RTW on a H.A.T. In the slow lane.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gperkins, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    If this were Italy or along the Croatian coast even, a coffee would be 3 euro's and not 1 euro, beers similar. The roads would be chocka block full with tourists. Accomodation would cost a kidney, rather than 20 - 30 euro a night. But i reckon after 2025, when Montenegro will possibly join the EU, thats what you are going to see. So if your going to come this way, best you do it in the next few years or else it will go like a thousand other popular places before them.

    So we took a little ride around the bay(s) here at Kotor and Trivat and quite a pleasant little ride it was too. Many were taking advantage of the sunshine and were taking a dip in the sea. But i think we'll wait until we get back home. I like a swin in the ocean more than most. But pebble beaches and no waves are simply not the Aussie way.

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    Help me out here guys and girls, especially girls. I'm confused, is she giving me the stink eye or the come hither look. Geez, more than once, I've stuffed this up in the past and got myself in a whole heap of trouble. I mean cut me a little slack here, we've only been together for 39 years.

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    You could be excused for thinking that this was lake Garda in Italy, but you'd be wrong.

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    Oh, something that we discovered just yesterday after 5 or 6 days in Montenegro already. Apparently upon arrival in Montenegro you are suppose to register at the local tourist information centre or the police for every nights stay. At each place we have stayed, we'd been asked as per usual our documents. I personally hate this practice here in Europe. Pretty much everywhere in the Euro zone the Hotel/hostel needs copy's of either you ID card or passport. In all the Anglo country's that we have visited, Australia, NZ, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, USA & Canada all a host wants is your money, seems perfectly reasonable to me. But as much as I hate this whole big brother thing here in Europe there is nothing for it, but to hand over what they want. We do however never hand over our passports (Australia does not have ID cards thank goodness), always a photocopy of our passport. The host will take a copy of our photocopy, register us and then pass the info along to the relevent authorities. But here in Montenegro you have to present in person to either the tourist info centre or police. But the previous places we stopped in, never told us that. Our hosts here in Trivat made it clear that they could not register us, we had to do it in person. If we didn't then our hosts would be hit with a 100 Euro fine and we may be hit with similar on the way out of the country or maybe not, we don't really know. But I wasn't about to put our hosts through a whole bunch of grief simply because I personally hate this registration business. Something to think about if you come here. Katrina being way better than I in the the diplomacy stakes went up to the relevent office with our passports and went through the process including giving details of our previous nights stay in Montenegro. She was given a slip of paper a bit like a reciept, apparently we have to hand this across to immigration as we leave the country. Seems old communist ways die hard here in Montenegro, apparently Serbia is similar. We'll find out tomorrow I guess.
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  2. Yannick

    Yannick Asterix the Gaul

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    I'm a little late in reading, been away from the computer and the forum a few days, so I just have seen your answer today.
    You're right, communist traditions are persisting and I don't like neither this registration to the police. But despite that, the landscape looks so beautiful on your photos that I have added Montenegro on my list of places to visit.

    ...

    Roll on retirement !
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  3. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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    Ditto all of the above. Amazing part of the world. Great photos and write up mate.
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  4. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Montenegro along with Kosovo are both great riding destinations. Katrina and I are really seeing distinct and definite variances in the people and cultures and it's not all based on religion which I find curious. There are cafes and restaurants aplenty in both Kosovo and Montenegro and beers are readily consumed with breakfast, yep 8:30 in the morning. :beer But here in Serbia, you'll hardly see a person drinking a beer in a cafe or maybe we have simply visited the wrong places, I dunno Yannick. :dunno
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  5. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Cheers Lostmike the postings of late are a little hit and miss. We decided to not get a SIM card for all these little country's of the Balkans and just rely on cafe and hostel weefee (wifi). Get this though, you can get 500 Gig of data in Montenegro for 5 Euro for 1 month. How the hell is it possible to use that much data in a month I do not know? Oh hang on........................:hmmmmm
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  6. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We may have mentioned previously that we are making our way back towards Bulgaria and Motocamp for a little gathering of travelers. I think it is a HUBB associated event. In any case we are having a few relaxing days in Nis, southern Serbia. No particular reason other than it is on our route.

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    I wonder if Stu leaves his mark everywhere?

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    Romany or more commonly Gipsys can be found all over Europe, but particularly southern and eastern Europe. They descended from north western India and travelled to this part of the world in two waves about 1500 & 1000 years ago. The country with the largest population of gipsys is, wait for it, USA. No I didn't know that either, good ol uncle Google. You'll see them driving their horse and cart or doing menial jobs. This young boy has clearly scored himself a girls cast off and broken roller blades and back pack and is skating around and searching rubbish bins for anything of value, mostly empty plastic bottles. Sad really, but in a ironic twist, doing a community service, because it must be said that rubbish collection and recycling is a rather hit and miss affair in many parts of Europe.

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    Hand beaten steel or iron plate from the doors to the Ottoman fort of Nis. The fort dates back to the 1500's, could the doors be this old, maybe?

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    Then whad-ya-know more death and destruction. Here in Nis you'll find the the skull tower. In short the Serbs in 1809 resisted the occupying Ottomans. Their leader Stevan Sinđelić realising that their situation was hopeless and also if captured, they would be impaled by the Ottomans, detonated their own powder magazine and perished. The Ottomans built a tower of skulls of the dead Serbs as a reminder and deterrent to any that might follow in his footsteps. Originally there were 952 skulls cemented into the tower, but today there are only 54 left, or at least thats what Katrina counted. Many succumbed to the elements, were souvenired or burried by family members. After the Ottomans were finally forcibly evicted from this region of the Balkans a chapel was built over the skull tower so as to preserve what was left.
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  7. Thunder Dan

    Thunder Dan I don't like wallabies...

    Joined:
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    G'day Graeme,

    Good photo and detail. Do you have any detail on the 4204 you're using, and where you're getting them from?
    CBC and SKF Australia don't bring in double sealed 4204's to Australia (only bring in unsealed version...)
    They also look to be pretty scarce on ebay.

    CBC can supply the narrower lip seal, and have one on the way.

    But struggling to locate supplier for the bearing?

    Any help is appreciated!


    Cheers,

    Dan. :D
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  8. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Gooday Dan, yeah it's a tricky one to track down. The only sealed 4204 available in Australia is a Chinese bearing. That rung the usual alarm bells with me. But I've been assured by both bearing suppliers, from whom i got each bearing from, that it is in fact a decent quality bearing. I don't have the details of the brand any more. But if you go into any good bearing shop they'll source it for you. In Geelong i always use Rob Hamilton bearings. Up your way i'm sure your've got plenty of decent choices. Like me you most likely won't track it down on line. Hope tgat helps.
    MrKiwi likes this.
  9. Thunder Dan

    Thunder Dan I don't like wallabies...

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    G'day Graeme,

    Roger that, thank you. I've sent an enquiry to them and will see what they come back with.

    How many kms on the bike now? Getting on to 110K ?


    Cheers,

    Dan.:D
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  10. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We've never participated in any of the many HUBB meetings that now occur throughout the world. It seemed attending the one at Motocamp in Bulgaria would be a good way to pop that cherry. To be honest I'm not particularly interested in the big ones in the UK and else where. Most would know that Motocamp is co owned and run by Doug of RTWDoug fame here on ADVrider and his partner Polly and seeing that Doug would be in attendence with his good mate Kelly from the US, that was reason enough to come along. In short we enjoyed good company, food, beers and story's with like minded travellers for 3 days. There's not much else to add except throw in some photos.

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    Here's the gent himself ready to head out on a ride.

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    Of course he never goes anywhere without his tool kit.

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    After years of conversing with and following along with the court jester of the ADV world, we eventually court up with Sheldon. We spent time with the lovely Eve last year in Poznan, Poland whilst Sheldon was swanning around Russia.

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    Kelly heading out on his 42 WLA

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    Doug too.

    I got a bit lazy taking photos. In any case here's the pick of them.

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    Great story behind this beautiful little MZ. The current owners grand father bought it new back in 57 from memory, kept it for 35 years before selling it. His grandson tracked it down many years later, bought it and then spent 5 years bringing it back to this condition.

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    Scattered around the property you'll find a bit of this.

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    An early 1400 GSX with attitude.

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    Finally we caught up the Nikolay and Milena, both in Sofia and here at Motocamp. Allways great to share a beer with people your've met via our travels. We'll see you guys again soon enough.

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    Another 3 weeks these two bikes will be headed back State side.

    If your ever in the area, always stop by Motocamp, either throw up your tent or go large and take a room. You won't be dissapointed.
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  11. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Pushing onto 114k klms Thunder Dan
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  12. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

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    Always enjoy seeing other riders getting together in ride reports. It's like seeing a weird family reunion of sorts. Thanks for always putting in the effort of posting this and taking us along.
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  13. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever Supporter

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    It was nice to meet you both this weekend, hope you have a great trip!
  14. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    It really enjoyed the time with other travelers. Some we'd met before, some we were aware, but had never met and a whole bunch that we had never knew about. Total numbers for the weekend were maybe 80 or 90 I was told SOLOKLR. Which for me was just about right to be honest.
    MrKiwi likes this.
  15. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Cheers rtwdoug, the pleasure was ours. I'm sure our paths will cross again somewhere. Stay between the gutters and we'll catch up somewhere once again I'm sure.
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  16. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We left Motocamp with no more of a plan than to head north to the Danube, turn to the left and see where it takes us. The river here is broard and wide the landscape resembles the river. Most of the wheat has been harvested the maize has a month or so to go before it ends up in the silos. There is no sight of the majestic castles and cathedrals that you'll see in the upper reaches of the Danube of Germany and Austria. Much more workman like, cranes and barges being far more common along these stretches.

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    Another lovely little tiddler from the eastern bloc. I can't remember what was cast into the cases. I did like the topbox though.

    As we approached the Serbian boarder the landscape changed to rolling hills. The roads here are a bikers delight. Far too busy riding to get many photos.

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    The little soldiers all in a row are hay stacks of course.

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    The landscape is a very agreeable patchwork of small holdings and forrest.

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    Then it was onto Bosnia. Our first atempt of crossing the river Tapa into Bosnia was met with refusal on the Bosnia side, seeing as the very oficious immigration dude recognised immediately that we did not have Green card insurance for the bike (compulsary 3rd party insurance). We fully intended to buy the insurance at the boarder, but knew from our research that it was a rather a hit and miss affair as to if it was even available. Obviously it wasn't, so back across to Serbia we went and about 30 odd kilometres north to try the next boarder. Here we were welcomed with a stamp in the passport, 61st I think. But there wasn't a Green card office anywhere to be found. Oh well just keep rolling and hope like hell that we don't end up on the wrong side of an accident or plod pulls us over.

    Our first goal was the township of Srebrenica where the masacre of more than 8000 innocent men and boys was carried out in July 95 or at least thats where I thought it was. Turns out that it was just across the boarder on the outskirts of Bratunac, you'll find the extremely sobering memorial to those that lost their lives here. Once again I repeat, this is as a result of centuries of devisive religious hatred. If you are as young as 24 then this occured in your life time, in Europe, watched by millions around the world under the eyes of the UN peacekeepers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srebrenica_massacre

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    As bodies continue to be unearthed, names are atributed to these unfortunate soles and the cemetary continues to grow.
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  17. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Who remembers the winter olympics of Feb 84 here in Sarajevo? Remenants of that years events can be found scattered around the hillsides of Sarajevo. The most famous of which is the bob sled track. I always thought that those guys and girls were just a little crazy. That opinion was confirmed when we saw the track.

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    We just happened to be in town when a parade of little classics went by. I'm guessing they were made locally somewhere in the former Yugoslavia.

    Everyone remembers the siege of Sarajevo, it commenced in April 92 and continued for 44 months. The Bosnian Serb forces supported by regular Serb forces never entered the city in all that time. Rather they stayed in the surrounding hills and relentlessly motored the city along with sniping. The plan all along was to lay seige and instill fear into the locals. Nearly 14000 perished. On average more than 370 motars would rein down every day for those 44 months. The highest number of motars for any one day was 3777. Evidence can be seen everywhere as you walk around. Buildings are pock marked and from shrapnel and on the pavement you can now find about 100 Sarajevo "roses".

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    Monument to dead children. The larger of the two stacks of broken glass represents a parent protecting a child.

    Here are the names of the children that perished, more than 1100 of them. Motors being completely indiscriminate of course.
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    Sarajevo rose, about 100 are marked around the city. Just a fraction of the thousands of mortars that reined down from the hills above.

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    One of the more damaged buildings that we saw.

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    Yet another Sarajevo rose. Immediately behind me was the cathedral.

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    Here's a corner of that cathedral.

    Of course not all of Sarajevo's history is so recent. On 28th June 1914 the Duke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia were both gunned down in Sarajevo. Old Franz was next in line to the Austo-Hungarian throne. These shots would echo around the world or across Europe at least. For what came next was the carnage of WW1

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    It was in the distance, immediately under the Muzei (museum) sign the Franz and Sofia met their ends.

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    But it's not all doom and gloom around here.
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    There's vistas to be had.

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    Food to be eaten.

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    And coffee to be drunk.
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  18. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi backwards & upsidedown Super Supporter

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    Visiting places with this type of history is not easy, it reminds me of human's propensity for inhumanity.

    I recall the regular news reports of the siege wondering why so much hatred. I still don't understand the geopolitics that led to this.

    Nor that of WW1. The great war to end all wars. We all know how that ended.
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  19. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    I well remember the nightly news reports MrKiwi. Then just now walking around Sarajevo everything came flashing back. That first Sarajevo rose was in the market. This particular motar killed 60+ people. It took that many deaths in one go to spur the world into action to intervene and stop the carnage. Although I'd forgotten about that particular event, it all come flooding back when we entered this space. The market continues today. We humans are a most peculiar mob.
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  20. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    So onto Mostar for the sole purpose to check out the very famous Ottoman bridge from which young men dive from, the Stari bridge. But is it Ottoman, for this bridge was yet another casualty of the Balkans war, when on the 9th November 1993 Croat paramilitarys blasted it into oblivian. It's been rebuilt since and very authentically too. But man this place has been commercialised. All around the bridge there are a stack of ticky-tacky shops. At least thats what I call them, selling all sorts of cheap merchanise, snow cones, fridge magnets, you know the stuff. Tourists from all over the world holding phones at arms length getting the obligatory selfie. Man I couldn't get out of there fast enough. It's a damn shame really, because if managed properly this could be so much more.

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    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, oh I give up too many people to count.

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    The dude in the budgie smuglers (bugerigar) is about to take the big leap. Thats Aussie for Speedo swimming trunks for the uninitiated.

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    How many phones are held at arms length?

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    Just around the corner we ran into these guys. I reckon they have it sussed. It is pretty damn hot by the way, about 100F in the old money.
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