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Old 12-28-2009, 06:05 AM   #16
achesley
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Location: Jennings, Louisiana
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Loved your last trip report and looking forward to this one also. Thanks for all the work of sharing. Don't worry about the English. Us people here in South Louisiana don't do that too good either. My mom's family came from Nice, Italy many years back so I reckon that's a good reason.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:48 AM   #17
rusty james
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I'm in

Looks Great!

I'm in.

oddly enugh, me & the wife are currently looking to buy one
a DR 350, that is..

have a good one & keep'm cooming..
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:25 AM   #18
GB
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Maurizio, amazing travel journal and pics!! Really enjoying your report

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Old 12-28-2009, 09:57 AM   #19
achesley
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Wow! Over 600 miles in one day on the DR650 with that stock seat?
My hat is off to you. Best I ever did on mine with a corbin flattop seat was about 520 miles and that was about 10 or 11 years back when I was in my much younger 50's .
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:26 AM   #20
Thorne
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nice RR..........
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:17 PM   #21
egret
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Excelent previous report ,same with the new one . Bravo Momi
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:50 PM   #22
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You are a legend, you do it in style!!! Who needs a fancy machine when a small one is more than enough???
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:36 AM   #23
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3rd episode

This morning i take my motorcycle to come back in the zone near the kazahkstan embassy: the employee of tourist office told me that in this zone i was found engine oil for my bike. In this zone i saw just car dealers and so i stopped to a Mercedes-Benz shop, thinking could be possible find somebody able to speak english.
Yes there was and her name is Nurana, i explain to she what i was searching



She was very nice and with her fellow employee take me to a Yamaha shop wher i found oil for engine and spray for chain



Is almost midday and when we came back to the Mercedes-Benz shop they invited me to have a lunch: there is a back-room fitted as kitchen



Even here the global crisis has damaged the economy: Nurana tell to me that at the moment is good if the shop is able to sell a car in a month. When is around 3.00 pm i greet everybody and drive to the kazhakstan embassy...tragedy !!!!!!!!!!!!! No answer from the Minister of Foreign Affairs: maybe tomorrow, but tomorrow is the 11, and i’ve got to take the ferry.
Ok i just can go to the harbour to take informations about ferry timetable. On internet and especially on the Lonely Planet Forum i have read a lot of scary story about the “ unknow and mysterious” ferry to Turkmenbashi.....no timetable, often no place in the passenger cabins (and you’ve got to sleep on the poop deck), no food, no drink: a hell-like journey. C’mon Momi: i have gone to the harbour and at the end of a little street there was a door ( a customs officer told me ). Inside with some word in russian and some in english two men tell to me that tomorrow the ferry would leave at 4.00 pm. Price for me and motorcycle 210 $ ( 146 €) : no reservation is necessary and no pay in advance. That’s all. After i have gone to the custom office: the visa transit for my bike was just for three days. An official said “ Ok the visa for the bike is off tonight, but is the same if you tomorrow in the mornig before 09.00 am come here with the bike, we will gather all necessary papers and you can leave the bike here”.
07.00 pm: back in the hostel and again onion+rice. The german girl offer to me some spices and i offer to she my rice.



her friend comes back in the hostel with a typical Georgian Pizza..i’ve never seen before



Ed ( the english guy) is really happy: he got his turkmenistan visa !
Friday morning 11th of September: first thing bring the bike to custom office




Back to the ferry office: my passport is to the kazahkstan embassy, impossible prepare my ticket. No problem tell to me an official: i can go to the embassy and do eveything after. With a taxi i reach the embassy...still no answer. I explain my problem: 4.00 pm the ferry, my turkmenistan visa start tomorrow. Is a big problem for me stay another day in Baku. Amazing, after just 20 minutes the employee come with the kazahkstan visa on my passport . The Minister of Foreign Affairs hasn’t answered yet, but on his own responsibility he’s giving to me the visa: he’s confident in a positive answer from Kazahkstan...incredible !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Back to the harbour ther’s no problem with the ferry ticket...obvious: the normal price is 30$ and i’m going to pay 100$ (plus 110 $ for the bike)...somebody is taking extra “benefit”...i’m a tourist.

On the ferry



5$ to fasten the bike



i ear the voice of Ed “ Maurizio...Maurizio” great we will travel together





can you imagine something better than have a beer with a friend before the departure ?




i’m in the same cabin of Ed



now is possible begin to explore the ferry...is my first trip on the sea and so i decide to take a very special photo: you see ?




The only difference is that there isn’t Di Caprio behind me ( i’m lucky) however at the time i didn’t see Titanic: i had gone to see “Godzilla”. Really the big monster is an actor more expressive than Di Caprio









Dinner with water orange juice bread and some cheese and sleep.

Morning is 12th Sunday and i woked up early. I went to the prow and i had stayed for two hours, just looking at the horizon. When i turn around the captain invite me to take a tea





i ask information about the exchange rate : 1 Malnat (Turkmenistan)=2.6 $: in these countries always ask for the rate. Sometimes could be good change money in the street market, sometimes in the bank. For example in Uzbekistan the official exchange rate is 1$=1500 sum, but in the market is 1$= 1900 sum.

Around 11.00 am is possible to see the Turkmenistan coast, but the ferry begin to go very slow...very very slow and i notice some sailors that start to paint the ship







you don’t start a job like that if you don’t have time to finish it: after 9 hours we put into port of Turkmenbashi



and now i’ve got to face the standard operating procedure of the Turkmenistan border. It’s very hard describe how complicate, frustrating and long was it. I had prepared my mind:” Ok Momi- i had said to myself- always think to be in an Italian public office, asking for some document”
The bureaucracy is really strong if a country is ran by a dictatorship, but even the Italian Traditional Bureaucracy is not so easy to face.
Ok let’s go. First step declare the route you are going to do in Turkmenistan: mine is Turkmenbashi—Ashgabat—Keneurghench to reach Uzbekistan. After will be not possible to change it.
Second office: passport, bike documents, visa
Third office : tax of 80$ for bike insurance. Here they gave me a form: compile and go in another building that act as bank, pay and come back with the receipt in the third office. Another tax of 5 $ ( maybe residence permit): same procedure in the same way of the bike insurance. This time i miss the right corridor and i went in a empty kitchen: nobody. After back in the office with the receipt. There are other two office i’ve never been go. Obviously i’ve got to go: declare the route (again), check passport and documents, photocopy passport and visa (two times). Now is around 11.00 pm...and my bike ? Do they don’t check it ? What do you think ? Go outside, open the lateral bag and explain everything:

Customs officer -What’s that ?
Momi - A flashlight
Customs officer -What is it for ?
Momi- To see in the dark
Customs officer –What’s that ?
Momi- A little blazer ?
Customs officer -What is it for ?
Momi- To cook some food
Customs officer –Where are you going ?
Momi- Uzbekistan
Customs officer –Why
Momi- Tourism

Ok i think you would have understood: after the first hour it’s funny. At the end even the bike is good, but....is necessary any document ? Obviously yes: just three offices and everything is ok . It is around 0.45 am: not even 5 hours to finisch with the Turkmenistan custom, me and the bike: not bad.
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:11 AM   #24
Off Limits
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nice report.keep it coming
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:17 AM   #25
Questor
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Excellent Ride Report.

I really enjoyed the pictues, and the way you set up your bike.

The 3D mapping computer is an excellent idea.

Q~
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Old 12-29-2009, 11:18 AM   #26
Eric D
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Hi, Maurizio !

Your aren't Iron Butt, Your are Steel Butt!
I remember your previous trip, new adventure is amazing too!
Bravo,
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:21 PM   #27
momi20 OP
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3rd episode -part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric D
Hi, Maurizio !

Your aren't Iron Butt, Your are Steel Butt!
I remember your previous trip, new adventure is amazing too!
Bravo,
Thanks to you and everybody for congratulations and for tolerate my english

If you have time please use the private messages to write to me corrections and suggestions especially on the use of simple past, present perfect, present perfect continuous, future in the past ecc...
Every help will be appreciated

A taxi driver told to me and Ed that best choice was going to sleep in the building of custom. The hotel in Turkmenbashi are really expansive (50 $ =34 €) and police allow people to remain for the night. A friend of the driver is able to change Dollars in Malnat and so each of us change 50 $. Now for me and Ed is necessary eat. Outside i can prepare some rice, but is very late and everybody is sleeping so i decide to come back in the kitchen near the office that works as a bank. Nobody inside, but i found some bread. Now the lunch is perfect rice and bread



2.00 am this place is perfect to sleep



Sunday 13th september: Ed walks to Turkmenbashi to find a bus or a shared taxi to reach the capital Ashgabat and i start with the bike in the same direction. We will tray to meet again using sms in Ashgabat





my first dromedaries



this men are going to bring dromedaries to the bazar



along the road i notice a water fountain outside a house: i ask for some water but they invited me to take a rest and eat: the melon was delicious





Since my start in Turkmenbashi i had noted this special cars. Ashgabat was the last stage of the Silk Road Rally 2009,a race started in Kazahkstan




this is the support team of the Polish car: they offered to me a Red Bull









In every city there is a crowd of students with teachers that were greeting, every car or truck...even me. It wasn’t natural: every crowd was well-organized...like demonstrations in China, Iran, Tibet, Cuba, North Corea ecc... After the last of the cars was going the president Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow and so is necessary show to the world how much the population love her president








in the late afternoon i arrive in Ashgabat and the big avenue bring me exactly at the statue of the former president of this country: Nyýazow. Every dictator of every century has built his own personality cult...but Nyýazow was the Number 1. The statue is golden covered and during the day turn following the sun with the arms: frenzied !!!

Please take some minutes to read
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saparmyrat_Ny%C3%BDazow












My hotel is the same of Ed, but at the moment he was around the city single room 20$ ( 14€) the front of the Hotel is impressive




the 20$ room is...in fact a 20$ room








I take a shower, put the luggage in the room and after i go around the city




In the zone of the five stars hotel ( not mine), suddenly i see Ed, so he suggests to go in a pub recommended in the Lonely Planet to drink a beer. Cheap travel disagrees with this kind of places....15$ for a beer and we had to pay even for nuts and popcorn. It was possible understand the price level looking at the difference of age between clients and the young girls that are sitting at the table: father and daughter
One of these daughters went to the counter and remained to speak a little with me and Ed




after i have taken Ed in hotel with my bike.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:25 PM   #28
IdeaWife
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Great report and pics! Don't worry about the english, you are doing fine.

I especially like the Titanic picture

You are much cuter than Leo though

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Old 12-29-2009, 06:27 PM   #29
fuggy
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Never before have a seen a DR 350 on this site used to it's full potential until now.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:50 PM   #30
khpossum
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Hey Momi, nice report. Do I understand there were some who got a Turkmenistan transit visit in Baku. Is there a Turkmenistan consulate / embassy in Baku to get a transit visit right there? We'll be there next spring, so I am very intersted in your experiences.

KP
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