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Old 09-07-2007, 11:15 AM   #31
nerudarider
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Very nice Der Tobe, thanks for taking us along!
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Old 09-08-2007, 04:59 AM   #32
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Day 10

Crimea II

This day is starting kind of shitty, if you nkow what I mean... So my first walk of the day is into the bushes.

But I have still enough energy to get on the road to Sevastopol.

[IMG]PICT1388.JPG[/IMG]

Once I am on the road I kind of forget about my intestines for a while - riding cures.

The first sight I am going to take in is Khersones, an ancient Greek settlement.

[IMG]PICT1396.JPG[/IMG]

[IMG]PICT1400.JPG[/IMG]

[IMG]PICT1403.JPG[/IMG]


I imagined Sevastopol to be a grey industrial city being the harbour of the Russian as well as the Ukrainian Black Sea Marine Fleet.
But not so. There are lots of parks and there is this certain southern (I'd like to say mediterrranean, but it's the Black Sea) charme.

[IMG]PICT1415.JPG[/IMG]

[IMG]PICT1389.JPG[/IMG]

[IMG]PICT1391.JPG[/IMG]

Destroy fascism!
[IMG]PICT1392.JPG[/IMG]

But seriously, despite its strong military tradition the people of Sevastopol seem to enjoy the summer. It is hard to imagine now that this city used to be a restricted area during Soviet times. No tourists were allowed to enter, it wasn't even shown on some maps...

[IMG]PICT1419.JPG[/IMG]

[IMG]PICT1420.JPG[/IMG]

[IMG]PICT1424.JPG[/IMG]

[IMG]PICT1433.JPG[/IMG]

I get back on my bike and leave Sevastopol for the southern coast of the Crimea peninsula. The landscape is really amazing.
The mountains are more than 1200m high. Quite impressive, really.

[IMG]PICT1440.JPG[/IMG]

[IMG]PICT1444.JPG[/IMG]

After riding along the coast for a while I decide to turn back in order to cross that coastal range from the inland. On that leg of the tour even my (non-existent) offroad skills are needed on the sandy tracks. Excellent.

[IMG]PICT1446.JPG[/IMG]

[IMG]PICT1448.JPG[/IMG]

That's Jalta down there.
[IMG]PICT1454.JPG[/IMG]

I'd never want to swap.
[IMG]PICT1459.JPG[/IMG]

Of course I have to get down again on the other side to reach Jalta. It's a really small but very curvy road - just no time for pictures...

In the really touristy and expensive town of Jalta:
One can still see the heritage from socialist times contrasting with 21st century phenomena like ATMs (The street sign says: Karl-Marx-Street)
[IMG]PICT1460.JPG[/IMG]

[IMG]PICT1462.JPG[/IMG]

[IMG]PICT1464.JPG[/IMG]

I just took this picture out of political interest: The name of the ship is "ANGELA". We,ll see to which shores the ship of our german chancellor is going to take us.
[IMG]PICT1468.JPG[/IMG]

There was even a Bike show.
[IMG]PICT1471.JPG[/IMG]

[IMG]PICT1473.JPG[/IMG]


When I decide to find a place to sleep it turns out that this is not going to be easy in all this "civilisation". I go a couple of kms back on the coast and have already made up my mind to find a hotel (although that wouldn't be good for the budget) when I see a sign for an "AUTOCAMP". That sounds good but is only a run down motel with astronomic prices. They want to charge me ca. 30$ for one night. NO WAY. I ask some passersby if they know a place where I could pitch my tent. The recommend the local park.
I don't feel quite at home with the thought but it is getting dark and I don't have much choise. It is a really nice park though, there is even a little creek running a couple of hundred meters away. So washing off the sweat of one of the best riding days so far wouldn't be a problem.

Suddenly a car pulls up and out comes a friendly but shy man: would I mind if he and his family pitched their tent beside mine?
Of course not.
We had a really nice evening talking and drinking and I was really relieved not to be the only one camping in a town park.

[IMG]PICT1475.JPG[/IMG]

ca. 290kms
[IMG]Tag 10.jpg[/IMG]


to be continued.
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Old 09-08-2007, 05:34 AM   #33
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excellent report, keep em comming. russia is facinating to most americans i believe. we were at odds for so long, now it's hard to see a difference in the lifestyles.....kc
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Old 09-10-2007, 03:04 PM   #34
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Keine Kleinigkeit, die Tour. Für mich wäre das allerdings nichts...was die hygienischen Verhältnisse inklusive Essen angeht, war ich mit dem früheren Jugoslawien schon mehr als bedient. Und 50°C mit Mücken! Dann schon lieber Frost...

Vorsicht mit dem Dünnpfiff...das, die Temperaturen und der Fahrtwind noch dazu und plötzlich fällt man ohnmächtig vom Bike. Cola und Salzgebäck ist ein bewährtes Hausmittel.

Nice ride report, good job! And keep the pictures coming!

(Und: gute Besserung!)
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:10 AM   #35
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Keep posting Tobe, really am enjoying the report on a part of the world I know nothing about.

(pretty girls too.)
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:25 AM   #36
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Day 11

Hi everybody. Sorry for the delay.

Here's day 11:

When I get up in the morning my nice neighbours serve me a delicious breakfast: Bread and Salami with fresh tomatoes. Delicious. As a dessert they give me a handful of ukrainian chocolates.
Spasibo.

I start riding not feeling much better than yesterday, stomachwise. Well, anyway, the first stop is one of the most famous attractions of the Crimean Peninsula: The Swallows' Nest.
It used to be a little museum - nowadays it is an Italian(?) Restaurant.





and the swallows (or some other kind of birds ??), of course:





Then the tour goes on to a nice white palace the name of which escapes me now...



A couple of kms later I am back in Jalta. I write some postcards and explore some not-so-touristy streets...





On along the coast I go. The Landscape is just GREAT.



When I ask a nice (and admittedly good looking) woman if she would be so kind as to take a photo of me she takes my camera, snaps a shot, hands it back to me, asks me for my phone number, tells me she finds me atrractive and that she is going to give me a call when I'm back home...
I'm too flabbergasted to take a picture of her...
(she never called, though)



Back on the main coastal road I follow the cables of the longest Electric Bus line of the world (ca. 80 kms from Jalta to Simferopol).



Road side impression:



DSL-line ??



Thunderstorm without rain in the coastal mountain range. It was really scary...



The rain does come eventually and leaves me soaking wet on the bike. My raingear is packed somewhere deep down in my panniers...doh.
I decide to get some grub and make camp for the night. Original ukrainian pizza is on the menu. DELICIOUS. I sit on the pavement beside my bike eating when this old babushka (grandmother) of, say 200 years of age, comes to me shouting and gesticulating: "Where are you from? What do you think sitting on the floor like that? It's dirty there! People spit on the ground. GET UP, willya!"
I get up not wanting to be impolite to the lady. She nods and disappears only to return a couple of mintes later with a blue painted stool. The very stool she must have been sitting on all day watching people from the sidewalk.
Then she hands me two tomatoes, vitamines for my strenuous journey, and a hzelnut branch. That's supposed to bring luck when attached to the bike...
You just gotta love the Ukraine.


BIke at camp.



On the beachside camp I meet Masha and ??? (sorry I didn't quite get your name). We go swimming together, drink homemade brandy (fantastic stuff - sooo fruity) and enjoy the night talking about good and bad people, rich and poor...


Altogether it was only 130kms.
I can't really post a Google image today as I dont have proper access to my flickr account...

Might be a couple of days before I can post the next day's report - I'm away from home and typing this on a dial-up PC (as opposed to my DSL mac ) is no fun...
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:56 AM   #37
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Great story telling there . The pics are great, and I hope that Mr salmonela stopped bothering You
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Old 09-11-2007, 12:03 PM   #38
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Keep it coming - I'm hooked!
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Old 09-17-2007, 12:30 PM   #39
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Day 12

Hi everyone. It's been a while since the last post - RL can be sucky at times.
Well, now let's carry on with day number twelve. Although carrying on wouldn't be the right choice of words - The headline for the day is:

Downtime.


For the last couple of days I hadn't been feeling too well. That mornig I wake up with an undeniable urge to find a nice and quiet spot to "youknowwhat". Well, easier said than done - I made camp at probably the only tree and bushless spot of the whole peninsula. Or so it seemed.

I feel so miserable that packing and riding on is completely out of the question.
The alcohol and long night talking with these guys last night was nice and enjoyable but hasn't helped my condition much


I have no choice but to stay in bed/sleeping bag/tent all day interrupted only by a couple of swimming breaks when the heat gets unbearable. So this is what I see all day:


When my tent neighbours notice that I am not quite all right they come over and ask if I need something from the shop in the next village. Eating not my favourite pastime for the day I only ask them for some water...
I would need that to drain down those XL antibiotics pills I've decided to take from now on. Mr. Salmonella (as Frgich put it) is not going to get me down altogether!

I double-dose the medicine just to be sure. (no medical advice needed here -I know one shouldn't do that )
This and the talisman for the bike that my neighbours gave me should get me on the road again soon.

Thanks again. I really appreciate everything you did for me.


In the afternoon I hear a sound of another old Ukrainian car. Well, actually I think of a really loud HD chopper but that doesn't make me turn my head anymore because ALL cars (even small ones) sound like that. This time my audio analysis is wrong though:




It's not a Harley but who needs a HD if you can have a Dnepr or Ural chopper that even has a REVERSE.


In the evening I prepare a small meal because you're not supposed to take antibiotics with an empty stomach. I take some pictures, wait for the side effects of the pill (dizziness), feel dizzy and go to bed.





distance traveled: 0 kms
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:03 PM   #40
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Day 13

Good bye Ukraine.


A short self-test after waking up tells me that I am feeling better. Not like in fanfuckingtastic but good enough to ride. I even dare to have a little breakfast. (the day before I didn't feel as if I would want to eat ever again - well, that's exaggerated but men are like that )

It is strange (or not so strange I hear you folks say) that I really feel better when I sit on that bike. There are so many distractions that I can't really worry about my intestines too much.



The Sudak castle. From the times of the Crusades IIRC.




One of the more popular spots on the coast: Novy Svit.




Style - either you have it or you don't.






Crimea is famous the wine and champagne prduced there (at least in Europe and Russia - I don't know about America). And if you have wine it's a small step to brandy or Cognac. The sign says: Country of Cognac.


Koktebel is one of the more popular brand(ie)s.



It is still some kms to the eastern tip of the Crimean Peninsula, Kerch. The street is fairly good, the sun is blazing down on the land. For me it is time to say good bye to the Ukraine and boldly go where no tobe has gone before...
The last couple of hours on Ukrainian territory I spend refueling, buying ferry a ticket, organizing an "UA" decal for my panniers, buying an insurance for Russia and waiting for the ferry.


Olya and Mikhail help me with the Ukrainian formalities. Honestly, ALL the people I meet are so friendly and helpful.
We talk about Russia being an Adventure for me and that I should visit them whenever I am in the area again - hey, I am not even in Russia for my first time and we are talking about me coming back. I have to admit that I was really scared of Russia. But that was before I met any Russians. I'll definitely go back there - I have to: Mikhail wants to teach me fishing...


The passage over the straight of Kerch is only 4 kms long but with all the Ukrainian and Russian customs stuff it takes me well over 4 hours...






GOOD BYE UKRAINE!



Hello Russia.

When I am finally in Russia proper the sun is already setting. Damn. My plans to reach an official campsite are diminishing by the minute. I am in (another) foreign country, have no water, no Roubles and no idea where to sleep.

In the first village I go into a shop and ask the lady if she would be so kind as to sell me a bottle of water for a couple of DOLLARS. She says she can't because of the cash register...disappointed and thirsty I want to leave the shop when a young man stops me: "Is it only something to drink that you want? - Here, take these 10 roubles."
When I regain my speech I ask him if he knows a spot where I could pitch my tent. He takes out his mobile phone, talks to someone and tells me to follow him on the bike.
A friend of his is builing a house in the village and there is a little bit of lawn where I could camp...but they start to work at 6 a.m if that's ok with me?
Again, I am speechless.


268km



to be continued.
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:21 AM   #41
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Day 14

That was one sleepless night if ever I saw one. Not bothering to pitch the tent on a building site turned out to be a sucking experience. literally. Those goddamn MOSKITOES were killing me. Well, nearly.

When I woke up in the morning (yes, I did sleep in the end) the guys were already busy at work. They didn't do any digging or hammering or anything noisy not to wake me up. Thanks guys.


The first thing I wanted to see in Russia was this mud volcano. It really is amazing to be floating around in luke warm mud. It feels like walking on cotton. Of course you shouldn't think about hygienic standards too much but what the heck - it's supposed to be good for the skin...

Sulphuric, nasty, grey...but healthy. Or so they say.






When I got myself cleaned up by swimming in the Asov Sea I ride on feeling pretty much at home in Russia already. The journey directs me south - back to the Black Sea.
I pass cities like Anapa, Novorossijsk and Geledshik. The road conditions are much better than in the Ukraine. The infrastructure in general seems much better developed. Good for me and the bike. Less time spent on watching out for potholes is more time spent on watching the sights...


Of course I visit one of the famous rock formations of the area: The Sail. That stone wall is only 1.5 metres thick. The hole is caused by natural erosion although some say that it was shot into the wall with a cannon.


After a nice and refrshing bath in the sea (note: 2 different seas in one day) I find one of the most beautiful campsites that I've ever been on. The standard is basic - no electricity, only basic toilets and sun-heated open air showers. But it has all that I need...and more. The landscape is just FANTASTIC.




What a wonderful day.
285kms



there's more of that to come
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:55 AM   #42
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Thank you, sir, for a most wonderful ride report.
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:55 PM   #43
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vielen dank fuer diesen reisebericht
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:55 PM   #44
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Keep going Tobe!
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Old 09-20-2007, 01:39 PM   #45
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You have to love this site. What a great look at that part of the world!

Quote:
In the first village I go into a shop and ask the lady if she would be so kind as to sell me a bottle of water for a couple of DOLLARS. She says she can't because of the cash register...disappointed and thirsty I want to leave the shop when a young man stops me: "Is it only something to drink that you want? - Here, take these 10 roubles."
When I regain my speech I ask him if he knows a spot where I could pitch my tent. He takes out his mobile phone, talks to someone and tells me to follow him on the bike.
Something similar happened to me in China, I was starving, shopkeeper wouldn't take my money, everything was going wrong....and some random Chinese guy bought me some food, got me headed in the right direction, and went off on his way. He couldn't even speak English, just happy to help out.

Those types of experiences are a great antidote to 'The world is awful' attitudes that people get from just watching the news.

Thanks for the excellent report.
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