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Old 05-21-2013, 09:30 PM   #151
MihaiVeniamin
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Thumb congratulations

very nice pictures, well done !
please tell me what photo camera are you using
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:38 AM   #152
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Canon Powershot A570IS, point&shoot for quick snapshots.

Canon EOS 450d (Rebel XSI in USA market) and three lenses for "more serious" stuff.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:54 AM   #153
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I had kinda finalized my list of 'places to see' for my summer's ride, but I just might have to add some more GPS coordinates. Thanks for the outstanding update, as usual :)
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:55 AM   #154
MihaiVeniamin
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Originally Posted by Gliga View Post
Canon Powershot A570IS, point&shoot for quick snapshots.

Canon EOS 450d (Rebel XSI in USA market) and three lenses for "more serious" stuff.
thanks , I can see you like bikes and photography, good combination.
did you change your motorbike ? avatar picture is showing a supermoto or something

nice pictures, you have a nice country with beautiful landscapes !
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MihaiVeniamin screwed with this post 05-23-2013 at 07:00 AM
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:58 AM   #155
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It's time to start with next trip :)









Ova mi fotka nije dala mira (i kako nisam mogao više da čekam produžetak, pronašao sam na BJB-u) .
Ono što mi prošlo glavom:"J... jel ovo moguče?"

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=502002

(ne uspjevam da prikačim fotku)
Pa taj dio Srbije praktički niko ne poznaje (nisam ga ni ja dobrovoljno upoznao, a ipak sam se vratio da ga vidim ponovo) .
No translation it's insignificant...
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:58 PM   #156
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Update is on its way for tonight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LethPhaos View Post
I had kinda finalized my list of 'places to see' for my summer's ride, but I just might have to add some more GPS coordinates. Thanks for the outstanding update, as usual :)
Yeah, I know how it feels. List just keeps getting longer and longer Every time I open Google Earth I find some new places to visit, it would take a nice, long year on the road to visit them all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MihaiVeniamin View Post
thanks , I can see you like bikes and photography, good combination.
did you change your motorbike ? avatar picture is showing a supermoto or something

nice pictures, you have a nice country with beautiful landscapes !
Picture in avatar is of my first bike, Chinese made Apollo AG36 (250cc super moto).

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Originally Posted by francs View Post
Ova mi fotka nije dala mira (i kako nisam mogao više da čekam produžetak, pronašao sam na BJB-u) .
Ono što mi prošlo glavom:"J... jel ovo moguče?"

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=502002

(ne uspjevam da prikačim fotku)
Pa taj dio Srbije praktički niko ne poznaje (nisam ga ni ja dobrovoljno upoznao, a ipak sam se vratio da ga vidim ponovo) .
No translation it's insignificant...
Pozdrav
Franc
Prilikom planiranja trase sam naisao na neke fotke kanjona Jerme. Trasu sam dosta prilagodio samo da bih prosao tim delom puta. Potpuno nestvarno mesto, tako kratka deonica a toliko upecatljiva.

Meni je ovo bio prvi put da sam u tim krajevima i jasno je da nisam jos ni zagrebao povrsinu. Toliko toga ima za videti i obici...

Cekaj da putopis stigne do Stare Planine, to je ubedljivo najatraktivniji deo na ovoj trasi kroz Srbiju. Kada vidis slike mislim da ces ponovo zeleti da krenes put Pirota
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:40 PM   #157
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DAY FOUR

Cold, cold night. At the very limit for my sleeping bag. I couldn't wait for the sun to come out and make things warmer. Off course, five minutes after sunrise it's already to hot in the tent so sleeping is still not easy. Some people you can never please...

Breakfast, one more swim-more pleasant with the sun out, and it's packing time.







How's this for a morning view? 50+ photos stitched together

CLICK ME for a large res version




Road leading from lake shore back to tarmac


Tarmac ride lasts, once again, only a couple of kilometers before it's time to go into the dirt. At first road is very dusty, like riding trough some sort of silt. It would be a nightmare if you're riding at the back of a group. Road conditions soon improve and now it's a combination of dirt and gravel, really cool to ride. In fact riding is so good I completely missed a turnoff. I did see a turnoff but it didn't even look like a real road so at first I just thought that it was routing. Several minutes later it became obvious that I'm getting further and further away from my route. Backtracking time. Proper route, as I said, looked like it's in bad shape from the start. Rutted, damaged by water erosion but nothing to worry about.

At one of the meadows I came across an old man walking around. He was so proud of the fact he was from place as beautiful as this, and rightfully so. This whole section was just picture perfect; rolling hills, meadows, birch and pine forests going by, one by one. So relaxing, I couldn't think of a better way to start riding day.














Only couple of corners on pavement gets me to Klisura village. Run down, depressing (southern Serbia is poorest part of the country and this is way south...) but there is a spring with fresh, ice cold water- just what I need.




Short ride toward Bulgarian border goes by quickly. Twisty roads with no traffic, always fun to ride.



Yes, I know. This is not picture of a twisty road, this was chill-out section after the twisties


With border crossing in sight it's time to leave the main road. Good gravel road takes me to Preslapi village where I'm surprised with nice ribbon of pavement, following winding stream. Minor, very minor road with no traffic. In Kalna village I take even smaller road, freshly paved, which should take me to Crvena Jabuka (Red Apple) village. These are all such a minor villages in remote part of the country, I never heard of them before I started planning this trip...



I'm well bellow weight limit. Speed limit? No promises about that... :)


In the village at the end of the pavement there is a monument to fallen partisan soldiers in WWII. For a village as small as this there was chillingly high number of names engraved in stone...





Drops of our blood represent true words of our freedom



We are the roots of freedom, we have indestructible spirits (not the best translation...), we gave our lives to the tree of freedom


From that point on I'm back on forest roads. Dust, dirt and gravel, everything mixed together. Riding is easy and fun. Surroundings aren't inspirational so there are only a few photos. Somewhere in the woods I come across timber processing plant and, surprisingly, road becomes much better after that (trucks usually damage and destroy forest roads but this one was maintained).






Crvena Jabuka village used to be a thriving agricultural community, after WWII there were more than 1500 people living here. Now there are less than fifty, and most of them won't be here in next 10 years. When you know that t's not surprising to see wall of, long closed and abandoned, general store looking like this.



Obituaries, some dating back to late nineties...


Next section caused many concerns in planning stages of the trip. There were simply no clearly visible roads on satellite images for next few kilometers so I was bit nervous right now. Detour was possible but I never considered that option, all I knew is that it would be a long one.

It started nicely, with a regular dirt road. Apples spilled all over the road. No way I'm missing an opportunity like this. Once stopped I realized that those apples actually came off of a tree higher on the road bank and, naturally, out of my reach. Few fruits I got out of the mud, which still haven't rot, gave me several tasty bites. It's the little things that make man happy, this was one of them.




Soon after this short break road all but disappeared
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:22 AM   #158
francs
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Originally Posted by Gliga View Post

Cekaj da putopis stigne do Stare Planine, to je ubedljivo najatraktivniji deo na ovoj trasi kroz Srbiju. Kada vidis slike mislim da ces ponovo zeleti da krenes put Pirota
Vidio sam slike i poželeo ali imam problema sa ramenom, pa če morat da pričeka.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:40 PM   #159
yorkie08
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Great photos,Brlliant composition,
I'm heading to that area next week, hope we get the same weather

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Old 05-24-2013, 10:23 PM   #160
Daliss
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Update is long overdue...


Hi,
where this place? Could you give me the GPS coordinates for the location? It is very photogenic

Thanks
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:57 AM   #161
Eldezento
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Thank you for this fantastic ridereport. you helped me to recognize that adventure is not only in Africa or Asia, and i can find it just one day away from my hometown.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:19 AM   #162
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Hi,
where this place? Could you give me the GPS coordinates for the location? It is very photogenic

Thanks
43°12'53.59"N
21° 6'46.08"E

And you'll have to persuade the guard to let you into construction site :)
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:25 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by Eldezento View Post
Thank you for this fantastic ridereport. you helped me to recognize that adventure is not only in Africa or Asia, and i can find it just one day away from my hometown.
It's funny how we always think that we have to go to some faraway and exotic place to experience an adventure. And yet, there are so many amazing places close to the home...

I can't wait for this summers trip into Albania (plus Montenegro and Macedonia). Route planning is in progress and I'm already excited
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:50 AM   #164
Plattypus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gliga View Post
Soon after this short break road all but disappeared
Are we going to be treated to any more? :)

I've really been enjoying this thread! Went to the Balkans for our honeymoon, got loads of wonderful memories, it's an incredible region! My wife and I are itching to go back and visit the countries we couldn't get to. We're hooked
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:48 PM   #165
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Anybody up for an update? Photobucket is back online so I can move on with writing

Day four continued

As I approach next intersection, what appears to be a main road forks off to the right, steeply uphill. Road to the left is badly overgrown with grass, to the point where it looks like it's not being used at all. Off to the right it is. Road surface is dirt, pulverized into deep powder by logging trucks. Minute or so later it's clear to me that this road is not the one I need. Back to the badly overgrown one then...




First part goes trough a narrow valley, grass as tall as I am. No way to see road surface or any hidden obstacle. Luckily there were none :) From there road goes into forest. In order to keep consistency with previous part this one is overgrown with bushes and branches. Ruts and ditches everywhere are there as well, no mistake about that. This really doesn't look promising. From what I could remember from planning days this section looked really questionable, basically I could see no roads or paths on GE, there were some houses here and there so my logic was that there should be a road connecting them. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't technical section. Trouble is I knew there are 10-15 kilometers of this slow going, head hiding behind windscreen path before I reach proper roads on the other side. Uncertainty is a bitch! Just so easy to give up and turn around. And that's why I choose to go on No photos, wasn't feeling like stopping.

Million years, or more likely just a few minutes later, I get to a house. Time to get some local info, if the road continues like this it's really time to go back and around. I interrupted an older couple in their everyday routine. Five seconds into conversation and I'm already invited onto their porch. Coffee, rakija (Local name for plum, apple, pear, apricot or any other similar brandy. Home made, strong and tasty if done right) are offered. Tough luck... I don't drink coffee at all, and I don't drink alcohol while riding/driving. Ice cold water from a local spring is something I can't refuse. Honey from their own beehives... Just perfect! I'm still amazed by this kind of hospitality, it just blows me away every time. Gladly sharing what little you have with total strangers without expecting nothing in return (other than a conversation, off course :) ). After some pleasant conversations and local history lessons it's time to say goodbyes. Oh, yes, from this point road becomes normal. The section I just crossed (actually less then 2 km long, mind can play some tricks on you...) is sort of a shortcut which locals don't use very often...

Unfortunately I don't have any photos of my hosts, still not comfy with taking pictures of people. This one is of their front yard, house is now used as a summer refuge from the city.




And, just as promised, road becomes better and better. Forest here, meadow there and in no time I'm back in "civilization". Well, back on tarmac anyway.










Road is nice and twisty, practically without traffic. Relaxing time. It took some time to remember/realize where I was but then I couldn't get smile off of my face.
Imagine this: you're riding across a valley, with before mentioned cliffs in front of you, following a narrow river.As you approach the cliff it becomes clear that it's actually two mountain sides separated by extremely narrow canyon. Then you find yourself riding on this narrow, twisty road, carved through the rock with several tunnels. And then, before you're able to realize what's going on you're out on the other side. Whole canyon is only few hundred meters long. So, only logical thing to do is to turn around and ride it one more time.












Jerma river canyon.

And a very bad, hand held, video from the ride trough. Just to give you idea how short it actually is.




Soon after it's time to get off the pavement, close to the Poganovo monastery. Road surface is gravel with some loose rocks. It's HOT... At one point I turn off from that road. This new road is in much worse shape, dirt, ditches and ruts, going across meadows. Nothing challenging but it's a slow progress. This was also one of uncertain sections back from planning days so I was really happy when I got to a farm where there was a proper gravel road. Nothing special to see at this section, just a nice off-road shortcut to reach Dimitrovgrad town.








This is last opportunity to gas up until afternoon of next day. I'm heading to some really remote areas It's also a good opportunity for a lunch. Same, proven method as yesterday: go to the first place with people waiting-locals know best. I took off riding gear before I realized my mistake... This was a joint place, one half served barbecue while other served as a drinking place for local drunkards... And, the crowd wasn't here for food I wasn't feeling like gearing back up and searching for another place so this will have to do. I went outside to eat and only then was I joined by one of the guys. He used to draw caricatures but nobody is interested in that anymore. So, instead, now he drinks and pushes some cart around. And he drinks. Barely able to speak coherently he had repertoire of about 3-4 sentences but he wasn't afraid of using them all, without pauses. He tried to stop passersby, to introduce them with me. Obviously everybody knew him so they just play the Ignore game. At the same time I was so annoyed by him (I don't like drunkards... This guy wasn't aggressive and really looked like he needed someones ear so I let him talk...) but also felt so sorry to see somebody talented getting to such a low point in life... Well, he just adds to my first impression about this town: GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE.

While I was eating my food (nothing special this time) this kid on a 50 cc two stoke sports bike (I think it was an Aprillia) passed by at least 5 times. This is off course main street in town so that's where he has to ride in order to be seen. And that means it's "tight body shirt (he's kind of bulked up so muscles have to be seen), thick gold(ish) chain around neck, no helmet, and revving the bike constantly while going 30" time. And little voice in my head screams: GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE, QUICKLY!

Now, when I was planning this trip I was actually looking forward to seeing this town. From photos I saw online there are several nice places to visit but it's just not going to happen this time. It just felt wrong to be here, some really bad vibe in whole town. GET OUT, RUN!

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't feeling threatened in any way. There was something with this town that didn't sit well with me and that's all.

At the outskirts I go to the grocery store, no way I'll make same stupid mistake two times in a row :)

And then I was free!!!
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