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Old 07-31-2013, 02:33 AM   #196
blacktiger
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Originally Posted by MeinMotorrad View Post
Gliga, Photobucket has taken down your earlier pics

It's got me wondering about the number of inmates who go around quoting whole posts full of pic's
Doing that increases bandwidth on photo sharing accounts and can mean the pic's are taken down until the account holder upgrades to one where they have to pay money. Not good.
You can't expect companies like Photobucket to provide unlimited space for free. They have to make money somehow. I started paying and it cost about 8 per year. Well worth it IMO.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:02 AM   #197
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Great photos

... thanks for sharing
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:53 AM   #198
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You can't expect companies like Photobucket to provide unlimited space for free. They have to make money somehow. I started paying and it cost about 8 per year. Well worth it IMO.
-------------Begin rant--------------

I don't expect Photobucket (or any other company) to not make money, but it would make life easier for RR writers if a complete post including a load of pictures was not quoted. Why not just edit the quote to remove the img tag and addresses? Maybe just include a couple that were of particular interest.

-------------End rant--------------
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:46 AM   #199
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Well, Nothing to do other than going pro on Photobucket. Hopefully I'll finish this part of RR before subscription expires

I am working on next update right now
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:15 AM   #200
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DAY SIX CONTINUED


As soon as I started riding I came across this short and not very steep hill climb. Surface is covered with small loose rocks, acting like ball bearings. I was riding really slowly because I was enjoying the scenery. Barely made it to the top... "I'll go just a little bit further." And just a little bit further there is another hill climb. This one is much, much steeper and few hundred meters long. There is a road going around the hill but it is in bad shape. Besides, "I'm now riding like a pro and my tires are good for off-road. Just stay on the throttle and I'll be fine." Yeah, right! It turns out that surface is much looser than I expected and the hill is steeper. Bike doesn't have enough power to climb in second gear. In first gear it either spins the rear wheel and slows down or it just slows down when I ease the throttle. Trying to avoid a rock I get off the line. By this point I'm going way to slow and it's obvious that there's no way to get to the top. As I was coming to a stop I lost balance just a little bit. That was enough to force me to put "downhill" leg down. Trouble is, hill is so steep that I can't reach the ground. Oh, goodies, the fun starts




Wheels pointing uphill, just to make sure I'll get plenty of exercise. Take off the riding gear, take off the luggage and try to pick the bike up... The hill is so steep and bike just slides away and downhill as soon as I take it off the ground. And that scene keeps on repeating for some time. In the end I did manage to pick up the bike, don't ask me how. Now, it's way to steep to park the bike here and strap the luggage. Only option is to ride to the foothill and walk back up for the gear. Did I tell you how exhausted and tired I was from all the riding and manhandling the bike? I did, I know :) Now I had to climb back up the hill and take 16-17 kilos dry bag, camera bag, camera tripod and assorted set of ratchets and bungee cords back down. All that on a nice, loose and steep surface. I am generally in good physical shape but this excursion just felt wrong.

Once I got back up it was time to take a break. Only when I sat down I became aware of how awesome this place really is! Some large birds are cruising above, there are no sounds other than wind noise. Views are just stunning. Such a great place to chill out.




And that was it. I had enough, now it's time to go back on pavement. I don't want to see any off-road today (yeah, right, like that's going to last).


Short ride to explore ski resort. One of the side roads gets me right to the edge of the cliffs. There's no way to skip opportunity like that.













Feet over the edge, Babin Zub peak (meaning "Grandma's tooth")







Back on pavement and I just keep stopping all the time, always something to look at. I know that from now scenery wan't be this attractive so I try to soak is as much as possible.









To my surprise I soon reach perfect new road where an old track should have been. Oh, those corners were just what doctor ordered!!! Fun lasted only for kilometer or three before I reached end of the road and new hotel. Along that new road was a ditch so I was unable to get to the start of my next off-road section (told you I can't stick to pavement for to long). Well, nothing to do but take the regular road back down the mountain.




At first I hoped that they reconstructed this entire section because it is only road to reach this ski resort. Soon it was obvious that they didn't... Road is in bad shape, full of potholes and patches, loose gravel in every corner, some sections aren't even paved. The only road to the ski resort... Still, I had so much fun riding as this was first pavement for today and it was twisty enough.

Once off the mountain it's time to visit Bigar waterfall. That's one of the places I wanted to see for really long time. And it delivered, big time! There is very little water at this time of year but it still looks amazing. Surrounding area is "cultivated", it's a nice meadow with few large trees to provide a shade. Stream witch makes the waterfall is only few hundred meters long so water is ice cold and drinkable. This would be a great place to camp.










So refreshing on a hot day like this! This short break completely recharged my batteries.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:57 PM   #201
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Sometimes nature has its own particular way to draw your attention.
It will be worth your wile but cost sweat 'n tears.
Good story.

That waterfall would be a wonderful camping site.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:31 PM   #202
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DAY SIX CONTINUED

Energized after nice break it's time to hit the road again. Taking some minor roads toward Knjazevac town, firstly on deserted pavement and then some uninspiring off-road sections. Off-road started as decent gravel but then quickly turned into regular farmland dirt road, potholed and boring. It felt like riding back home so I didn't mind getting back onto pavement. I even skipped next off-road section. Villages here are bigger and they still feel alive (obviously I try to shoot all things abandoned so no pictures off actual villages :) ), nice change after two days of abandoned and decaying villages further south...




















I keep passing trough some villages, road alternates between cobblestone and pavement, all of it narrow and twisty. Village Krenta looked really idyllic from distance; nested on top of a gentle hill, hidden by all the trees. For some reason I didn't stop for the photo. For a few short kilometers I'm back on a main road. It feels strange to be on a proper two lane road which even has some traffic. Another detour on minor road takes me through Ponor and Zilne villages. I can sense that civilization is getting nearer as locals completely stopped paying attention to a motorcycle passing by and there is more and more trash everywhere...









Entrance to Knjazevac from this side is ugly, to say it gently. It's a gipsy neighborhood, big, fancy new houses or old run down ones, doesn't matter as they are all built without any taste. Half naked children running trough the streets, cars in various stages of decay parked everywhere. Just plain ugly. City center does look much nicer but it's hard to change that first negative impression. Search for food yielded poor results. First place that looked promising turned out to be gathering place for local drunks. Other than three pieces of old croissants there was no other food. It felt good getting out of there :) I didn't feel like getting back into riding gear and searching for other places so I just settled for some random bakery nearby.

While I was eating down came the worst and heaviest rain I've seen in last few months. Anywhere between 13 and 19 drops of rain fell down, it almost dampened the pavement For the whole day I could see that bad weather was approaching and I was actually riding in that direction. And now, after all this "rain" clouds started to clear up. Nice!!!

On the way out of town I passed by a beautiful park, located by the small river. And then I remembered, that park was real reason I planned to get here in the first place... Now I didn't feel like stopping again so I just rode on.

Few kilometers later I came across short section of wet pavement. I just love when timing works out this good :)






From my memory climb to Tupiznica mountain should be a mix of pavement and gravel. To my surprise it's actually paved all the way, except last few hundred meters. At this point I didn't mind pavement at all. I had great expectations for this place and at first I was disappointed. From satellite images I was expecting this spectacular cliff with almost vertical drop off to the valley down below. It took some time for the brain to adjust to reality but after that I actually enjoyed the place. Valley far below, dotted with fruit plantations and meadows, Rtanj mountain dominating the background. Ah, that's better!

For some time now i was very tired, brain switched to auto pilot, complete lack of concentration. Not a best time for riding. Quick 30 minute nap, with a rock acting like a pillow, did wonders.














I got off the mountain using the same road. This was first time on this trip that I had to take same road twice, first time it was impossible to make a loop.

Road toward Boljevac town is a fun stretch of pavement. Lots of twisties, lots of elevation changes. Surface isn't in best of shapes but it's all right on a DS bike. I skipped one longer off-road section. I wasn't sure if it would go trough and at that time I didn't feel like experimenting. Besides, area didn't look to inspiring to explore.

In Boljevac I need food and I need fuel. I'm already out of town by the time I realized that all the shops are behind me. Screw that, I'm not backtracking. First gas station has no electricity so there's no fuel. Luckily there is also another station just less then a kilometer away, on a new transit road.

In the middle of that busy road I was "greeted" by a kitten. He was running around right in the traffic lane. His less fortunate brother/sister was run over by some vehicle and the little guy didn't want to move away. I stopped, took the kitty off the road. Mom was nowhere to be found so I just took him down the embankment. He got back up to the road even before I did... Repeat this procedure few times, with same result. In the end all I could do is get on the bike and move away. Little guy just ran after me before I rounded first corner. I really hoped that he would get off the road instead of joining his brother/sister as a road kill. And ten minutes later when I was passing by again he was nowhere to be seen which was a major relief.




When I was talking with a friend about plans for this trip he mentioned some abandoned town somewhere in the area. He had no name or exact location but that was enough to get me extremely interested. I just love shooting abandoned and decaying buildings. Whole town, abandoned... That's like a playground to a child! Short google search yielded some results: Rtanj village, shadowed by the mountain with same name. Old mining village which has seen it's best days a long long time ago.














And another abandoned mine near by.








Road toward Cestobrodica pass has been renovated recently. Silk smooth tarmac, wide and gentle corners. In times like this I wish for a much more powerful bike. Corners are just to gentle to be fun on a loaded dual sport. Sun is slowly setting but today that's not reason to be upset. Today is a gathering for a 2 days enduro ride and I know exactly where I'll be camping and I know there will be other people around. Yeah right...






Practically after dark I reached gathering location, mountain hut in middle of the forest. Not a single soul around!!! Fucking cold shower!!! No mobile phone signal around. After few minutes of knocking on every door and window I could reach it became very obvious that place is empty. Sound of chainsaw nearby got me to some workers. No, they didn't see any bikers today. No, there's no host in a mountain hut.

Get back on the bike, backtrack 5-10 kilometers until there is mobile reception, call back home to check if maybe gathering location changed in these 7 days I've been away. Minutes passing by so slowly waiting for the reply... Few years later I got the info: due to low interest gathering was moved for tomorrow, location is good. All right, game on. At least now I now what to do. While I was waiting for a reply I took some time to look around and it turned out that this is a good location to spend the night. Nice meadow with soft grass, few pine trees to offer shade and that atmosphere, stream only few meters away, lights from the hotels parking lot shining just enough... Now, that's something I could actually enjoy

Oh, what a day!!!
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Old 08-04-2013, 01:46 PM   #203
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DAY SEVEN, REST DAY


Today is an unplanned opportunity to have a day off and I do plan to take full advantage. Late morning start, very relaxed packing pace and moving to a new location only few kilometers away...




Gathering location is old mountain hut at source of Grza river. After I have setup the camp there was plenty of time to kill before other riders started arriving later in the afternoon. And what a place to do that! There are two small artificial lakes (spring water, extremely cold as it has no time to warm up), several springs now almost dry and many hiking paths.

It felt so good to be off the bike (stock handlebars never suited me. On every longer ride I end up with back pain. Now imagine 6 consecutive days of long rides... Problem was solved later with Rox Pivoting Risers and new handlebars, Renthal Fatbars) and have some physical activity.








Once people started arriving time just flew by. Only few stories, laughs and drinks later before it was time to go to bed.



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Old 08-04-2013, 03:08 PM   #204
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DAY EIGHT, ORGANIZED GROUP RIDE

Another early morning start, plenty of time to revisit all the springs and refill water bladder. I'm constantly amazed by the fresh water and our privilege to drink it straight from the springs,streams, waterfalls and even lakes. It is really a treasure...











As the ride start approached more and more people showed up. I didn't mention it before, this ride was at Kucajske Planine, largest uninhabited area in Serbia with some really good gravel roads. Also perfect for hard enduro...
























On a first off-road section my camera bag managed to fall off the seat and get tangled in chain, tire, wheel... PERFECT, just fucking perfect. It has been almost two days since I damaged something... Camera and lenses intact thou, so there's no real reason to be pissed off. I wouldn't even notice this if the group didn't stop for a first break.








After short and slow ride it was time for another break. When there are 20 people in a group it's impossible to have a short break and this was already starting to be annoying. Cool place thou, so it's all good.










Then came Velika Brezovica, few kilometers long meadow cut in half with almost perfect gravel road. High speeds are guaranteed. And then another long break...


Over the shoulder





Fuel pump is here for the old logging operation. It's long abandoned now but it makes for some nice photos :)


After this there was really long section going trough dense forest. Not a lot to see. Regular long breaks and slow riding pace started getting to me. At one point we were passed by a group of locals on quads. For some time I followed them. Now, that was fun riding (once I read this somewhere: if you're bored riding off-road it means your going to slow. I have to agree with that), chasing them on a twisty road. Fun didn't last for long thou as one of the quads got a puncture. Even before the guy started repairing it we were caught by slower group and I rejoined with them again.

















Last few kilometers before Zlotska (Lazareva) cave were on probably worst "regular" road I've ever seen. Large, round and loose rocks made for a bumpy and sometimes scary riding. Tour of the cave was well worth the effort. 8 degrees inside air temperature came as a perfect refreshment after few hours of baking in a saddle.

















Lunch in a nearby restaurant. Stew made from wild game... First time I ate anything other then "regular" meat, it certainly tastes differently but in a good way. And also a first time I had a chance to play with a fish-eye lens. Borrowed from another rider, it made for some interesting photos
















After lunch it was time to plan the route back. Majority of the riders opted for relaxing pavement ride. Small group of enthusiasts choose to go back more or less on same route (some 70-75 kilometers off rocks, dirt and gravel). First thing to do was finding some fuel. Gas station was out of operation but we managed to find a local who was more than happy to sell us some. Barrels in a shady garage, dirty bottles. Just don't think about amount of water he added into fuel :) Mark up price wasn't that bad considering other option would involve 30-40 kilometers of riding, and time was tight.

Ride back made up for all the slacking in the morning. Fast pace (all the bikes were lighter than mine) and practically no stops other than waiting for each other on intersections. Negative side of such riding was dust. Unbelievable amounts of dust. We were riding toward the sun and I was mostly riding at the back of the group. Helmet visor lost its "see trough" capabilities after only few minutes. On few occasions, when we got out of forest and onto meadows I couldn't see more than two meters, literally. Scary experience when it happened for the firs time (similar, actually opposite but with same results, to what happens when you enter a tunnel on u sunny day, difference is that here you have no idea what the road surface is like), after that i was prepared and speed was lower.

I usually don't post blurry images, this one is exception, just to give you some idea how bad the dust was. And of course, it was much worse in sunshine.








All that dust was just wrong for the poor camera (point and shoot, big camera was safe in a bag) hanging around my neck. Being an idiot like I am, I completely forgot to put it away... After that it mostly lost its ability to focus :)

And this is how I looked when we got back. EVERYTHING was covered with dust, it got trough to places I newer knew existed





First shower in more than a week couldn't have been timed more perfectly. It's nice to feel like human being once again :) Diner time, more stories and drinks and before long it's time for a sleep. But, before that, I took some time to stare at the sky above. Moon was young and gone so every single star was visible. Man, I could stare at stars for hours...

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Old 08-08-2013, 06:26 AM   #205
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I'm off to another trip. It will be a while before I get back to this RR. Sorry for delays and thanks for your patience

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Old 08-08-2013, 06:45 AM   #206
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Again enjoy!
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:52 AM   #207
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First two weeks of holiday with girlfriend on lake Ohrid in Macedonia. After I get back it will be time to head to proper adventure ride in Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia. Insane riding schedule
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:27 AM   #208
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You seem to have life pretty well worked out Gliga
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:36 PM   #209
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Enjoy the trails.
We know you'll bring us back great pictures!
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:57 AM   #210
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Hello Gliga

Thanks for posting your GPS logs, just got back from a month long trip and followed some of your routes on the way to Albania. You must have no fear of heights, the peak of Bjelasnica by the ski lift was very scary

Overall Bosnia and Montenegro had stunning scenery and I had a fantastic time.
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