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Old 06-17-2013, 08:00 PM   #91
Scubalong
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Great report

Thanks for sharing your RR
Very funny and entertain
Safe travel and tell Patty she is a trooper
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:12 PM   #92
RoninMoto
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Looks like you guys had a way better time in turkey then i did
Glad you didn't get snowed on 5 days in a row.

If you haven't left Georgia yet, make sure you eat Khinkoli. Its amazing.
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RTW Ride Report --> http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781893
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:36 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockmuncher View Post
It's actually pollen from the trees.
That makes perfect sense, our hay fever was going nuts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Willwilkins View Post
Great RR, thanks for posting. You going to keep going east and ride home?
I would love to but instead we'll ship the bike from Vladivostok to maybe Darwin so I can ride to Sydney from there. While the bikes getting shipped I'll catch the trans-Siberian to Moscow to meet Patty (she's going to the UK while I do BAM and Road of Bones) and we'll backpack the northern parts of Europe. Do Oktoberfest and the like.

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Originally Posted by Scubalong View Post
Thanks for sharing your RR
Very funny and entertain
Safe travel and tell Patty she is a trooper
Glad you like it
Trust me, she reminds me everyday of how much of a trooper she is for making her camp in the hills without a shower and electricty for her hair dryer and straightener. And just to reinforce that she's already started planning the next 5 holidays - minimum 4 star hotel, pedicures, manicures, massages etc etc - I have a lot of making up to do
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:58 PM   #94
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Azerbaijan

While I did the exams Patty strolled the streets with our new friends from the hostel





A little self-indulgence



With exams over it was beer o'clock



or vodka for some



With exams out of the way it was time to get back on the road and head for Baku, Azerbaijan to catch a ferry to Aktau, Kazakhstan. We'd been given a heads up that the police in Azerbaijan were dodgy and had a zero-tolerance approach to speeding fines and increased the cost of fines. One fellow inmate (RoninMoto) racked up something like a whopping $600 in speeding fines. A couple of guys in the Mongol Rally were also given a rough time so we decided to enter the country in the north east close to the Russian border rather than east of Tbilisi where most people would go.

Russia, straight ahead over those mountains



We'd already formed some preconceptions about the country because of the dodgy police and tedious visa process but when a few guys came to us and said "Welcome to Azerbiajan" we decided then we couldn't let our preconceptions ruin our time in the country.

The border entry was a pretty standard affair and took two hours. We didn't have insurance so the border guy said he can give it to us for USD50 but we weren't carrying US notes - we thought that could be an invite for people to increase their prices and try jib us for bribes - so we offered Georgian Lari instead and he took 25, the equivalent of USD15. Go figure.

We couldn't see any speed signs but plenty of cops so we rode along at 50km/h when really it should have been 80+...this was going to be a looooong trip.

Away from the border and running parallel with the Russian border we found some gravel and firguring there is no chance the police would be out here with the radar we twisted the throttle to gain some ground.





The GPS kept wanting to take us to the main road but we knew that would only mean trouble so we stuck to the secondary roads until half-way across the country.

Buffalo and cows



I don't know if the country is in drought or the Russians have built dams on their side of the border but every creek crossing for the length of the border that we rode was almost bone dry. Surely at this time of year there must be snow-melt?





Eventually we could go no further on secondary roads and had to join the motorway. Yep, the motorway



Still no fines but plenty of police. The speed signs were set out in a way to trick you. It would be a 70 zone out in open country then some buildings would appear and at the end of it there would be another 70 sign, implying that where the buidings were the speed had dropped to who knows what. Whenever we saw this sure enough there were police at the other end handing out fines so we took the conservative approach and just stuck to 50km/h whenever there there were any (any) buildings on the side of the road.

Our trip on the secondary roads meant we couldn't make Baku in one day so we stopped in a cheap hotel which had dead spiders and bits of the roof on the bed, a cats home and paper thin walls. We could hear the neighbours have really loud sex in the room next to us, but two minutes later it was over and we could hear him light a cigarette - the walls were really thin.

Next day we pushed on for what should have taken an hour but instead took two and half hours of the most frustrating morning of riding I've ever done in my life. In the absence of any speed signs we were riding 50km/h with a stupidly strong, hot side wind that knocked the bike about and threatened to rip the helmet off our heads. We had to compensate for the wind by leaning the bike into it, so as trucks would roll past us at 80km/h they acted as a buffer against the wind and suddenly my compensation for the wind became over-compensation and almost had us veering into the side of the truck. It was scary.

Not even this transmission tower could withstand the wind (kidding, it was under construction)



Against all odds we made it to Baku without any speeding fines and we now play the waiting game for a ferry to Aktau. Some have waited three weeks for it to come because military and petroleum cargo gets priority - military and petroleum, it's how the world goes round.

RoninMoto describes the wait and tedious process that lies ahead - http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....postcount=1521. So far we're still in high spirits on Day 2
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:01 AM   #95
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Good luck dude. Hope its easy for you.

When you get on the ferry, make sure you still have some AZ Manat and plenty of drinking water. Water for the boat and customs in Aktau. Beer is 2 Manat for 1 liter. Meals are 2 or 3. Its cheaper then Baku.

Also, bring toilet paper. Maybe hand sanitizer.. the toilet is.. well umm amazing.
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RTW Ride Report --> http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781893
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:38 PM   #96
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I originally subscribed to the thread to see how the Tiger would perform, but your adventure is turning into such a great story I'm really enjoying coming along for the ride!

The reason for the post, is ask from the other inmates how does one nominate an image for the first page/front cover/what ever they call all the amazingly cool images when you first open advrider?

This is one uber cool image.

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Ride on!

EDIT: worked out how to nominate the pic, you can stop writing to me now. As you were gentlefolk.

Pete
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dirt_bloke screwed with this post 06-27-2013 at 05:08 AM
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:34 AM   #97
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You know how to tell the story and you know how to take a good photo to support it! AWESOME!

I'm now subscribed
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:18 AM   #98
The Exterminator
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Hey Bro
I have signed up to ADV rider to keep up with your travels.
Its great to see that you are adding a lot on here, better than a blog, and more info than when you call!
I've decided to snig your KLX 650 out of the shed and give it a service and overhall. It needs some love and maybe I can join you sometime when your back in OZ.
Who knows, maybe you'll even consider paying your storage fee's with it

Take care and travel safe.

P.S Glad your keeping Patty safe. Oh, and now I know why your GPS Spot tracker said you were safe when in the middle of the Caspian Sea!
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:08 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by The Exterminator View Post
Oh, and now I know why your GPS Spot tracker said you were safe when in the middle of the Caspian Sea!
Talking of which, is there a link to the tracking page?
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:48 PM   #100
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This is great, keep it coming.

Thanks.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:01 AM   #101
The Exterminator
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Talking of which, is there a link to the tracking page?
Not that I'm aware of. It's just a link when he sends through when they reach camp etc. It would be good to see if he has a track log somewhere.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:45 AM   #102
blacktiger
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Originally Posted by The Exterminator View Post
It would be good to see if he has a track log somewhere.
SPOT does have that facility. If he leaves it on all day it leaves a breadcrumb trail. It's on a SPOT page called "findmespot.com" but we need his feed.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:35 PM   #103
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Ferry and Western Kazakhstan

We called the lady who sells the boat tickets (Vika) at 11 expecting her to say ‘no ferry today, call back tomorrow’ but to our surprise she said to come meet her at the old ticket office in 20 minutes. Our hotel was only a short walk from the office so as we wandered down in the hot wind an army truck had blocked the road causing all sorts of mayhem with the traffic. Right outside the old port entrance the military had lined up tanks 25 deep and 4 wide on one side and tanks, ballistic missiles and all other sorts of toys as far as the eye could see on the other. We had to walk straight up the guts of it so we were surrounded by these tanks and military personnel. It was like that famous Tiananmen Square scene. It was uber cool but we couldn’t get any photos because of the brass walking around.

We sat and waited an hour and she didn’t show and I was kicking myself for not having a phone, thinking we’d missed our opportunity and would be stuck for another few days until another ferry arrived. Eventually after some back and forwards we got a hold of her and remarkably she had a ticket for us (about 200 pounds) – the catch was we had to be on it in twenty minutes…umm fuck! It took us that long to walk to the office and we still had to pack the bike and check out of the hotel. The other catch was the military weren’t allowing people to use the port entrance We thought we’d give it a shot anyway and just turn up with the bike and all the gear and hope that they were impressed enough to let us through. They didn’t, so in a mad dash I had to run through all these tanks in my gear dodging some senior looking military personnel, hoping they didn’t mistake me for a guy wanting to blow up their tanks and snipe me from the roof.

Puffing and panting and without any bullet wounds I made it to Vika’s office and managed to shriek out in my ‘the ferries going to leave us’ voice the military weren’t letting us through so she told me to jump in a taxi and take a back entrance. After an hour and a bit we managed to get through customs and on to the ferry.

The ferry crew didn’t have the tie-downs for a motorbike that you would find on other ferries. At first they wanted to sling the chain sitting under the bike over it.



This isn’t a petrol tanker buddy you’re not slinging that over it. We tied it down using my straps and cushioned it from scratching with a towel.







At last we could relax. We scored with the rooms – we had our own room without any smelly truck drivers and new facilities.



Even a sit-down toilet, a bit of luxury



Next morning I got out the GPS to see how far we had come, only to discover we were still sitting outside Baku The ship had stopped because of a storm ahead. So we waited






And waited….







And waited some more…






Starting to go a little crazy…



And waited some more, doing anything to stay amused.









The amount of rubbish that went overboard was astounding. Drink bottles, fat from the cooking vats, egg cartons you name it.




Five days later we pulled into Aktau.



Noah has again done a stellar job at describing the process and it doesn't need rehashing http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....postcount=1521. It’s a tedious process and took five hours. The first hour and a half is waiting for customs to check the boat and eat lunch.

How many stamps does one document need??



With entry permitted we high tailed it towards the Uzbek border through the oil and gas industrial landscape.









I hadn’t really thought of it but I was surprised at the number of camels.



“Right into the Danger Zone” – reminded me of Topgun. After doing nothing but dead straight roads for the past 100km’s they had to remind us the road still had some bends in it



We stopped in Shetpe for these Kazakh punks to wash the sea salt off the bike.



In the same town we drew bit of a crowd when we stopped to buy supplies and stock up on petrol (91 octane) for the 300km section between Shetpe and Beyneu which is supposed to be a slow section with no gas along the way. Since I dropped the front sprocket to 15 tooth I’m only getting a range of 300km (on 95 octane), so I carried an extra 5 litres just in case.

This lady was so nice and gave us a bottle of water.



We pulled off the highway to look for a spot to camp the night.









And found a spot behind this hill





We woke to the guttural call of camels.

The first part of the road between Shetpe and Bayneu is perfect new asphalt road



Shortly after that though the road works ended and became dirt. The first part of the road is clay and was a bit wet from a shower and the front was wandering a little. I was thanking my lucky stars we didn’t have any serious rain because I think it could get quite tough going otherwise.



Tyre in the desert



What are you guarding there little fella? Is there a TKC there somewhere?





Thanks Noah!



We’ve done 6000 miles on our TKC and it still has another couple of thousand before I change it over



There was only a couple of small settlements along the road but we stopped at one of them for brekkie and these kids served us a meal. I don’t know if the town had any petrol or not, didn’t check.







The road was absolute shit, chopped up by so many trucks and big pot holes everywhere. The sort of pot holes that make you cringe and worry about bent rims and blown suspension. The excel rims live to fight another day

We found some smooth road and stopped for a drink



It got so bad people no longer used the main road and instead used tracks in the desert either side of it.



Average speed 50km/h and we felt every single bump in that road because we weren’t standing up. We hated life. What should have been 300km worked out to be more like 350km once you factor in all the zig zagging and took the better part of a day to do.



There were sections of fesh fesh and we had to stop in the middle of it to let oncoming trucks pass us because the dust they kicked up made it impossible to see ahead. It was so thick it was dangerous because we couldn’t see any trucks coming towards us. As they passed we cut the engine until the dust settled. We handled it well though so the confidence started to soar. Patty’s a great pillion and just sits there and lets the bike and me do the work.

Every now and again we would wander back to the main road only to smack the rims on another pothole so we took our chances in the fesh fesh.





The confidence was soaring until we hit this dusty section in 4th gear and we were spat from the bike. We both got to our feet spitting dust but we were ok. To add injury to insult the road work crew came over in stitches of laughter and took some photos.









We rolled into Beyneu with the fuel light on and the bike was struggling for some fresh air. It wasn’t starting properly either without some throttle which is the well known stepper motor problem. We topped up using 85 octane and found an air compressor to blow the dust off the radiator fins, around the stepper motor area and the pre-filter. After that it ran fine again.

We cracked our laptop screen in the fall but it still works.

In the shower that night dust came from every orifice.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:41 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Exterminator View Post
Hey Bro
I have signed up to ADV rider to keep up with your travels.
Its great to see that you are adding a lot on here, better than a blog, and more info than when you call!
I've decided to snig your KLX 650 out of the shed and give it a service and overhall. It needs some love and maybe I can join you sometime when your back in OZ.
Who knows, maybe you'll even consider paying your storage fee's with it

Take care and travel safe.

P.S Glad your keeping Patty safe. Oh, and now I know why your GPS Spot tracker said you were safe when in the middle of the Caspian Sea!
Your first post this is where it all starts It's no longer "maybe" join me it's a definite now, and you have a solid bike to do it on. You charge extortionate storage fees

Patty's keping me safe

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Talking of which, is there a link to the tracking page?
I don't have a tracking page just been sending 'ok' messages every couple of days to let the family know we're safe. We're in Kokand Eastern Uzbek crossing into Kyrgyzstan today
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:40 AM   #105
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I'm in !!

A question... wich are the bags that you use over the sw-motech engine protectors ?
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