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zandesiro 07-21-2011 10:39 AM

Lake Como, Italy, starts like a holiday ends like an adventure!!!
Hello everyone…!

My name is zandesiro as the most of you know me and I am from Greece.
I have a Honda Varadero XL1000V 2005mod.

I was planning 6 months ago a trip to the Lake Como in north italy.
Everything was set up Boat tickets,accommodation in a small wounden house up to the mountains near to lake Como…. all in month february…..!The trip was from 3 July 2011 to 11 july 2011….!
The time has come the bike my honda varadero xl1000v was loaded with our luggage and start to rolling from Polygyros to Igoumenitsa port to take the ferry to Ancona Italy…!!!

We start at 2 july 2011 to get to the Greek meeting of Varadero forum in Syvota (Greece)which is a lovely place(and near to Igoymenitsa port) for holidays with a lot of hidden beaches waiting to discover them …!!!
We have a superb weekend with Varadero forum and Sunday 3 july 2011 we arrived in Igoumenitsa port to departure in 20.30 to Ancona port in Italy….!!
The ferry arrives…..
On board…..
Departure from Igoumenitsa port….!!
Camping on board….

zandesiro 07-21-2011 10:40 AM
The next day in 13.00 we arrived in Ancona port and happy to start our trip to our accommodation in San Fedele d’Intelvi in the lake Como distance about 520 km or 323 miles through Autostrada(Italian highway).
I meet in the ship a friend with a bmw who returns to Koln from holidays in greece…!!!
We make a few stop for fuel food toilet etc.
In about 500 km (310miles) I hear a noise from my rear wheel like “eeeeghh” only for a second….Then after a few meters and starting to climb the mountain roads from the Swiss side to San fedele the rear ball bearing (one of the 3 that Varadero have in the back wheel)past away, making a sound “crack-crack-crack” ……….

So i make 510km(316miles) and 8km(5miles) before reach my accommodation, I was in the road night(21.30) with my bike not able to move any more….!!!F**k!!!!!!
I found a small village near park in front of Carabinieri (Italian police) and I call the road assistant to come and pick the bike…!!!
After 1.30 hour around 23.00 the road assistant was in the place of my bike…!!!They took my bike and the next day I will call them to tell me where they have gone the bike (which Honda workshop)…!
00:10 we arrived by car to accommodation with all our luggage in hand.!!!!!!!!!Extremly sweaty and tired….!!!

The next day ask for a taxi to take us to the Como (city) to find and fix the problem that we have last night…!!
The distance was 28km (17mi) and the taxi price was 50 euro….!

After the taxi driver make some calls we find the Honda workshop that the bike was….
Enjoy the ride in the coast of lake Como through the taxis windows….!!!

In the Honda workshop they tell us that we have to go the bike in another workshop because there was only sell cars and bikes and don’t have a workshop for repairs or service…!!
They also call a mechanic from a workshop ,that they send their bikes, to see mine..!!!
The mechanic arrived and the bike was loaded in a van to the workshop for repair…!!

We left the bike and start to walk around Como as we are waiting the bike to get fixed…!
Very nice place…!!!Square….with old buildings…!
We have breakfast and between the italian cheeses we find greek feta cheese…!!
The coast of the Como lake…
Hydroplanes fly continuously…!
The hapiness in my face(if you start with problems your trip)…..
The only one happy was “Pablo” ….it was enjoy the water of the lake…!!!
Artistic photo…!!!
Resting in the grass of lake Como…!!!
All trying to have a tan in the grasses…!

zandesiro 07-21-2011 10:41 AM

After 2 hours my phone rings and they tell me that the bike was ready…!!!!
168 euros was the the price of 3 bll bearings and 2 workhours priced…!!
Here is the problem..!!
This is the workshop!!!Thank you guys…!!!

We take the bike and start the way back to the mountains to our accommondation….!Let me show to you …!!!

We shop some food from a local store and make a nice dinner drinking some beer and relaxing from this difficult start that we have in our trip,And saying to each other me and my wife that from now and on everything is gona be allright(BUT YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT LIFE IS PROGRAMED FOR YOU….!!!)

The next day was the best day of our trip….!!!Total 345km(214mi)….And 2 passes of the Swiss alps…!
Lake como…..
The destination was St.Moritz in Switzerland….!!!!
The road magnificent,the mountains,the valleys,the rivers that we cross through the bridges,the trees,the tunnels,the lakes was something that we never ever seen….!!!
We enjoy the Julierpass 2284meters(7500ft).
And arrive in St.Moritz we walk around the lake and have a meal….!!!
The food was very nice and tasty!!
The lake in St.Moritz….
This is what happends if you ride for long time!!!!You can close your feet!!
Hotels,houses and the train station in St.Moritz….
After the necessary pics we ride the way back to San Fedele through Malojapass(Passo del Maloja)…!!The photo isn’t mine I upload a photo from google in the winter with snow!!!Nice isn’t it??
We left Swiss..!
We are back to italy again..!!
We make a stop for a cappuccino coffe in the coast of the Lake Como the view of Bellagio was a astonishing…!!

zandesiro 07-21-2011 10:42 AM

The next day new problems throw the night start raining and continues in the morning that we wake up…!!!

Ok! We stay inside no bike route for today until the rain stops….!

Let me show you the inside of the wooden cabin until the rain stops...

BUT THE RAIN DIDN’T STOPS…….It get it bigger and bigger!!!!The result was to have a massive storm that you cannot see in 10 meters…!!!Later was the END OF OUR STAYIN IN lake Como….!!!!

Look the video…!!!

Everything ,plants flowers trees look like you shoot it….!!!When the storm turns to rain agin with big concern I put my raincoat and I go to my bike to see whats the damage….!!!

In a hurry check in the rain I didn’t see nothing damaged,broken in the bike!!!Wow,I said what a lucky guy I am…!!!

In the next minutes I was with my laptop to see the weather in the internet for the lake Como….!!!
Bad luck!!!For the next 4 days cloudy in the morning, rain in the afternoon and the night…!!!

There is no way that I’m gona stay here in this place….!!!
Looking the weather more south from the place I was and the weather in the central itaky was fine and shiny….!!!

The hotel was booked for the city of Florence for the next 3 nights before go back to Greece,in the price of 270 euros….!!!

The same night pay the small wooden house(whole week),and get setting our luggage for tomorows trip of 400km(248mi) to Florence…!!

The next morning we are happy because we are leaving this place that we have so much problems….!!!
When I was put the side cases in the bike I noticed that in the topcase (a GIVI V46)the red plastic cover was broken from the falling-ice of the previous day…!!!

I was angry for my bad luck and also sad because half the days of my trip was so unlucky…..! But I was so happy that I’m leaving and heading to a romantic destination as the city of Florence!!!!

Another problem…Because of the last night storm there was a land sliding and the road was closed …..!The only way is to take a ferrie to Bellagio then the road to Como and then to Autostrada for florence…!!!
The ferrie is coming…
Here I am…
So thats all folks about Como it seems that the lake of Como doesnt like us!!!

Florence, here we come!

zandesiro 07-21-2011 10:42 AM

We arrived in Florence though a hell…………!
The heat of the day with an autostrada full of traffic…..
Ring road of Milano traffic jam..
Ring road of Bolognia traffic jam..
Ring road of Florence traffic jam..
I was riding in the emergency lane….(thank God there wasn’t any police)….!

The hotel in Florence was in the center of the city and the roads was was closed for vehicles….(Shit!!)
With a talk with some of the policeman they give me the permission to go with the bike throw people (The heat was 40 celcious(105F)…..!

From the COLD and the RAIN now to the HEAT…..!!!

Finaly we take our luggage to the hotel find a parking for the bike 18 euro/dayX3=54euro….!

And get some rest in the hotel…!!!!In the afternoon we make a walk to the city of Florence photos-dinner-beer…..!
Stores in ponte Vecchio…
A lot of tourists…!
“Cheap” stores….
Pallazzo Vecchio…
Greek writing and some greek mythologie…!!
Out side was the statue of David..
The pallazzo again..
The city of Florenc is very nice for artist photos…
The next days we are visit some palaces(palazzo vecchio,pallazzo pitty) the bridge of Ponte Vecchio,the Duomo….!!!Very beautiful….!!
This paintings was on the street and for only the the night truly magnificent…
View of Florence from roof restaurant…!
Pallazzo Pitty inside…
Electric vehicles…!!
We enjoy pizza and cold beer…..
And the last night we have a dinner in the roof-restaurant of our hotel,the view of Florence was superb…!!

The next morning took the bike from the garage and load the luggage and heading for the port of ancona….!!326km(200mi)…!!!
Goodbye Ponte Vecchio….!!

zandesiro 07-21-2011 10:43 AM

The ship was departured at 13.30 we arrived at 12.15 …!!!

There are 3 ferries that goes from greece to italy and italy to greece…!

Because of the ecomomy crisis in greece the SUPERFAST FERRIES and the ANEK LINES became one company SUPERFAST-ANEK….!!
My tickets was booked with SUPERFAST FERIES…
But now I was returning with ANEK ship….!

Think that we are in the midle of the summer holidays and people of 2 ships(SUPERFAST-ANEK) was getting in ONE ship…!!!

The waiting to board was in the sun…!!!Late departure 1.30hour(15.00)…!!!

We booked airplane type seats when we arrive at the seats the condition was…..

The seats was diferent colors and small like a 50s bus,all the people (I don’t say nationality) put their sleeping bags between the corridor of the seats the aircontition was none…
And the answer that I hear on the radio of a crew member for the solution of the aircontition was....

Yes, thats the answer of an officer in a greek ferrie…!! I samed to be greek!!!

We stay in a lounge-bar until 22.30 and then we try to find a place to place to sleep…!!!

Until 02.00 we are wondered like 3rd class member of titanic…!!!
Finally we sleep in internal corridor of the ship for 2 hours 03.00-05.00 in that time they wake up us to vacum the corridor….!
About 06.00 the lounge-bar opened and we seat in a couch until 07.00…!!
That was the time that the ship approaches to the port of igoumenitsa…!!!
From there we make 383km(238mi) with 2 hours sleep )to our home in Polygyros!!!!

That was the worst trip I have done in my life…..!!!Everything gone bad…!!

I want to thank my wife for coming with me(and don’t take the plane back home) and say nothing(only a little) to all this situations…!!!:D:D

Thank you for reading my trip and sorry for my mistakes in english language…!!!

geg 07-21-2011 11:59 AM

great pictures
the video of the hail was AMAZING!

sorry you had some "adventures" but that's what makes it memorable.


VanIsland Rider 07-21-2011 12:18 PM

Thanks for sharing your trip, great photos!! Sorry to see the bike had problems and the weather was less than ideal. My wife and I are hoping to spend a month touring around Italy next year, I hope to rent a motorbike and a villa for the month close to Pisa and and do day trips from there.
Thanks again.

geg 07-21-2011 12:32 PM


Originally Posted by VanIsland Rider (Post 16447569)
Thanks for sharing your trip, great photos!! Sorry to see the bike had problems and the weather was less than ideal. My wife and I are hoping to spend a month touring around Italy next year, I hope to rent a motorbike and a villa for the month close to Pisa and and do day trips from there.
Thanks again.

ah... you should probably consult this fellow: Tagesk
he is a regular poster here at ADV.

zandesiro 07-21-2011 01:22 PM


Originally Posted by geg (Post 16447667)
ah... you should probably consult this fellow: Tagesk
he is a regular poster here at ADV.

I angree!!!!He is the right guy!!!:evil

GiorgioXT 07-21-2011 03:06 PM

Nice pictures and report... sorry for your mis-adventures , but seems that Honda are generally weak about rear wheel bearings , during the first Dolomites AdvRally Bummer's transalp destroyed the bearing just like yours - and had just more than 30k kms! - fortunately was able to source SKF bearings on place and a friend with a lathe re-made the shims ... the next one the Slovenian Africa Twin rider broke too his bearing , but he knew very well his bike and had the spares in the bag..

tranten 07-21-2011 03:17 PM

Κρατα τα καλα απο το ταξιδι πατριωτη κ μην μασατε.συμβαινουν κ αβαριες αλλα σημασια εχει να τις ξεπερναμε.
αντε κ στα επομενα ευχομαι με καλυτερες συνθηκες κ πιο προσεκτικο σερβις στην μοτο πριν ξεκινησεις...:thumb

VanIsland Rider 07-21-2011 03:47 PM

Thanks Greg, I will contact Tagesk for some much needed advice about our trip.

holmesie 07-21-2011 04:11 PM

Good story and pictures - shame about your troubles, but at least the holiday was not a total loss

Stay safe on the road :thumb

tserts 07-21-2011 04:28 PM


Originally Posted by zandesiro (Post 16446910)

Well there is your problem... You made god angry for using your bike as a truck and he punished you... :lol3

Take it all in, the good and the bad things, every trip is like this... I sure hope next time everything works out without any complications.

Thank you for the photos and the story, Italy is one mean drool generator as always... :clap:clap

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