof, slim)

    First....my route
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    Ready for the off with too much in my side cases. Strapped to the seat is my tent (which I used for a total of 3 nights on this trip), a rain suit (used twice) and a sleeping mat (3 nights).
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 2 my first full day. Rain was predicted for Zagreb area today so I left at 6 am hoping to stay ahead of it. Rode through drizzle for a few hours before cresting a hill in Croatia and finding the Adriatic screaming at me "I'm jawdropingly beautiful" it said. It was right. I have no serious time constraints, no bookings to make so I'll just say that I rode almost 1,000 km today, all on the coast road and only stopped twice for petrol. Breakfast and lunch were forgotton and only the failing light stopped me from carrying on.

    Btw hotel in krapina was 40 euro and the hotel where I am now ( roughly 20 km into Montenegro) is 30. I've managed to get by, so far, on credit cards and euros.

    Tomorrow I hit Albania and maybe Greece. Everyone is telling me that crossing into Greece from macedona ( aka Skopje) is madness so am hoping not to test that.

    Am posting all of this from my iPhone so no piccies until I get home in about a week...ish

    PSI (puckered sphincter incidents) 2 (blind cagers)
    Breakdowns 0.
    Lost stuff 0.
    Naked totty 0.
    KM to date - about 1100

    Take a close look..way off in the distance you can just about see the Adriatic...you really had to be there to appreciate the impact of "first contact"
    [​IMG]

    and a few twisty miles later
    [​IMG]

    A pretty cool way to enter Dubronik - half thought of staying there for the evening but the awesome riding kept me going
    [​IMG]

    Was like this all the way from Krapina to Montenegro, if you've not done it, ride Croatia!
    [​IMG]

    View from my €30 a night room - the Hotel Plaze - in Montenegro...not bad, not bad at all
    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    ok :) it's Monday aka day 5 and I've ended up spending 2 days in kalamata. Arrived from albania late Saturday evening totally knackered after an incredible day. Albania! land of mystery..The mystery is why they bother having mirrors and indicators on the cars/scooters/trucks etc. 'cos they're not used.

    My day started in Montenegro in a smallish town called Herceg Novi. Headed towards the Albanian border going passed the Hotel Splendid ( points given if you know its significance). The last 20 km to the border was a single track, poor condition, donkey covered road that had me thinking I'd taken a wrong turn. Passport and green card later I was in Albania and headed into Shkoder. People, donkeys, vehicles and me. All mixed together in chaos. A real trial by fire. Next stop Durres. All thoughts of having a reasonable average speed left my head as the roads got worse and worse.

    Roundabouts worked but only in the sense that they were round and people went about them. The size of one's testes determines right of way here. Albania is not for the faint hearted. Loads of police speed traps but when I was pulled and heard my accent they let me go.

    To me Albania is the Greece I remember from 30 plus years ago. Friendly, helpful people, very poor, full of atmosphere.

    PSI (puckered sphincter incidents) 104
    Breakdowns 0.
    Lost stuff 0.
    Naked totty 0.
    KM to date - about 1800

    An unexpected ferrry on the way to Albania..still in Montenegro so still on good roads....ferries
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Ahh! the Albanian border crossing...took about half an hour, no problems - the other bike was being ridden by a couple of Italians...I need to learn more "foreign".
    [​IMG]

    heh, and here's my first, and as it turned out, my last photo from Albania...after I took this I was more focussed on staying alive than taking pictures :)
    [​IMG]

    Kalambaka - my turning point...half way...and the Meteora.
    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    Location:
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    Tuesday (I think, am starting to lose track of what day it is) and am writing this from Igoumenitsa (north west coast of Greece). I've booked a ferry crossing to Brindisi butbit doesn't leave until about midnight so I've time to kill. An uneventful journey down from the Meteroa region today, a quiet day (boring most likely) waiting for the ferry. Tomorrow I get to Italy (my 8th and probably last country this trip) and start the journey up the Adriatic west cost road. Am looking forward to making progress again.

    Am currently in two minds as to what to do when I get to the top, turn right and head for home or turn left and head for the location of the Guzzista's holy Grail - Mandello de Llario (sp?).

    Today's ps is a reminder to self to stay hydrated, something I failed to do in Albania.

    Pps: the crossing should take 8 or so hours and cost me €95 (cabin, me, bike).

    PSI 105 (corner + diesel)
    Breakdowns 0 (makes me very happy)
    Lost stuff 1 (spare bungee cords, hardly a disaster)
    Naked totty 0 (this is not good!!)
    KM to date - roughly 2,000.

    Went for a spin around the Meteora...awesome place, been there many times and it still impresses
    [​IMG]
    A rare picture of me - in disguise as a biker - does my hi-viz gear impress?
    [​IMG]
    Had some time to kill in Igoumenitsa so bimbled around a tad
    [​IMG]
    Does my bike look fat in these sidecases?
    [​IMG]
    Random side profile picture
    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    Location:
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    Well, Wednesday evening and I am in Ferrara (SW of Venice). I got off the boat at 9am and got here for about 8pm. Slab most of the way - I tried riding the "normal" roads but it was just one long, thin, taffic lighted, cagered, non-Adriatic seeing strip. I saw more of the coast and the sea from the 'slab. Such a contrast to the other side.

    In hindsight, I'd have been better off doing loop anti-clockwise (makes Italy less of an anti-climax). I'd also have stayed in Durres, it looked pretty cool. I'd also have checked the ferry times on the net rather than ride down to Igoumenitsa. It would have saved me hours sitting around doing nothing.

    So..who did i meet? well... I chatted briefly with 2 italians on the way into Albania, a Turk on the way out and 2 English people on the boat. Other than that my evenings were spent posting these, reading, drinking and sleeping. I offer up that last paragraph as a warning/reality check. This is probably my 10th trip, I loved them all but, for me, breakdowns/terrain aren't the hardest bit.. it's the not talking to anyone real for days. So that's my, dour, advice.

    I know this trip over, nearly, because now I'm thinking of my next trip..artic circle or 3 continents ..now..if I can only tempt my brother..


    PSI 108 (falling asleep)
    Breakdowns 0 (makes me very happy)
    Lost stuff 1
    Naked totty 0 (this is not good!!)
    KM to date - roughly 2,800

    Some "perty" pics from the boat to Brindisi
    [​IMG]
    My last meaningful picture - taken from the boat as it pulled into Brindisi.
    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    And all too soon I'm back home. Time to edit the pictures, post them, rest my arse, reflect, plan for the next trip etc.

    The last day of riding, Ferrara to Wien, was pretty uneventful. I slabbed it until I got to the Alps then hopped off the motorway and cruised over the mountains. Spent most of the time with my left hand in the air waving at thousands (OK OK hundreds) of bikes, mostly Hardly's, am guessing there was some HD rally somewhere. I did ask but the mixture of poor English (his) and crappy Italian (mine) didn't us very far. He did chuckle when I snicked the 'Goose into gear with the side stand down :)

    Anyhooo...other than adding a few memories, making some corrections to spelling and grammar (yep :) I'm a grammar nazi) that's the end of my first report. Hope you'll enjoyed the report and the pictures (which I'll start to post today) and found some, or all, of it useful.

    Reflection Number 1 - take way way way more pictures and try and grab pictures of each border crossing
    Reflection Number 2 - give more consideration to direction of travel...do the boring stuff first..not last.


    PSI 108 (falling asleep)
    Breakdowns 0 (makes me very happy)
    Lost stuff 1
    Naked totty 0 (a bloody shambles)
    KM to date - roughly 3,400ish (Mapsource says closed to 4k but pfft)
    #6
  7. Flood

    Flood F5lood.

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    10,161
    Location:
    Austria
    Good report!

    The Breva is a beauty- so is the Adriatic. The Harley thing was probably the bike week in Faak.

    Thanks for sharing!
    #7
  8. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,030
    Nice loop you've done! Thanks for the report and pics!! The goose looks good too :thumb
    #8
  9. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University

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    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    GOOD WORK CATWEASEL!

    Nice Brev' too!
    #9
  10. istankov

    istankov photographing your vision

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Herceg Novi, Montenegro
    :clapVery good trip, but you missed one interesting point> Kotor. :eek1

    After the breakfast in Hotel Plaza (Hotel Plaža) in Herceg Novi, you jumped on bike and drove that uggly street down to the crossroad in Meljine, then straight to Ferry crossing.

    EEEEM ERROR!

    When approaching to Ferry crossing in Bay of Boka Kotorska at Kamenari, don't stop on ferry and waste time, turn left, and pass by two narrow curves between old houses of Kamenari.

    You will enter to the one of most beautiful bays in the world.

    Next time you will know what to do :)
    #10
  11. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    ahh! cos next time is august..so, in advance, thanks Istankov :) and, just so I am sure..you're talking here? (see pic) around the bay as shown..

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

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    #12
  13. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    #13
  14. istankov

    istankov photographing your vision

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Herceg Novi, Montenegro
    [​IMG]


    What an uggly hand drawing :)

    So: X sigh means, you over passed by ferry most interesting part of Bay of Boka Kotorska.

    One have to turn left and pass between two houses and that narrow road to Perast... First big red spot on the road. Then take small boat and jump on small artificial island of Our Lady of the Rock, then very good meal somewhere on Perast riviera.

    Then to Kotor, second big red spot, and after Kotor, climb to the Njeguši...

    I'll soon post "how to ride along montenegro"
    #14
  15. Thorne

    Thorne Sherpa-ing around

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    Location:
    Lone Pine, ON, Canada
    :lurk
    #15
  16. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    hehe, thanks :) I'll make sure I do that next time :) just a shame august is so far away
    #16
  17. Gorilla King

    Gorilla King Dobar Skorz!

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    Location:
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    Totally cool loop. I would love to do it.
    #17
  18. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    It was pretty cool :) god! I miss my bike right now..grrrr...stupid unemployment
    #18
  19. Gorilla King

    Gorilla King Dobar Skorz!

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    No bike?! You poor dear. I'm sure there is a nice new bike in your near future.

    You have me thinking of doing something similar now. Start and end in Ljubljana though.
    #19
  20. Teabar

    Teabar Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Sutton, England
    Really nice Guzzi. Great trip.

    PS. I'll be there (croatia/Montenegro) in July :D
    #20