Save all the bureks! Montenegro 2019 on and off the road on DR350 & XR400

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by mADVta, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. mADVta

    mADVta Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Wroclaw, PL
    In 3 weeks I hope to save all the bureks from the Balkans. Especially Montenegro. (yes, seriously, if I could I would bring back the whole truck ofthose with me :p)

    After all, as my 1993 DR350 is brought back from the dead (I had a thread on rebuilding it here, which I didn't finish - boo me :(:), it's time to test my work on a 2500 miles voyage. (I will also test myself as it is first so long trip as a rider, not a pannier, for me)

    My zombie presents itself something like this now:
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    I think I peeked inside everywhere I could during the revival process (beside the engine, didn't have enough time for this, I'm going to strip it during winter, now it's time to ride, isn't it? :p) So I hope she will be unstoppable like a tank : )
    Of course, got her a few little upgrades for longer distance adventures. This includes self-made rack, bigger tank, hot grips, chain oiler, 12V oultet, GPS holder and charger.

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    The DR will have a company of my boyfriend's XR400 (which was upgraded with bigger tank, self-made rack and a ignition switch).
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    The prospect route looks something like this:
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    So let's say, it's not very detailed, but also not totally random ;)
    In general we want to get to Montenegro as fast as we can and then chill around trying the Trans Euro Trail and exploring some minor tracks off the beaten path. But if some time is left, then maybe we will also venture to northern Albania or get on the Serbian Trans Euro Trail.
    Though, wethinks, Montenegro is maybe small, but there are lots of trails to try, so we won't get bored easily.

    Today we're riding 404 kilometers from Polish Wroclaw and stop nearby Vienna.

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    Starting now! :ricky

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    #1
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  2. mADVta

    mADVta Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Wroclaw, PL
    We've made it to the Austrian Rohrenbach yesterday night.
    Of course, traditionally, we started our riding late, so in the end we were wandering in total darkness (and had to watch out for the deers lurking at the roadsides, so we were crawling even slower, lol)
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    Our route was rather dull. Just more or less straight roads through the crop fields and forests. Though, the road was a little boring, the sky was looking kinda cool - like it was an oil painting
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    And we at least saved some bee
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    Today we're moving to Hungary (so again not much of fun as Hungary has one of the straightest roads in the world, I tell you, they don't know what a turn is ;) )
    But we don't know yet where we are going to stay for the night. So finding a camping spot can be fun today, at least, as the season ended and they closed the camping sites.
    Finding a wild camping spot in Hungary isn't an easy task too as Hungary is densely covered with villages and crop fields.
    #2
  3. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    573
    Location:
    Belgium
    Good luck and bring us a lot of pictures!
    #3
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  4. mADVta

    mADVta Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Wroclaw, PL
    I'm a little late here, but thanks! :D

    Unfortunately, as usually with my attempts to write the ride report on the spot, I've failed miserably :(

    Every other day I've encountered some problems with Internet connection - no BTS, no funds and/or nothing even at legit campgrounds. Although, I've got problems with time management also. Sometimes the day was so eventful that it was hard to stay awake in a sleeping bag in the evening and write anything.
    (And so I really admire all of other riders, who can keep up the discipline of writing almost every day)

    But! Now still I've got some brief notes and tons of pics, so I can share some. Maybe in parts, but still this time I'm gonna finish this report :nod

    Back to the story!

    From Rohrenbach in Austria we were planning to make almost 300 straight, exciting kilometers to Varpolata in Hungary, near the Balaton Lake.

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    The day was suppose to be a little boring. So we reluctantly started out late and even carelessly rode into the center of Vienna in the time of worst traffic jams, just to pay a visit to Augarten, where they make the original Vienna porcelain.

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    Not much as for sightseeing as we've already been there to see whole procedure of manufacturing of all the fancy porcelain stuff, but we have a insider there, who we just wanted to visit ;)

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    Maybe I wouldn't mention that, but, unfortunately, that visit ended up quite bad - crashed my bike for the first time right there, just at the parking. DR just flopped down when I was climbing up the saddle. At first I thought that was just me, but...

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    That was the side stand. Weld on the half of the mount cracked. What a nice trip starter :D

    We were a little terrified, because we didn't want to lose time in Austria for searching welders...
    Luckily, the other half of the mount could still hold the bike up, so that was relieving. Though, I used some of my riding companion help, when getting on and off the bike, just to not rip off the remaining weld with some wild movements. So we left the welding for some other day along our way to Montenegro. (Or in Montenegro.)

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    I'll spare you the details of Hungarian road straightness that came shortly after ;)
    But, as I predicted before, searching for the wild camping spot there was quite interesting.

    We've got some coordinates from other wild camper, but we've lost our way in the dark anyway.
    The spot was located on a hill surrounded by quite dense forests, so we had to get on the right entrance point to ride it up by some offroadish track.
    The trail itself wasn't so bad, maybe with exception to one steep section with really loose gravel, making me drifting from the left to the right :D

    From the hill top there was an amazing view on the town stretching at its foot (Varpolata I think). Because of many negative opinions (around the web) on wild camping in Hungary, I've never thought you can find spot like this in Hungary.
    For bedrooms like this we are wild campers...

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    Though, it came with a price :D

    When we were pitching the tent up, some hair-raising roar just behind our backs froze us. Our first thought was that it was a bear :waysad We even considered retreating, but eventually we stood our ground, just trying to make human noises, so the guy hiding in the darkness would know we're not a dessert somehow :uhoh
    The roaring, of course, intensified anyway, so that was bad... and actually good on the other hand. That led us to thinking of the deers during the breeding season, so we could actually fall a sleep with this thought.
    #4
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  5. mADVta

    mADVta Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2018
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Wroclaw, PL
    Nothing had eaten us during the night, so we were planning to move from Hungary to Serbia and then crawl to Montenegro's Zabljak. That supposed to be a 2 days long and 440 miles long ride.
    Not great, not terrible.

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    Hungary greeted us with a grey sky and a little rain in the morning, so we were stuck in our rain suits for good. But at least we had some nice views...

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    And a little offroad adventure, while riding back to civilization...

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    Where I failed miserably. Got the deeper rut angle wrong, so the rear wheel just slipped aside.

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    I survived, but the strip holding my side bag was cut in half...
    So third day of riding and I'd already broken two things :D Nice :D

    Luckily, we were actually thinking while packing, so we had some spare ropes.

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    The rest of the road to Serbian Subotica was really civilized.

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    When we arrived to Subotica, we decided on the spot that it's better to find some camping as it will get dark soon.

    We've found some camp over the web near the Palicko Lake. Someone have written it's a nice place, where you can place a tent near the lake's bank for a very low price as it's owned and managed by the city itself.
    Unfortunately, we can't validate this.

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    The camping was closed :waysad We were well past the season and some makeover was in progress.
    But! The gentleman keeping an eye on the campground and another gentleman living just on the opposite side of the street came to us quickly, concerned. None of them was speaking English, but they on the spot decided to help us somehow to find another place. And it turned out good as the son of the camping neighbor was speaking English fluently. From the Serbian talk we couldn't understand a word, although we also speak a Slavic language. I couldn't even separate each word while listening :D

    So we tried to find the camping to which the good folks directed us. We had some problem with that, of course :doh But on the way we spotted a place looking like some car service or something alike, so we gave it a go and asked if they can weld the broken side stand.

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    Although, they are rather servicing trucks and buses, they said they will try :D

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    So Mr Welder tried and in 15 minutes I've got a brand-new-looking side stand :clap (it holds firmly to DR up to this day ;)) And no one even asked us for paying! :uhoh So we figured out this is was perfect occasion to get rid of the small bottle of Polish vodka we had been carrying around for special gifts in special situations.
    (Mr Welder also turned out to be a biker, so maybe he's around here... :eyes If so, thanks and cheers once again!:beer)

    As DR was well again, we managed to find the camping we were looking for before, although it was a little hid from the street.

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    And again, we've experienced awesome Serbian helpfulness and hospitality :nod
    The camping was really officially closed. However some builder at the gate told us that the boss is away, but we can stay.
    I was a little worried that we were putting up a tent without really consulting things with the real guy in charge there :D (You never know...) But when the owner arrived he was super cool with us :D So we spent the night completely alone at the campground.

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    The next day was chilly, but sunny.

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    It was raining only during the night, though. (And someone forgot to hide his riding boots... xD)

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    That day we were planning to reach Zabljak and we were pushing hard to reach the Montenegro border. We even used the Serbian highways (mad 68mph with wind trying to tear your head off, hell lot of fun :ricky)
    But!
    We couldn't resist and made a longer stop at the second largest city in Serbia - Novi Sad.

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    Really pretty and you could stay here for a day or two and explore.

    Or stay at least for a lunch!
    We had a lunch here once... And now we keep coming back whenever we're around. For some this might sound like a heresy, but they have the best burgers, sorry :D Not to mention the almost-a-bucket-of-melted-cheese sandwiches - drooling just at the thought of it. (Doggy approves.)

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    From Novi Sad we rode straight down Serbia. At first the landscape is rather lowland, but things are getting more twisty with every mile south.

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    There are also awesome roads to ride in the east Serbia, but, of course, we didn't have that much time. Though, I'm sure some year we will dedicate all of our vacation to Serbia only.

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    We were so fixated on getting to the Montenegro border that the night caught us on the road.

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    So instead of searching for wild or normal campings, we searched for a hotel.
    Some were full, so we got left with a quite strange one - a gas station merged with a hotel and a bar :scratch

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    So after unpacking we could have a beer right beside the gas pumps. Literally :beer

    The next day we had last 114 miles to go to get to Zabljak.
    The weather wasn't too sweet for us. Typical Autumn grayness with more or less intensive rain all day long.

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    Weather like this can sometimes destroy morale a bit.
    But on the other hand it can make you gain new and refreshing perspective and experience.

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    That day, thankfully, we didn't have any problems along the way. Just missed some detours around the roads under renovation. But the people around were always very helpful, seeing us confused, no matter if they were speaking English or not. Though, we just stopped for 3 seconds and didn't even have time to ask.

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    The ugly clouds were stretching vastly along the Serbian border and across the whole Montenegro, so we and our raincoats become best friends.

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    Fickle mountains were just being fickle... But I think the temperature was worse than the rain. Just 39F (4 deg C).
    We were a little worried that the whole trip will be just that - cold and wet.
    Though, the landscape looked interesting. I've never seen Montenegro in such version - a little faded, discolored and mysteriously hiding its precious landscapes behind the clouds and gray rain curtains. (Well worth my freezing to death hands.)

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    On the last road section to Zabljak we also got an occasion to visit the famous Durdevica Bridge over the Tara River.

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    Though, I don't know if *occasion* is a good word.
    It's hard to miss that bridge if you're coming to Zabljak from the north side.

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    Zabljak itself isn't very interesting city to see. No fancy architecture to see, really.

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    But it's a good spot for a starting point for hikes around the Durmitor National Park.
    And there is a bakery with huge and good bureks

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    So we stayed at the normal camping nearby (a little deserted, but still open this time, hurray), around the hiking trails, so we could wander around the mountains on feet (trails impassable for bikes, unfortunately)

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    #5
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