VIA MEDITERRA - The journey around the Med with an HP2

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by kimangao, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. GirlieS

    GirlieS Adventurer

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    Wow!

    Checking in and making time to read this one... especially cause it's relatively close to home and parts within our riding goals for the summer.
    Great pics.... really awesome! :clap
  2. Connito

    Connito Adventurer

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    Born in Bulgaria. Stuck in Boston, for now...
  3. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Hello everybody,
    I'm back again and happy to continue the story. Thanks again for your patience.

    Remember where I had stopped? Near Cabo de Gata, the south-eastern tip of the Spanish peninsula.

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    To Alicante, where I may get the visa for Algeria, I should just follow the coastline. But I take a little detour to a city that is worth it....

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    In the evening I arrive in Granada, the place to be. But it's not only the cities moorish heritage that brought me here.

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    Have a look a the Alhambra! That's a palace!

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    Ok, what made me go here if not the city itself? Right! A woman. To be more precise, Frédérique, the lady of our inmate Kktos. She's a professor of art and has a meeting with at least one artist. (no, not me.)


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    I shall get to know him in one of the traditional tapas bars. Here tons of ham are hanging above you.

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    We meet Steven at the bar. He has a gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico and it takes me a while to realize what multi-tasking type of artist he is. If you want to check out what he's doing (no, no adv-bikes) have a look at http://www.stevenboone.com

    During the next days I'm getting him to know more and more. Most of all because he invites me to lodge on the balcony of his appartment opposite of the Alhambra.

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    And that balcony has the best view ever! Imagine waking up with this view for a couple of days ...

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    Beeing with two artist it's obvious that I have to consume some art. Most of all I'm enjoying this abbey.

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    (For your orientation: That's the ceiling)

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    Granada also offers some nice street art. But it seems some forms of art owe their existence to “consciousness-expanding” products. The writing “Farlopa” means cocaine: Spain has the highest levels of cocaine use in Europe.

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    Frédérique unfortunately has to fly back home. But Steven and me we join some fabulous flamenco nights.

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    Gee, these people know how to dance!

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    Steven moves on to a little village west of Granada. There is nearly nothing. Perfect for the work of an artist.

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    The man at work.

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    At work, too. We've soon found out that we share the interest in photography. Within the next days we learn a lot from each other.

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    Well, Steven doesn't smoke, me neither ... :lol3

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    Back in Granada I try to remember what Steven has told me about photography, especially people photography: Smile and respect. Well, the smile at least work well.

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    Have a nice day and see you soon!

    Cheers

    Dirk
  4. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    You can't be in Granada without riding Europes highest tarmaced mountain road. It leads from Granada to the Pico de Valeta (3396m) and Mulhacen (3479m) to the villages of Capileira and Trevelez.

    Today I'm not the only one to take the ride. Two Italian couples are also on their way to the top of Europe.

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    Pierluigi and Sylvia on their nice Africa Twin.

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    But hey! What's that? Even if you ignore these signs you won't ignore the barrier further up the road (a bit left from my left hand). We're at 2550m and there's lot more to come.

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    I ask the guy at the barrier and he tells me that without special permission there's no way of going further. "This is the emtrance of the national park." National park? The last time I was here, there was nothing and no one. No national park, no ski resort, no parking lots with huts where you can buy coffee in plastic cups, no barrier ...

    A bit of research brought back to my mind that the Alpine World Ski Champinships in 1996 are the origin of the ski-resort. The national-park - just next to it - was founded three years later. So when I've crossed that road without anything being there ... man, I'm getting old! And sometimes disappointed.

    Anyway, the final 27 kilometers to Capileira can't be done anymore with a private vehicle (public vehicles can). Instead you have to cover 120 kilometers on a detour that takes via Granada.

    Before the Italians and me get too frustrated we walk up a bit to the old observatory till the place that we decide ...

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    ... is top for us :D The real peak is a bit right from the center.
    Has anyone seen a motorcyclist carrying a bagpipe? At least this here is the place to get it out an play it loud :clap

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    And finally a little bit of Van Halen :lol3



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    On the way back to the bikes I'm thinking about the detour to Capileira. And then it comes back to my mind: I'm already on a detour! Algeria, the bloody visa! The consulate ... Alicante ... here I come!


    Cheers for today.

    Dirk
  5. Connito

    Connito Adventurer

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    Awesome, just awesome!
  6. kktos

    kktos on a bright side of life

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    Mate, you made my day !
    Stuck at work on a F* boring problem and I just saw your recent posts.
    :clap
    :norton
  7. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    I have to thank you, your replies make mine :-)

    Ok, back to the story:
    Remember that I failed getting a visa for Algeria in Morocco.

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/WKNotG715Sw?feature=player_embedded" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe>


    That's why I'm in Alicante now, where there is an Algerian consulate. You may cross your finger for me. Now watch, what happened in Alicante! (and don't miss 1:35 ;-))

    <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6UlEaQ_hf_0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe>

    These consulate blokes forced me completely reorganize the journey. :puke1 But hey: How boring, if everything works out as you've thought.
    Nevertheless I had some comments on the video that are not suitable for all audiences ;-)

    Hope you enjoy!

    Cheers

    Dirk
  8. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    So that's just neighbourhood. I was born in Wuppertal and live in Essen now. An uncle of mine used to live in Benrath.

    See you somewhen in Benrath or Spain :freaky

    Cheers

    Dirk
  9. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    Not even tempted to clone the lights and wires out of the picture? Or is it the wires and lights that add to the picture? Kimangao, all your photos are so void of litter. Do you look over the ground before every shot to clear away the odd paper wrapping, or coca cola can?
    Sorry if my comment appears elementary, I am just trying to learn composition from you.

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  10. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    Ah Dirk, officials.......officials.....too officious. So off you go to Roma! Cool. Love the riding clips and the way they made you swim from the boat to land underwater. Those devils! :rofl
  11. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    Hi Edmont,
    no worries. Cloning or stamping is not my thing (if it is not the camera-own dust particles). I like the situations as they are. If there's litter, wires etc and I don't like it in the picture, then I don't take it. Ok, if it's just an empty can that is one meter from me I try to find another nice location for it :lol3 But in general I take a picture and if it doesn't please me right away I delete it instantly. And take another one ...
    But there's another important factor that keeps me from working on pictures afterwards too much (especially stamping): F.e. from this journey I brought about 25.000 (good) pictures home. To me it would be a waste of (my) lifetime to go over all the pictures.

    Have a nice weekend!

    Cheers

    Dirk
  12. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

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    Hey Dirk,

    Far from having your photographer's eye and skill... but I wanted to agree with you. I too never touch photos after they have been taken. I want the final product to be done before I move to the next stopping point on my ride. However I do not delete a few of my tries unless they are obviously wrong because I don't see very well on the small camera screen when on a ride, glasses and all. And I noticed something when I get home and see them on a large screen: usually my first photo, in terms of composition, is better than all the subsequent ones of the same subject.

    I really enjoy your photography, and I'm learning from you. Looking forward to what is next.

    Lion
  13. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    Thanks Dirk. Very much appreciated.
  14. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Duesseldorf, Germany
    Good morning!
    The movie clip narrates that I'm already in Italy. But on the ferry from Barcelona/Spain to Civitaveccia, the new port of Rome there was a little incident that made me doubt if it's really that bad that I had to take the big detour and skip Algeria. Though there is still a little chance of entering Algeria: After being refused at the Algerian consulate in Alicante I've sent my passport to the their embassy in Berlin... In the meantime I move on to and through Italy. For non-Europeans: No passport required in the EU.


    Ok, back to the ferry that brings me from Barcelona to Italy. The passage lasts 20hrs and to me few things a more boring than cruising on a ship. I'm strolling around taking a picture here and there. All over sudden somebody else shows interest in pictures and the camera....

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    Vanessa is on her way from Barcelona where she'd been working with a friend Patrizia to the south of Italy. Wouldn't you have given her your camera, too? :lol3

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    We play around with the cameras and - thank you Steven - some nice shot come out. Here's one I like from Patrizia ...

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    ... and one from Vanessa. She looks much better without glasses, doesn't she? Maybe I should forget about the 'motorcycle-in-a-landscape' pictures and try something else?

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    Arriving in Civitavecchia my thoughts are again well grounded. The HP2 refuses to ignite. The reason is pretty simple: The spring that holds the sidestand in driving position is gone. As long as the sidestand is down the engine doesn't work. The solution is as simple as the problem: Tie the sidestand to the frame. Ok, solving one problem leads to another one: How to park the bike without a stand?


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    Time to have a closer look to so other elements which are no longer in immaculate condition: The mount of the sidestand ...

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    ... and the rear left indicator. Nice souvenir from Morocco. I wonder how the sand went in and why it's not pouring out. Anyway whatever needs to be repaired or replaced, Rome is the place to go.

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    Without a GPS I'm trying to find my way to a dealer in Rome. And without wanting my destiny spills me out on St. Peters Square where I bump into a procession.

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    I lean the HP2 against a wall (sidestand still tied to the frame) to take some pics as one of these Carabinieri arrives and tells me unambiguously that I can't park here. I don't speak that much Italian but I get what he says straight away. I want to explain the problem (spring of the sidestand) to him but ... what does 'spring of the sidestand' mean in Italian? The guy, now less aggressive has a quick look at the bike and talks to himself: "Ah, la molla!" And then to me: "Come, come!" He jumps on his bike turns on the flashing blue lights and escorts me to the next BMW dealer. Did I ever said a bad word about cops? Grazie, Signore Carabinieri!

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    I buy the spring and I'm welcomed by inmate Ladygodiva. She's my guide to the absolutely fantastic city of Rome.

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    The next days see me following her GPZ and the yellow helmet criss-crossing Rome for some sightseeing.

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    Though Rome is a modern city you run into a decent number of famous buildings. Castel Sant’Angelo, the Mausoleum of Hadrian, later used as a fortress and prison...

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    ... and the Colosseum. Whatever happened in this walls: The striking thing to me is, that these stones have survived 2000 years of history. And now that I'm here I feel that this is one of the places to touch it: History.

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    (thank you Ladygodiva for pushing the button)


    Cheers for today

    Dirk
  15. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    Italy and especially Rome is a motorcycle and scooter habitat. They're everywhere and always in the pole position at traffic lights. No matter if there's a cop around or not. Close to heaven ;-)

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    Besides bikes this is one of my favourite vehicles. The Fiat 500. Made to go in every corner of narrow Italian villages ages before someone built a Smart. And yes, here they are still alive.

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    In the heart of the city it's obvious that the tourist season has started. Though the faces of some protagonists look like end of the season.

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    And here we are at one of the hot spots, at the Pantheon. Cameras are clicking, flash cards changed, swearwords when the battery is empty.

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    What a rush! And this is or at least was a temple ... To have this building (nearly) on your own you have to get up very early.

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    Very early :wink: I got up at six and was there at half past only to find some people already admiring the best preserved Roman building.

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    At St. Peters the coloums mark the border between the State of Vatican and Italy as a country. Would be nice if every border would be that easy to cross. Pope Benedict is still in power and because he's German I think of paying him a visit.

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    But I'm not the only one. These people are queing at the cashier. One of the guards sees my disappointed face and tells me that I'm lucky. It would take only about two hours for me to pass the cashier. And another two hours to the Sistine Chapel.

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    Man, I have a lot of time for this journey. But for this here I'm still too unpatient. The Vatican, the Sistine chapel and everything else have waited for me for ages. So they will wait a bit longer for me.
    Meanwhile I'm strolling around in the no man's land between Vatican and Italy. And what I see here brings me back to the real life. This nun with her trolley for example. I always thought that in the Vatican there are servants for this and that. But, as I see now, they've to care for themselves, do their shopping like ourselves.

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    And Benedicts charwoman. She's cleaning with ordinary water. Like me. That's somehow appeasing, isn't it? I always thought life in the Vatican is somehow 'holy'. Whatever that means. But now I realize that it's just as ordinary as my little life back home.

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    On the square I meet this fellow photographer. He's carrying a bunch of extremely nice portraits. Pictures I could never take. But his business is declining. He wonders why. I try to tell him about cellphones with integrated cameras, facebook and in the end I doubt that there was anything meaningful I said to him. Maybe that's just our time: If you can't put your pics online straight away you're out of business.

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    In the evening Ladygodiva and me rush to an appopointment with someone I have met earlier on this trip...

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    And here he is: Mr. Kktos went all the way from France to accompany me on the way through Italy.

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    Of course this meeting needed a proper celebration. Part one plays in this restaurant where one of these fish was turned into a proper meal.

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    Part two plays in a bar on the Piazza degli Zingari. Ssank ju for teikin sis picsure of mee. Who wassis?

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    With Kktos I'm heading south along the coast till we reach ...

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    .... Mount Vesuvio. But this is the beginning of the next chapter already.

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    Hope you enjoyed!

    Cheers

    Dirk
  16. kktos

    kktos on a bright side of life

    Joined:
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    Città di Gaeta
    Nice little city on the road to Napoli.
    When some people left the city around 1700, some went to France, in Sète.
    And they brought a special dish they had in Gaeta which is now the "spécialité" of Sète, the Tielle.
    It was funny to see that in the streets of Gaeta, they are still making those little pies.
  17. makad

    makad P/T Shed Dwelling Hermit

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    YES Indeed!
    Cannot wait until the next episode Dirk
  18. zakou

    zakou Been here awhile

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    You ve got the magic touch..........................great photography!!
  19. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    What camera does the old fella have there? It is sad to hear he is struggling to make ends meet.
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    Being German, I would have thought a Leica would be in your camera bag Dirk?
  20. Navel

    Navel Omphaloskeptical

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Galicia, Spain. Exiled in Madrid.
    It really looks german indeed: Rolleiflex http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolleiflex. My father has one too.

    Thanks for the great report and photos!