|01-02-2010, 10:08 AM||#46|
Joined: Aug 2008
The owner told me that here is possible eat and sleep. ďHow much does it costs- i ask- sleep and eat ?Ē ďNot a lotĒ is the answer...mhh not a lot sounds good. To sleep is available a bed in a room with a bus driver that works here. Itís ok
for dinner thereís the plov (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilaf)
some picture with the sunset...not very professional
This is the owner: this place is a bar/restaurant and even bus station and garage
this three young guys were working for him and they have slept with me and the bus driver.
17th September i wake up very early
even here in Jasliq there arenít gas station but i could buy gas here in my hotel
on the road again
the border Uzbekistan/Kazahkstan is closed: lunch break. I have bread and water, but these drivers offered to me a sandwich with meat
from here to Beyneu there are about 80 km ( 49 miles) of a not paved road: itís a track of red ground that with the rain became very slippery.
Ok i didnít cross mysterious and unknow places, but i was very happy near the signal of Beyneu
I meet again Andrew the Bielorussian student
In the late afternoon i reached Makat : this hotel looks good
the room is 10$ ( 6,9 Ä) plus 2$ ( 1,3 Ä9 for the shower, a wooden cabin with a cistern water above..the owner advise me to turn off the water when i soap myself
For dinner soup bread coffee and biscuits.
my bedroom buddies
we watched a dvd
yes the last James Bond: russian language plus kazahkstan subtitles .
Atyrau, i take a rest to take a coffee and study the route, but reading my guide i have read of a special big bridge that ideally divide Asia from Europa
Here iím in Asia
in the middle
here iím in Europe
itís lunch time and for this special moment i decided to open the luncheon meat that i had bought in Turkmenistan
an orthodox church
grocery shopping and even here the Viola cheese: i bought it
now i have gone towards the border, the city of Astrakan is my target
the border with Russia is too far, the sky begin to grown dark, and start to rain. I have seen a motel, but come on now is just 5.00 pm. Around 7.00 pm i reached a little city and was still raining: is better search a motel, but in the city there arenít motels. In a bar a guy suggested to try in a big house, that looked like an hospital. An old women came at he door and with my little russian and some gestures i was able to let understand i needed a bed and that i was alone. Da (yes) she told me, but before ectь (eat)...slowly i began to understand: it wasnít a hospital, but a site of the KazMunaiGas Exploration Production, the 2nd largest Kazakh oil producing company in 2008 (http://www.kmgep.kz/eng)
dinner in the canteen of the company
the rooms: clean and wide. After a shower the workers were interested to my travel so i have taken my maps
the young one is an engineer
in the room one of the workers have explained his life. He works for 9 hours a day for 14 consecutive days. After he can come back home to his family, where he works as truck driver, go to do grocery shopping, paints home, play with children...ok he can relax when heís working here !
Morning the breakfast
the Russian border
easy i think : no. They ask to me the Russian insurance for my bike: i have never heard of that in my 2008 trip. Here iíve got to do: one hours and half of documents and queue
After have crossed the border i asked to some truck driver information about roads and so to reach Rostov i decided i would follow the yellow itinerary and not the normal route Astrakan-Volvograd-Rostov
a wedding in Astrakan: the bridegroom has to work to fix his padlock
not bad this hotel
this drivers offered to me the dry fish: iíve never tested it
i also stopped to ask information for gas to this two truck drivers: the next gas station is in 60 km ( 37 miles). The driver with grey hairs was very nice and gave to me water and apples and told that going to Rostov was a great idea: for monuments ? No because the girls in Rostov have big tits !!
In the evening i arrived in Jascul and the lack of little dollar bills begin to be a problem. Iím out of rouble and i remained just with one 10$ bill: the 100$ dollar bills are to big to change in shops or motels. Is Saturday, so tomorrow even in Elista bank will be close, but probably will be possible find some bancomat. Iím lucky, the room (4 people) is just 8 $
I pay and i ask to can have 2$ back in roubles. Iíve got enough gas to reach Elitsa tomorrow: i donít need to buy food: in my bags there are water, bread, biscuits and apples.
In the room iím with a man and his little son, 4 years old. The kid is very vivacious and smart...a little Denis the Menace
Father and son are in the same bed and they begin to eat: me too. The father wants to speak with me, but with my little russian and the fact he doesnít know english is really hard understand each other. Could be so: father and son were travelling with a car of a friend to come back in Turkmenistan, but the car had have a crash. Now they are using a bus. The mother ? Divorced because he went to jail for 8 years ( drug trafficking) ...mhh not bad.
On the bed near mine i had put some clothes and the helmet. Suddenly the kid jumped from his bed over the other. Immediately the father woke up, grabbing the son and hitting him on the head with knuckles , in a hard way.
I tried to say something, waving my hands in the sense of ďIt doesnít matter ď. Kid begin to cry and the father put him behind his back. After a while a friend of the father came in the room and the two men began to drink. Now the kid was quiet and had begun to kiss and hug the father.
The man was even quiet and told to his son to show to his friend how good he was in dance. This was the scene: the father was waving hands and the kid was twirling...like a trained bear: disgusting but he stopped to cry.
Suddenly the kid went to my bed smiling and grabbing my blanket: big mistake. The father waked up and hit again the kid on the head. As before he put the little on the bed, behind his back. I just could say please in Russian: what else ? Fight with him and the friend ? Go down to the reception and ask to call the police ? This men was a very bad father, but probably the only person for the kid. The thing i will never forget is the singsong that the father had been singing every time he threw the kid behind him. Looking the kid he said ďBye bye baby...bye bye babyĒ. After began to drink again with his friend. Finally the kid began to sleep: ok now was safe until the next morning.
The man on right is the father
On the morning a nice surprise: i find a 20$ bill, easier to change than the 100$ bill. A maid told to visit in Elitsa The Big Budda: whatís that ? Illísee.
In a bar a guy exchanged my 20 $ bill
In Elista i discover that the Big Budda is Tibet Monastery: incredible.
next city is Zimoyniki and a very nice driver put me on the right way. While i was waving him a woman had approached to me. She asked if i could undestand German: she was a German language teacher in school trip with others teachers and students. Their bus was across the street with an engine problem. The teacher invited me to get on the bus to speak to the students about my journey
again the rain
in Rostovskaia i found a motel: 15$ the room. Ok i paid with my 20$ bill and took the change (5$) in roubles. Itís better save the money for the gas tomorrow: to eat rice and beans will be fine.
the owners are really nice
On the next morning they offered to me the breakfast
|01-02-2010, 11:55 AM||#47|
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: 16 kilůmetros al norte de Ńfrica
[quote=momi20]Today is the 14th of September, me and Ed go together to the bazar: Ed need to change money and find a bus or shared taxi to reach Keneurghench the border point in the north with Uzbekistan: itís my same destination. Before the bazar we have gone to the National Institute for Culture: how you can see they sell just one book, translated in many languages: the ďRuhnamaĒ a book that explain the philosophy and vision of the world of the former President of TurkmenistanNyżazow (the man of the golden statue !)...insane...frenzied
How many did you buy?
Me encanta este reportaje
|01-02-2010, 12:24 PM||#48|
Joined: Aug 2008
|01-03-2010, 10:12 AM||#49|
Joined: Aug 2008
Iím in Rostov
Around the main church of Rostov thereís the market street
what do you think about this picture ?
In the afternoon iím at the border with Ukraine and after attended to custom procedure i have exchanged $ to Ukraine gravnia. I donít have a fixed destination: i just want keep the Odessa direction. After one hour i felt something was going wrong. I was travelling on the hills, but in theory i should have the Black Sea on my left. In a gas station a man explained to me that i was travelling along the road between the hills, little bit longer than along the Black Sea. Coming back i would find again the M23: i decided to go forward and after Berdjansk i have found again the M23.
I sleep near Melitopol
Today is the 22th of September and i decided to try to use my bancomat in the first city
A not damaged statue of Lenin
ok is time to use my bancomat
and it didnít work. Inside the bank they tried to help me, but the card is out. I just can change my $: is 22 and i have 350$ cash ( 244 Ä). What happened ? I send a sms to my brother in Italy and continue to drive to Odessa.
A couple travelling on a Honda Goldwing told me that a good spot in Odessa is the hotel Dom Pavlov and that very close to the hotel would take place a big bikers meeting: The 2009 Goblin Show (http://www.goblinshow.com/)
When i was taking a coffee in Odessa i have met this Ukrainian guys that had worked in italy for a lot of years
The entry of the Dom Pavlov is really tailor-made for bikers
the cheapest room is 20$ and has sea view, television and fridge
for sure no rats: the hotel is full of cats
i divide with them a can of meat
the couple of the Goldwing , Tomac and Jnna: i have spoken with them of my bancomat problem. Due the fact i had lost my credit card and i had told i was going to eat in the room they was thinking i was out of money.
Tomac and Jnna invite me to eat as guest in their room: no excuse !
my Suzuki is very little near those big motorbike
In the morning i woke up very early
iíd like to see the harbour of Odessa itís famous
This zone of companies is forbidden to the tourists
, but a screw of a shipping company have written the Russian translation for Boarding Passengers and i found it
just in front of the boarding passengers thereís a huge staircase
back in the hotel Tomac and Jnna told me this morning to go to their room for breakfast. The hotel really looks like Las Vegas style or Graceland, the Elvis Presleyís house in Memphis
breakfast: if you are travelling and something wrong happen you would meet people like Tomac and Jnna. Not a lot of questions: they just saw somebody that probably had needed help.
back again in the Odessa downtown and i took a picture of this statue
the normal former USSR statue..yes..but look at the name: Potemkin !!! The movie ďThe Battleship PotemkinĒ ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0015648/ ) Now i could connect everything: the big staircase in front of the port was used by the director Eisenstein in 1925 for the famous scene where the soldiers, were going down shooting on the people. Unforgettable the moment when a mother was killed and her baby buggy, with the baby inside, had begun to fall along the staircase.
here you can see the moment in that the baby buggy was going down
Ok a little break to explain a very particular connection with this movie and Italian people. Everybody in Italy knows this movie, believe me, everybody. The reason isnít that Italian people have seen the Eisensteinís movie, but the comic italian movie ďFantozziĒ. Fantozzi is the surname of a very anonymous employee ( an accountant), with a wife and a daughter...a very bad-looking girl: in the italian movie the role was played by a man !
The first movie made in 1975, was based on the books that the comic Paolo Villaggio had wrote . For the main character of the movie, the accountant Ugo Fantozzi, the same Paolo Villaggio had interpreted him.
Is the story of the life this employee, but in fact is a great lampoon of my country: oppressive managers, idle employees, reccomendations ecc..
Above Fantozzi therís a manager fanatic of old movies and once a week, after dinner, he force the employees to come in the firm to watch an old film with the entire family. After the movie the employees must remain to discuss the movie.
Ok on day on tv therís a big soccer match Italy-England. The entire Fantozzi family is ready to watch the game ( like the most of the people in Italy)... but suddenly the phone ring....is the manager. The employees of the department of Fantozzi must immediately go to the firm to watch an historical movie. Ok the movie, obviously is...ĒThe Battleship PotemkinĒ. Before to go in to the movie theatre the employees had been frisked to find little radios or mini televisions. At the end of the movie Fantozzi is called from the manager on the stage to speak about the movie. In that moment Fantozzi has a moment of rebellion and declare in front of his associates ď In my opinion ďThe Battleship PotemkinĒ is a big bullshit!!Ē. After the employees mutiny and force the manager to watch silly movies all night long. In the days after the manager will have his revenge. Once a week the employees were going to recreate the scene of the big staircase. Fantozzi was going to be the baby in the baby buggy.
Here you can see the ďdramaticĒ moment of the rebellion of Fantozzi
From the 1976 for every Italian ď The Battleship PotemkinĒ was going to be synonym of a very boring thing ( movie, book ecc..)
I absolutely need of a picture of myself with the staircase back...but a young mother not only helped me to take the picture, but also has given to me her baby and the baby buggy. One of the best pictures of the travel !!!
|01-03-2010, 04:01 PM||#50|
Joined: May 2006
Location: SF Bay Area and Las Cruces, NM
We stayed at that big green hotel in Astrakhan in August. It was really nice. The two towers were unfinished, not even floor slabs, so the only working part of the hotel is the center section.
Restaurant was good. There was a bunch of oil field workers from Louisiana, USA staying there. They would take a van each day to the work site on the Caspian Sea.
It was nice sitting by the river drinking wine.
We went over that floating bridge, too. It was a toll bridge!
|01-03-2010, 08:19 PM||#51|
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: N.E. Ga. USA
Great stuff. Keep up the great riding, pictures and narration!
Places visited on two- http://s563.photobucket.com/albums/s...0two%20wheels/
Endeavor to Persevere
Blue Skies Coming
|01-05-2010, 02:00 AM||#52|
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Dalaman, Turkey
Discovered your thread yesterday and was amazed at your achievement Fantastic so far and you've proved you don't need an expensive R1200GS to accomplish a trip like this.
|01-05-2010, 03:56 PM||#54|
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Warsaw, Poland
This is so cool to look at and read. Very, very impressive, dude!
"Tell them we were doing our job" - Norman Stansfield
|01-06-2010, 11:04 AM||#55|
Joined: Aug 2008
Hy my friends: thanks to everibody for find time to read my report ...next will be the last "episode"...is not easy for me translate (more or less) the report.
Thanks for compliments
This girl asked to me to take a picture with me and the bike, she had seen the writes on the tank of my bike. She speaks english very good and her boyfriend take the picture.
I was moving the bike when i have noted that she was going down the staircase and the guy in the opposite direction towards the centre of the city...so it wasnít her boyfriend. I was looking at her that suddenly rolled smiling and cheering me.
Ok in one minute (or less) i was down to the staircase with the bike, (i used the street !!) and i offered my self as driver. Her name is Natassia (Bielorussian) and she was in Odessa looking for some job: sheíd like to can work for a nautical company. She speaks fluently 3 languages and a not bad italian. Natassia is a traveler: she told me that in the previous year she had gone to Beijing (China) alone: just a book guide and a rucksack, without plan nothing. Incredible.
Is very rare find an italian girl able to travel herself in foreign countries.
We have visited the harbour zone and after i have brought her to the train station
Back in the hotel i finish to put luggage on my DR and finally have started to reach Chisanu (Moldavia): is dark and iím late on my planning schedule...but i really canít imagine a better reason than Natassia to have lost some hour.
Two bikers have told me to avoid the region of Trasnistria to reach Chisanu: this is a region that in 1990 declared itself independent from Moldova ( that had declared independent from USSR). A little war happened between this two places, but in Trasnistria there was the 14th army of USSR and so Moldova had to accept this newĒstateĒ.
Is just a little region that now is one of the most important point in the world where you can smuggle weapons (guns, tanks, guided missiles ecc..). This ďstateĒ isnít recognized from ONU but still has his borders and money. If you want to transit you have to pay money to border, police ecc... so better avoid
On the first gas station i think is better fill up in the bike and even my little plastic tank, but when i showed them to the man of gas station he has begun to yell in russian ďNiet kanistra...niet kanistraĒ ( No petrol can...no petrol can). In Ukraine is forbidden to full petrol can at gas station: i didnít know.
Ok ,after i have paid again on my bike...but after 2 miles the engine begin to go slowly and ďrumbleĒ,,,what happened ? You know: as a mechanic iím =0. I just could raise up the minimum of the rounds of the engine and i have tried to come back to the hotel.
Heroic act of my Suzuki: she carried me back to the Dom Pavlov and like a wounded horse had turned off right to the entry !!!!
Ok therís a room ? For this night just the expansive room is available and iím still with 350$ cash ( more or less).
Ok for this night iíll can sleep in the green area of the bike meeting , the GoblinShow: put the tent is free. No problem to leave the bike inside the hotel that is connected with the field of GoblinShow with a little door...but is late, around 11.00 pm and i really donít want pitch out the tent.
Come on Momi,how many times have you slept under the stars ? The last one was in Turkemnistan: ok in Odessa is a little bit colder..but
First isolate you and your sleeping-bag from the ground: normally the paperboard is an excellent solution
Second find something to use as a protection against wind and rain
iím sleeping when around 2.00 am have arrived boys and girls, friends of a young boy from Israel that was working at the GoblinShow as mechanic
Today is the 24th , Tuesday, and i woke up early ( it happen when you are sleeping under the stars) . A 20$ room is available today . Tomac have helped me to try to understand what happened to my bike. We ...( ok Tomac, i have been just the assistant) have worked for 2 hours, disassembling and reassembling my DR. The bike looks like a dead horse. Maybe i will need money for some spare part: the fastest way is by Western Union: remember ? Credit card lost in Turkmenistan and cash card blocked ! With 350$ and 8 days of travel is sure possible come back in Italy, but repair the bike, i didnít know. So i have sent an sms to my brother to organize a money transfer of 500$ in Odessa. But something amazing happened: a Russian biker went to me telling that the bikers in the hotel had heard of my troubles and so ( without know me ) they had passed the hat each other ...he was offering to me money cause ď Sometime if you are a biker you can need helpĒ he told. This things canít happen between car drivers.
I canít take the money and i explained to him that i have cash and in a few hours 500 $ was going available in Western Union: Tomac didntít trust me and have told to show my cash: incredible and unforgettable friend. After a while i have persuaded the bikers i was fine. Tomac has told that in the afternoon would arrive a very good mechanic: ďJust looking at the bike he can repair itĒ has told Tomac. Ok: my schedule was changing to remain for the days of the meeting , the Goblin Show.
In the afternoon, after i had received the Western Union code by sms, Tomac brought me to an WU office with his Gold Wing: what a bike ! Really close to a couch.
Now iíve got my money , just wait for the mechanic: i can spend some time looking preparations for the show, that would start next day, Friday
The pass for the show ( a blue plastic bracelet ), for three days was something like 10$, but at the moment of registration they asked me where i was from. Nobody had done more miles than me to reach the Goblin show: 4970miles (8000 km).
In the late afternoon finally arrived the mechanic and i told me ďNiet problemĒ (no problem) : tomorrow morning he was coming with his little truck. Little problem, he was repairing the bike at the hotel, instead he was going to bring my bike to his factory: ok great ! Now i can take a shower and after spent the night in the hotel with the bikers...what do you think could do a big bunch of bikers in free time ? Not difficult answer
Itís one o clock in the night and i was elected honorary members of a Russian Motorcycle Club: i canít remember the name, sorry
two o clock
Friday 25th September, i donít know why but i wake up with a little headache. 9.30 am and i was looking around for my mechanic. Around 10.30 a biker told that i saw my mechanic around 4.30 am, completely drunk under a table: ok he will be late for sure. Around 12.00 am i saw him near my bike: simple problem, at the gas station they had filled up my tank with diesel !!!!!!!!!!!!. While Tomac and mechanic was cleaning the tank of my bike i went to buy benzin and after the DR starts immediately
Now is enough assemble tank and saddle: iíll do myself...now iím ďexpertĒ. Iíve changed (again) my schedule: no more Chisanu (Moldova). I prefer remain here in Odessa for the weekend and start Sunday to Italy, crossing Romania and Hungary. I just was paying attention to alcoholic drinks.
Saturday morning there are a lot of motorcycles in the hotel
ok my Suzuki is very little but who cares ?
after i have gone to the Odessa promenade
really nice Odessa
now was time to come back at the Dom Pavlov: i had to prepare luggage and bike.
Sunday 27th of September: iíve travelled on the E87 to reach Galati in Romania
a nice stop in a little town Bilolissia (Білолісся)
it was an orthodox church service at the roadside
The border is something of very strange. First at a road-block an Ukraine military has given to me a ticket, but this wasínt the border. Should be a part of territory in that Moldova, Ukraine and Trasnistria are very close. I donít now, but iíve reached this signal without crossing any border point.
After a while a border point: before check of Moldova custom and after Ucraine custom and after half mile the Romanian custom !
It was going dark and i begun to look for some accomodation. The medium price for a single room in a Pensiunea ( cheap hotel) is around 80 Lei = 27$ ( 18 Ä). In Tecuci i had to stop: just a three star hotel: ohh my good ! The room was 160 Lei: too expansive for me, but the owner have offered a little room for 80 Lei: ok
two pictures in the morning
and on the road again, is the 28th of September
Iíve had a stop at this bike shop to pump up tyres, and the owner was able to speak a good italian: he had worked for three years in my country.
this my route to Oradea
In the afternoon i have reached Cluj Napoca, but here even the penisiunea are expensive: over 80 Lei. Ok iíve got the money, but iíd like to fulfil my budget, that now is around 280 $ ( plus the 500$ that my brother has sent by Western Union). After another OMB hotel ( Over My Budget), iíve seen a penisiunea with a very strange neon sign: near the name there was a green cross
Inside the building a man has showed to go inside a little clothes shop and a women has told that was possible to have a room: 45 Lei = 15$ ( 10Ä)...itís my room !!!
This is a very particular place. Is the Daniel Center ( take a look, is really intresting http://www.blythswood.org/?id=22 , a no profit project of Blythswood Care a scottish organization ( i think) that in Cluj Napoca helps youngs to study and find a job: the age of the guest is from 14 to 18 years. For the time necessary they live in this building, doing every housework, studying and getting knoweledge of a job. When ready theyíve got to come back in the normal life, but for a period of time theyíve got to continue to help the Daniel Center. One of the coordinator has told that ď Our best achievement is when a young is able to leave this center and live is lifeĒ. Iím really happy: my money will help the center.
The roo m is fantastic: wooden made, cosy and warm.
Before to take a shower...my bike: check oil and spray to the chain. Is around 8.00 pm. And 3 km (1,86 miles) far from the Damiel Center therís a supermarket. I can check my shape going by foot.
after the dinner, due the reason the wireless was working excellent, i have used internet and after ...sleep.
Tuesday 29th of September: breakfast
i have started to prepare the bike surronded by a bunch of bounching babies. They are childrens of a New Zelander couple and they was working in another no-profit project in another city. They had come in Cluj Napoca becouse the wife was pregnant and tha hospital in Cluj-Napoca was equiped for the childbirth. I have seen the newborn last night.....it was the fifth for this incredible couple. More or less this is their biography. They had lived in South Africa, England Italy (for 6 month) always working, travelling and this while the family was increasing in number of members: amazing.
Is not easy travel with a bike....but with 5 childrens: i still canít believe it. The wife has told to me that after two years in London she had told to his houseband that it was going boring remain in the same place...so they had moved to Italy and after to South Africa ( i hope to can remember right) !!!!
in this picture you can see all the family (without the newborn) the grandmother of the wife ( i think) : she went in Cluj-Napoca (from New Zealand ) to assist the daughter during the childbirth
|01-06-2010, 03:12 PM||#56|
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Galicia, Spain. Exiled in Madrid.
Ciao Momi, thanks for your nice report!!, It certainly is a great story. The first time I saw it, I thought it was the one you wrote about your trip in 2008, but when i saw more posts I realized it was a new one.
Now I would like to hear your advice on one subject: I am thinking of a trip around the Black Sea this summer, as I donīt have many holidays I have to choose where to spend more time and where to "fly" past, so what did you like most around the Black Sea??. My first idea was to take it easier in Ucraina (Crimea) and Georgia...what do you think? Also how is the road between Istambul and Trebisonda, you did it in one day, right?.
Thanks again and feel free to answer in italian if english is too much work.
|01-06-2010, 11:21 PM||#58|
Joined: Aug 2008
In the north of Georgia you can have problems in the autonomus region of Abkhazia.
I don't have informations about trains or buses from Georgia to Ukraina.
When i have crossed the border from Turkey and Georgia the Georgian cities on the Black Sea were organized for beach holidays. People are walking in swim-suit, beaches with beach umbrellass ecc... Moreover, with some km you can reach wonderfol mountains.
I have started from Instanbul in the afternoon, driven for almost 300 km, slept in Gerede and day after i reached Trabzon. Street is ok.
|01-08-2010, 01:18 PM||#60|
Bike & Beer
Joined: Nov 2009
Thank you Momi, that's real adventure !!! congratulation
One day, I will start with russia, Samarcande is a dream.
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