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Old 12-08-2013, 11:46 AM   #166
sandijsb
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Originally Posted by sandijsb View Post
What do You mean...?

When driving on small roads it's hard to imagine where you could meet girls :) If only drive on asphalt and live in big cities. I've been in many of the countries named above and activities like that can result in a very dynamic conversations with local guys!
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:20 PM   #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandijsb View Post

When driving on small roads it's hard to imagine where you could meet girls :) If only drive on asphalt and live in big cities. I've been in many of the countries named above and activities like that can result in a very dynamic conversations with local guys!
Most the people (also including the girls in my photos) took time out to be guides for me on my trip as the best knowledge you can have is local knowledge, forget lonely planet and other such information......

When i turned up in smaller places people are happy to show you around and i found are very proud, city life not so (well not all citys i went to but yes overall its this way)

However yes they are very beautiful also but i was never womanizing so never encountered

Dont be mislead into thinking the women on these photos....how to say, how did that former president Bill Clinton say...."I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

Most people i met (women & men) i am in touch with on Facebook and message/skype/email to regular and plan to visit again.

Just great people i meet who are part of this ride report

I said to a friend at work recently, i am 31 now and if someone said you can either have the few months you did on your motorbike trip or have the 30.5 years before which would you choose............easy i said! the few months on the bike trip

There is a stereotype of the women being pretty in these parts of the world and to be fair once you enter Eastern Europe on wards the women are all mostly beautiful, a friend i met in Sochi Russia asked me what happened in the England???? Did they put all the pretty women to the fire?

However i am sure most guys will agree beauty is only skin deep as personalty matters more, i am sure we have all been there with that one....

drive on asphalt and live in big cities= this is hell for me, i would rather carry out seppuku

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Old 12-08-2013, 03:15 PM   #168
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Excellent proper three beer ride report
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:40 PM   #169
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Not really had much time at work sorting out my photos as to busy, i started going through some but that's about it. Computer is to slow and had to many knocks (A bit like me from my amateur boxing days) had the screen repaired but i think when i have time i will just dump the memory onto a hard-drive to sort out on my new laptop.



Also went through a few cameras due to the offs,


I cant find my memory sticks so assume (Living out of bags constanly has its downfalls) they are with my bike which i left in Kyrgyzstan in my soft bags, im back there in January anyway so will get them then.

So i have been back 1 week now and was planning to attend a motorbike film night in Yorkshire so never planned to go anywhere on this time off work however my 1986 Toyota Hilux (toyota tacoma for you guys across the pond) decided to blow a crank/cam seal gasket so never made it there.....shame really as was looking forward to catching up with the Famous Terry Brown from Cambridge England.......

Well as i have spent far to long in my small sleepy town in East England which does not suite my rock n roll lifestyle i decided to book a flight to visit Macedonian, Albanian & Kosovo in a few days so i will update this blog now from downloading pictures from my Facebook profile and uploading to smugmug as not much chance of doing anythink whilst i am away in a few days...........


So where was i... yes just at the Poland/Ukraine border just about to enter Ukraine


Ukraine National Flag


So this was my first ever international border crossing for me on a motorbike and also i would be leaving the European Union so was pretty excited

I pulled over before i got there to remove my head camera as not sure border staff would like this and also to make sure everything was ok on the bike.

I was a little worried as the bikes ownership logbook V5 paperwork never arrived in time before i left (apparently takes 6 weeks to arrive when you buy a motor in the UK?!?!) and i had a hand written yellow copy as proof of ownership i got from my local DVLA (motor registering office in UK) office before i set off and the DRZ was yellow/white when i brough it and stated this on the temporary ownership yellow paper and now my DRZ was blue/white from large fuel tank and other panels i fitted i brought of ebay (blues my favorite color also)

So i set off nervously to join the traffic of cars and got waved over by a guard to check some documents and then headed forwards again.

With this border crossing they give you bits of paper slips on each stage of the process which you hand in as you go to the next border station, i think 3 border stations in total like passport checks. customs checks ect ect

So as i was waiting for the 2nd border station the cars started waving me to pass which i felt a little ashamed/rude to be pushing in-front off as being British its in our culture to queue but they insisted and just moved out the way for me, it felt very strange to me as you would never get this respones in the UK on a motorbike im sure. it was abit like moses and the parting of the red sea but a DRZ and the parting of the Ukraine cars at the border crossing near Lublin/Lviv.
(Photo below not actually real event but for illustrative purposes only)



So i rode more forward until i could not ride no more due to my side bags getting in the way of the cars and side barriers due to the tight spaces and pulled up next to a nice gentleman on a red motorbike with a side cart on, we spoke for awhile as the traffic came to a stand still but i could not understand a word he was saying and he also could not understand me but we still talked as if we was family as is the code of a biker in these areas which i was to find out on various stages of my trip

(Picture i took of him as i passed after this border crossing, very nice fine gentleman i must say, even though neither of us could understand a word of each other...)


Just as i was approaching the 2nd station i heard a familiar sound that i always turn my head around for it was the sound of another biker but before i could turn my head round the biker tapped me on the shoulder and said with a slight accent "hey follow me" so i followed him to the side before the crossing and we both took of out helmets and spoke to each other.

His name was Lukasz and was a polish biker who does many border runs either bringing in items or buying items as he lives in Lublin which is very close and being right next to a non EU country and living in a EU country had its advantages with buying/selling as different tax rules.

He knew the border crossing system rules and also knew all the staff as he crossed all the time and i just followed him and soon we passed the 2nd station and made our way to the 3rd which was really cool. This is where you give the last slip of paper to before you enter Ukraine and the border guard made a gesture for me to pull a wheelie off as i cross into Ukraine, i asked Lukasz he laughed and said "yes pull wheelie no problem, its Ukraine not England" however as only passing my test a few weeks before i was not able to pull a wheelie off and stated this and Lukasz joking told this to the guard who laughed also and just pointed further down the road, Lukaz said no problem i wheelie your bike for you follow me.....

So we went just a little down the road onto the side where all the small currency exchange and insurance shops are just before the petrol station.

Lukasz likes to save money on front tires..... :-)


As he goes through rear tires alot..... :-)


Lukasz then asked where is my group? where are my friends...?

I said its only me and he replied he has seen many groups pass this border crossing but never a lone rider and asked my plans, i said i am heading to Tajikistan and gave him a rough run down of my route which he then said again..... "Alone" this is real cool, you are a cool guy. however the only cool guy was Lukasz helping me as he then helped me change money and also get temporary bike insurance, Lukasz knew all the people well on these stalls/shops (This i could do myself but as alone rider meeting people and talking always makes for a better trip and i really like talking and meeting people) also i got some food here as we talked more.

We talked about life and other things he said he just had a baby and showed me photos on his phone and asked what i do for work and i showed him photos of me abseiling of a oil rig on my phone and said this is what i do and he laughed again and said you are a good crazy guy for doing such trip alone and i think you have no problems on your trip for sure

Sometime you meet people and straight away you know you could easy be friends with if you lived near and Lukasz is one of these people

So Lukasz then had to carry out the tradition the Ukraine border guard stated and pop a wheelie on my bike........

I handed over the Sputnik Explorer to Lukasz to carry out this sacred maneuver to please to Wheelie gods hoping they would bless the sputnik explorer to make for a safe trip, I knew she was in safe hands, by now me and the Sputnik explorer had a bond abit like twins have who can sense how the other is feeling.

Lukasz on my baby, the Sputnik Explorer


So i sat back and watched like a proud parent as his kid attends a sports day event as Luzask did his thing on the Sputnik Explore



After this we said our goodbyes swapped Facebook/email information and i set off to head to the Carpathians mountains........ a fine entrance into a fine country which i shortly grew very fond off.............

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Old 12-08-2013, 05:43 PM   #170
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a friend i met in Sochi Russia asked me what happened in the England???? Did they pu

What's this? English women are not beautiful?
No wonder the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, One Direction and all those other chaps end up leaving England.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:48 PM   #171
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What's this? English women are not beautiful?
No wonder the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, One Direction and all those other chaps end up leaving England.
I am sure there are many beautiful women in England like my mother and sister however yes in the minority and not majority..... fish & chips can do that to a women i am afraid......
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:17 PM   #172
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So i set off and headed towards the Carpathian mountains but decided to head to the historical city of Lviv which a Ukraine guy i once worked with mentioned so why not take alook.....



Now with my GPS when i turned it on i held my hand on the screen which deleted the memory card as a default setting so now no GPS... oh dear however i hated the F@#king thing anyway so no real loss....

I did however just use it on the compass mode and also for speedo KM readings as i never figured out how to change the setting from MPH to KM however later when i met Terry Brown from Cambridge England he sorted this out for me along with other "little things" on my bike

So i got "lost" and off-course had to ask for directions


The girls boyfriend was pretty cool and was not sure of the route i needed to take so took time to call his father for information/directions for my route so i then headed off.


So i went to Lviv and had some food and planned my route, not many good pictures of Lviv but it is a nice old style town....




I then set of to the Carpathian mountains and on route passed a animal which i thought was still alive as i thought i saw its tail move however it was dead
(i always stop when i see hurt/injured animals as was encouraged to do so by my parents when i was young, my house was like small animal hospital when i was a kid)




In the UK we don't have wolves so even seeing a dead one was unusual for me so gave me hope that i might see some in the Carpathian mountains as that would be pretty cool however slim chance that would be......

So got back on heading South to the Mountains
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:34 PM   #173
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Thank you for making a snowy December day not so bad. It's splendid ride reports like this that help many of us stay sane during the dark times called winter.
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:40 PM   #174
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So i got to the Carpathian mountains and it was getting very late so i pulled in to get some food at a road side cafe place, very nice food and soon found my new love for Ukraine borscht soup....Very tasty


After food i saw a old gentleman standing near my bike who was in military style clothing and we spoke for a little and in my broken Russian i asked him "Yar harr chew poy tee" (where do i go/get to) and pointed at the top of the hills near me and made hand gestures and pointing to remote areas on my map saying "kuder kuder/domm domm "asking where remote villages are like where are you from and where are the houses, my Russian is very bad and i only know around 30 words which got me by and another 20 in my book i write down. In West Ukraine the main language is off-course Ukrainian but any older people will speak Russian also as back from USSR days as in most ex USSR country's however in East Ukraine the people speak mostly Russian first.

So he called me inside to the front office and we started plotting a route.....


His plotted route in blue pen...


Again communication issues but this is normal now and i am getting better at hand charades however soon another younger man appeared who started pointing to another area on the map and then some how it was suggested or i think they suggested i go with him somewhere and he pointed to a dead end on the map and then that was it...... so i am going with this young guy i just met somewhere i don't know as it is getting dark and neither of us speak the same language?!?!?............Sounds cool im in why not its called adventure bike riding right....

So i went to the bike to prepare for 2 people and then the older military guy came out with the younger guy. Now i am a very observant guy maybe because i work in a industry which has great attention to detail so this attention to detail also follows over into my normal day life, anyway i noticed that the 9mm pistol the older guy had on his side belt was no longer there and now this other guys is getting on the back and we are heading to a dead end he pointed to on the map

Maybe because i watched to many Hollywood movies as a kid with bad endings, maybe because it was getting dark..... but i noticed this so it was in the back of my mind, also i only just met this younger guy and maybe going back to my amateur boxing days when you see the guy you are matched to briefly before a bout and quickly make a judgment on them for strength,power, jab reach ect ect and the younger guy looked like a gymnastic type of guy so with this judgment i also knew he was more stronger/fitter than me as i am older & now unfit and am very aware of my physical limits....... i know it is bad to think like this but also keeps you safe if you are aware of your surroundings and possible situations that could happen when alone in areas you dont know..... 99% of people in the world are good so that leaves 1% who are not and so far in life i have been lucky not meeting that 1% (however later on in my trip i do come across a person that fits into the 1% category but that's along way off now in this blog)

As alone rider you have to put a lot of trust in people and hope for the best so this was one of them times....... felt pretty exciting, so i gave him my bag to wear as he was getting on the back and we headed to that dead end he pointed to on the map not knowing the reason why??






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Old 12-09-2013, 11:41 AM   #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesleyDRZ400 View Post
Most the people (also including the girls in my photos) took time out to be guides for me on my trip as the best knowledge you can have is local knowledge, forget lonely planet and other such information......

When i turned up in smaller places people are happy to show you around and i found are very proud, city life not so (well not all citys i went to but yes overall its this way)

However yes they are very beautiful also but i was never womanizing so never encountered

Dont be mislead into thinking the women on these photos....how to say, how did that former president Bill Clinton say...."I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

Most people i met (women & men) i am in touch with on Facebook and message/skype/email to regular and plan to visit again.



Just great people i meet who are part of this ride report

I said to a friend at work recently, i am 31 now and if someone said you can either have the few months you did on your motorbike trip or have the 30.5 years before which would you choose............easy i said! the few months on the bike trip

There is a stereotype of the women being pretty in these parts of the world and to be fair once you enter Eastern Europe on wards the women are all mostly beautiful, a friend i met in Sochi Russia asked me what happened in the England???? Did they put all the pretty women to the fire?

However i am sure most guys will agree beauty is only skin deep as personalty matters more, i am sure we have all been there with that one....

drive on asphalt and live in big cities= this is hell for me, i would rather carry out seppuku
Hey
Look
I really had not thought about it! I understand your thoughts and I am quite sure that this in fact was. I support your format! So we have met here to discuss the details of our trip, to help each other with some good advice! Perhaps you not write about them .... Super, I like it!
Nothing Personal

SB
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:33 PM   #176
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Still not understanding Latvian....

Hey Wes, why don't you consider a trip over here, it's a hell of a lot cheaper than travelling Europe...............!?!?!
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:20 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by wingnut11 View Post
Thank you for making a snowy December day not so bad. It's splendid ride reports like this that help many of us stay sane during the dark times called winter.

Your welcome.....
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:43 PM   #178
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Thanks Wesley!!! Just what I was looking for....
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:06 PM   #179
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Originally Posted by sandijsb View Post
Hey
Look
I really had not thought about it! I understand your thoughts and I am quite sure that this in fact was. I support your format! So we have met here to discuss the details of our trip, to help each other with some good advice! Perhaps you not write about them .... Super, I like it!
Nothing Personal

SB
Nothing Personal taken yes i understand also. Latvia is a place i also plan to visit so maybe if i do we can go for that then

Also if anyone is planning a trip to these areas and wants any information with regarding to the places i went ect ect i will try help out with what i know/learnt from my trip, my first trip..... but not my last

I am no expert as total newbie but maybe for other newbies i can give good advice, and also for these areas i visited. i don't just ride round even though i make it up a little as i go along with my route planning on this trip

I have seen other guys doing trips which maybe they liked but to me (my view only) looked like hell, big bikes, visiting mainly cities and to much smooth ash-felt road, each to there own but not for me......

Also i highly recommend solo travel if you want real experience and locals are more friendly, i rode with some other guys i met up with for a short while and some riding styles don't suit and also large groups sometimes don't match up... in a large group you will always been seen as a large bunch of tourists, its what i judged from this anyway where as lone rider you see more than the large tourist groups see, more real life if that's your thing like me.....

However as i learnt maybe riding in a pair could be better like when i ditched the bike in Slovakia,you can push limits more as if you break down then no worries as second person/bike ect ect

For me i don't think i would got on a trip with more than me and another as 2 maximum would be enough... i met a couple of solo riders on this trip i feel i could ride with every day but that's only as we had same common interests......

My main interests are travel, history and culture (long before i sat on a bike) and i try learn from locals first if possible but also search/read a lot on these areas i have visited after my travels to these places

Like this week i am heading to Albanian so i have been studying about this area, culture & history. i do my usual thing looking/ searching you tube for national anthem & also local folk songs/music, i study the history on this country and surrounding countries, also little things like national food dish, clothing and national days of importance ect ect i have also been learning some words/phases in Albanian.

I always try learn some local words phrase of the country's i am in as it goes along way (even if i forget shortly after) best way that works for me is get someone local to speak slowly breaking the words down into parts and i write it in English (or your native tongue if not English) how it sounds in my notebook and then easy to pronounce even if not exact.

Another tip i have is to be neutral take a neutral view on all politics and other such cases, in some areas i got asked questions about my country's current foreign policy, i see it like this... i am British yes but does that mean i agree on my country's foreign policy? does my countries government actions represent who i am ? no its not the case.........Adventure bike riding and talking politics don't mix a bit like oil & water

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Old 12-09-2013, 08:08 PM   #180
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Still not understanding Latvian....

Hey Wes, why don't you consider a trip over here, it's a hell of a lot cheaper than travelling Europe...............!?!?!
Hi yes i have considered it, since this trip i look at a world map like i would look at a road map now....

The world is a smaller place now for me as what is possible on a motorbike is amazing and the best way to travel for sure, i look at a map now grouping country's/areas as places to visit and future bike trips.

Each USA state is like a country in Europe so like 50 small countries you could say, sorry my American geography for states is not to good so i had to Google where Arkansas was however a bike trip could fix my lack of knowledge with regards to locations of each state

I am 31 now and all my friends are married and have kids or have kids and are getting married, they work 9-5 normal life with 3-4 weeks holiday a year i go round and see them, i look them in the eyes and see the fire has gone out and this scares me really scares me to be like this, i have friends i work with who are planning bike trips now but for 5 days max because there wifes/GF said that's the limit?!?!

So what will i do plan another trip next year another big trip?

Yes i am lucky with my work as i can take time off when i like and start back up when i like and work in many countries on short or long contracts so i have been dealt a good set of cards for this type of lifestyle... however what shall i do a trip each year until this hunger for bike/traveling has gone? does this hunger go away after many trips?

I have been thinking a lot about this, some guys travel trips each year but does there come a point where you choose between your family and a trip if you settle down and have a family but still have this hunger?

My sister has a child now which i look after sometimes, i love him but also love to give him back when she comes to get him so no i am not ready to settle now

I have been thinking i also don't wont to be the old lonely guy who has been single(ish) all his life due to taking trips all the time which take first priority and then all of a sudden feel you need a family and wished you had one and are alone due to this?

I think the best thing for this hunger of travel and now bike riding is to carry out a "Epic" round world solo trip how i like to travel and how i feel comfortable to real remote areas in the world totally of the grid to do this trip in one big hit in a go big or go home fashion...... i am thinking early 2015

I currently have another DRZ i am prepping with wide ratio gears and other extras so subconscious maybe i have already started building my bike for this trip

Maybe after such trip my hunger will be gone for travel and then i can go back to live how my friends live as i am not sure how guys who carry out/lucky enough to do big trips often do it??? I am a all or nothing type of guy so if i have a family i feel then that would take priority over traveling however cant get to that stage until hungry for traveling has gone

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