|02-08-2010, 09:24 AM||#1|
Joined: May 2008
To the East.. (a visual feast.. lots of "exotic" pics)
I am on the road for some time and i want to share with you this journey of mine. I already did some part of it but as you judge, it is not
an easy thing to prepare a nice report when you are on the road. I will try to update it time to time.
I started planning to go far on motorbike about 1 year ago. It was just after reading some ride reports,especially 3 crazy Polish guy's. Than
sleepless nights. The plan was to go East. The bike i am riding maybe not the best and most reliable bike for a big trip like this but it is
so fun to ride for me and i decided to go on it. When you compare it with a KLR it is more complicated and could be a pain in the ass to deal
problems in remote areas. But as i said,i take some risk and hoped some fun in return.I did some minor changes on the bike most of them are a
must. Not big ones.
Modifications i did on 990 Adv before the trip:
- Crappy 2006 slave cylinder gone and Evoluzione clutch slave cylinder installed.
- Lower footpegs installed for my 37 yo knees.
- One size smaller front sprocket-everybody should do.
- Handlebars raised 2 cm s.
- Fork bleeders installed.
- Crappy GPS adapter installed. It looks cool but i never use GPS. :)
- HP Gobi side cases. Happy with them but little bit wide.
- Pre Air filter for dusty places. It keeps my main filter clean for longer period.It is working well.
- 12 V outlet.
- KTM Tankbag modified for photo equipment. It is the best place for camera because sidebags vibrating as hell..
- Clutch changed at 28000.
- Stealth rear sprocket installed.
- And the most important is,windshield painted Orange. Yes,it is a little bit more faster now!
Other items i am carrying that i find very useful;
- Rotopax 1 gallon petrol containers installed to Gobi's. For this hungry beast they are a must.
- 2 different size RocStrapz. Perfect gear.
- A small netbook.
- 2 Transcend rugged external HD for photo and video storing.
- Water clarification tablets.
- A mosquito net.
- Etymotic Er6 isolated Earphones and an I-phone.
- I made some simple bags for crash bars and they are working well for chain spray,inner tubes,tyre levers and some tools.
Since the beginning we were planning this with Alper but during this preperation time he couldnt have manage to get Pakistan visa.So he decided to try to take the visa in Iran. We both knew that it is nearly impossible. So i mentally prepared myself to go alone after some stage.
The trip started at 18 th October 2009 from Istanbul. My riding buddy Alper was waiting for me at Ankara with his BMW F650 GS.
A couple hundred deads. This was only the starting.
I met with Alper 20 km's to Ankara and the team is complete now.
After 2 days of riding we managed to see Agri Mountain. Unfortunately the weather was too foggy and no good pictures of this highest mountain of Turkey. And my mind was too busy about passing Iranian side rather than take some photos.
We rode some little more and there was border town Dogubayazit. And the lovely Ishakpasa Castle.
We rode some little more and there was border town Dogubayazit. And the lovely Ishakpasa Castle.
It was badluck and the castle was closed that day of the week. We were little bit upset because this place is not a type of destination you can see anytime you want. Between Istanbul and there it is about 1600 kms.
After a short stop for Ishakpasa ve headed to border. And it was crazy crowded. But we find a man and for some money he took us and turbocharged our custom things. After a hour we were at Iranian side.
See you soon my beautiful country. (What a big lier i am!)
After passing the border,we met Austrian guy Gerd. He was heading to India with his Super Tenere but had some troubles. He was out of money at that time and had some problems about transferring money from his Austrian bank account. We gave him some money and that night we stayed at same hotel at Maku with him.
The day after we passed Tabriz,Ardabil,Sarab and reached Astaara. We stayed one night at Caspian Sea coast. But our dreams about eating some good caviar destroyed. Searched,searched,searched but we couldnt find no caviars to eat. It was strange. Or we were dumb. Dunno.
Early in the morning at Caspian Sea coast and we are trying to wake up.
On the way to Tehran we were stopped numerous times by people. And the classic conversation was like this;
- How much cc?
- One thousand
- Ooooo!! Hezar cc!!!
- Yes yes..Hezar cc..
- Which made?
- Austrian made..
- No no..Austrian made..
- Yes yes. Australian made..:)
About Iran traffic, it is really fast. Even some heavy trucks are going like 120 on the highways and no one wants to touch their brake pedals. So usually the traffic flows nice and smooth. But if there is one mistake,than no injuries but maybe 10 dead people.
We stayed one night in a pension out of Tehran and than moved..
Some fellas we met at a roadside restaurant. They offered us an unlimited amount of very nice tea and good chat. The chat was about the bikes of course.
Beautiful sand dunes of Iranian deserts.
Abandoned old buildings in desert.
Mysterious roads leading us to nowhere.
And finally we came Esfehan. And there we met 2 travellers with AT and KTM 950 Adv. And the rider of 950 was a swiss lady Nikki. A tiny girl with a big heart.
Later we also met with Michael from Germany andf his KLR 650. From left to right Roel-AT, Nikki-950, Michael-KLR and Alper..
My sexy animal and the old brother of her. And this crazy beast is obeying the tiny swiss girl Nikki..Respect!!
After a night at Esfehan we moved to Yazd.
Orient Hotel at Yazd. Beautiful place.
The famous eagle rock of Iran.The weather was really cold these days. I dont understand. We are in desert or not? :)
A cigarette just after a perfect... ride! :)
A crazy kebabmen using his own portrait as banner for his shop.
After having a giant kebab-like 50 cm long- it was not possible to ride my bike on straight and fast highways of Iran. So i decided to sleep on the road which always better than sleeping on a moving bike with 180 km/h. :)
Persepolis. One of the most famous ancient cities. Perfect place close to Shiraz. Must see..
After Shiraz we had to split with Alper because he hadnt got Pakistan visa. So for him this was returning point to home. And for me starting for a new adventure. I was being alone after that point. But i decided to go further weather i am alone or not. So i headed to the Pakistan
I headed to Kerman and i was really sick. I passed some high altitude roads and when i reach Kerman,i was kaput. I was dead sick. I couldnt have heard what people talking with me because of my clogged nose and ears. So i had to stay 3 days in Kerman. And this city was not beautiful believe me. No pictures about Kerman. But the mountains i passed were unbelievable. :)
After 3 days of recovering i was on the way to Bam. I passed perfect landscape for some time. It was perfect riding. And these mountains also.
Lets dont try it guys. You have no chance!
My room at Akbar's Guesthouse at Bam..
Luckily i met with Gerd again at Akbar's guesthouse. We were talked 1-2 times on phone when we travelling in Iran seperately but to seeing each other there was a total luck for both of us. So it was not so hard deciding to cross Pakistan together after 2 minutes talk! :)
Before crossing the border we stayed at Zahedan and i made a little periodic maintenance. The place was really boring and the owner of the place was given some orders by the escorts about not to let us cross the street by ourselves. So the best way to kill time was playing our mechanical toys. :)
The owner of the place with Gerd.
He was a charismatic guy.
Next day we reached Paki border with escorts. It was a very special ride to the border because the guys were crazy about our bikes. They stopped a civil car instead of taking a military one and they raced with us all the way through. And we covered a 25 km road in minutes. It was like 190 km/h sometimes with an escort car! This was my first impression about 'escorting'. Later in Pakistan i perfectly realized what the real escorting is.
After some customs torture,beautiful mountains of Pakistan hugged us..
Our brave and mean escorts!! Look at how innocense of these eyes. What a destiny of these poor people..
We managed to get in desert for some time but again escorts came and took our piece from us.
Endless Paki deserts.
And a wild animal in desert!
An Austrian man after one tough day..
For me, Pakistan was really bad. My stomich was fucked up just after we enter country. And it never got healed because the escorts didnt let us stop on the road sometimes even for eat something. I lost 6-7 kilograms in 1 week in Pakistan. We tried to escape and did it couple of times but after 10 km s or so another escort vehicle cut our way and than again and again. Because of following an escort car with 60-70 km/h,i met some big holes of Pakistan roads(because there is no time to react when you following a car. The bumbs and holes was appearing instantly) and my front rim became a nice piece of modern art. But maybe the worst was, i didnt took any good pictures or movies and totally missed this very beautiful geography. Every time i stop for some photos,big arguements we made with soldiers and usually it ended with no picture. This was a big big shame for me. :(
After Quetta,its been told us that the road between Quetta and Lahore is clean and safe. And next day we headed to this direction. After 300 km s we reached a town but the soldiers stopped us again and said that we cannot go further and we have to turn back. This was a big shock for us because we only need like 500 kilometers at that time to reach border. But if we turn back,we need to go South and the meaning of this was at least an extra 1500 kilometers. After 1 hour discussions about the safety of the guesthouse in town-because for them guesthouses were always not safe and they always want us to stay at Police Stations- we managed to reach the place. But still there was no peace. Every 15 minutes a different officer came and checked our passports. I was terribly sick and tired and there was still no piece and no sleep because of shitty passport controls. And finally i started to shout the next officer who knocked our door. For me it was bad luck because unfortunately that guy was the biggest officer in town. He started to shout me back immediately. I instantly realized and tried to speak more soft with him to ease things but the guy's English was so bad and he was misunderstanding all the things i was saying. At the same time Gerd tried to take some photos of that situation and 4 soldiers came in our room with guns in 2 seconds and the big officer attacked Gerd for taking his camera. And he didnt want to give it to the guy of course and it was a total chaos in our room.
The guy continously shouted to us next 10 minutes in the room. He saw my big camera and i was threatened by him about my camera also. In the end they left the room but our nerves was like guitar strings.
Before the chaos. A soldier trying to write our passport informations correct.
And just before the big arguement,another one trying to convince us to stay with us for our 'security'.
A dinner we eat with the soldiers of course. Security matters again. They were very nice though. They tried to pay the check everytime. Maybe because i was Turkish. They love Turks. At least they were saying like this. :)
So next day we turned back and reached Quetta again. It was like 500 km's for nothing. Than we headed South to Sukkur. And after Quetta we cannot escape escorts and they were with us all the way. Sometimes we waited 1.5 hours for them switching escort vehicles. It was really annoying but there was nothing to do.
On the way to Lahore Super Tenere's throttle cable got broked. We were planning to reach Lahore today. Shit!
While Gerd trying to fix this,the soldiers and i were smoking a joint in the car. :)
8th of November was the day for me. Previous night we said goodbye to each other with Gerd. He had no Paki visa and he had to go Islamabad. Its been told to me to be ready at 7 in the morning by the escorts. But i was prepared a surprise for them and at 6.15 i was on the bike! The best thing is,it was Sunday and i reached Lahore like 11.00 o'clock without getting cought any escorts on the road. There were no people at border except couple of custom staff and some German friends(India by Bus team) we met in Quetta. At 11.30 i was in India. Yuppee!!
I headed directly to Amritsar and than Golden Temple for injecting some piece into my veins.
After Pakistan,sitting near the pool of Golden Temple with bare foot were the most relaxing hours for me.
What a pieceful guard..
We stayed 2 nights at Amritsar with Germans and Dutch friends. Had some good time in Amritsar. And some beers!
After Amritsar,headed to North to Dharamsala. Passed beautiful mountain roads and the riding became a joy again.
And after some time i got the biggest hug. By Great Himalayas....
The House of Dalai Lama at Mc Leod Ganj. Unfortunately we didnt see him because he was travelling the country as always. Maybe next time.
Monks are practicing some prayings inside.
People of mountain.
A tibetian lady waiting at the door of her shop for some customers.
Drinking Old Munk's Rum at cold Himalayan nights..
After staying 4 nights at Mc Leod Ganj,i had to move south for a friend meeting in Goa. It was not a bad idea because the weather was getting really cold.
Neverending love. We ll meet again!
Than headed to Agra.
A major train accident on the way to Bombay..
On the way to Bombay a father and son stopped me on the road and invite to their house for a drink. I was too tired and said ok. They made me drunk with some Brendi and i had to stay there. In the morning all other family members came and gave me some presents and we ahd a perfect breakfast together. Also a journalist was there and next day i was on a local newspaper with a short interview. It was lovely and little bit emotional for me.
I had to do a stopover at Mumbai for receiving some bike parts. There was really crazy traffic there. After Mumbai there is two ways to go Goa. One is the old road loaded with traffic and the other is Pune Highway. The Pune highway you cannot enter with a motorbike. It is only for 4 wheelers. It was a tough decision but i give it a try and finished it. But it was little stressy because highway police stopped me like 10 times maybe and everytime they paralysed about the bike and after little conversation i was gone. We had some big arguements 2 times with some higher ranked officers but they somehow tolerated. Unfortunately there is no pictures about that highway. Finally at 21st November i was in Goa. :)))
And friends. We were planned this meeting about 1 month ago and being there at the right date was a really achievement for me. :)
One night at Anjuna and than lovely Ashwim beach. I rent a hut on the beach and my animal is near my hut. What a relief after this long adventure.
I asked a pull up bar from boss Antonio for recovering a bit. And next day it was near my hut. :)
And some Goa in pictures...
Remembering that you are still a man..
My hut.....Not bad i think!
I came Goa and planned to stay for 1 week and stayed about 65 days!!
Peter and Caz. The one at middle is Vinnie..
Extreme drunk Rhoda!
A happy animal..
But need some new shoes.
Changing the fuel pump and nightguard Shiva is helping me. What a big pump this is! :)
An experienced Enfield.
At 2nd week in Goa i had 2 very bad news. 1st one was from the Germans. After we split at North,they minibus was completely burned. They said it was a mistake of an Indian mechanic. That was a big shock. Worst than that is they had to take that burned vehicle to the customs at border. They worked 1 month for this. After these they came to Goa and i was still there to hug them.
2 nd one was from Austrian Gerd. He called me from a hospital in Delhi and told to me that he made an accident in Pakistan after i left him and broke his leg bad. After spent some time in hospitals at Lahore and Delhi,now like 2 months after the accident,he is in Austria with open wounds still because of a serious infection. :(((
Some fresh air around Goa..
Met a Honeymoon Express at Arambol. :)
A space concepted nightbar in Goa.
We found an enormous Banyan tree in Goa. And after some search we learned that this tree was actually the biggest one in this area.
It was really big. I said 'fuck' three times when i first saw this. :) The guy under the tree is Peter and he is 1.90 meters tall. You can compare by yourselves.
Finally i left Goa at 26th of January! And plan was going to Hampi. It was not easy after 2 months of resting. But the idea is covering distance on this project. So had to go..
To be continued...
|02-08-2010, 12:58 PM||#4|
I'll find my way !
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Fantastic Ride Report
Can't wait to see the rest of your ADV!
FREDO RIDER"s designs (Shirts, mug, stickers and gift ideas).
|02-08-2010, 09:00 PM||#7|
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Northeastern California
Great adventure so far. Enjoyed the pictures of Persepolis. Thanks for sharing.
|02-09-2010, 01:00 AM||#9|
Joined: May 2008
Thank you all for nice comments guys. Especially the India part i was alone so not too many pictures about riding here. Sorry about this. And when you are alone on the road sometimes you cannot find the motivation to take some photos. You just want to go go and go.(At least for me it is like this)
I am in Chennai now and trying to arrange a cargo for Thailand. But like everything,business is also Shanti here. Things are going too slow and only 14 days left to expire my Indian visa. Little bit stressy.
But the good thing is,i have to kill some time here and i will add the rest of the story soon. It is about Hampi.
|02-09-2010, 06:21 AM||#10|
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: western MA
Very nice photos! Those are amazing lands that you rode through. It is also very interesting to hear of the different customs in different countries. Thanks for sharing this story!
|02-09-2010, 07:11 AM||#11|
Joined: May 2008
On the road to Hampi found a little lake and people were cleaning them clothes during sunset.
A day is ending on the beautiful river of Hampi.
An extraordinary scenery for some smoke..
And the real owners..
Ok ok..Real owners..
Good thing in India,you dont need a toliet.
Sunset of course..
Hey boss i'm bored in this place...Look at the moon.....Lemme out!!!!
This elephant takes the money you give with his hose,give it to his owner and than put your hose on your head. And than you feel peaceful i think. Or scared! :)
A happy me on rice fields.
This is the Monkey Temple in Hampi. It is a tower-like rock mountain and you have to climb 570 steps to reach top. At top there s a Holy man and people are giving some money to him and he is touching you and speaking. Couldnt took his photo because not allowed.
View of rice fields from top.
Some photos of stunning Vitthala Temple.
There was a school tour there. Lovely kids.
A very new way of Indian meditation. They love cellphones..
After left Hampi,found some nice terrain on the road. Little bit Africa-like. Isnt it?
To be continued...
|02-09-2010, 07:45 AM||#13|
Joined: Mar 2003
Location: Jennings, Louisiana
So Awesome! What fantastic pictures. Thanks so much for all the work to share your journey with us.
A '00 KLR 650 40,000 miles, A '07 1250S 74,000 , A '03 5.3L Chevy Truck 78,000 + '43 style dude , Simper Fi ;-)
|02-09-2010, 07:54 AM||#14|
Joined: Oct 2009
your pictures are great.
congrats for a wonderful trip, i will stay tuned to observe your next km/miles
https://www.facebook.com/RidingAcrossAmerica - coming soon!!! "like it"
|02-09-2010, 09:32 AM||#15|
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Kitchener Ontario, Canada
wow! Looking forward to more!
Save 20% on your first year's SmugMug image hosting with this link: https://secure.smugmug.com/signup?Coupon=hccesQbqNBJbc
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