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Old 07-17-2014, 02:09 AM   #331
blacktiger
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Originally Posted by young1 View Post
No not sure what she is looking at!


Perhaps your bum does look big in those trousers.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:55 AM   #332
young1 OP
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Skopje to Peje (Kosovo)

Well this morning it was goodbye to Macedonia



And hello to Kosovo. At the border I bought the compulsory insurance, minimum is Euro 15 for 15 days.



It wasn't a long day, under 3 hours which was good as it has given me time to catch up on my washing etc!

Some of the towns I went through earlier reminded me of Morocco with all of the dust blowing around. In some towns, as you can see, the roads don't seem to be paved all the way to the shops etc, which accentuates the problem. This is Ferizaj



Lots of roadworks taking place too, it is hard work riding slowly in a queue of vehicles eating their dust (for you non bikers remember I don't have a window to close or air con to turn on)



This country has had a recent turbulent past with war etc. I have seen signs of that with ruined houses in the country (as in big holes blown in the side of them) and many memorials like,

This one to an individual



Or this one to a much bigger group. What is very upsetting here is that they were all killed the same day and four of them have the same surname which includes 13 year old twin boys.



I would love to be able to talk more with some locals about this past but I think it would be too risky, through my lack of knowledge (and maybe lack of real understanding of what it was like) and I would cause offence.

I did find out about this though. Many of the signs I have ridden past have one of the names painted out. As I thought, the name removed is the Serbian spelling of the name (who of course this country was at war with).



To finish on a brighter and then funnier note. I have struck luck through booking.com and am staying in a very nice hotel (as in maybe not appropriate to hang my washing at the window!). KT is quite happy parked in front with the Audis and Mercs!



And funnier, another globe of the world. Their geography is quite different to ours. New Zealand is upside down, not simply turned over but welded in place. Some other countries have similar problems (see it to the right of Aussie?)



I have changed my plans slightly for Montenegro. Tomorrow I will do a bigger ride and go to Petrovac on the coast. Then I have booked accommodation in Dubrovnik for two nights, my riding gear needs a wash and that will be a good opportunity to do that and hopefully get some beach time.

Looking at the maps it appears as though very soon after leaving here tomorrow I have a mountain range to go over, the road looks very windy. Fingers crossed for good weather

edit - forecast for tomorrow is crap! Off to get my wet weathers out of the pannier ready :-(
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young1 screwed with this post 08-30-2014 at 01:38 PM
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:34 PM   #333
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Perhaps your bum does look big in those trousers.
Maybe it was shock at the realisation that all Kiwis aren't brown and furry (with green juicy centres)?
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:53 AM   #334
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I was in kosovo as part of NATO in 2000 out at Pristina airport, hope all the hassle was worth it and the country is starting to come together more
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:41 AM   #335
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I was in kosovo as part of NATO in 2000 out at Pristina airport, hope all the hassle was worth it and the country is starting to come together more
The country had a strange "feel" to it. Lots of roads being built etc but still the very obvious remains of the war. Also some people seem to be very wealthy, if the cars they drive is a reflection of that, while there are also beggars on the street.

KFOR personnel still drive around, if I got my flags right, I think I saw some French soldiers drive pass.

Very cheap though. Coffee was under 1.

Kiwi Mike
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:15 AM   #336
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That part of the world has a very long history of being a cultural and religious borderland that has been part of many empires, each one overlapping the other in time and geography. Mix in a modern independence movement and blend in state of the art military weapons, communications, and mass media and you have all the ingredients for a lot of suffering and death across the board. Very sad. Hope the apparent improvement over the last 10-15 years continues.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:20 AM   #337
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Peje to Petrovak (Montenegro)

My route today took me over a mountain range into Montenegro. I was lucky as it didn't rain (although it had) but it was still chilly.

As you see I was in the clouds approaching the Montenegro border post. It was strange as this would have been 5 to 10 kilometres past the Kosovo post.



At the immigration window, not busy so I was through quickly



So into Montenegro. All I can say is WOW what awesome roads to be riding a motorbike on. Ugly for a car though, over 220 kms there were only two passing lanes. And in that time it was gorges, hills, tunnels, viaducts, tight corners and simply stunning scenery. It was hard to stop for photos but here is an idea of what it was like.

The road heading down, see the tunnel and also road in the valley?



Spot the tunnel through the trees, middle towards the bottom



Awesome (unlike Europe the tunnels weren't lit)



This was an interesting sign as there does not appear to be a road going straight ahead



And just around the corner from that was this one



And mum I don't have a new Leanne taking photos of me, I have learnt how to use the timer. Here I am at my morning stop trying to look cool after running down to the bridge all the time counting the 12 second delay in my head :-)



This is where I am now (Leanne look away!) it is strange to be back amongst tourists and their traffic. There was a 4.5 kilometre long tunnel just before arriving here (tourism is obviously big business along this coast). The water was fantastic after the 5 hour ride.

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Old 07-18-2014, 09:25 AM   #338
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That part of the world has a very long history of being a cultural and religious borderland that has been part of many empires, each one overlapping the other in time and geography. Mix in a modern independence movement and blend in state of the art military weapons, communications, and mass media and you have all the ingredients for a lot of suffering and death across the board. Very sad. Hope the apparent improvement over the last 10-15 years continues.
I had an interesting chat to a barber last night about what life was like in Peje during the war and learnt a lot (he was a nice guy, I had my beard etc trimmed, as I was his first customer from NZ - no charge).

Then when I arrived here, the owner of where I am staying gave me a glass of wine and also some meats and cheeses to eat while he did the registration etc. I got the other side of the war story from him, how shall I put this.... he didn't talk fondly of the Americans!
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Old 07-19-2014, 12:44 AM   #339
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:14 AM   #340
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Hi Mike

from Montenegro heading north you should ride along the Croatian Coastal
Visit Dubrovnik and Split
Take a side trip before you reach Split through the Valley of River Cestina


https://www.google.de/maps/dir/43.40...fa8a71!1m0!3e0

You will love it

Best Regards
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Old 07-19-2014, 07:36 AM   #341
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Petrovak to Dubrovnik (Croatia)

Not the most enjoyable of rides today, at the start it was hot and there were queues of cars. Montenegro drivers are similar to Kiwi drivers, if there is a slight gap between you and the car in front, well they will have it.

The views were stunning, but due to the above and lack of places to stop I didn't take many photos.

This is just before Kotor. The beaches are gorgeous but I am afraid all of the tourist development is ruining them. Having beaches covered with loungers is not something we are used to back home.



The road to Kotor, a nice windy single lane in places road with people swimming and sunning most of the way along.



The ferry that saves quite a few kilometres. And if you were in the car behind me I am sorry if let the cars alongside us off first, I hope it didn't delay you too much (you were the #%^# who pushed in front of me to buy the ticket weren't you...)



Goodbye to Montenegro, all the immigration guy did was open my passport and stamp it, no looking at it or anything



And hello Croatia. I was cheeky here, it was so hot I didn't want to stop in the sun, I noticed the bus in the bus lane move off so I went there. The immigration guy quite righty pointed out that I wasn't a bus, but I said to him that I was hot. I told him that I would go back to the right line, then he put his hand out and BINGO I was through (after a discussion about his brother living in Melbourne!)



My first view of Dubrovnik



What a gorgeous sailing ship



The view of the walk from where I am staying



Tonight I am doing a 3 hour sunset sea kayak trip. After riding alongside the ocean seeing people enjoying the water I want a turn in it.
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:38 AM   #342
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If you walk around the inside of the city wall you should be able to find a passage through the wall leading to a tiny bar on the outside overlooking the sea. Very nice. Also, if you like calamari you are in the right city! When we were there we took a nice day trip on a motorsailboat to some of the islands along the coast. Looking forward to the next episode!
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:44 AM   #343
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Originally Posted by Blader54 View Post
If you walk around the inside of the city wall you should be able to find a passage through the wall leading to a tiny bar on the outside overlooking the sea. Very nice. Also, if you like calamari you are in the right city! When we were there we took a nice day trip on a motorsailboat to some of the islands along the coast. Looking forward to the next episode!
I saw that bar, and the hole in the wall, from the kayak :-)

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Old 07-20-2014, 12:35 AM   #344
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I am sitting at a little table in the shade with a coffee and paper and pen. About to have a look at where I plan to go over the next week :-)

Kayaking last night was fun, nine of us and the guide. Unfortunately the photos not so good, hard to take from a rocking kayak. Here is some of the group



Unfortunately there are also crowds in the water, this cave was a popular stop point. We swam and snorkelled from the beach.



We paddled past this beautiful cruise liner. What a great way to travel. Last night five of us from the kayak group had dinner together and this ship went past, all the masts etc were lit up with lots of little lights!



Today I will have a look at the city and swim :-)

Best news is that my riding pants are being "decontaminated" at the local dry cleaner.
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:39 AM   #345
young1 OP
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Originally Posted by iny46 View Post
Hi Mike

from Montenegro heading north you should ride along the Croatian Coastal
Visit Dubrovnik and Split
Take a side trip before you reach Split through the Valley of River Cestina


https://www.google.de/maps/dir/43.40...fa8a71!1m0!3e0

You will love it

Best Regards
Thanks Andreas for the suggestion, that looks good, I will follow that route :-)

Mike
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