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Old 12-26-2009, 03:54 PM   #1
momi20 OP
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Suzuki DR 350: Italy-Turkey-Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazahkstan-Russia-Ucraina ecc..

Hy guys, i’m Maurizio (aka Momi), from Italy. I’m the owner of a Suzuki Dr 350 and even this year i used my holiday to travel with my motorcycle.
In 2008 i traveled from Italy to Uzbekistan , crossing Poland, Lettonia Lituania Russia, Kazahkstan and Kirghigistan. Due the lenght of the travel (more than 11.000 km = 6835 miles) and my time, i had to come back in Italy by plane from Tashkent (Uzbekistan): even the bike was shipped in Italy by plane.
This year i have studied a counter-clockwise itinerary: this is the route



From Italy i crossed the Balcan area ( Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia), then Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, ferry boat to Turkmenistan across the Caspian Sea. Here up to north i reached Uzbekistan and after i came back through Kazahkstan, Russia, Ukraina, Romania and Hungary.

Here it is my technical equipment, maybe not really professional but it worked good



I had a target in my mind: not more then 50 kg (110 pounds) of luggage
The 2 lateral bags are 8 kg (17 pounds), the rucksack is 1,2 kg (2,67 punds) it remained 40,8 kg (89,95 punds) available for anything: clothes, spare parts ecc.. and it was so: less than 50 kg !!!!



Electronic equipment



This year i installed a central trestle ( a biker blacksmith did it)





I started in September, so i needed gloves more thich: my former skiing gloves should be good



and another little book “ Islam intructions for use”



I have thought to a GPS but this new brand model “3 Dimensional GLOBAL WORLD” could ruin my Suzuki aerodinamics, so even this year just maps





I travelled for 11.082 km ( 6886 miles) from 3th of September to 2th of October, crossing 13 foreign countries

Here a brief list of costs

Visas made in Italy with agency before start
(Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Russia,Azerbaijan)--------------------600€ ( 863 $)
Ferryboat Baku (Azerbaijan)—Turkmenbashi (Turkmenistan)
(me and the motorbike)-------------------------------------------135€( 194$)
Food, sleep, souvenir, border taxes, Kazahkstan visa ecc..------1.035€ (1489$)

Total------1.770€ (2.547$)

For a personal reason i had a delay in my start of some days, so the first days of travel were really rushed: i don’t like but i had to drive for a lot of hours.
The big problem was the Turkmenistan Visa. In Italy there isn’t a turkmenistan embassy, so to obtain the visa you have to require it to the French Turkmenistan embassy: lot of time and money. Besides to save money and be free from tour operator, the only way is to ask for a transit visa, cheaper, but valid for just five fixed days. Mine transit visa for Turkmenistan was valid from 12 of september to 16 of september. You can’t modify or add extra days. So i didn’t have time to get the kazahkstan visa in Italy. I read on some blog that Baku (Azerbaijan) is a great place to get visa for Central Asia: yes it is! My plane was to reach Baku on 8 of september, to have three days (9-10-11) to get the visa from kazahkstan embassy.
From Modena (my city in Italy) to Baku (AZ) there are about 4.000 km (2.485 milles) and i had 6 days: from 3 to 8 of september.

On first day i reached Beograd (Serbia) 950km (590 miles)







my green ground cloth, buyed last year in the bazar of Alma Aty (KZ) worked wery good



my room 25 € (35.9 $) with breakfast (the second most expensive of the trip)



Second day, probably the most rushed: i reached Istanbul more than 1000 km ( 621 miles)





Bulgaria







around 10 pm i’m at the Turkisch border



i arrive in Istanbul around 00,30 am and i look immediately for a hotel: go out the ring road , i see a police car...but they don’t speak english...just some words, but after half hour i understood the magic word that allow you to save money for sleep in Turkey: otogar= bus station. Near the bus station there are always cheap hotel.
I follow the signal streets “Otogar” and i found a cheap hotel, but without box: i can’t leave the bike on the street. So i had to ask to a taxi driver and i followed his car to a more central hotel: 40 € ( 57 $), but it was 02.00 am in the night and so i took the room.
Before to go to sleep i decided that i had to spend some hours in Istanbul. Alarm clock at 9.00 am is the only chance. With some coffee should be possible see something in Istanbul and in the late afternoon start again.

Breakfast...excellent











The Topkapi the residence of Sultans















after the Topkapi i walked to the church of Santa Sofia (Hagia Sophia) and the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet camii)























hey 4.30 pm..time to eat something: can you imagine some better than this boiled corn ?



some shot along the Bosforo river









ok Hidayet Türkoğlu is one of the most well known sportsman in Tutkey
Hidayet Türkoğlu degli Orlando Magic (finalisti NBA nel 2009) è per la Turchia l’equivalente di Yao Ming per la Cina, una celebrità ed un orgoglio nazionale.





around 6.00 pm i started again and driving along E80 i reached Gerede.



.it was dark..how find a cheap motel ? Easy if you ask for Otogar. 12.5 € (18$) a night



the city in the morning









My target is to reach Trabzon on the Black Sea. This city is connected with an italian way of say “ PERDERE LA TREBISONDA “ is Lose the Trebisonda (Trebisonda is italian translation for Trebzon). The reason is that in the past Trabzon was the most important harbour on the Black Sea with a big lighthoue: in the day with fog was very dangerous for sheeps and so Lose the Trebisonda means lose reference points, orientation.

Breakfast on the road at a gas station and ( surprising ) the older could speak in german: i had to try to remember my high school studies but we could speak in german





instead this was selling onions and i bought some

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Old 12-26-2009, 04:59 PM   #2
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Great pictures! please post some more....
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Old 12-26-2009, 06:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtnadvil
Great pictures! please post some more....
+1

Those are some serious mileage days on a DR350!


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Old 12-26-2009, 07:06 PM   #4
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Wow, big miles!

Momi, you are for sure an Iron Butt man. Those are huge mileage days for a DR350 with a stock seat. And you didn't even remove the passenger strap!
Nice pictures and a great report.
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Old 12-26-2009, 07:11 PM   #5
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Maurizio, your epic adventure has been posted here before.. but I think this is a different adventure!

Your previous trip is here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=391963

At any rate, a lot of for doing such an adventure solo
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:52 AM   #6
momi20 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Maurizio, your epic adventure has been posted here before.. but I think this is a different adventure!

Your previous trip is here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=391963

At any rate, a lot of for doing such an adventure solo
Right: the link above is about my vacation in 2008, this is a new one: i did this trip in 2009.
Due the reason of my poor english it will take time to me translate the report....stay tuned guys
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:55 AM   #7
momi20 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay
Momi, you are for sure an Iron Butt man. Those are huge mileage days for a DR350 with a stock seat. And you didn't even remove the passenger strap!
Nice pictures and a great report.
No , i'm just a former owner of a Vespa 125 PX, an italian scooter. The DR is my first motorcycle: i bought second hand on internet last year. This is my second trip with this bike
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:07 AM   #8
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Nice!
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Old 12-27-2009, 02:38 AM   #9
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AMAZING ...... keep post good pictures
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Old 12-27-2009, 03:45 AM   #10
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Hey Momi, I loved your last report. It's good to see that the 350 took you on another epic trip! I'm looking forward to see it!
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:27 AM   #11
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Great RR! Love it! Really looking forward to more Keep it up!
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:20 AM   #12
momi20 OP
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2009 Suzuki DR350-"2nd episode"

In this little city ( before Samsun more or less) i bought bread and tomatoes



today is Sunday, but i found a nice place for the lunch: in front of this clothes shop (closed) there were a little chair and a bar stool



what’s suggestion of my guide book (Jump To ... Central Asia 2009) for the lunch ? You can see: sandwich with tomatoes



unbelievable : the same things i had bought in to the food shop !!! Lucky





Around 9.00 pm i’m in Trabzon: in an internet point i found the address of an youth hostel, but when i arrived i discovered that the hostel had closed some month ago.
No problem: i’m in Turkey, so--à OTOGAR !!!!!!!!!!!!!
My choose was The Cetin 25$ (17,4 €), no garage, but the owners ( two womens) say “ Don’t worry: nobody will touch your motorcycle!”. So first spray on the chain, oil check, cover the bike and after i went in the room to take a shower.
Finally eat...but when i was ready to go somebody knocked to my door. Three women (really over 50 and very different from Sharon Stone or Madonna, both born in 1958) asked to me if i need of some good-fellowship: no thanks !
Ok this was my dinner: turkish chicken stew





This morning is Sunday and my plane is to reach the Georgia border





check of tires pressure



but one of my elastic rope is going to be broken: i need one new. In Italy i bought in a hardware store. Should be the same thing here in Turkey. Yes



a handmade road-block for speed...a big marine rope putted on the street !!!!!!!!!!



after Hopa i reached the georgian border





surprise: assurance tax of 55$ ( 38.2 $)..ohhh my budget !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



suddenly my butt get on fire: what a pain !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok it was warm so i used my pile as a pillow



Georgia is so green a paradise for bikers, but the car driver don’t take care to vehicles coming in opposite direction during the overtaking...so be careful .







a coffee break




Is late when i arrive in T’bilisi, the capital: no reason to sleep here. So i decided to have a dinner and take some picture and after start again towards the border with Azerbaijan. In a supermarket i saw a cheese with a brand “VIOLA”. This is the surname of my high school friend that more than 15 years ago married an american girl and went in USA, in Connecticut where is now running a company involved in the organic food trade with Italy...ok a little commercial spot (http://www.bionaturae.com/welcome.html)





T’bilisi is a typical former USSR city: big buildings, big streets, but you can notice that the government is spending a lot of money to restyle everything





around 10.30 pm i decide to start towards the Azerbaijan border. After some km (miles9 the road begin to go in to hills, no city no lights, no signals, just the moon. I see a truck coming from opposite direction and i stop my bike waving my arms. So i can ask to the truck-driver “ To Azerbaijan is right ?” Yes is the answer. No motel, but around 01.00 am i saw on the right a building with some truck parked in front. It ‘s a motel, but without rooms free....just a bed in a little warehouse: ok for me is good.





in the next mornig was possible understand how was the place


Today is Tuesday, 8 of September, and i had slept near Krasny Most, the border. From here to Baku there are 500 km ( 310 miles), but with the border. First street signal is really encouraging


At the border the georgina officials told me “ Good luck, azerbaijan border police doesn’t speak english”.....True: just some simple words. My visa was good for 30 days, but they told me that for bike was possible obtain just a three days permit of transit. At the end of the third day i’ll must leave the bike at a border office. I didn’t know that, but my plane is to reach Baku, obtain the kazakistan visa and after take the ferry to Turkmenistan on 12 of September.





a picture of the former prime minister of the Azerbijan, Heydar Aliyev, is everywhere: now is dead, but don’t worry, now ther’s his soon Ilham Aliyev !













a home made detour



again











suddenly the Caspian Sea appear to me on my right: amazing after the desert



I arrived in Baku around 8.00 pm and i was scaried by the city: everywhere shops of Gucci, Prada, Rolex, big luxury car, but i remember that in Baku ther’s a hostel. I ask to a local biker for an internet point



after i found it i went inside to do an online reservation with my credit card ( the site is www.hostelworld.com) , but i noticed i had lost my credit card. No problem i have a bancomat and a lot of cash. I just sent a sms to my brother in Italy to block the credit card and after i reached the hostle. They had a bed.
In the room ther’s a nice guy Ed from England that gave to me the exact address of the kazahkstan embassy.
Is late and i’m tired: so shower and dinner: my guide ( the Jump To...) suggest as menù of the day rice with turkisch onion: i’m lucky, this are exactly the ingredients that i have with me !









In the morning i can notice the difference between my hostel ( The 1000 Camel) and the Meridien a 5 star hotel alongside of mine.





this is the little street that divide a 20$ (13,8 €) room from a 400$ ( 277 €) room



Wednesday 9 of September i woke up early to be at 9.00 am to the embassy...not a lot of people just me


i explane my problem: on 12 start the turkmenistan visa, so the best thing is obtain the kazakhstan visa on 11 and in the afternoon take the ferry.

Baku is a nice city in that live the 20% of the population of Azerbaijan: starving the rest of 80% is not difficult keep nice and clean one city














In the tourist office an employee explained to me where was the port authorities and i knew that ferry in russian is paron. Before to go to the port i went in place full of tires shops and mechanical workshop, to search oil for my engine. It was around 1.00 pm so i decided to have a lunch and i went in a little restaurant, full of workers







after the lunch the owner of a spare parts shops that had seen my bike outside the restaurant, invited me to take a tee





In the afternoon tourist tour in Baku: the italian embassy









this is the most famous monument in Baku the Maiden Tower ( about XII century)









7.00 pm back in the hostel, and the owner of the hostel said i have to taste the azerbaijan typical food



after in the room arrived an iranian student



a girl and a guy from Germany : she arrived from Germany and him from Uzbekistan. They are at the same university. A guy from Camerun: working in a bank he is a member of the National team of fencing . For this reason he was travelling with his sword: sometimes during the trip he took part in some competitions with his team. The last to arrive was a guy from Romania.
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Old 12-27-2009, 04:56 PM   #13
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Laugh

Maurizio - I really enjoyed the pictures and the details of your trip. Really looking forward to reading more! Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:18 PM   #14
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Great ride report. Just picked up a DR350 for my wife and found I liked it better than my DR650. Thanks for sharing! Subscribing now!
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:46 AM   #15
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Hi momi20

Please write more info! Congratulations on the tour, very nice pictures



More, more, more, please
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