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Old 02-21-2013, 10:57 PM   #3976
Theshantha
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Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Sri Lanka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
I am very grateful, but I should say that I dont have a lot of honour, so be wary of doing too much for it !

The world is changing and what may seem impossible now financially may be simple in 10 years time. I have no doubt that Sri Lanka will grow much faster than western countries in the next 10 years and so too will your ability to do rides like this. 19 years ago I visited the dirt poor countries of China and Russia and Mongolia on a bike for the first time and the idea that they would be doing stuff like I was doing seemed impossible. Now adventure biking and enduro travelling are quite popular in Russia and I travel many times with Russian guys. This year in Mongolia I met ONLY russian adventure bikers. Mongolia itself has become the fastest growing economy in the world (18% GDP forecast for 2013 and about the same rate for the last bunch of years too) and UlaanBaatar has gone from an impoverished city cast off from Soviet economic protection with 3-4 cars sleepily making their way down the main street, to 24/7 traffic jams of Lexuses and current model Landcruisers. I guess the Chinese dont do adventure motorcycling yet, but they are the largest global market for many luxury products such as Omega swiss watches etc. This was unthinkable 19 years ago when I toured the impoverished country where the really really rich back then were lucky if they could afford a volkswagen. Now its all Range Rovers, Bentleys etc. Same in Russia. 19 years ago you were rich in Russia if you even had a car. Now half of Moscow drives current model Range Rovers.

If you have an XR250R now, I can barely imagine what you will have in a decade, but certainly your dream of riding the BAM road will happen if you keep your determination and keep the dream alive. And that pleases me.
Thank you very much for your time/reply Walter. Yes, I'll keep/try my dream come true. Will keep you in touch.

Visit Sri Lanka in one day...
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:13 AM   #3977
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Cool2 Thanks Walter

Thanks Walter for your continuous willingness to share

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
Well i dont think the Sertao offers any potential that the XC doesnt, except 30+ kgs more weight.

The only advantage I see it has over an Xchallenge (or Xcountry if you are of the shorter persuasion), is that its probably better for someone who wants to make no modifications.

Chris Scott of Adventure Motorcycling Handbook fame reviewed the Husky here:
http://adventure-motorcyclingh.com/2...ra-quick-spin/
(truncated in the interest of brevity)

And for the link also

now back to the regular program, between bad shocks and the dragon lady we just don't know where to turn to for our daily fix any more.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:20 AM   #3978
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South America

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Originally Posted by 25jack View Post
Steve, Have you already completed the South America trip or is that in the future.
Went from Montana to Peru fall 2012
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:27 AM   #3979
ROD CURRIE
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Originally Posted by mario33 View Post
For those interested.

They are mostly savoury (cheese/onions, cabbage/mushrooms, various meats, spinach or whatever), rarely sweet (although my mother makes wonderful pierogi with all kinds of berries).
Thanks for that Mario. The word might well be Pierogi- but these weren't pies, but doughnut-type things and seem to have been deep fried? Unfortunately the lady stuck them in a microwave to heat up and they came out pretty soggy and tasteless. C'est la vie.All part of the journey

Anyway...where was your mother with all the above when I needed her?
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:33 AM   #3980
stemic01
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Thanks for all the good info and comparisons.
Have you a Ride Report or Blog about your S. America trip?
Did you buy your X Challenge in Norway ... or in the USA? Ship to S. America .. or USA to start?
How did the X Challenge perform? Any problems?
What sort of bikes did other travelers ride down there? Did you meet any other riders along the Gringo trail? Did you split from your group? go on your own at all? How many months on the trip?
I have not made a advrider report from the S.America trip yet. The plan is to make it when I've got more time.
XC: Bought a used XC from an advrider Inmate in Montana, US. That is were the my America trip started.
Other travelers were going on all kind of bikes. BMW G650, F800, 1200GS, some older Suzuki and Honda stuff. I did not see one single Xchallenge or Xcountry.
My trip from Norway to Russia were supposed to be a solo ride, but I met pepole and rode some alone and some with others. The America part of my trip I rode with two friends for most of the time. We also met others which joined us for some days/weeks. Gringo trail: We did drive more on the Pan American highways than off it, but we tried to get off and do dirt roads.
We started in September ending before christmas. I would say that you should have at least 6 months from USA to Ushuaia and to get somewhere where you can ship your bike from. We had too little time and we could not stop and visit all places we wanted.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:41 AM   #3981
Colebatch OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phipsd View Post
So it should not be a shock that the number one goal of any right thinking Chinese is to get the h*** out of the country, move to the city and make some MONEY!!!!! So wilderness 'adventure' doesn't have much appeal. Too many people lived it.
With respect to China, I agree ... when they have grown up with oxen on dirt roads, living in leaky shacks, and now they have the chance for superhighways, modern apartments and european cars, thats what they will aspire too. It will be a generation or two of living with the comforts of life before they look to start fantasizing about dirt tracks, cramped sleeping under a sheet of nylon and non luxurious means of transport (thumper motorcycles).

Its a hard sell to people new to modern luxury goods ... Hi Mr Wang, I know you are a good Chinese dentist and have a nice apartment in Shanghai and a new Audi, but dont you really want to use your spare cash to buy an off road motorcycle and wrestle it up rocky muddy tracks in the middle of Siberia, with no good food, camping in accommodation you have to haul with you in mosquito infested swamps, crossing bridges where one mistake could cost you your life, and bathing in and drinking freezing river water.

He will obviously say "no ... what you suggest is ridiculous. I would rather buy a nice watch for myself, a Chanel handbag for my wife and a family holiday to Paris."

Cause from where he has come from, from his cultural perspective, that defines achievement. Thats what makes him feel he has achieved something worthwhile and what his peers also feel is a worthwhile achievement.

We on ADV obviously come from a different cultural perspective. For us, a worthwhile achievement might be the pursuit of the kind of freedom that stems from riding a motorcycle across foreign lands. For us that may be what is more meaningful than a new Audi.

But I dont think its a blanket thing based on level of economic development. What is interesting is while Orientals like Chinese seem to shun the idea of rough adventure travel, other cultures from a similar economic position embrace it. Russians have always loved motorcycles, and the comparison with the Kazakhs in Kazakhstan is a good example. Economically similar, yet the Russians love it, and the Kazakhs dont. Compare India with China. India is a decade or two behind China in economic development and yet they do embrace the adventure motorcycling concept. Its not only economic ... there is a definite deep cultural element in there too as to who will like it, and who will not.

I say deep, because I am often amazed that even in a common western setting there is such a diversity in cultural preferences and ambitions. If you look at somewhere like California which is a nice ethnically diverse part of the world ... you will note that generally Oriental and Jewish preferences are for kids to get mega educated. Culturally they dont value sporting prowess the same way as white americans or african americans. To them, being a violin or piano maestro with a masters degree is what life is all about. They dont grow up wanting to be quarterbacks, prom queens or cheerleaders. Even tho the Chinese have been there since 1849 ! Still totally different cultural ambitions. And then look at how the Chinese use those educations. The Chinese mentality is to lay low - to be invisible outside the Chinese community. Despite the huge oriental population in California, going back over 150 years, how many Chinese politicians are there? Over 15% of California is Asian in origin, yet what percentage of elected politicians? Its not because they are discriminated against, its because they dont want to be public. They dont want to put themselves forward and face public scrutiny. They culturally dont subcribe to democracy, which is a very western concept - despite our politicians saying its a universal concept. They dont think those in power should be debased by public scrutiny. To the oriental mind, if you are in power, then you deserve respect. You may be subject to limited scrutiny but only from your peers, not from the general public. How many of the Oriental community in California actually even vote? Despite being there the best part of 2 centuries, they still do not embrace democracy. Because culturally its not their thing. Despite superficially having the same culture as other Americans ... somewhere deep down there are cultural preferences and pressures acting on people that are not always visible. Drummed in from birth. So even somewhere like California, kids will grow up having a different propensity to enjoy or want a particular sport / hobby like basketball, violin playing, or even adventure motorcycling depending on what cultural background they had in their formative years - and I think those cultural influences are much stronger than economic influences in explaining why some peoples will be more likely than others to pursue or crave freedom in this manner, that we love.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:44 AM   #3982
ramli
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Originally Posted by ROD CURRIE View Post
Thanks for that Mario. The word might well be Pierogi- but these weren't pies, but doughnut-type things and seem to have been deep fried? ...
ponchiki, gospoda, pontchiki!
may be a doughnut-type as well as a ball-type (softest balls in that case for the whole thread )
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:55 AM   #3983
ROD CURRIE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
This is one of my all-time favorite ride reports, and it is from China:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=371656

As an aside, unless people really enjoy dealing with dragon ladies like Rodd or are on a tight budget, you might want to stay in the big cities between Irkutsk and Moscow (Krasnoyark, Novosibirsk,Kemerovo, Ekaterinburg, etc. etc.). Most of them are about a day apart and especially on a weekend the nightlife and scenery is rather good. The riding in this part of Russia is boring as sin, you might as well have something to look forward to at night other than a scowling dragon lady.
Ahhh Motoreiter...as a Russian you probably see it that way, as it's familiar to you and you've maybe done the journey a number of times?
I can only say that looking through my westerners eyes and on my first trans-Russian odyssey I was enchanted by the changing landscape, the clash between the modern energy of the developing economy and the traditional culture, the local guys riding their old 2T motos to work in the mornings, against the super high-tech consumer stores in the cities.
I haven't seen a "proper" rustic haystack in the UK for 40 years ..all the hay/sileage is baled into huge round bales by tractor drawn machines. Just riding along and seeing these things made me smile for something I'd forgotten about.
Regarding the cities-we'll get there in a day or two, and as for dragons you'll not be surprised to see there were darlings too.

Please believe me, none of my comments are a criticism of your country. I love its energy, its different flavours and absolute sense of history, identity and direction.
Insh'allah I hope to return next year.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:36 AM   #3984
Tony P
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROD CURRIE View Post
Ahhh Motoreiter...as a Russian

, none of my comments are a criticism of your country.
Rod, you have never mentioned his country in your posts - let alone criticise it.
Like me, although living here, he was not from here. Try further west. Far, far further west than me even. :)
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:46 AM   #3985
ROD CURRIE
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Hey Tony.

Now you've piqued my interest...
Good to see you lurking and keeping me on the straight and narrow-despite your shameless efforts to lead me astray and into dens of Muscovite iniquity.
You just wait matey...your share of abuse is coming...no one gets away from the acid pen.

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Old 02-22-2013, 03:35 AM   #3986
ROD CURRIE
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Day 70

Next morning I humped the gear down to the bike and loaded it on. I was pretty good at this by now and it just took a few minutes and then went in to get some breakfast.
I'd hoped that there would be a change of face behind the counter but no...my sneering host from the previous night awaited me.

I think I've worked out since why she was so rude to me. The night before when we were talking about payment for the room, I simply didn't understand a point she was trying to make around the room having two beds. I think she was expecting me to pay for both-the room-but my constant "nye-panimye" (I don't understand) maybe made her think I was taking the piss or being deliberately obtuse to save a few quid.
Whilst I would not have paid anyway as the room was a fleapit I wasn't being obtuse for any other reason than maybe I am obtuse and crossing a continent with 6 words maybe isn't the brightest or most polite modus operandi.
She was probably pissed off too, with having to deal with a fuckwit foreigner after the day's truck drivers etc and maybe just the general tedium of her job....jeez...who'd want it.

Note to self: Must try harder and learn some language before I go back-it will save much international misunderstanding.

The morning was cool and damp, but I was glad to get out on the road again. After just a few miles I ran into fog-not the wispy here-now-and-gone variety but the "Fuck Me" wet pea souper that meant I couldn't go over 20 mph and misted the visor constantly. I put on a fleece as I was freezing and carried on, scuttling along in the gutter to avoid the occasional loon who went ripping past and would have had me off, at best. Trucks came way too close behind me-it won't hurt them a bit..right?- and the road took alarming 90 degree bends prior to the rail crossings ...and then another just after it to resume the direction of travel. This went on for a horrible 3 hours during which I covered maybe 40-50 miles.
I was very glad when the sun started to poke through, the mist cleared and I could wick it up a little and relax in to the ride.

A strange phenomenon was that in every village I rode past, every 50 yards or so would be someone-a teenager, a granny, a wifey selling any number of things...but almost always the same thing. In one village it's be honey, in another birch twigs bound to a stick (to lash your ass in the banya), in another selections of vegetables and in the weirdest one...multicoloured microfibre dusters on sticks...but everyone always selling the same thing. sometimes half a dozen..often 20-30 stands.

Tony P (I think it was he?) told me that they are given these goods in lieu of part payment for their day-jobs and this is how they recoup the missing cash.


Below
Rural Russia. This guy drove his cattle THROUGH a gas station when I was filling up. WTF? I just got the iPhone out too late to snap it properly.

It says "Sibirski Tract" on the AZS station sign..I think Walter should sue!


Note the "Go-Faster" flames on the side of the Lada. This is the same vehicle Prutster mentioned us having seen in a cop-bad guy chase with both cars revving to valve bounce and going about 40mph. I think the flames are aspirational rather than realistic.....


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Old 02-22-2013, 03:49 AM   #3987
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great to see the KTM back in action :)
another trip (partially) trough china: http://bigbiketrip.wordpress.com/
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:26 AM   #3988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROD CURRIE View Post
Anyway...where was your mother with all the above when I needed her?
Next time you're travelling across south-eastern Poland, let me know, she will gladly prepare some... Everytime I pop into my parents house, I keep thinking she prepared food for a platoon of troops anyway... then I start counting my sisters, their husbands, their children and maybe my mother is right. Love you, mum !

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramli View Post
ponchiki, gospoda, pontchiki!
may be a doughnut-type as well as a ball-type (softest balls in that case for the whole thread )
Well, might be. But those are always sweet... And surely you kill'em by putting into microwave.

Well, Fat Thursday was 2 weeks ago...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C4%85czki
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:27 AM   #3989
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Originally Posted by ramli View Post
ponchiki, gospoda, pontchiki!
may be a doughnut-type as well as a ball-type (softest balls in that case for the whole thread )
Now, there's a whole world of possible differences here :)

There are Pyshki and Poncheekee - these are supposed to be the equivalents of doughnuts, however, say, in St.Petersburg the first is the ball-type (possibly with a filling) and the second one is the deep-fried toroid, optionally topped by some sugar powder. In Moscow, the reverse is generally true. Both types are never savoury though, always sweet.

Then there are endless varieties of pirozhki (which literally means "little pie") - made with plain, pastry or sour dough, savoury or sweet, open or closed, mostly baked. There is a deep-fried subclass of savoury ones, usually with a lump of shredded mystery meat inside, called belyash; kind of a mini-cheburek if you like. Big ones can actually be called chebureki, or khychin, in places.

And of course there are national varieties - pozy in Buryatiya, echpochmaki in Tatarstan and Bashkiria, etc and so on.
(same with pelmyeni - khinkali in Georgia, manty in Turkic and Central Asian territories, varyeniki in the Ukraine, etc)
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:27 AM   #3990
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Day 70-later

The day at last warmed up and I could push on harder.
Since Irkutsk I'd had no phone coverage. At Alzamay I'd picked up a text from my service provider which said " we notice you're making calls from outside the UK (No shit Sherlock-I've been out here 6 weeks) and would like you to call us within the next 12 hours to confirm your phone hasn't been stolen"
I picked up the message well after the 12 hour deadline had passed and I now had no service wherever I went.
Surely they haven't cut me off?...I'm 5 thousand plus feckin' miles from home and no way of letting them know I'm still alive.

It was now important that I get to a motel with wi-fi, but out in the boonies no one would realistically invest to lay a 400 mile cable for one connection and none of the motels I passed had wi-fi advertised, available (I asked) or satellite dishes to pick up from the ether. Problem.


I stopped for lunch in a pretty motel by a small lake with diving board, fishing jetties and little boats.
The staff were great and the food excellent. I'm just not sure if the other clients relished having someone who hadn't shaved for a week and smelled like a dogs arse next to their table, but hey....watchagonnado?

During the afternoon-it was now baking hot- I came on a huge tailback of traffic, running for 4 or 5 miles. I scooted along the roadside and got to the front. One of these 60 -70 footer semi-trailer trucks was lying on its side fully across the road and smashed to pieces. Some cops and an ambulance crew were trying to get the driver out of the cab. I think it 's been one of those "asleep at the wheel" incidents but I don't hold out much hope for the guy.

Ever opportunist....The Powleece had set up a radar trap just a few miles down the road to snag the motorists when they got round the accident in case they were trying to make some lost time up. No, they didn't get me.
They actually didn't get me anywhere which given their omnipresence on the entry and exit to every town, and many points in between is surprising.

In the early evening I was looking for somewhere to stay when I spotted a couple of motos up ahead. I goosed up the old girl and drew level with the guy at the back-he nearly jumped out of his skin. It was a group of Poles (of course it was-it's always Poles) on ADV-ed up thumpers. I'd just got past them when I spotted a Motel (and cafe as the sign says..this is better than a correspondence course-I may start charging soon) and peeled off to check it out. I hoped they'd follow me in and chat but they maybe had time pushing them and they pressed on.



I approached the desk and asked the very pretty lady the " G " question. "Da!" and she showed me a lovely bright modern room with an ensuite bathroom where stuff worked . Hurrah!...and a bright clean resto that sells beer. . I then asked if I could use the phone to dial the UK. With some language difficulty I realised that I couldn't dial international from here- only local, so I asked if I could use her own mobile and I'd pay whatever it cost. She was wonderful and after some lack of understanding said I could. I called home and let my wife know I was still alive-what a weight off my mind. I also told her to tell the arsehole phone company (O2 by the way) to get my feckin' service restored. More on this later.

I thanked the girl and gave her 20 -about 30 bucks and God bless her she tried to refuse but I was having none of it, from where I sat it was a bargain for the peace of mind.

I had a shower, a meal of proportions that would have choked a pig, a beer or three and went back to sleep like a man coshed.

Todays mileage was again over 900Kms-about 550 miles and took me nearly to Omsk from outside Kemerovo. At this rate I'd have enough time to snag a day off in Ekaterinburg, which I'd heard is beautiful, historic and is where Czar Nicholas and family were murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1917.

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