The Land of Pickled Fish and Beyond

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by excTC, May 4, 2012.

  1. excTC

    excTC Carbon Ktm lifeform

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Briswest
    Plan. *Well not a detailed one anyway. *Oz to Poz...nan bike to ferry, ferry to Helsinki (21hrs) then.....?.....some riding and pics.... *and back but via the baltic states. *Some riding, some sites, some wilderness. *
    I had been to Helsinki quite a few years ago and with a reason to go for work for a couple of days why not ride. *The bike is a 690 set up with panniers and tested on a ride through Poland and Sweden. *

    X the bike
    [​IMG]

    Commitment Wednesday, travel booked wed night, fly friday start Saturday. Plenty of time.

    Now I am sitting in a plane on leg 1 of the trip. *2 more legs and then on landing in Poznan I will have the afternoon to load up and make about 400k to Gydinia ready for a morning boarding of the ferry.

    There have already been some other forays into the wilderness which have helped the preparation. **

    X Sweden in summer at the Huski museum!

    [​IMG]
    X creating the submariners club in Ukraine. Vodka was used to formalize it later.

    [​IMG]

    *What I remember of Helsinki was marinated raw fish which was good, statue of the mermaid and ? That's about it, or all that is fit for publishing. *

    My brother in law who has a KTM shop is key to the success of the plan and any of the missing bits. *
    I have packed boots, lid, warm gloves (still snow on ground apparently) and repellent and GPS and spot. *Need to remember to get pants and socks. *Mine were dirty, smelly from riding and not fit for packing.


    To guide the trip find I have turned to Advrider, but found very little on the north.* Google is not much help either. *I have put the word out however and things are looking promising.
    #1
  2. excTC

    excTC Carbon Ktm lifeform

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Briswest
    Arrived in Poznan and picked up the bike, some pants and more socks (wet socks are not good). The sport team had it all under control. Now I just need to get he camera crew sorted.

    [​IMG]

    Have bummed a lift in a van to the port. A four hour trip. Last time I rode through Forrest and fields most of the way which was great but took 10 hours. Not recommended if afflicted with jet lag. At least I have 21 hours to kick back on the ferry. I am in contact with an inmate from Finland and am looking forward to what riding may come out of that.
    #2
  3. backcast

    backcast no dust

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Brisbane
    She is named Havis Amanda http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Havis_Amanda
    She is standing on seaweed, perhaps it goes well with pickled fish!

    Sounds like you're in for a great adventure. All of us back home will follow you on Spot with envy.
    #3
  4. excTC

    excTC Carbon Ktm lifeform

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Briswest
    The weather is raining and cold but the rain holds off when I leave and I have only about 2 km to get to the ferry. *[​IMG]
    I have to swap the Oz gloves for warm ones.

    First I had to get on the ferry. I followed some signs, wrong place, got directions, back track a few km to get a ticket at #1 Poland street by the sea. *Well that's what I understood. More directions some signs but in front of a round about pointing where. *WTF. After looking in every possible street I found #1 got a ticket and rode back the few km that I now knew quite well. *Through the barrier up the ramp and on board. Next time I am going to use the gps even if I can see the boat.
    X[​IMG]
    X[​IMG]
    Bike bedded down
    X[​IMG]

    Finish guys that did a trip to buy some fun bikes but cut it short because there bums couldn't cope with the seats. *
    X[​IMG]
    X[​IMG]
    The docks were obviously in their heyday some other day, probably well before Lech Walenca was an electrician and the welders in the Solidarity movement took an oxy torch to the iron curtain. *There was still stuff getting built and slaps of steel being turned into ships.
    X[​IMG]
    Me bedded down only 21 hours to go.
    x[​IMG]
    I am starting to see omens for the trip. Ice runner. [​IMG]

    *Am I going to be an ice runner. *I've been riding on ice in 1 degree and it's not easy.
    x[​IMG]

    However I am getting to like the concept of ferrys. *Get on in one country and get off in a different world. *This ferry I started to realize travelled a long way. *21 hrs x 21 knots = ?.. ..well a lot. *800 km. *And a lot of 21's , *21 hrs flying from oz, what does that mean. *How many ferries take you 800km. * Can't be that many.
    #4
  5. excTC

    excTC Carbon Ktm lifeform

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Briswest
    Thats not a mermaid! This is a mermaid!

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. Lunatic

    Lunatic Dan Keyhoety

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    618
    Location:
    DOWN ON THE BORDER , LAS CRUCES, NUEVO MEHICO
    Subscribed !!!! I'll be taking the ferry from Tallin to Stockholm in June !!!!
    #6
  7. excTC

    excTC Carbon Ktm lifeform

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Briswest
    The port is about 12 k from the city. I followed the back roads into town using the GPS to find the Hotel I had booked. Stopped to get some money from a machine and found it is Euro. Der I already had Euros.
    [​IMG]
    Spent some time wandering around the city. I was here once before.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I found this restaurant that has reindeer and bear. I don't think I could bear to eat bear.
    [​IMG]

    The ferry to Stockholm which leaves from the city edge. The one to Tallinn leaves from western port so I am told so I still have to find that and check out the details.
    [​IMG]
    summer and flowers are coming out.
    [​IMG]

    It amazes me what they can drive on the road. No way in our nanny state.

    [​IMG]
    There is no way with WPHS that you could hammer in the nude. Thinking of the possible damage brings tears to my eyes.

    [​IMG]

    The signs are misleading. I mean what do they sell here.

    [​IMG]

    And this place didn't even have bear on the menu.

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. LostHighway

    LostHighway Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    155
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Naw, bear is good! It's like pork! Eat up...!
    #8
  9. excTC

    excTC Carbon Ktm lifeform

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Briswest
    Met up with Capo Sakki a finish inmate who is setting up a 1000k of rally and he kindly allowed me tag along as long as the route was kept secret. Rode 100k north to a meeting point at the local ktm shop. He rode 250 k to the start and formalities over off we went.
    [​IMG]
    We had 300k to make starting at after 3pm. Sakki thought 6 hours. Luckily it gets dark seriously late.
    [​IMG]
    The first control point of the rally
    [​IMG]
    50 k down!
    #9
  10. excTC

    excTC Carbon Ktm lifeform

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Briswest
    The course was working well and was quite fast in places. A lot of roads are gravel and have a good surface.

    [​IMG]
    Beautifully country side made for fantastic riding.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The tracks often go right up too and past houses which is different to back home. Some times they don't and the just stop meaning a retrace and reroute.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    most of the tracks were dry but we ended up with a 100 m or so of wet. The traction was ok however. Apparently The maps can show winter roads which are frozen in winter but swamp and impassable in summer. Not the case this time and the rally route is good.

    [​IMG]


    Arrived just before dark at before 10 pm. Sakki has a house by the lake. I thought there were 80,000 lakes, but I am informed that there may be 200,000. A lot of lakes and all of them have houses perfectly positioned.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Beer, sleep and then more riding, that's how it should work.
    #10
  11. excTC

    excTC Carbon Ktm lifeform

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Briswest
    Headed north east towards Otokompu parallel and about 100 k from the Russian border most of the way. *If only I had a Russian visa could have headed back overland.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Lunch by one of the 200000 lakes and then heading north west.

    [​IMG]


    Parking spaces at home are not shared with these critters.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    A dead end back track and try again. The lakes are barriers at times for fnd a trail. Did I mention that there is a lot of lakes.
    [​IMG]
    some of the country was wet and slippery. Again a dead end and backtrack
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    X

    The first of the snow and ice. It looked easy but under the snow could be ice and slopping as well. The bike instead of going where it was meant to didnt.
    [​IMG]

    Rest stop.
    [​IMG]

    Had an off! *That shouldn't happen. *

    [​IMG]

    Fog was coming in patches and a tank (Sakki advised it was a military training area) *had made a rut to remember. *

    Bit of belting and adding a strap and it was all good. *

    [​IMG]
    More ice and snow.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    We were stopped by snow and ice. *At this stage we were about half way up my map of Finland.
    [​IMG]X

    [​IMG]

    Nothing for it but to back track and try another way.

    Accommodation for the night staying a farm stay with lake cottages run by an 80 + couple. *As well as running a sizable holiday venue they also had about 100 animals to look after including rain deer and rabits.
    [​IMG]X
    It was probably 10 pm by the time we were settled in had a sauna, swim in the icy lake (well maybe not the swim but sauna is great after riding 400 k offload).
    X
    #11
  12. slurpee

    slurpee Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Jeff that looks like some hard going in bits but an amazing ride. I look forward to getting a run down :)



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    #12
  13. going south

    going south hero & Zero...

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,191
    Location:
    Alaska, Mazatlan. sometimes seattle!
    So far so good, I'm along for the ride...:freaky
    #13
  14. excTC

    excTC Carbon Ktm lifeform

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Briswest
    Steve I have learnt a bit about loading the bike and the importance of tyres working well.
    #14
  15. excTC

    excTC Carbon Ktm lifeform

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Briswest
    Going South this sort of country is probably usual for you in Alaska but for Aussies it's differnent. Alaska is on my list for riding bot only te moskitoes have me worried.
    #15
  16. excTC

    excTC Carbon Ktm lifeform

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Briswest
    Day 3 of riding was for heading south. *The weather was, well let's say there was no dust.

    [​IMG]

    Deer but locked up on the farm and easier to photograph.
    [​IMG]
    Rabbits but with only small ears. I don't think they were locals but strange looking.
    [​IMG]
    Geared up we headed off and it Wasn't too bad and improved to be good in the afternoon.

    [​IMG]


    We retraced our path from yesterday and then left it with Sakki giving the GPS a workout. The rally route will go further north and west and we had got to about 80 k short of the end of day 2.
    This is where I had another off. They had graded the mud on the road into a groove and with rain on the visor I didn't see it until it was a eye level.


    [​IMG]

    The panniers put so much weight out away from the COG of the bike that once its offline it's an off. *A rethink of the storage is needed with weight closer in. *Sakki had neat panniers beside the tank. *Bit more belting and another strap and the pannier was good to go again. This time it was the other side pannier and so I had 2 the same.


    [​IMG]

    There were so many lakes that at times we had to be on Tarmac. *We still managed some great Forrest riding at times with melting snow and ice.

    [​IMG]

    We arrived back at Sakkis house at about 6 and by that time the weather was great, still, warm and clear. We had done about 300k, but the forecast for tomorrow was for rain and I wanted to get some at least of the 330k down to Helsinki out of the way while the weather was good.

    I said my goodbyes and have to say that I am very much in appreciation of Sakki letting me tag along. He showed me great hospitallity and some of the best of Finland and I can only recommend it as a destination.

    I had a great ride for about 150k blurting down the highway, beautiful weather. Most riders wave when you pass which is great and you feel you have a real bond. Not sure if that happens as much at home.

    Light rain set in latter on but I stopped about 90k out got a burger and fuel and arrived about 10pm. Went straight to deserted ferry terminal bought a ticket for the next morning and then rode back and found a hotel in the centre of town.

    Total riding for the day about 630k with say half off road. Good practice for the Aussie APC.

    Well that's Finland for the moment. Tomorrow Tallinn and Estonia.
    #16
  17. going south

    going south hero & Zero...

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,191
    Location:
    Alaska, Mazatlan. sometimes seattle!
    They scare me!!! we call-'em the Alaska Air Force....:lol3
    #17
  18. backcast

    backcast no dust

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I thought you were going to cross the arctic circle you were heading so far north. Looks amazing, but the panniers don't seem to have enjoyed the trip as much.

    Best of luck for the trip south.
    #18
  19. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,308
    Location:
    Florida Keys
    Did I miss the bit where you explained what they sell at Le Bonk?
    #19
  20. excTC

    excTC Carbon Ktm lifeform

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Briswest
    Conchscooter there just isn't time to investigate everything and get some riding in.
    #20