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Old 09-05-2007, 07:59 AM   #16
der_tobe OP
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Location: Saxony, Old Europe
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Originally Posted by Cooltours
Klasse Report! Lecker lecker!! I bet these paniers don't look that shiney anymore now, arn't they?
dirt on my bike? nah! especially not with a broken seal for the oil-plug...
didn't lose much oil, though. just enough to make the surface of the panniers sticky enough for all the dust...
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:14 AM   #17
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Day 5

Ukraine !

I'm leaving one of the greatest campgrounds I've ever been to at 9:30. I have to go. Although it is somehow painful, if you know what I mean.
Well, let's get over and done with.

In the next internet-equipped town I searched the net for some advice on my still broken ABS. I found something, printed it out and decided to give it a try in the evening...some serious plugging and unplugging of electronic connections involved...SCARY.

Well, first I'll have to cross that border to the unexpected...ever heard of "procrastination" ??

So off to the border I go. Pass the queue and leave EU territory. The formalities are easy enough. you need 3 stamps. And you have to fill in a little entry/exit form. Really no big deal if you have a passport from a "rich" country...
I ask one of the officers about the speed limit for bikes in the Ukraine. Supposedly it is at 80km/h. He looks at my bike and says: "Wiss sis sing you cann go 120. sis is more like a carr."
Well, considering Ukrainian bikes (and cars, for that matter) he might be right.

What's next? Yes. I need some money: I stop at one of these little exchange offices but haven't even the chance to enter it - some nice ladies wave packets of Ukrainian money at me cheering "IKSchange. good rate!" Now, let's give it a try. I have no idea about the exchange rate but hey, these ladies look honest enough


Before entering the first bigger city of L'Viv (or Lemberg) I ride through some really nice landscape...I have the immediate feeling of being at home. STRANGE. It seems someone in my subconsciuos knows its way around. Really strange.
I became first interested in this area after reading a book by a brilliant American author: Jonathan Safran Foer. The book is called "Everything is illuminated". I highly recommend reading it and then going to the Ukraine. (please tell me about your experiences )




I grew up in the eastern part of germany - the former GDR. In those times we had to learn Russian in school - now that knowledge pays off. (the Ukrainian and Russian languages are very alike)...
I am far from good in my language skills but at least I can read the roadsigns.

Entering Lemberg, the chaos of the traffic is getting almost unbearable (along with the heat). I search and find the local BMW dealer and ask him if he can help me with the broken ABS. He says he can't. They don't have the software for motorbikes on their diagnostics-computer-thingy... well I still have this printout form the internet...

Note the tram rails in the lower left corner. Not good for motorbikes...



The first fuel stop in the Ukraine has me a little surprised. I CAN pay with my Visa card but I have to pay BEFORE I actually fuel up. So I have to guesstimate how much I will be needing...
After fuelling up the bike won't start...swearing on my side...calming down...trying again...I find out that the bike will only start with the idle rise pulled, even though the engine is warm...this is the only time it behaves like that though - had me a bit panicky.

After ca. 340kms I find a nice spot to sleep. It was quite a search though. In the Ukraine it is hard to find REAL campsites so you have to "bushcamp". Well, the spot I found is nice. But that's what others before me must have thought, too. Plastic bottles everywhere. The Ukraine being a poor country has no real waste disposal system. The people get rid of their stuff wherever they are...
I am a little afraid of rats but decide against pitching my tent. The 1000 star hotel will have to do - it is just too hot outside.

That picture was taken right from the sleeping bag...

'twas a nice and somehow adventurous first day in the Ukraine.

[IMG]Tag 5.jpg[/IMG]

more later.
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:33 AM   #18
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:27 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by der_tobe
going to the Ukraine. (please tell me about your experiences )
Hi there der_tobe ! Very nice report, and it will be interesting to see those places from your point of view.

I had a trip passing through most of the areas you've been to. You can read it here if you like:

Thanks for sharing
Ida Mountain - Turkish west coast 2005
Moscow detour - Istanbul to Stockholm via Moscow 2006
Meteora Sunset - Istanbul to Larisa and back 2007
Historical Balkan - Istanbul to Stockholm via Belgrade, Budapest and Warsaw 2007
Tatar Rush from Trakai to Yalta to Istanbul 2007
Turkish Coastline - Riding in the Aegean and Mediterranean Coastline 2007
Heaven at the Gates of Hell - Chapadas in tropical Brazil 2008
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:23 PM   #20
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Day 6

When I wake up at 7 in the morning everything is soaking wet due to the dew.
I have a fast breakfast, pack and by the time I am ready to hit the road, or shall I say track, everything is dry already. The sun is blazing down on me as early as this...

It takes a while to find a bigger road. Last night I left the major road in order to find a spot to sleep. Today I don't want to go back and try to put the gps compass to some use...
Well, I have to admit that I am no off-road expert. So, I go rather slowly across freshly cropped fields until I find a village... from there it is possible to find my way back into a more recent century...
As soon as you leave the major roads in the Ukraine everything changes: a collection of potholes in the dirt is supposed to be a street, the infrastucture as we know it goes down to zero. But still the people are friendly and noble. In most cases when I left my Bike I didn't even take the keys along...

Finally i made it back to civilization.


The main direction for today is south east. The bigger roads do have tarmac with the occasional huge pothole. The trucks on the roads lose every part that isn't welded to its place. All these screws and bolts and things land on the street... It seems like a miracle that I didn't have a single flat tire on the whole trip - it seemed that everyone else travelling on Ukrainian roads had some tire problem (some sooner, some later)

At some point I thought "oops, this feels like a flat tire." everything felt squishy and unstable. I stopped and noticed that it wasn't my tire but the street - at temperatures of over 50°C the tarmac just went liquid...

After ca. 450kms I find a nice spot for camp and decide to give that still malfunctioning ABS another try. I still have that weird printout, remember?
According to the instructions I remove plugs, attach cables to pins, switch ignitions on and of, hold buttons pressed and am full of hope. Well, I'll test ride it tomorrow...

Here are some impressions of the camp that night:






Just another story: at one point the (omnipresent) police pulled me over. Supposedly I had ignored a STOP sign...they wanted 50$...yes, dollars. I argued with them: why don't you want ukrainian money? and where is that stop sign? they showed me the sign in their little book but I wanted them to show me the REAL sign. The answer to that: "OK...give us just 10$."
There was no stop sign, there wasn't even an intersection

[IMG]Tag 6.jpg[/IMG]

more tomorrow.
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:41 PM   #21
4-4-09, 12-6-09, 1-13-10
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Great R.R. cant wait for more pics...
"Lest we forget"
They gave the ultimate sacrifice because they answered the call without question
E.O.W. 4-04-09, Eric, Paul and Steve
E.O.W. 12-06-09
E.O.W. 10-12-11
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Old 09-06-2007, 03:15 AM   #22
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Day 7


After getting up an a nice mornig swim in the lake (plus a nice cuppa) I get on my bike and have a strange feeling...something is missing...
yup. that really irritating blinking of the ABS lamps has stopped. everything seems to be working within the parameters again...pheew.
Here is that helpful linky for those 1150 riders who want to reset their fault memory (or that of their bikes ):


After a couple of kms I get to this huge new highway-like street. It is blazing hot so I am very happy to be able to ride at a faster know, the windchill and all...Pah. The thermometer showed 55° much about wind chill...

Odessa is the first Ukrainian city where I got seriously lost. A map would have helped, I guess.
Finally I do arrive at the famous stairs. The whole beauty of the place couldn't really be seen as there was a rock festival supposed to be on that particular night. The stage and technical stuff had already been set up...




That rock festival sounded like a plan for the night. Five bands playing, one Russian, one Ukrainian, one American, one Moldavian and one Romanian...

But first I had to find the campsite. After a couple of planless kms I asked a police officer for directions. I stopped before he stopped me. "flabbergasted" is the word that comes to mind
It turned out thad I had passed the entrance to the campsite a couple of times. A sign would have been nice. Altogether it was a decent camp at moderate prices.

In the evening I took a Taxi to the city center, got myself a beer or two and had a nice night rocking. Of course I also took in the flair of odessa.
What a beautiful city.


No stairs to be seen:


Impressions of the old city centre:





Life in the park:


Back at the concert:


When I felt tired enough I took a rather expensive taxi to the campsite. (at first the cabbie wanted to let me out at the Kempinsky instead of the Camping...) The ride in the taxi is adventurous, to say the least...130km/h in town on roads with potholes and absolutely no light
Rollercoasters are soo boring if you can have the real thing.

On that day I made 295 kms.
[IMG]Tag 7.jpg[/IMG]

there is more to come.
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Old 09-06-2007, 04:17 AM   #23
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Old 09-06-2007, 05:35 AM   #24
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Beautiful! Thanks for the updated report and pics
ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
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Old 09-06-2007, 06:30 AM   #25
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Damn this is one awesome report!
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:24 AM   #26
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Day 8

After a nice breakfast and a chat with my hungarian camp neighbours I leave Odessa rather late(ish).
I still have to fuel up, buy some postcards and try an original Ukrainian icecream...
Well, it was tasty but god knows how long this paticular popsickle had been in the fridge...from that day on I had to stop more often than I wanted...if you know what I mean...
A couple of days later it got so bad that I had to take antibiotics...that kind of helped...

Well, for now I am still in Odessa and have to show you the other side of this beautiful city:


Stopping at the roadside to...erm, take a picture from a rather helpless position:

I notice that passing bigger cities doesn't give me headaches anymore. Maybe I already got used to Ukrainian driving. I really get by quite well.

Impressions from the roadside.



In a small town I find a supermarked and replenish my food and water supplies...well, and beer, of course.
And I think " Well, my stomach is wasted anyways. Why not try something new..." So I buy some Kefir (kind of yoghurty stuff) and a bottle of Kwas (somehow rootbeerish, no sugar, no alkohol, perfectly tasty if unusual).
As you probably notice the shopping list is mainly about beverages...but the outside temperatures would explain that...

After a couple of kms I arrive at the sea. I look on the map and lo! the place I spotted for the night is an official campground. (of course, there was no sign in the map)


The patrons are really nice. They tell me that I am the first German on this campsite. Last year two Italians were there too, IIRC.

I am particularly happy about the "WC" sign. It turns out to be lacking the "W" part, though. Basically the "facilities" are just a barrack without windows and a couple of holes in the concrete floor. Dark and stinky. And not very I squat in the darkness an old Babushka comes in and wants to throw a bucket of water at me...all I can do is shout STOP....
Well, it was a WaterCloset after all.

After a refreshing bath in the sea I go to bed early. I really feel sick and incredibly tired.
The last entry in my diary for that day: "It is nice to have a moskito-net. That way the bastards can't escape while i hunt them."



The trip today was 294kms and uncounted stops.

[IMG]Tag 8.jpg[/IMG]

more tomorrow.
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:36 AM   #27
Joined: Jun 2007
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sehr schöner Tripreport mann. Gute Wahl der Reiseroute, wird demnächst auch mein Ziel sein...

nice Report, keep it cumming
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:47 AM   #28
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:52 AM   #29
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very nice
Born to ride, forced to work...
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:14 AM   #30
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Day 9


After a nice little breakfast (the kids of my camp neighbours even present me a piece of melon) I leave the campsite for the Crimea peninsula...Luckily my stomach is still asleep...

The wheather is hot. Just as I begin to wonder how agriculture in this arid climate is at all possible I come across this:
irrigation channels.


After some kms in the blazing sun I reach the peninsula...well, at least the official border. I have to say that travelling is educating - until then I hadn't known that Crimea is an autonomous republic...(the capital city being Simferopol as I later learned)


Well, autonomous republic or not, the Russian heritage is still strong in this area...




But Crimea has a much longer history than just Soviet times. Tartars used to live here long before the Red Banner was hoisted. In Bakhchissaray you can go back to the times of Khans.


I'm really fascinated by my first encounter with islamic culture. I pay the rather high entrance fee and have a long walk through the palace of the Khan. (including the Harem )








After so much islamic culture I ride just a couple of kms up the valley and find an interesting orthodox christian monastery. Talk about a contrast.





After so much religious and cultural input I am rather tired. I ride another couple of kms up the valley and find a nice spot to make camp.



Well, I couldn't resist really. The hat suits me, doesn't it?


Statistics: 310km

[IMG]Tag 9.jpg[/IMG]

there is more.
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