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Finding Freedom...World Wide Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BcDano, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Today the weather is overcast, but high clouds. We had a 354 km ride to near the Bulgarian border via the smaller roads and a detour to see the Golubac fortress. Most of the road surface today was patched patches.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 22.24.19 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr


    [​IMG]Serbia-5 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Serbia-6 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Serbia-2 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Serbia-3 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Serbia by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Serbia-4 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Serbia-2 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Serbia-4 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Serbia-2 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  2. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    This route after the fortress is then another 50 km along the banks of the Danube and with the sun shining it was 24 degrees.


    [​IMG]Serbia by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    We then turned south thru the park to end up in the small town of Zajecar. There is nothing to see here it is just a good spot to stop for the day and start out tomorrow for the Bulgarian border and route thru the mountains. The hotel had awesome underground parking and was very simple, but clean and comfortable.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 22.26.06 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
    marior97 likes this.
  3. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The sun is finally out today but cooler at 17 degrees for the 223 km day to Sofia.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 22.43.48 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    The ride to the border is a quick 11 km at Vrska Cuka. Here we were waved thru to park at the gate. We were the only ones there, but still waited 10 min. Finally a sour looking woman came out and asked for our passports. She checked our photos, walked backed to her office, and returned with them in a few minutes. No smile at all or small talk, but she did say “have a nice trip” in a grouchy voice when she handed them back.


    [​IMG]Serbia-9 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr


    You then ride a few hundred meters to the Bulgarian crossing where they are all smiles and very friendly. They also spoke English well. The agent stamped us back into the EU, but Bulgaria is not in the Schengen zone. He then asked to see our route on the GPS to check it went thru Borovitsa where “there are some very nice rocks”.

    [​IMG]Serbia-8 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Serbia-7 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-20 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  4. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The initial road surface was pretty pot holed and passed thru some tiny and poor looking villages.


    [​IMG]Bulgaria-21 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-22 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    Borovista did have an amazing collection of rock formations, but hiking right now is not in the cards.

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-23 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-24 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-25 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-26 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  5. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    There is a fair amount of traffic after Prevala as there is only one road here. There was a disturbing number of scantily clad women standing in the byways on the road into Sofia.


    [​IMG]Bulgaria-28 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    Hitting the city we arrived on the opposite side to our destination and the GPS wanted to go straight thru town, but luckily we got on the ring road and around in a much faster time.

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-29 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    We arrived to the same hostel we stayed at last year and Assen from Bumot arranged for us. It is just next door to the Bumot factory. He has planned our a 3 day tour to some of his favourite places in Bulgaria. We will have the day off tomorrow to rest, sort out our stuff, and be tourists. Dan also noted today that after 5 years his Rich’s seat had a seam failure. Well of course Assen says there is a custom motorcycle seat shop in the same warehouse and Bumot. The guy had already taken the seat apart just after 530 pm when we dropped it off and found that the pan was cracked too. He said he would fix it all and have it ready by 10 am and for 25 E.

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-5 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-2 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-4 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    Welcome drink since its after 6!!

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-3 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  6. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    3,932
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Since we had the day off today to finally take some time to sort out the gear better and finish a few odd jobs we had rented an apartment with a garage for not much more than the hostel last night. We made a detour to Decathlon so Trevor could pick up a few last minute items (silk sac, sunglasses as he sat on his yesterday, and a warmer shirt). We were very happy to have a huge private garage where we could spread out all our stuff and work on 3 bikes at once considering it poured rain for about 3 hours. We added some heat shield under our seats, installed the Beemer buddies on the grips, cleaned and lubed the chains, and installed some 3M on the panniers to offer some protection for our sticker collection.

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-6 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  7. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
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  8. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    From just before Blagoevgrad we did a 30 km in and 30 km out to visit the Rilski Monastery.

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-31 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    “ The Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. It is in the Rila Mountains 117 km south of the Capital Sofia in the deep valley of the Rilska River and at 1,147 m. It is named after the hermit Ivan of Rila (876-946). “

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-32 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-3 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-2 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  9. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Returning to the secondary road we rode into the mountains to the ski resort at Bansko for a late lunch break.

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-33 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-34 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    We left this road for an even smaller one to start east at Gotse Delchev on the 197 to Devin after 363 km. We had a few sprinkles, but some really cold wind and at Bansko it was 11 degrees. We managed to arrive to Devin before the real rain. Assen treated us to a night at a Spa hotel. We actually had a small house with 2 bedrooms. The food here was very good too. Rakia and “mixed grill”.

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-35 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-36 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-39 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-40 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
  10. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Some good news today after the landslide victory in the Iran election by the incumbent. They have announced they will start issuing visas to all nationalities June 6. This is cutting it close for us, but we can at least move forward more confidently now. This means we will apply in Yerevan, Armenia, which is a long day ride from the border we need to reach by the 10th. So things are looking up for us. If we are denied then we will be in the right place to get Visas for Azerbaijan and arrange the ferry across the Caspian with everyone else. .
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  11. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I guess you would still need to engage a guide to escort you across Iran, or has that changed as well?
    And I doubt that you can get an Azerbaijani visa in Armenia, you would probably need to go back to Tbilisi.
  12. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    No there is a list of nations that require a guide and Canada is on the list They are also the only way you can get an actuation number to even apply for a visa. The Azerbaijan visa is an e visa so it is easy to get one. We should we hope be going to Iran! Sara
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  13. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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  14. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
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  15. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We then had a shorty stint on the highway and turned north to cross the plain. after lunch we spotted a sigh that said “Valley of the Thracian Kings” and so we had to make a small detour to check this out. From the road it just looks like a pyramid shaped mound covered in grass, but it is actually a 2500 year old tomb found intact. It was never pillaged. There is no mortar and the dome is held together by the weight of the perfectly cut stones only.


    [​IMG]Bulgaria_-6 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria_-7 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria_-8 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr


    [​IMG]Bulgaria_-9 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria_-10 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  16. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    From here we headed up up up. Our goal was the Buzludzha or “ the space ship” perched on the mountaintop. Communist monuments are everywhere.

    [​IMG]Bulgaria_-11 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 22.37.58 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    “The House-Monument of the Bulgarian Communist Party (or informally, the Buzludzha Monument) was built on the peak by the Bulgarian communist regime. It commemorated the events of 1891, when a group of socialists led by assembled secretly in the area to form an organized socialist movement that led to the founding of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party, a forerunner of the Bulgarian Communist Party.”

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-4 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-6 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-7 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr


    [​IMG]Bulgaria-15 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-16 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-11 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-12 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria_-12 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria_-13 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  17. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    You can no longer get inside thru the front door as it is almost in ruins. There is a way to sneak in but it involves some serious drops and climbs. Trevor did some recognizance for us. It was very windy here and a chilly 8.5 degrees.

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-13 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-14 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    The road from here is patched patch and leads to the next peak where there is a war memorial.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 22.38.10 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-17 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-18 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  18. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Then we had an almost unobstructed ride down the other side of the mountains. Our next stop was to see the castle In Veliko Tarnovo. Now it is almost 7 pm and we are making for Motocamp Bulgaria.

    [​IMG]Bulgaria-19 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    We had an amazing surprise when we arrived as Orvar (king of Sweden) had beat us there by 40 min. He had pushed another 650 km with no lunch to meet us. We are very thankful to Ivo and Polly at Motocamp for their hospitality. The whipped together a very nice dinner for us with very little warning. Ivo has also been getting our green card insurance for Europe in the last 3 years.

    [​IMG]Bulgaria_-14 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr


    We were also served a very nice breakfast here to start off our day.

    [​IMG]Bulgaria_ by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bulgaria_-2 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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  19. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
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  20. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.