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Old 08-10-2012, 09:22 AM   #46
beat
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hi Mike, was at the bikebar in barnaul today.
great place.
talked with larisa, check your mail.

i'm leaving for mongolia tomorow morning

cya!

ps. looks like we have an invitation for the siberian enduro fest next year....
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:17 PM   #47
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ps. looks like we have an invitation for the siberian enduro fest next year....

Tell me more !

I emailed Larisa (without the www as that is just silly) and have not had a response yet.
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:34 PM   #48
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Volgograd and new rubber

I left Astrakhan around 7am as I had told the gang at Bikecity34 that I would be there by 2pm. Made it by 2:10 so not too bad. Nothing really remarkable about this route.....so I wonīt bother.

When I got to the bike store, they were waiting for me. Helen, the English speaker, was off ill, but I spoke to her on the phone and everything was soon sorted. As well as changing the tyres (from Denis in Moscow) they cleaned/oiled my chain and did a general check on the bike. Remarkably, no problems. We decided to leave the repair on the X-Tank till I get home as it would take a day to sort out there and I wanted to be moving on into Ukraine early the next day. Iīll post a photo of the multiple holes Iīd put in it when Iīve stripped it off.

I booked as sort of boutique ītruckersīhotel just by the M21 (route across to Ukraine) about 15kms out of Volgograd. This worked out very well except that I couldn't get their internet to work. For anyone interested, or passing through that way, the Hotel is called īMaximum Hotelīand it is not where it is shown on the map supplied to Booking.com. Iīll post the exact location when I get home.

Just a few pictures today....starting with BikeCity34 with my bike being worked on out front.




Anna, the lady standing just inside the garage is the office manager on the day I was there....Helen does this role too. She even prepared me some lunch ! No idea whether I got charged for that too and I donīt really care. It was unexpected and very welcome.

A better photo


Interesting truck waiting at the traffic lights by the store. Looks like it comes complete with stove!


Me when I got to the hotel


That's about it for that day. The next update will be a very brief visit to Ukraine. 2 Hard days on the road but a very welcome rest day in L'viv and a chance to stay with Blackside, a Ukrainian bike who I met on this forum.

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Old 08-12-2012, 04:36 PM   #49
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The whole building on the roght is the Radisson Hotel. You need a mortgage to stay there in this town!


We stayed in the Radisson three years ago. $550 a night. My partner needed a nice hotel BADLY and paid. Steak dinner there cost more than the previous nights hotel bill in Aktobe. Was a good steak, though.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:50 AM   #50
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I'll bet its nearer $700 now. That must have been some pressing need and big steak :-)

Mike
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:46 PM   #51
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Nice ride...!I'm in to this thread!!
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:32 AM   #52
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I'll bet its nearer $700 now. That must have been some pressing need and big steak :-)

Mike
The steak dinner was $16. The previous nights' hotel was $15 for the two of us.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:30 AM   #53
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Volgograd to Līviv

The ride to the Ukraine border was uneventful....but the border crossing was the most difficult. Apparently, according to these border guards, I should have been given a customs declaration on entry so that I could surrender it on exit. Well, never heard about this before. After much discussions amongst themselves and time wasting for me, I was told I could go. The Ukraine part was simple, I was expecting to have to buy a visa at the border but no visa appears to be required now.

I continued on to a place called Dnepropetrovsk, a total distance of about 830kms for the day on some pretty bad roads. Rolled into town around 8pm and took the first hotel my GPS took me to that actually had bike parking not on a main road. Was a bit pricy, but I needed rest. Another long day to get to Līviv tomorrow. No photos of this journey but I bookmarked a very nice Italian restaurant in the town and the hotel. Both will be going on OSM.

Next day, had breakfast in a fascinating restaurant type place attached to the hotel.




Then got on the road for 8am.

Once again, no photos of the trip into L'viv. It was a 955km day and was 9:30pm before i met up with Vova, the Ukrainian biker who is putting me up for 2 nights and who offered to show me his city.

btw, the 955kms.....donīt try this in Ukraine unless you are a masochist, on a 650 thumper anyway.

Iīll put all the photos from L'viv in a separate post.

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Old 08-15-2012, 11:03 AM   #54
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Līviv Photos

I arrived in L'viv and met up with Vova who had kindly offered me a bed for a couple of nights and to spend a day showing me round his city.

Volva, our bikes at his garage, some 15 mins walk from his appartment.


His son, a budding mechanic.


Their apartment


The Kumpel restaurant and micro brewery in the center of the city. We ate here in the evening. The īlagerībeer was so fresh that it wasnīt available for the first 30 minutes.


Spectacular church (inside), the second biggest in the city






Part of the old city wall.


With a restaurant at its base now....


A better shot of the wall...very similar to Tallin (Estonia)


We had lunch at this Israeli restaurant. Very nic it was to. Supposedly a traditional dish but the same as many others. Meat, onion and potatoe in a crock pot. The gap to the right of the place used to be a synagog but was destroyed during the war.



Vova assured me that every building in the old part of L'viv has a central court yard of some sort. He took me to a few, this is just one.


This is the statue of some famous writer. The statue is also famous because at the time it was commissioned, money was short so the soviets took a part completed statue of a soldier and converted it. As a result, this statue has soldiers boots on.


The inside of another church. I think this is teh one where Vova got married.


btw, Iīm not religious, but find the amount of work that goes into these places, fascinating.

A picture of me in front of the cities Opera house.


This is the town hall. Its possible to climb to the top of the clock tower to view the city. We did....all 408 steps !


Pictures from the top.....just to prove I went up there See if you can spot another quirk of L'viv, a rooftop restaurant complete with car !


There it is...





Another courtyard of a building, this one contains a specialist coffee shop.


To get to it you have to go thru what appears to be a locked door and down an unlit, low passage.


And through this door off the street


Old tram converted to an eating place. Trams of this type used to run on the cities tram lines.


Another famous statue in the center, refereed to by the locals as the Horse.


Almost done.....a photo of me reading to Vovaīs son...and confusing the hell out of him....but he didn't seem to mind!.


This is the apartment block where they live. It reminded me of the block in Novosibirsk where Viktor lives.

My stay in L'viv was brief but very interesting thanks to the kindness of Vova and his wife who made me feel very welcome. Next time I am in the country, we have a date to ride the Caspian mountains together.

Next, on to Auschwitz.

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Old 08-15-2012, 12:00 PM   #55
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Route

This is my route from the track logs. There was a couple of days or parts thereof, that I didnīt have the tracking switched on, but its pretty obvious where I went

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Old 08-16-2012, 09:58 AM   #56
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Auschwitz

Not much to mention about the trip to Auschwitz except that it was a vast improvement on road conditions as soon as I entered Poland and that I bumped into the Polish GS riders, that I had previously met in Aral, at the border crossing.

I had booked hotel Olecki using booking.com having seen good reviews and the fact it was right by the gates to camp 1. I knew I wouldn't have much time so this was ideal.

The reviews were well justified. If you find yourself out this way, I can wholeheartedly recommend this place. They have a garage to hold bikes, most staff speak English, the food is very good, the staff are very helpful, the room I got was excellent, and it is literally across the road from the entrance to Camp 1.

I got there about 3:30, having left early in order to do just that and was already walking round the camp by 4pm. There is no entrance charge if you do not join a tour group..... which is not mandatory, despite what the web says.

What follows is a photo log of my walk round the camp and I will try to give you my impression as to the experience at the end.

First, the hotel and parking




I walked over the road and into the camp.....and to the museum. Acquired a camp map (1 & 2) and then followed the recommended route around the camps.....yes, there is a prescribed route and everyone is recommended to visit Camp 1 before the newer Camp 2.

That gateway....



I originally posted many images I took while walking round Camp 1 (Auschwitz) And Camp 2 (Birkenau) but I have removed them now. There are much better photographs on the internet and I decided not to dwell on this aspect of the trip.

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Old 08-19-2012, 07:35 AM   #57
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Waltersdorf, Bad Lauterberg & Home

A few photos to finish off the journey home.

Sonnebergbaude, a delightful old hotel in the small walking/skiing area of Waltersdorf, near Zittau, Germany. English is spoken by the owner and there is a garage for use by bikers. The food at this place is excellent and not expensive. They have a delicious hose speciality for desert. Go and try it.


View down the valley and the ski lift opposite the hotel.




My next stop was at Pension Roseneck in the town of Bad Lauterberg at the southern edge of the Harz mountains, Germany. My wife rode from home to meet me here and we planned to spend a couple of days doing a little riding and generally relaxing before returning to the real world.


Views from a hill overlooking the town.









This is the cafe at Torfhaus. Its a viewpoint and general stop that welcomes bikers. In fact, the whole areas is very popular with bikers of all nationalities. I can recommend the food here. Not cheap, but very filling.




We did the final 520kms to home (The Hague) together and, after checking my odo, found that the total distance covered since leaving the bonded area in Almaty, is 10,741. Not bad for 5 weeks.

Next, I have to review all the video, the routes and way-points and start to update OSM with some of it and try and piece some of the footage together into some sort of film. If it works out, I may post it on utube and will add a link in this thread.

If anyone wants any specific information about the places Iīve been, feel free to ask. Either in the thread or via pm.

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Old 08-20-2012, 05:02 AM   #58
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Very interesting thread Mike, especially since a similar trip has been on the back of my mind for some years (however 'life' always comes in the way of fulfilling it somehow).

I'm from Zoetermeer, so very nearby The Hague!

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Old 08-20-2012, 05:51 AM   #59
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I'm from Zoetermeer, so very nearby The Hague!
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Maybe we can meet up for a beer sometime . I am often in the Zwarter Ruiter on Gotemarkt, Saturday afternoons.... and usually at Hyperpro/Alphen on Saturday mornings

btw, I'd keep quiet about being from Zoetemeer
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:37 AM   #60
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Riding in the Ukraine

I just found out that Vova (my host in L'viv) has started a thread on here about riding in the Ukraine.

Here: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=821445
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