Astrakhan

11.06.2018
Because of road works we couldn’t go a direct route to Astrakhan and had to take a detour of 50 Km. Roads are build or redone everywhere.
We finally got together with Jonas and Christof. Stayed in a nice place. I slept in something like an old bunker but at least I had a private toilet and shower.
In the evening we went for a meal (good food) where the young Lady brought us the English menu but couldn’t read it herself 😀
After some nice food we went for a drink and a little late to bed…

Not too far away from Astrakhan we saw a dry salt lake and a memorial from the second world war. We think it displayed the line where the Germans where stopped.

2WW Memorial

Salt Lake

Salt Lake (I left my bike on the road)

Russia (Wolga Delta)

Astrakhan

 

Posted in Ohne Kategorie | Leave a comment

Azerbaijan

10.06.2018
Again a short night for us and Max didn’t sleep well.
We walk around Baku so much that we decided to by a Metro card. The card itself costs 2 Manat and the you can put some money on. Per ride you pay 20 cents. So, for about €1,50 you can ride a lot around the Metro.
We crossed the border to Russia at 02:15 pm, Again helpful and friendly border Policemen.
On the way to Astrakhan we went through Khachmaz, which is a very pretty slightly touristy town.
After some crazy driving we met our first corrupt Policemen in Russia. First comes the scare tactic then their price. Because it was our first encounter and we were rather tired we each paid $100 and went on our way. We should have paid them less but which would have worked.
All other road blocks were nice and correct.
Around 08:30 pm we found a nice Hotel where we could park our bikes in the lobby. But because it was so late our evening meal consisted just gummy bears and crisps – yummy

 

09.06.2018
We had a late start with a ok breakfast. Most of the stuff didn’t look too fresh.
Baku is a lively and clean city. Here are some pics because I’m too lazy to write today…

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

Baku City

We stumbled on a Market

Old Toen of Baku

The Flame Towers

Football Stadium

The Metro isn’t that large

Baku City

Flaming Towers

Flaming Towers

Flaming Towers

Flaming Towers

Baku City by night

Baku City by night

Tomorrow we’ll hit Russia and in two days’ time we finally meet our other companions – Chris and Jonas in Astrachan.

 

08.06.2018
Slept okay but had weird dreams again. Maybe my mind has finally some space to work on some old issues.
I wonder how many forced cold showers I have to take on this trip 🙂 It’s okay after a day’s ride because your body is overheated but, in the morning,…brrrr
It must have rained quite a bit last night cause the air is clean and cool.
Almost had a head on collision because two effing idiots were overtaking somebody who was overtaking. 50 cm less space for me and that would have been the end. Good thing that in Germany they would have to take another driving test!
Got to Baku around 4 pm. The last 200 Km were shit to drive because it was very windy and the air on the roads is always filled with petrol and diesel fumes. Max got first a headache, then I.
The closer we came to Baku the less friendly were the people and the crazier they drove. Just like any other city.
We’re going to spend an day in Baku to see some POI’s.

The border – we made it

You can see the rain in the air but it doesn’t hit the ground

On a break at a Petrol Station

Posted in Ohne Kategorie | 2 Comments

Georgia

06.06.2018

If you ever stay in a small Hotel ask them when they open again in the morning or don’t have your bags locked in a spare room. We wanted to leave at about 7 am but our Hotel Lady didn’t arrive until 08:30 am. So we lost 2 hour Grrrr

Anyway, it was a short and nice trip to Tiflis though the ride into Tiflis isn’t that pleasant. A lot of traffic and horning. Everybody just drives everywhere. It’s crazy! Shame I didn’t have my GoPro on my helmet.

After we checked in we went for a walk around town and didn’t come back till 7 pm. Roughly 6 hours in about 30 degrees heat, I think I’ve got my first sunburn this year 😀
The first two pictures are from a veiw point which yu can reach with a cable car.

 

05.06.2018

Because we had a long day yesterday we got up a little later and had breakfast at 08:00 am. Normally we don’t have breakfast and just go.
Again too much to eat for us 🙂

We past a lot of small Villages and went up to 2025 meters. On our descend there were two young kids (girl and boy) who wanted to high five us while we were riding past them (a lot of kids seem to like this). I managed to high five them both and I could hear the girl squeak with excitement because we had done it. Just great!

A lot of time people will drive past you and horn to say high or wave.
We met some more Iranian guys who invited us to drink Chai with them. I can’t get over how friendly and helpful all the people are we meet. It’s a wonderful experience.
So DO NOT BELIEVE THE MEDIA – They’re full of shit!!!

At the end of the day we only did 202 Km of which about 50% were off-road. Then we got rained on incl. some lovely hailstones. We waited a while in a shelter by the “road” till the worst had gone by. Shame it drizzled the rest of the way.
Found a nice place to stay again with a very good Restaurant next door. Freshly homemade food – I think I might just eat my way through every country 😀

Fuck fuck fuck, I have somehow lost all my chargers, two batteries and some cables. I don’t know how or when it happened but I guess I have to go shopping tomorrow in Tiflis because otherwise there are no more pictures or videos.
Better now than in Mongolia I guess…

Our bikes were clean before, promise.


Georgia reminds a little of Scotland. This ist btw a main road to Tiflis…

 

04.06.2018

Something went on and my lights (electricity) went out 🙂
The border procedure lasted about 1h. Some friendly man waved us to the front by saying “no wait, no wait” and pointed to the front. After checking out of Turkey (we didn’t get fined for using the motorway without paying) we got stopped by two very friendly Georgian border Policemen. They just checked our driver license and send us to the actual border crossing. If that damn Lorry hadn’t blocked our way we could have been through the border in under half an hour.

For Georgia we had to get insurance which you get at the bank 🙂
I walked in and got called back by a security Lady and a very grim looking security bull, oops I mend to write, guy.
She send me in the right direction and after getting some cash (the card reader wasn’t working) I payed 40 Lari (16€ or so) for 15 days and got two insurance papers.
What the place after the border looks and feels like is hard to describe. There’s a Casino with exotic Dancers and a lot of booths to change money. There is a constant coming and going.
There we met two Irian guys (if you read this please don’t feel insulted because I don’t remember your names, I’m terrible with names) who chatted for a while with us. The older guy even invited me to stay with him if I ever come to Iran. Which I want to travel to in about two years’ time.
There are a lot of Iranian people who visit Georgia…

Two more things to look out for now…potholes and cows. If Scotland is the paradise for Sheep (they always have the right of way) then Georgi is the one for cows (I know India too). They’re running freely on the road all by themselves and choose to cross the road just in front of you. Maybe that’s where the sentence “you stupid cow” comes from 😀
I almost hit one…

Because there aren’t a lot of places to stay at we had to ride until about 08:45 pm but managed at last to find a very nice private guesthouse to stay in.
They even served us (too much) food because we hadn’t eaten since breakfast.
They have Vineyards and make their own wine which Max really enjoyed 😀
I believe there are four generations living in this house.

sdr

Posted in Ohne Kategorie | Leave a comment

Turkey

03.06.2018
Today we had a frosty and foggy start with only 10 degrees Celsius. At about 1300m above sea level it was expected to be a little cooler but I hadn’t expected that. Luckily about an hour later it got warmer again but even at 24 degrees Celsius it felt a little cool.

effing foggy

There’s a lot less traffic now on the roads which is really nice.
I still can’t get over it that everybody is ignoring the speed limits. Even in a town (still three lane Motorway) nobody is slowing down to 50Km/h, well maybe to 80Km/h but that’s ist. I’m not sure how anybody shoot walk across the road without getting hit but somehow, they manage it…
What is kind of weird is that you almost only see men around. In bigger towns like Samsun you’ll see just as many women as men but outside those Towns/Cities it’s like they almost don’t exist.
What we do see a lot of are stray dogs, one cuter then the other.

Ünye

After 494Km we stopped in Ünye and found a nice place to stay.

We had just goten of our bike when we heard a German voice asking us where we are from. A Turkish guy, lives and works in Germany for over 40 years by now, is visiting his friends. Sadly, he lost his right leg while riding his motorbike just after starting to ride it. So, whenever he sees bikers he stops for a chat and takes their picture.

Tomorrow we should be in Georgia where the first off-road section (300Km) is starting…

 

02.06.2018
It’s wonderful waking up the sound of the Ocean. Shame we can’t stay a little longer. Today we tried to find out how much we have to pay for the Motorway usage but failed. The only thing we know now for sure is that we have 15 days to pay. Tomorrow we try to buy a HGS card at another Petrol Station.
Just before Istanbul Max realized that he had still the Hotel keys with him. So we rode the 54Km back to the Hotel because we’re nice 🙂
They hadn’t even noticed 😀
But because of this little detour we didn’t get as far as we wanted but still 485 Km.
For some reason the traffic really annoyed me today and I wasn’t in the best of moods. Having said that there’s a lot of traffic around Istanbul and a lot of maniac drivers in their fast cars. At one of our breaks I saw a very handsome Rottweiler and went over for a stroke. Lovely natured and gentle dog.
Since Max didn’t want to go any further we had an early stop around 4:00 pm not too far away from a ton called Gerede.
Our Hotel for tonight is right by the Motorway, I hope the traffic will quiet down for the night. For two rooms we paid 200TL.
The scenery changed and so did the temperatures from 28 down to 21 degrees Celsius. Quite crisp at the end of the day.

 

01.06.2018
After 475 Km and 10h in 33 Celsius we’re in Turkey. The border crossing was okay, only took about 45 min. Okay the day started with 15 Celsius but did get warm pretty quick.
But before that we had to drive through a fair bit of Bulgaria. Max found accidently a great Mountain road with some great corners up to 1285 meters. At the top of this Pass we found this Monument.

We only driven 5 days and we’re just about 30 Km away from Istanbul. Unfortunately, we will not have the time to visit this great City because we’re only passing through Turkey this time.
As a little treat we’re staying in a Hotel with a rather nice view…

We found a nice little place for something to eat. Not much to choose from but homemade and very LECKER 😀

Posted in Ohne Kategorie | Leave a comment

On the road again…

30.05.2018
We lost an hour and didn’t realize 🙂
First thing in the morning we had to “repair” Max’s bike. His cooler had so much dirt in it that the bike overheated. After a good clean it seems to work fine now. Let’s hope none of us has any more problems!
Altogether we did only 408 Km because of the late start. We also didn’t do the Transfagarasan but we’re at the entrance.
Hooray, no Italian food today 😀
Some guys sitting at the next table are listening to Modern Talking. I thought torture was illegal according to the Geneva Convention 😀
We had short conversation in which he told me that he works in Graz for  Company that Arnold Schwarzenegger owns. The only pay him 8€ – shame on you Arni!
Later he offered me a woman to have sex with but I declined his generous offer.

Max, so far, manages really well to find good places for us to stay…

Drying our cloth

 

29.05.2018
The day started okay but I always seem to forget todo something and only realize that when I’m already on the bike. Am I getting just old or what is wrong with me? 🙂
We went in one go through Slovakia and are now in Mako (Hungary) just before the border to Romania. So tomorrow we should go all the way through Romania. Looking really forward to the Transfagarasan.

Max managed to find a great little place where you rent your own Apartment with kitchen a separate bath for only 20 € per night. An older guy showed us everything and tried really hard to explain everything even though he doesn’t speak German or English.

 

28.05.2018
We did 507 Km today and my butt hurts as if I dah done 1500. Highest temperature was 31.5 Degrees Celsius.
The Cheque Republic reminds me of Germany in the 1970’s. Nice! But the people… I know we only met about 10 but none of them smiled and they seemed in either a bad mood or just hating their jobs. We found an ok camp for the night.
The Sedlec Ossuary is a Church (east from Prag) full of bones. Kind of weird…

Good night Kitna Hora

 

27.05.2018
Though I almost didn’t go because it took König Tours 2 month to get my Russian Visa.
But they were always friendly and helpful on the phone. Anyway, next time I think I go with Spoomer.
I’m wondering how long it will take to sink in what I’m about to tackle and where I am going. Though I did screamed a couple of times full of excitement in my helmet 😀

 

Posted in Ohne Kategorie | Leave a comment

Thoughts about being finally of work

I guess I should be happy that I just finished my last day of work for the next 4.5 months cause for at least the last 3 weeks that’s all I’ve been thinking and talking about. But now when the day finally arrived I feel weird and while walking to my bike I felt a touch of sadness and confusion, almost like as if I had just quit my job.

I also wondered how it’s going to feel like not having an ordered live anymore where basically a lot of things just repeat themselves every day again and again and again… And how is it going to go back to this live after 4 months of travelling?

For a moment it freaked me out but now I’m okay again. It’s just going to take a while to sink in…

Posted in Ohne Kategorie | Leave a comment

Prep work – part two

There are so many thing to think about when yu want to do long distance travelling. As as everybody will tell you the planing is the most important and difficult thing to do.

It can be quite overwhelming if you think about all the stuff you have to do before the big day.

I split everything in parts and those again in smaller tasks:

  1. Motorbike

    1. What bike?
      Most people will tell you to take a bike as light as possible and I think they’re right. Having said that a lot of people are taking their bigger bikes such as a 1200 GS/KTM 1290/1090/Africa Twin, the list goes on…
      I guess it all depends what kind of travelling you want to do or in other words how much off-road riding you have/want to do.
      I will, against those advises from other people, take my 1200 GS. Some parts a re going to be a lot nicer and some more difficult. But hey nothing is perfect anyway 🙂

    2. Luggage
      Soft or Hard luggage?
      Again it depends what you prefer. I normally use hard Panniers because they’re more secure but then I don’t go off-road with them. If you do off-road soft panniers might be they way to go because if you fall and they land on your food or leg you properly come away with just a bruise. With hard Panniers it could be more fatal.
      But again plenty of people ride with hard Panniers around the world.
      I decided to go with soft luggage from Mosk Moto for this trip. There are a lot of choices out there, some good some bad, some cheap some expensive. Enduristan is also a very good place to check out.

    3. Spare parts
      How much can you do on your bike? I don’t thinks it’s that important because somebody else can replace or repair your bike if you have the right parts with you.
      I’m taking brake pads front and back and two spark plugs.

    4. Tools
      Again it might be okay to take some so you have them with you.
      A tyre repair kit is a good idea and maybe you should know how to use it. Don’t forget a food pump 🙂

  2. Paperwork

    1. Second Passport
      In most cases it’s a good idea to take second Passport. In Germany you’ll need written letter why you need one. Here is mine → click

    2. Visa
      For
      what countries do you need a Visa?
      In my case it’s Russia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Azerbaijan and Tajikistan you can do online like the ESTA for the States.
      I used www.visa.net (Spomer)

    3. Carnet the passage
      The ADAC in Germany has a page where you can see in which Countries it’s advisable and in which it’s a must have.
      The price depends on your bike but you will get, except a few, your money back.

    4. Information about all the countries

      • Do you have to register once you there?

      • Bank holidays

      • Border crossings

      • How’s the climate there?
        e.g. do you need to take more water for example.
        Since we’re riding through Uzbekistan in June and Kazakhstan/Mongolia in July/August we’ll need a lot of water. Always take more just in case you get stranded somewhere.

  3. Routing

    1. How detailed to want to plan?
      A rough route in your SatNav is enough – I think

    2. POIs
      Putt all the POIs in your SatNav if you take one. That way you can just choose one and get guided there.

  4. Packing

    1. What to take
      You can download my packing list here → click
      My list is a list of many lists and probably way to long. I don’t take everything on the list but…

      • Cloth
        Don’t take to much, you can always buy more on the road. Important is good riding gear. Especially base and mid layers.

      • Photo
        If you just doing Videos or you don’t want to take memorable photos you don’t need anything. And to be honest the mobiles these days have pretty good cameras.
        Still I’m taking my camera, some class and filters because some things you can’t do with mobiles yet.

      • Tent

      • Video
        I had quite a few moments when I couldn’t take a picture because of traffic or other conditions.
        Anyway a video can tell IMHO a story better then a picture unless your name is Anselm Adams 🙂

      • Laptop
        If you take a Camera of any kind you probably want to do backups and maybe even do some post work on those pics or videos.

      • Food/Cooking
        Do you need a cooker?
        I would normally take one but this time I’m not because I don’t need a coffee in the morning and it’s warm where I’m going. But I will take a plate, a knife, a spork, a cup, a cutting board and some salt/pepper.
        For emergencies I’m a little espit??? cooker from the army. They are small and light.

Posted in Ohne Kategorie | Leave a comment

Fresh start…

I delete the main page because it didn’t really full fill any purpose except for that cool quote from Kristan Ko. So a fresh start for this side and me, I guess… well, not really for me 😉

Posted in Ohne Kategorie | Leave a comment

Finding people to ride with (if that is what you want) – part one

Last year I posted in a few forums that I wanted to go to Mongolia but I never got a reply. Maybe it was the way I posted or just bad luck, who knows…

It’s quite difficult to find the right people to ride with and even if you find someone it’s not said that it’ll work out. Normally I wouldn’t ride such a long distance without really knowing somebody but at the same time you’ll never know who you will meet.
And if it doesn’t work out you can always carry on your own.
Also to consider is that you are more abrogable for others if you are alone. I guess you then less of a threat and, at least seem, more vulnerable.
But in a group you can help each other and not everybody has to carry everything.

Anyway, a work Colleague told me about  http://forum.motorradkarawane.de/  , there I found two posts from two guys who also want to go to Mongolia in June 2018.
We were 4, then 3 and now maybe 5 🙂

Basically, don’t give up and try various forums!

Posted in Ohne Kategorie | Leave a comment

Prep work – part 1

To be better prepared for my trip I did some off-road training in Hechlingen (Enduro Park Hechlingen). The course was for beginners and lasted two days. It was great fun to play with those big BMW 1200 GS bikes and the instructors are just great, not just as riders but also from their personality side.
If someone would have said you can ride like this after this short course I wouldn’t have believed it.
Anybody, even if you’re not in to off-road riding, should do a course like that because it shows you what a bike and you are capable off after just two days. You learn a lot about handling and controlling the bike at slow speed, in tight spaces and lots more.

And I just found another off-road Park not too far from my Hometown 🙂

Here are some impressions…
(Many thanks to Ute who took all the pictures)


 

 

Posted in Ohne Kategorie | Leave a comment