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Old 10-09-2011, 11:52 AM   #1
blacktiger OP
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: St.Leonards on Sea, England.
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Adventures of blacktiger.

Further to my planning thread http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=727082 I've now got enough photos uploaded to start scribbling rubbish about the ride itself.

So here goes..............................


EASTERN EUROPEAN TRIP.
25SEP11 to 17OCT11 TIGER800XC
25th September Home to Bad Kissingen.
Chilly, foggy morning.

3 bikes on the shuttle & got loaded in amongst the cars, had a nice chat. Train 40 minutes late leaving. Sunny in Calais & about 15C. Hit the Autoroutes right across Belgium to the Eiffel mountains. Took off my PacJac at the first petrol stop just before Brussels because the temperature had risen to 20C. Soon into Germany. Soon got fed up with the incessant speed restrictions for everything from a bad road surface (bring it on!) to wheel chair users!! Too many 70kph speeds but at least when it is 100kph out of town the Germans do drive at 100. None of the 45mph dawdlers we get in the UK.
Countryside quite pretty but it’s mostly wooded hills. Some evidence of past volcanic activity in the shape of the hills.
Bike is running well but the weight of the panniers is upsetting the stability a bit. Couldn’t really get into riding smoothly because of that. Some nice twisty roads though. It just seems that as soon as the road gets going with a 100kph limit along comes another 70 limit to spoil the fun.
Got to Bad Kissingen about 18:15 and found that 1st selected hotel was shut up, closed down. Also the second one was open(??) but deserted so, luckily, there were a few others along the same street. Got a room in Hotel “Korner am Park” for €49 incl. Breakfast. Had a walk into town. Very clean, very neat, very German. It is a Spa town with water coming out of every orifice. Tastes weird. Horrible in fact but is supposed to be good for you! Found a cheap place to eat which was OK for a tenner. Back to the hotel for a beer and found it buzzing. Must be good food but I’ve missed out. Never mind, they had some really nice Schwarzbier. Monchshof Schwarzbier...hint of liquorice, nice and malty.
ODO 503.3 miles, Ave speed 54.2mph, riding time 9H16m.
P.S. receptionist said breakfast will start at 7am but I’m typing this at 7:20 and the place is deserted. Hopes of an early start dashed. 9.1C showing on the “Icewarner” this morning but it looks bright and clear.
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blacktiger screwed with this post 03-19-2012 at 11:59 AM
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:55 AM   #2
blacktiger OP
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26th Bad Kissingen to Prague.
Another chilly, foggy morning. Was told last night that breakfast was from 7am but the place is still deserted. So I went back upstairs and got everything packed and updated my report on the computer. Went down again at 07:50 and it was all there like magic. Normal buffet style with meats and cheeses. I packed an extra one for lunch.
9.1C when I got going at 08:30. Took until 10 for the sun to start breaking through. Temps did rise to 20+C by 11 so I stopped to take off the Pacjac only for it to plummet back down to 13.%C at the CZ border. Flippin’ ‘eck! That feels cold.
The road to Prague in CZ was a main road and so was pretty fast. Got into Prague around 14:00 to find that the hotel wasn’t where I’d put the waypoint. Don’t know why my waypoint was wrong because, after chasing around the city for a while I brought up “nearest” hotels on the Garmin and there it was, in the right place?? Must investigate why. Checked in later than expected at 15:00. Shower and out for the touristy bits.
Karlov Most (Charles Bridge),

Wenceslas Square,

which isn’t square. Then after a Kozel Dark beer

and some people watching it was off the find food. The Trilobit

had been recommended on Trip Advisor website so I went there. Got in before the main evening rush and the food and beer were good. Had a Pilsner Master and a Kozel Dark. The beers here have a huge % on the front of the bottles but it bears no relation to their actual strength.
ODO 245.1 miles, Ave 46.1mph, time 5H19m. Fuel costing CZK34.xx/litre.
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blacktiger screwed with this post 06-05-2012 at 09:16 AM
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:01 PM   #3
blacktiger OP
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27th Prague to Banska Stiavnica
Egg and bacon for breakfast this morning. Good old Best Western.
Chilly start again but today it’s clear and a bit warmer at 13C showing so I went without the Pacjac. It was just bearable. The high pressure system looks like it’s going to be staying put for a while so whilst the clear skies are welcome, the views are all hazy.
East of Prague is pretty flat with lots of arable farming. Went to the “Church of Bones in Kurtna Hora(??). Weird is the word.


Countryside started getting lumpy towards Brno and the roads improved with it. The road leading in to Brno was especially good. Not fast but it was nicely undulating and had great views in all directions.

Novo Mesto N.V. heralded the start of the bigger hills, maybe mountains. At this stage I saw 57mpg on the trip computer. Best I’ve ever seen. Into SK and the fuel is €1.45 for 95 grade.
Another nice road leading into Banksa Stiavnica. Had another biker (CB500, very long hair out the back of the helmet. Think it might have been a girl) for company for a while but wasn’t going quick enough for my enjoyment so overtook and went off. Road closed leading to where my waypoint for the hotel was placed but, again, turned out to be wrong. Hotel Salamanda. €40+4 breakfast +5 parking.
Sitting outside a bar with a Zlaty Bazant Tmavy,

“original SK beer” it says on the bottle, the town is pretty dead. I had two because I liked it. The Pizza place down the road sprang to life about 7pm so I went in there for eats. Had a Steiger beer

IMG_2957 Beer Steiger Dark by black955tiger, on Flickr
with the Pizza which was huge. Noticed a couple speaking English so said hi. They are form Sydney. They were just going round to a brew pub 30m away. So I joined them after I finished the Pizza. I would have missed this pub so thanks to them. ERB Leziak Tmavy.

Nice. Tmavy means dark.
Been having comfort problems with the new Suomy D20. It’s been pressing into my ears and making the arms of my glasses press in and hurt a little. Not unbearable but will have to have a look.
ODO 305 miles, Ave 41.2, Time 7H23m, Fuel @ €1.45
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blacktiger screwed with this post 06-05-2012 at 09:22 AM
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:05 PM   #4
blacktiger OP
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Location: St.Leonards on Sea, England.
Oddometer: 3,334
28th Banska Stiavnica to Nowy Sacz.
8am breakfast and bacon & eggs again although it wasn’t a help yourself.
Helmet news :- I discovered that the bits pressing into my ears are removable being held in by Velcro. So I took them out and it’s all comfy again. And, it doesn’t seem any noisier.
Temp was showing at 15C when I wheeled the bike out. I went up to the top of town to see what’s there and to photo the brewpub. To get onto my route I did some back alleys and found a nice overlook of the town. The route out of Banska followed a river downhill and through a forest and the temps soon dropped to 9.9C!! The road was so good I didn’t want to stop. Altitudes today were upwards of 600m which kept the temps around the high teens at best.
The route was all good with good views of the nice scenery. Into the Tatra Mountains now with some really nice shapes. A bit cloudy in places and evidence of some rain with puddles at the side of the road in places. More closed roads with one needing some improvisation. I saw some “grey” roads on the Garmin and chose a route to get round the works. This led me out of a town on a narrow tarmac road which turned into dirt which turned rutted, washed out and steep.

I love this bike. It danced up there without any problems at all. I did about 3 miles of dirt to get back to tar and onto the route again.

There was one nice road that followed a narrow gauge railway for quite a few miles. It served a posh looking resort up in the hills and was used because I saw an engineering train by a Xing. Nice views to the south on this road. Tall mountains to the north.

Got to Nowy Sacz around 15:30 and into the Hotel Panorama. 170ZT+20 for breakfast (£34+4). 20ZT for parking too. Showered and plugged in the computer but it wouldn’t start normally. So, started in safe mode with networking and dealt with my e-mails.
Out for a look round town. Big square but not a lot of choice for eating and drinking. One bar had enough light to read and write but they had no English or dark beer so succumbed to a Tyskie fizz.


Went back to hotel for eats and they had some Zywiec Porter.

Oh! Suits you sir! Quite thick, syrupy and cloying and has a definite Liquorice flavour. 9.8%abv. One was enough.
So back upstairs to finish this write up and upload some photos. Noticed the low battery light flashing so plugged it in and it started OK this time but now the bloody thing won’t connect. Frustrating technology.
ODO 240.2 miles, Ave 40.5, Time 5H55m petrol in PL @ 5.25ZT = £1.05/lt.
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2012 black Tiger800XC, problem free 28000 miles.

blacktiger screwed with this post 06-05-2012 at 09:24 AM
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:06 PM   #5
blacktiger OP
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29th, Nowy Sacz to Baia Mare.
7.9C this morning. Another clear day apart from some Sirus cloud.
Set off at 07:55 with the aim of getting through SK & H on one tank of fuel. The road towards the SK border follows a river and the temp dropped even further to 7.2C so it was on with the heated grips. After about 60 miles the road crossed the river and I was back in SK. NE SK is like the Massif Central in France but not so burnt with more farming and orchards. Very nice but soon lost the lumpy bits of the Carpathians as I went SE and they went due east.
Into H and the bike’s computer is showing 57m/UKg. Gentle with the throttle to save fuel. Not impressed with Hungary. Very run down everywhere with bad roads but a least they are flat and straight so I’m cruising with 60 mph showing and letting the suspension soak up the lumps.
Fuel in H @ 395Flo = £1.20/litre @330/£. Fuel in RO @ 5.50Lei = £1.10 @ 5/£.
So, I made it to RO with 22 miles left showing on the trip having covered 218.5 miles on the tank. A genuine 61mpg. Into RO & can see hills again but get to Baia Mare before getting back into them.
Hotel Carpati @ 220Lei incl. breakfast .
Made contact with Marius but he said he’s got to take his brother to the airport tonight. Went for a stroll around town and had something to eat. Sitting there, checked my phone and had missed a call from a local biker who’d been given my number by Marius. SO we arranged to meet for a beer

or three. Had a great evening meeting the local bikers in the Photo Pub and then they took me to another pub (don’t know where) and got fairly drunk. Good bunch of lads as they wouldn’t let me pay for any beer all evening. Back to the hotel at 01:30.
Have to say that Baia Mare does have a good number of really good looking girls.
Nice sunset tonight.

ODO 271.1 Ave 40.8 Time 6H38m
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2012 black Tiger800XC, problem free 28000 miles.

blacktiger screwed with this post 06-05-2012 at 09:25 AM
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:07 PM   #6
blacktiger OP
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30th, Baia Mare to Peatre Neamt.
Late start today due to the sore head. Started bright but soon clouded over and stayed cold. Never got much above 15C.
Road were diabolical! Holes and lumps everywhere so much that it shook the bike apart. One of the screen thumb adjusters disappeared completely. All the others were loose when I noticed it. The Dn18 was particularly bad. Fist it was a continuous town for miles and miles. Then it turned nasty with bloody great pot holes. At one stage I came upon a gang filling in the holes with what seemed like mud!
Scenery was quite nice but didn’t get to see much because of having to concentrate so much on the roads.



Peatre Neamt looked like a right dump. Didn’t like the look or the feel of the place. Fortunately I’d spotted a cluster of Pensions and Restaurants a couple of miles back so went back there and first found an Auto spares place to get a nut & bolt for the screen. Then next door was a 2 star Pension for £12/night. Ate quite well for another £12 down the road.
ODO 233.1
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2012 black Tiger800XC, problem free 28000 miles.

blacktiger screwed with this post 01-13-2012 at 08:08 AM
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:09 PM   #7
blacktiger OP
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: St.Leonards on Sea, England.
Oddometer: 3,334
October 1st. Peatre Neamt to Fagaras.
All the clouds of yesterday have disappeared this morning so another bright sunny one. Expecting more bad roads today but am glad to be wrong. Even the secondary’s were good. Nice route today with good scenery.
Visited Sighisoara, the birth town of Vlad Tepes (the impaler)(Vlad Dracul)(Dracula).

Nice little place but full of tourists! Ha!


Got to Brasov

about 15:30 The place was alive with a big festival for something or other, so decided to press on to Bran and see the castle. I tried to go the twisty route and the Garmin routed me out of Brasov up a goat track. I love this bike because any normal road bike would have had to turn back. Not the Tiger. It climbed up there spitting stones at the chasing hounds. Trouble was that about 2/3rds of the way to Rasnov the road was shut for another festival. All the way back to Brasov. Got fuel and went to Bran the boring way but that town was also in the throes of a festival. I sneaked a photo of the castle

by stopping where I wasn’t allowed and got the hell out of Dodge.
It was only 16:30 at this stage so I pressed on along tomorrows route. Quite a few Pensions en-route but I figured that Fagaras was reachable.

Pension Flora was signposted off the high street. The little old lady looked a bit surprised to see someone wanting a room but she accepted me and for 100Lei (£20) the night.
The town’s a bit dead but the bloke at the Pension had pointed me to the Calypso Restaurant. I was the only diner. Ursus Black to drink and a meal for £4. The bill came to 29Lei! £6. I gave them another quid as a tip.
Send texts to keep friends and Keith (Brother) updated.
ODO285.3 Ave 37.1 Time 7H40m
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:12 PM   #8
blacktiger OP
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2nd Fagaras to Ramnicu Valcea
Unexpected breakfast this morning. The old dear offered me an omelette & coffee. Inclusive in the 100Lei price.
Another bright start to the day but 12.7C @ 9am. Put Pacjac on because I was expecting it to get very cold over the Transfagarasan pass. Wasn’t long before I got to the turning for the Dn7c.

Going up from the north side the road just winds up through forest with no views at all. So I enjoyed the road.

After a while the trees start to thin out and you can see the road further up and occasionally the view back down to the valley floor. There was a bit of cloud covering the very top. The bit of road shown on Top Gear and the most photographed is on the north side.

The road surface was unpredictable, bumpy and had a nice diesel slick in parts so no peg scraping for me.
There’s a tunnel cutting through the top of the mountain so I made a video of the Tiger on full chat through that. The route down is less dramatic but still nice.

I stopped at some stalls and bought my Transfagarasan fridge magnet and tried a stalk of BBQed corn on the cob. Bloody chewy. Should have had the boiled one.
Got to Ramnicu Valcea at about 13:30 and checked into the Hotel Maria in the back streets a bit but with secure parking. The Dell laptop started normally at first, then crashed. So I restarted in safe mode with networking and got internet connection so I started up loading photos and checking forums etc. Did some washing whilst the photos were uploading.
Went for a stroll and eats at 18:30. Casa Valceana. Food OK but they forgot the veg order. Only Leffe Brune to drink.

ODO 121.7 Ave. 33.2 Time 3H39m
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2012 black Tiger800XC, problem free 28000 miles.

blacktiger screwed with this post 06-05-2012 at 09:25 AM
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:15 PM   #9
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:16 PM   #10
blacktiger OP
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3rd Transalpina pass.
Some cloud this morning but it soon dissipated to leave another bright clear day. Becoming a habit this weather. Great.
It was about 70kms to the start of the pass road the Dn67c and from the start it was all new tarmac.

The boys from Baia Mare were right. This road is amazing. There’s a new “best road in the world”. No pictures on the way up because I turned the camera to video mode. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQjeeuiEjho





Then, DISASTER! I stopped for a piss right over on the north side of the pass and discovered my pannier was open and my snacks, my Pacjac and my tyre pump had all escaped somewhere. Bugger. I don’t care about the other two but the Pacjac is my wind proof/waterproof on this trip and without it I’ll freeze and/or get soaked.
So I immediately set off back the way I’d come, slowly to see if I could spot any of them in the road. No such luck. Bugger again. I made my way ASAP to the hotel, quick shower and out to the shopping mall to see if I could buy anything. Luckily there was an outdoor shop and they had various styles by “Killtec” (never heard of them either) which were waterproof to 8m water column and totally wind proof. Reduced to 225Lei (£45). Sold.
That dilemma solved I got onto the internet and uploaded photos and caught up on various forums.
Absolutely stuffed myself this evening. I’d thought I’d got the hang of ordering food where you order a main and then some veg on top. So i did that and got two bloody great plates of food delivered.

I ate it all with some Silva, strong dark beer to wash it all down.

ODO 295 miles.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:19 PM   #11
blacktiger OP
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Location: St.Leonards on Sea, England.
Oddometer: 3,334
4th, Ramnicu Valcea to Sunny Beach.
Yet another clear blue morning but the temps were at 8C so it was on with the new coat and heated grips. Some enexpected dirt first thing with the Zumo route taking me down a dirt track alongside the main road. As I made my way across the valley the temp dropped to 6.4C and as I climbed out I glanced back to see the last view of the Carpathian range. They’d been good fun. I was soon winging my way along the E70 for over 60 miles with the landscape changing to flat and boring all the way to the BG border which is the Danube river.
Crossing that, I’m now in another new country for me and the boring landscape continues until I was about half way to Varna where some lumps started to appear. Much better towards the coast.
I stopped at a Geological curiocity about 10 miles from Varna. There are Limestone pillars that are unique in the world apparently. Several theories as to how they formed. Made a nice stop.

Then it was into and through Varna and onto the coast road which was good fun in places and has some decent views of the Black sea....

And then Sunny Beach appeared....

Found the Glarus hotel which was quite posh and the receptionist seemed to turn her nose up at a dirty biker turning up. More used to the package trade I guess. Got booked in and the first thing I did was get my swimmers on and go for a swim in that Black sea.

Quite cold but not too bad. Back in for shower and head into town. It was quite dead but nice because I could move about unhindered and find a restaurant without queuing. Did that but it was rubbish. Bad choice and it made me ill. When I got back the hotel staff got me to move the bike indoors for security. Felt sick all night and didn’t sleep at all.
ODO 300 miles.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:23 PM   #12
blacktiger OP
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5th, Sunny Beach to Sofia
Another bright day but I’m still feeling rough and weak though not sick. Filled up on the way out of town and set off along the allotted route which was nice and twisty but I didn’t have any enthusiasm for it so I cut straight for Sofia. Niki, Nii on ADV, had agreed to meet me and guide me into Sofia. We met at an OMV petrol station and he gallantly battled in his car through the rush hour into the middle of town to a hostel right in the centre. I didn’t fancy a dorm so they had an apartment a little way away which I took thinking it was solely for my use and that I’d get a good nights kip.
Well, after an evening in the centre with Niki and his girlfriend, I went back to the apartment and sat on the bog to finish getting rid of what had upset me. There I was with the bog door wide open when a girl walks past! WTF? Turns out that the apartment had several sub rooms with shared living quarters. Well now my mind was in turmoil and had another poor night’s sleep.
ODO 300 miles.
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:49 PM   #13
Wolfgang55
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Hope you get to feeling better.

Looking forward to your additions to the RR.
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:49 PM   #14
zadok
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Great ride.
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:17 AM   #15
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The good Beer guide to eastern Europe! , you must be a CAMRA member, great trip!.
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