We are gone, another trip over a long distance (going RTW, back home for now)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Thomas B., Apr 24, 2016.

  1. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    strange art in Erivan

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    Biker Girl taking a rest

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    making bread localy

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    last monastry in Armenia

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    low hanging Clouds on our way back to Georgia

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    doing Sightseeing in Tiflis, Georgia

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    birdge in Tiflis the locals call "Always", why?

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    On the way North to Kazbegi

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    a travellers life: dinner under the drying line.

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    #41
    wilfred, MizzouRider, NaMi and 4 others like this.
  2. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Arriving in Kazbegi the skies where grey with a slight drizzle every now and then. The monastery on the mountain was only seen between the clouds and the effort of going up there wasn´t worth it. We hoped for better weather the next morning and went to bed. The next morning had the same grey. As we got on the bikes it started to rain and didn´t stop for hours. We headed back south on our way to Azerbaijan. In a village we asked for the best way to the road south-east. The guy at the petrol station said either go 7 km back on tarmac or you take the shorter route over the hills. It’s only a bit of dirt. Short cut sounds good. Let´s go. The track started rocky and quit “grippy”. Then the road works started and it went on steep up and down and the mud was everything else but “grippy”. And it had been raining for hours. After we managed that part we stopped in a village for a hot tea leaving water puddles under our seats. The ongoing road was still unpaved, but much better ridable and sort of fun. You can imagine what we looked like when we pulled into a hotel in Telavi. (In the best sunshine in the meantime.)

    Before we arrived at the border of Azerbaijan we gave the bikes a pressure clean to not make a bad impression when entering the next country. At the border they told us we would have to pay a high deposit to get the bikes into the country as they were older than 2005. We told them we wanted to call the swiss embassy in order to find out if that was correct. After a while a new guy in uniform showed up speaking perfect english. He said he wanted to help us and explained the situation. The deposit thing was correct. However, he could offer us another option. We were allowed to stay in the country for 3 days with the bikes anyway and after that we could stay up to 15 days and only had to pay a fine of around 35 $ per bike. That was ok for us. He said we could pay that at any border post and even gave us a copy of the law that allowed that.

    We felt good in the country. People were waving at us and everyone seemed friendly. In the first town we stopped for a tea. An old man came and said hello in german then disappeared. After a while he came back, brought us a chocolate bar and left money to pay for our tea. How nice is that.

    In Baku we tried to get a ferry over the Caspian See. We had read a lot of stories about people waiting for many many days for a boat or spending many days on the boat for several reasons. There was strong wind the day we arrived and we knew there would be no boat under these circumstances. We wanted to have a look at Baku anyway so that was no problem.

    Drive-in ATM in Azerbaijan, very convenient.

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    If your a robber in Baku and cann´t open the safe - just take the whole Thing

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    Old town Baku

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    Preparing for the Formula 1 race in Baku´s old town

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    Flame Towers in Baku

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    #42
  3. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    The next day we called a lady named Vika who is in charge of getting you on the ferry. No passengers on the ferry that day she said, but we should call again the next day. There would probably be a boat leaving. The next morning she told us to be in the new harbor of Alat, 70 km south of Baku, in 2-3 hours. We would get the tickets there. We packed up and headed out. In the port the first thing we were told is that they wouldn´t take us. We told the guy to call Vika and gave him her number. After a lot of talking all of a sudden we could go. Perfect. We bought our tickets and went to get our passports stamped out and then to costums. Everything went too smooth. We were on the bikes in front of the ferry and the ferryman had given us his ok to board, when another guy on a phone stopped us and send us back to customs. There they had discovered that we had to pay a fine. Ok we had expected that, but now they wanted us to go back to Baku to do the payment as they as they couldn´t give us a reciept. No way. We had the number of the nice boarder guy from our arrival and told the guys to call him. There was a long phone call and then another and another. Finally after over an hour we were told we could pay here and then board the ship.

    There was a Tenere with an english couple on bord already and some trucks. The crossing took about 21 hours like it was suposed to. The run to gather your about 15 stamps in the port of Aktau, Kasachsten; took another 2-3 hours. Then we were released into a hot and mostly empty country.

    After a day in Aktau Sandra and I set out to make our way to Usbekistan, the next country on our way.

    Bridge onto the Ferry

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    Leaving Azerbaijan

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    Chatting on the sun deck

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    Life in the cabin, small but ok

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    Waiting to leave the boat

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    #43
  4. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Hi guys, there will be more delays on this Report. First of all the Internet around here is so slow that it is almost impossible to upload.
    And second - we made it to Bishkek 2 days ago and have work to do. 2 days before that I got taken out by a car. I went slipping down the road about 40m. Klim did its Job well and I stood up without an injury. The suit has holes and is not waterproof anymore. One side bag was torn off and the other one is burnt from sliding on it. We took care of that allready. Suit is next. The bike has some minor scratches but is running fine. Thank god. So there is always work to do and you guys get no updates. Some day they will come. See you down the road.
    Cheers Thomas
    #44
  5. Nickhob

    Nickhob Armchair adventurer

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    Good to hear you're ok.
    #45
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  6. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

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    We look forward to better internet and Hope the time works out for the good and the bruises heal OK.
    #46
  7. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    The truckdrivers on the ferry had told us about some bad roads that we wanted to take so we didn´t know what to expect. The first part was easy tarmac. Then around the border there was 140 km of bad piste with no fun. Then the tarmac was bad to bearable.

    The border crossing into Usbekistan was pretty easy. Lots of cars and trucks waiting there, but when you go tot he front and the border guard sees you you are let through the gate. It was late allready when we entered the country so we just got out oft he border zone and the turned off into the open steppe to camp. It was hot since Aktau and the temperature reached 40°C on some days and that is in the shade. But there was no shade.

    Camping in the Kazach steppe

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    Tracks in the steppe

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    Our goal were the old cities on the silk road (Kiffa, Bukhara, and Samarkand) and thier beautiful architecture that was left behind.

    Here some impressions without much explaination:

    Kiffa outside our guesthouse inside the City walls

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    Tea with a view

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    #47
  8. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    A couple more Pictures

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    Kiffa City walls

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    preparing dinner on the Roof of our guest house

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    On the way to Bukhara we met an Israeli on a small chinese motorbike on his way to Mongolia. (Met him again later in Almaty)

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    Bukhara

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    #48
  9. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Having breakfast in the small caravansari our Hotel was in.

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    And then the first flat of the trip, just outside of Samarkand

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    Samarkand

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    And then our Hotel had bed Bugs - oh joy.

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    #49
  10. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

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    Great photos. It looks hot (in contrast to it being the middle of winter here:-))
    Shame about the bed bugs, my mum always used to say: "Don't let the bed bugs bite"
    #50
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  11. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Hi guys,
    I know its been a Long time, but we were busy Adventure-riding.
    Just a short update.
    We are in Tynda (Siberia) in the mean time. Just finished the western BAM yesterday.
    Just some teasers.

    some roten bridges

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    Sandra on the vitim Bridge



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    lots of water

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    I hope I will catch up some time in the future.
    Cheers Thomas
    #51
  12. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    :clap
    #52
  13. jorrie

    jorrie Been here awhile

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    NELSPRUIT,MPUMALANGA,SOUTH AFRICA
    I cannot wait for the rest.:clap:clap
    #53
  14. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

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    Yes! Waiting with baited breath...:clap:clap:clap
    #54
  15. Takin'aTrip

    Takin'aTrip I have miles to go before I sleep

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    IN! Great fotos....and I know the feeling ;)...some Volks in the tourist line laughed at me when my almost full roll of double soft Charmin that I had taken with me ('cuz I had been told about the quality of tp in the German public restrooms lol) rolled out of my backpack in all its glory when the guard checked its contents before I was allowed into the Reichtstag building back in 2000...but I swear I saw longing looks of envy, too...I was a rockstar that day lol. Never underestimate certain luxuries when you're a stranger in a strange land :D
    #55
  16. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Hi and just a short update:
    Made it to Magadan a couple of days ago. Cleaned the bikes, did some neccesary Things like Change the rear brake pads, shoved all the bikes into a Container and they are sailing to Vladivostok today.
    So I would have time to post some more but the net is so slow. I might try anyway later.

    Arriving in Magadan

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    Putting the bikes into a Container

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    All tied down and ready to sail.

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    So on to the next leg.

    See you
    Cheers Thomas
    #56
  17. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Reaching Tajikistan we aimed for the Pamirs and the Wakan valley, but first we spend a couple of days in Dushanbe and picked up a parcel from home with a new carburetor. Then we set off. It was a pleasure to climb and get into cooler air. On the way to the first high pass on the Pamir highway the skies turned from blue to dark grey and rain was around us. We were hoping to make it to lower elevation and set up camp before it caught us but that didn´t happen. Just over the highest point it started to rain. First a little and then heavily. The canyon we drove down through had no place to set up a tent so we had to go on. It became very dark and there was thunder and lightning around us. In parts the gravel road had turned into a stream as the water flowed down on it. We would have almost been faster on foot. Then a check post appeared and the man in uniform seriously wanted to see our passports. No way I am taking out my passport in this rain – I told him, but he didn´t seem to understand. The man inside the small hut was cleverer and waved us in. After our coordinates were written into a book we were allowed to go onward with the information that there was a hotel in the town up ahead. What a relief to get out of the weather that had scared us for the last 2 hours.

    Almost familiar signs in Dushanbe

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    Walking around town

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    brand new carburator
    will that solve the Problem?

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    #57
  18. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    great pics. looking forward to many more.
    just curious. did you try the fuel pump bypass trick?
    #58
  19. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    heading up into the mountains

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    sky is turning Grey

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    rain Clouds closing in from all sides

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    #59
  20. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    The next morning - beautifull sunshine and on went our route to Khorog.

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    #60