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Old 01-09-2014, 05:56 PM   #76
Boarder06 OP
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In!


Can we get a close-up of the bike badge where the propeller used to be?

I've sent you a PM with some question on your bike, too.
It's just an IMZ logo. Ирбитский мотоциклетный завод (Irbitsky Mototsikletniy Zavod, Irbitsk Motorcyle Factory) is the current manufacturer of the Ural bikes.



Not having a BMW makes you almost invisible. I've told a few people that this is the new Ural
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:38 PM   #77
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Komani Lake and Valbona Valley

Time to leave the great Lake Shkodra campground and head off to the Valbona Valley by way of Lake Komani.

When I got to the pier, I was approached by a German speaking Albanian while I was having an espresso (some days are harder than others). Nice chap, not pushy at all and after a quick negotiation they loaded my bike onto the boat.


Bike being loaded on the bus boat

The boat is actually a bus that somebody built a boat around. Quite genious, really.

There are other options, like this guy:




This guy will take you as well

Or this guy:


Two bikes, one boat

They all seem to cost the same amount of money. For convenience you can't beat the bus boat.


Ready to go


Other have been here before :-)


Off we go


Cell phone reception in some areas
































Brand new tarmac :-(







I found a place that had nice little cabins for not much money. Perfect for the night.








Next to my cabin was a pretty awesome abandoned hotel in ruins.




Albanian American friendship camp?

I ended up not far from Theth, where I was a couple of days before
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:27 PM   #78
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Great update. I skipped lake Koman as I had limited time for research and everything I read sounded negative. Not my wisest decision ...

Quote:
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Not having a BMW makes you almost invisible. I've told a few people that this is the new Ural
I can relate to that. It's annoying when people assume you're a lawyer or worse just because of the BMW badge. My 12 year old GS gets that reaction whenever it's clean - even in Germany. I've been looking for a clever replacement badge for the XC, e.g. from Rotax, but I doubt I will find something as cool as your IMZ solution!
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:28 AM   #79
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Great!
I visited Albania two times and I think is one of the best european country for adventure biking
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:48 PM   #80
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Yes, I liked it a lot. From Italy it's a no brainer. Just hop on a ferry and enjoy.

I'll be back. Missed out on a lot of offroad stuff there. Time was too short.


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Great!
I visited Albania two times and I think is one of the best european country for adventure biking
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:53 PM   #81
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These Ural badges are pretty easy to find, even in Germany:ural-team.de

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Originally Posted by pip_muenster View Post
Great update. I skipped lake Koman as I had limited time for research and everything I read sounded negative. Not my wisest decision ...



I can relate to that. It's annoying when people assume you're a lawyer or worse just because of the BMW badge. My 12 year old GS gets that reaction whenever it's clean - even in Germany. I've been looking for a clever replacement badge for the XC, e.g. from Rotax, but I doubt I will find something as cool as your IMZ solution!
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:55 AM   #82
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These Ural badges are pretty easy to find, even in Germany:ural-team.de
I need to order a few of those myself

Also subscribed for the long haul
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:25 AM   #83
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Boarder, wheres your update

I am heading of to work soon and if i don't have something interesting to read during the day i might actually have to head out of the office and do some work
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Old 01-27-2014, 07:36 AM   #84
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I love the mountains set against the water...and that's an excellent use for a life preserver! Is that a cross on the point on the left?
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:53 PM   #85
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Enjoyed your last trip to Iran immensely, so Iīm definately in on this one too!
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:08 PM   #86
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I love the mountains set against the water...and that's an excellent use for a life preserver! Is that a cross on the point on the left?
It appears to be a cross. Not sure. I remember seeing a small island with some artwork and sculptures on it. This may be another piece of art.

I just wedged a piece of cardboard between the bike and the railing.

Well, update is coming very soon. I had a busy time in New Zealand. Off to Europe now.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:34 PM   #87
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Well, update is coming very soon.
About time !!!
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:03 AM   #88
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About time !!!
Alright then, time for an update during a long stopover in Singapore.

Sorry for the lack of postings, but I had to make good use of the riding season in New Zealand



So, I left the Valbona valley early in the morning



The weather was a mixed bag all day. I had heavy rain, sunshine, and everything in between, including heavy fog. The road map seemed to be more of a guideline. There were long stretches of road construction that had turned into mud. Roads didn't exist where my GPS map told me they should be but there where new roads being build in other places. I just followed the general direction I was going and that was fine.



























Coming up to this little river crossing (that's the new main state highway) was interesting. Super slippery mud on a steep downhill grade



Just before the crossing I met some pretty miserable looking Polish guys on big GSes. One of them fell down during the crossing and broke one of the indicators off. He was pretty pissed about it.





I eventually popped out at Lake Ohrid and made my way to a little campground just outside Pogradec. There was a dirt bike parked up outside so it seemed like a good place to stay. Had a great evening chatting to the German owner, who's name I unfortunately I forgot.



In the evening my phone shit itself and I had to do a factory reset and spend half the night reinstalling all the software again.

I actually left reasonably early but realized in Pogradec that I left my ID at the campground. So had to return

Crossing into Macedonia was easy enough. The Macedonian customs officer wanted to impress me with his impeccable German. Unfortunately, the only way he knew how to strike up a conversation was a full on inspection of my bags. I would have been happy to just talk to him!

It was still pretty early so I decided to try to make it all the way to Bulgaria. I had enough fuel and food that I didn't need to get any money.











I crossed into Bulgaria in record time and found myself a room in a little pension in Petrich.

The next morning I was winging it on little used dirt roads along the border to Greece.





I had lunch at lake side restaurant in Dospat I knew from a previous trip.



BTW, this area of Bulgaria is a great for offroad exploration.





Eventually I came into the ski areas, also popular for summer holidays.





When I arrived in Plovdiv I went to the guest house I had my parts sent to. The girl at the front desk told me that the Bulgarian postal service does not deliver packages and I have to pick it up from the post office. Sure enough, somewhere in the tiniest of small prints on the DHL web site it does say that DHL just hands it over to the Bulgarian Post, which may or may not deliver. Considering this, the steep rate that DHL charges seems to be a bit of a ripoff.

Anyway, I went to the central post office early in the morning. The town was still waking up.



I asked around and eventually made it to the correct counter. The very grumpy looking old woman started yelling at me when I asked her something in English. She started to get more and more agitated and tried to wave me away. It was quite hilarious. All the other postal workers stared at us and looked embarrassed. Although I don't speak any Bulgarian, it was clear that she kept yelling at me that she can't be expected to speak English and I should get lost. Well, I stood my ground with a big smile and eventually she wrote down the address of the post office that would actually receive my package.

At the post office another customer spoke German and we figured it all out. It would be a few more days until the package was due to arrive.

So, where do you think is the best place in Bulgaria to kill some time?
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:16 AM   #89
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Eastbound, to the Stans

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Just before the crossing I met some pretty miserable looking Polish guys on big GSes. One of them fell down during the crossing and broke one of the indicators off. He was pretty pissed about it.
Is good that they managed to get over without scratching any TT jewelry :)
Great update!
Skipped Romania whatsoever or is coming in the future?
Doug's?

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Old 01-31-2014, 07:35 AM   #90
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Skipped Romania whatsoever or is coming in the future?
Not on this trip. Have been there before, though.
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