Wanderlust, vacation and a V-Strom – heading out to explore Southeast Europe.

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Don T, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    Denmark-Europe.
    Right now I'm at work - for the last time in a month :)
    When I left for work this morning it was on a bike packed and ready for vacation.
    The bike is now parked in the garage next to the ambulances and when I get off in the morning I'm heading out on new adventures.

    As time and Internet access allows I'll try to keep this RR updated.

    I don't have much of a plan for this trip - only that I would like to explore the Southeastern part of Europe.
    Especially The Carpathian Mountains and The Balkans beacons me.

    I'm bringing my camping gear along and will probably do some wild camping along the way. Besides that I hope to be able to take fellow inmates up on their tent space offers.
    But I expect that most nights will be spend in hotels, B&B's and the like as I appreciate the comfort of a real bed.

    Tomorrow the adventure begins - stay tuned.

    [​IMG]

    #1
  2. Radzz

    Radzz Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14
    Location:
    Denmark
    You lucky b###ard....have a really good trip and enjoy..looking forward to your RR:-)
    #2
  3. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    Denmark-Europe.
    16th of July:
    Vordingborg, Denmark - Liberec, Czech Republic 781 km.


    I managed to get some sleep during the night so I felt great when I hit the road just before 8 am.
    Prior to leaving I had been in contact with Bigboyxl who has an offer in the tent space thread.
    As I wanted to make it to his place on the first day I had some distance to cover. The day was mostly spend on the Autobahn but from time to time I did some shortcuts using secondary roads. It was a good day of riding.
    Late in the afternoon I arrived at Bigboy’s place and was greeted by him and his dog.
    He has an Internet store selling good stuff for advriders and he was busy shipping parts to customers as he had just been away for a few days participating in the Stella Alpina. It sounded like a really cool event.
    A short time later a Russian couple showed up. They were on their first ride to Europe and had (like me) decided to take Bigboy up on his tent space offer.
    When everyone was ready we headed downtown to get some dinner. Later Bigboy gave us a guided tour around town. Liberec is a really nice place.
    It was pretty late before we arrived back at the house.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bigboy
    [​IMG]

    Liberec by night
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    Denmark-Europe.
    17th of July:
    Liberec, Czech Republic – Rzeszów, Poland – 622 km.

    It was still early when I got up. I had some bread, sheep cheese and coffee with Bigboy and his dad before continuing my journey. Bigboy had been a fabulous host and I hope to see him again in the future.
    Bigboy had suggested a route through the mountains so the first couple of hours of the day were spend on great roads.
    During the day the weather got really hot and thunderclouds were building. In the afternoon the temperature suddenly dropped from 33 to 17 degrees in 5 minutes and the sky opened up. It was so bad that most cars on the freeway pulled over and stopped on the shoulder. I didn’t and had the flooded road almost to myself. I find it to be a kick to ride in the rain when it’s that bad. The shower only lasted 10 minutes and afterwards the temperatures started to rise again.
    Late in the afternoon I arrived at Losiu’s place – another ADV inmate offering tent space. His house is located in a nice rural area 20 kilometers outside of Rzeszów. He had the house to himself as his wife and kids was away horseback riding in another part of the country.

    It didn’t take long to decide that we were going to spend the night out on town in Rzeszów. As we both like beers we took the bus to get there. After a good pizza we visited a bar/micro brewery that produces their own beer. Sometime after midnight one of Losiu’s friends gave us lift back to the house. It was late before I hit the sack and I slept like a dead man.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Losiu's place
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hanging out in Rzeszów
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    Denmark-Europe.
    18th of July:
    Rzeszów, Poland - Nyiregyháza, Hungary 292 km.


    For some reason it was difficult to get out of bed in the morning.
    After a good breakfast burrito, a lot of orange juice and some coffee I was fit for fight again.
    Losiu decided to send me of by showing me a good route from his house. That way he also had an excuse to take the KTM 690 Enduro he picked up a few days ago for a spin. There are some really nice roads in the area. When we splitting up we talked about him coming to Denmark (maybe later this year) so I can repay his hospitality and show him around the little kingdom up north. It had been a real pleasure to visit him.
    I continued south through Slovakia and spend most of the day riding small roads in the northern parts of The Carpathian Mountains. It was a bountiful mix of Forrest and rural areas. The road quality varied a lot from smooth tar to mainly pot holes. It was another very warm day, and the thunderclouds were yet again building. I had dry roads the whole day but the Storm was close all afternoon. Every time I stopped I could hear thunder and see flashes in the dark sky to the east.
    It was still early when I arrived at the hotel I had booked in the morning on the computer. It is cheap (like really cheap). The room is small and simple but it is a spa hotel with swimming pool, sauna, steam bath, Jacuzzi etc. - just what I needed.
    Tonight I'm drinking soda.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cheap hotel in Hungary
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    Denmark-Europe.
    I'm sorry that a few of the pictures are lying down.
    For some reason i can't fix it now - I'll try later...
    #6
  7. Katrine

    Katrine fairy

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Sealand, Denmark
    Hej Skat.Det ser helt fantastisk ud alt sammen.
    Jeg ville ønske, at jeg var med.
    Kærlig hilsen Katrine :rofl
    #7
  8. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    Denmark-Europe.
    19th of July:
    Nyiregyháza, Hungary - Durau, Romania 508 km.


    The day started flat and fast heading east out of Hungary. It was still late morning when I crossed the border to Romania. Next up was Maramures. I entered the Mara River Valley at Baia Mare and exited at Prislop Pass. It’s a beautiful area with rough roads. Rough roads were a theme for most of the day. I continued southeast on small roads through the Carpathian Mountains. At 8 pm I was busted after 11 hours of demanding riding and checked in at a hotel in Durau which is situated in the national park Ceahlau.

    Mixed traffic in Romania - in some areas there are more horse-drawn carriages than cars.

    [​IMG]

    Entering Mara River Valley
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The valley
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After Prislop Pass
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Numerous small suspension bridges crosses the Bistrita River.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    My trusty steed parked right in front of the hotel in Durau
    [​IMG]

    Rough roads had left their mark on the inner bag for my top case.
    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    Denmark-Europe.
    20th of July:
    Durau, Romania - Corbeni, Romania 435 km.


    I got up early and started the day with a walk in the woods before breakfast. At 8.15 I was back on the road following Lake Bicaz south. After I had crossed the dam I hit 60 kilometers of biker heaven: road 12C from Bicaz to Gheorgheni. The first part was narrow canyons and tight hairpins going up the mountain. The second part was wonderful sweeping curves mixed with some more hairpins going down the other side of the mountain - all of it on super smooth tarmac. Perfect, simply perfect!
    The rest of the days riding was nice but nowhere nearly as good. Maybe I'll experience another high tomorrow..?
    Tonight I'm staying at a boardinghouse in Corbeni where I can see the Transfagarasan from my balcony :evil

    From my morning walk
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Along Lake Bicaz
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Biker heaven
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Manually operated railway crossing
    [​IMG]

    During the afternoon I passed by Bran Castle (Dracula's Castle). The place was crowded with tourists, so I just snapped a quick picture.
    [​IMG]

    There are churches everywhere in Romania
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Shortly before I stopped for the day I passed this sign
    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. Saso

    Saso chronically restless

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    898
    Location:
    Northern California
    Thanks for sharing this RR - I'll be following your route in late September and early October! :freaky
    #10
  11. KleineDK

    KleineDK Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Middle of Denmark
    Ligner lige en tur for mig, træk vejret dybt og nyd turen :rofl
    En hilsen fra en jyde med udelængsel...

    Regards Jesper
    #11
  12. losiu

    losiu wheelie addict

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    578
    Location:
    POLAND
    Hey Don T :)
    I'm glad you enjoyed the stay in the south-east of Poland. You're welcome to come over any time you're travellling through the area. And as for beer we had together...

    Attached Files:

    • beer.jpg
      beer.jpg
      File size:
      60.2 KB
      Views:
      1,961
    #12
  13. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    Denmark-Europe.
    Thank you for the replies it's nice to get some feedback.

    It took me leaving the country for my girlfriend to make her first post on Advrider :rofl

    Saso >
    You have something to look forward to. Especially The Carpathian Mountains is a treat for bikers.

    KleineDK >
    I'm really enjoying this trip. The only thing that could have made it better, was if my girlfriend would have been able to come along. She would have loved to, but she spend all of her vacation in May when we got a new dog, so now she has to stay home working and looking after the little beast.

    losiu >
    Thank you. I hope to be able to take you up on that offer. You are absolutly right regarding the beer :D


    I'll update the RR later today. It was a spectacular day yesterday...

    Cheers
    Tonny
    #13
  14. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    Denmark-Europe.
    21st of July:
    Corbeni, Rumania - Turnu Ruieni, Rumania 456 km.


    At breakfast I shared a table with two guys from New Zealand. They had done The Transfagarasan the day before (Sunday). They were full of praise but complained that the road had been very crowded.
    As I pulled out from the boardinghouse I was on the fabled road and it soon started to climb. By chance I hit the road on a Monday morning which meant that I had the road almost to myself - great! The Transfagarasan turned out to be everything I had hoped for.
    When I got north of the mountains I headed west to ride another famous road - The Transalpina.
    As I got near the town Sebes I noticed that all the signs for Transalpina were crossed out. I just ignored that and let the GPS guide me. When I entered the road I found it almost deserted. The road offered some interesting riding. The surface constantly changed between smooth new tarmac, old tarmac with lots of potholes, broken up concrete slabs and rough gravel. The V-Strom soaked it all up.
    In Curtea de Arges I turned right and followed a small river out of the mountains. It turned out to be a scorching hot afternoon with temperatures around 35 degrees :knary

    Late in the afternoon I arrived in the small village Turnu Ruieni at the home of the Ciric family. I have stayed at their house every year for the last 5 years when I was participating in the EnduRomania. It was good to be back. When I told them of the days ride they were very surprised that I had been able to ride the Transalpina. It had been closed for a while due to rockslides and was officially still close. That explained the deserted road and the often very poor riding conditions.
    It turned out that I had arrived in Turnu Ruieni on the day of the yearly village fête. In the evening the youngest son of the family showed me around and introduced me to his friends. I shook hands with a lot of people that night. It got late before I hit the sack.

    The Transfagarasan
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As I was leaving the road I had a chat with Chad. An American soldier working and living in Germany. He spend all his vacations exploring Europe on two wheels. He seemed like a very nice guy.
    [​IMG]

    When translations go wrong
    [​IMG]

    Transalpina
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Leaving the mountains
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One of my rare visits to a gas station. For this kind of riding I'm getting around 30 km/l (70 US MPG) giving the V-Strom a range of 600 km/370 miles.
    [​IMG]

    Almost there. The castle ruin that have given Turnu Ruieni below it name.
    [​IMG]

    The men of the Ciric family. The patriarch in the middle flanked by his two sons. The youngest son Bogdan on the left and on the right is Christian who happens to be the priest of the village.
    [​IMG]

    A night out on town. The fête involved live music and a lot of dancing in the church square. As it got dark the whole village turned up. Everyone from toddlers to the very old was participating. Drinking in public is frowned upon in Romania so between dances people retreated to the surrounding houses to quench their thirst.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It was well after midnight when Christian's daughter of 1½ year decided to join the party

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,215
    Excellent report! Nice to see a ride through this part of Europe, and to learn of new roads! Thanks!
    #15
  16. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    Denmark-Europe.
    Thank you.

    This is the first time I'm spending time on 2 wheels in Eastern Europe (participating in the EnduroMania excepted).
    This is really an overlook part of Europe for many riders. It's very different from Western Europe which add to the adventure. The scenery is breath taking, the riding is excellent, people are really nice and the cost of living is unbelievable low.

    This won't be my last visit!
    #16
  17. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    Denmark-Europe.
    22nd of July:
    Turnu Ruieni/Caransebes, Rumania 10 km (on foot).


    When I went to bed last night my plan was to continue my journey in the morning. Plans change.
    In the morning I was awakened by thunder, lightning and rain hammering down on the roof. It didn't look like it was going to change anytime soon. I decided to postpone my departure by another day. I spend the morning studying maps and making new plans.
    Around noon the rain stopped and the sun broke through the clouds. I had to do a bit of shopping so Bogdan took me in his car to Caransebes the nearby bigger town. Before we headed back he showed me his new apartment in town that was being renovated.
    After several long days in the saddle I needed some exercise. I decided to take a hike to the castle ruin above the village. There are two roads/trails leading there. The long one isn't that steep and in decent shape. The short one is in some places very steep and in a bad shape. I've done both several times on a Yamaha WR250R. This time I took the long way up and the short one down. It took me 2 hours on foot. I was soaked with sweat when I got back - just in time for dinner.
    I'll spend the rest of the evening relaxing and hanging out with the family.

    A wet morning
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Caransebes
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Going for a walk - the long way up
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    View from the castle
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Going back down taking the short route (as always most places is much steeper than it looks)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    Denmark-Europe.
    23rd of July:
    Turnu Ruieni, Romania – - Zlatibor, Serbia – 456 km.

    Last night didn’t end up as relaxing as I had expected. It turned out the village fête was a 2 day event…
    I still managed to get an early start today. After 2 hours of really nice riding in Romania it was time to leave the country. The final stretch of road to the Serbian border was deserted and poorly maintained. As expected I arrived at a very sleepy border crossing. It still took some time to cross. Being used to open borders within the EU it’s easy to forget how cumbersome it can be to cross borders elsewhere.
    From the border the road took me to Belgrade. I continued south. Later in the day on road M-21 south of the town Valjevo I stumbled across 30 kilometers of pure joy. It was a roller coaster ride with one superb curve after another going up and down. I scraped the pegs numerous times and was smiling like a lunatic.

    As the afternoon progressed the sky kept getting darker and started leaking. That combined with the aftermath of 2 late nights in Caransebes made me decide to call it a day and I checked in at a boardinghouse just outside of Zlatibor. After unpacking the bike I took a stroll into town to get some dinner. I was soaked when I got back.

    Leaving Romania
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Last gas station before the border crossing - deserted like the road
    [​IMG]

    Free-range livestock on the roads have left their mark
    [​IMG]

    Belgrade
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    M-21 south of Valjevo just before the fun part starts
    [​IMG]

    Nice parking for the bike at the boardinghouse
    [​IMG]

    A nice biker dinner - simple and plenty.

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. losiu

    losiu wheelie addict

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    578
    Location:
    POLAND
    All of it looks like a total blast.
    Too bad I couldn't join you for at least a couple of days.
    It would've been fun.
    #19
  20. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    Denmark-Europe.
    24th of July:
    Zlatibor, Serbia – - Zelengora Mountain, Bosnia – 374 km.

    The weather was nice in the morning and I was soon back on the road. Nice riding from the word go. After about an hour I crossed the border to Montenegro. Next up was Durmitor National Park. I entered Mojkovac and follow the river Tara. I had lunch at a restaurant in Zabljak. I exited the park via Sedlo Pass. I then headed north back into Serbia. At around 5 pm I stopped to get fuel and some supplies. Shortly after a left the tarmac behind and started to ascent the mountains in search of a lake that looks a bit like Africa :wink: Thanks to Gliga for supplying me with a way point the night before (his Balkan thread was an inspiration for me when I prepared this trip). When I left the tarmac my GPS told me that I had 42 km to my destination. I was in for a challenge – especially due to logging vehicles having destroyed much of the route. The last 42 km of the day ended up taking me almost 2 hours. Just to make things more interesting it started to drizzle when I had a few kilometers left.
    The destination was worth the trouble. I managed to put up my tent just before it started to rain in earnest. It lasted only for an hour. I had a great evening in company of 2 sixty years old hikers from Slovenia who had used the spot as a base camp for the last 3 days. They offered me warm coffee and something a bit stronger – I had brought the beers. I slept like a baby that night.

    Early morning in Serbia
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Durmitor National Park
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sedlo Pass
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Heading for Serbia
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After leaving the tarmac
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Wild camping at altitude
    [​IMG]

    #20