ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-01-2014, 06:06 AM   #211
Gliga OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Gliga's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Serbia
Oddometer: 118
Well, it's been a while since I posted in this thread... I think it's about time to finish ride report, before starting on new ones from 2013

Few teaser pics from 2013, unrelated with this RR :)

Galicica National Park in Macedonia (FYROM):




Vlasic mountain, Bosnia and Herzegovina:




Durmitor NP, Montenegro:




Komovi mountain, Montenegro:




Vranica mountain, Bosnia and Herzegovina:




Old fortress in city of Sarande, Albania:




Dhermi town, Albania:




Fruska Gora mountain, Serbia:





Quote:
Originally Posted by 24seven View Post
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.

Glad you liked the area. Keep in mind that road climbing to Bjelasnica over the ski slope was completely renovated earlier in the year, it was much, much more interesting before that :)
__________________
http://www.balkanadvtours.com
Gliga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2014, 08:09 AM   #212
Gliga OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Gliga's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Serbia
Oddometer: 118
Day nine

Morning routine is by now well established. Breakfast, packing, saying goodbyes and it's time to start rolling. Right away I'm greeted by poorly maintained forest road. It feels good to ride on my own once again. Pavement starts in first village. There's a new pool with thermal water, few houses and old, abandoned hotel.






Next stop was in Senjski Rudnik village. It's an old mining village. I read a lot about it and really wanted to see it in person. It didn't deliver what was expected (either my expectations were high or I was spoiled by all those truly abandoned villages in southern Serbia...). Oh, yes, it was also scene of tip over No 188236. This one resulted in shortened brake lever. And, photo that caused the fall wasn't that good :)









Photos from point and shoot camera are much worse from now on. All that dust from yesterday found it's way to the inside of the lens, no way to clean it. It lasted a long time





In Resavica village it's time to leave pavement for, as it will turn out later, longest off-road section of entire trip. Unexpectedly, there is a fuel station here so it's time to fill up. You know times are tough when someone fills only 2 liters in a car (just over half a gallon...)




Gravel road is in good condition and is fun to ride. First place to visit is Uviralo, spot where Nekudovo river/stream disappears into the ground. This is height of dry season so there is no water in the stream. On a bright side, that means it's possible to climb all the way down into the cave where water usually disappears. What surprised me is that there are no visible cracks or channels for water, just regular river bed which is obviously to porous to prevent water from seeping trough. And sadly, because we are in Balkans, someone was smart enough to throw old truck tire down here...








Next landmark is Prskalo waterfall ("Sprayer" would be closest translation). I've read about this place long time before I bought a bike and it has always been on my must see list. Waterfall itself is not high and at this time of year there is just a weak stream. What makes it special is that water is rich in minerals and over time (I'm guessing that it took more than twelve years for that to happen :P ) it deposited part of those minerals and formed a ridge shaped like stem of a ship. Best of all it's possible to reach base of the falls on a bike And I do mean base. Or to be more precise, small pool that forms there. Experience was just surreal... Sort of hot sunny day, full riding gear, being showered by ice cold water (which is drinkable, off course). Getting the bike out of there was a bit tricky as there is barely any room to spare. Wet boots for the rest of the day was small price I had to pay, well worth it...












Next up, Valkaluci meadow and its "gate" (narrow strip of pines surrounding it). It's time for another break, this time on hunters lookout. All those places (disappearing stream, waterfall and now the meadow) were less then 10 minutes of riding apart but that didn't stop me from having nice, long breaks every time :)










After this break road takes me toward Resava canyon and Vinatovaca primeval forest. Road is mostly in good shape with few muddy sections and stretches of loose rocks/gravel. Looking at the stream by the side of the road I didn't notice one of those loose rock sections so before I knew what happened I was down. Front wheel just washed out... Crash bar did its job of even further destruction of fairings so I was properly pissed off... This stuff stopped being fun a long long time ago.








Little later on I missed a turn. It was one of those times when GPS decides to loose satellite reception. Kilometer or so later I realized the mistake so no big deal. I'm riding trough a forest and there is something strange about it. At first I can't figure out what's "wrong". Somehow there's to much light, to much sky. And then it hits me, all the leaves have fallen down. Even though autumn ins here this was the first forest I saw that changed its clothes...




Soon after I reconnected with main road. Surface is still gravel but this one is silky smooth. Speed goes up for a while. Encounter with a car coming from opposite direction, on my side of the road, in the middle of a corner quickly persuades me that I actually like riding slower and enjoying surroundings :)

And then there was pavement. Just under 70 kilometers and more than three hours of enjoyment :)
__________________
http://www.balkanadvtours.com
Gliga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2014, 02:53 PM   #213
Rango
Phaneropter
 
Rango's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: Kingdom of Belgium
Oddometer: 1,140
Thumb

Brilliant. Such superb vistas.
__________________
Moriunt omnes pauci vivunt
Rango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2014, 03:20 PM   #214
ADV67
Alsace rider
 
ADV67's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: France
Oddometer: 111
Hello Gliga,

Thank you so much for your fantastic travel report with so many beautiful pictures!
I have a question: can one travel through Durmitor national park and Zelengora end of May and early June? Or is there still snow on the mountain trails that time of year? I want to travel there this year at that time.

Happy New Year to all!
__________________
950SER '08 - XT1200Z '12- XLV750R '86 - XR600R ' 90 - XR350R '86 - DRZ400 '06 - Grizzly 700 '07
ADV67 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2014, 01:46 AM   #215
PHILinFRANCE
Beastly Adventurer
 
PHILinFRANCE's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: S W France my little bit of paradise
Oddometer: 1,119
Firstly great RxR and i think i'm going to end up bumping into ADV67 on the road next year because he's asking all my questions

Cheers Phil
__________________
I,M HERE FOR A GOOD TIME NOT ALONG TIME
PHILinFRANCE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2014, 04:38 AM   #216
Gliga OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Gliga's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Serbia
Oddometer: 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADV67 View Post
Hello Gliga,

Thank you so much for your fantastic travel report with so many beautiful pictures!
I have a question: can one travel through Durmitor national park and Zelengora end of May and early June? Or is there still snow on the mountain trails that time of year? I want to travel there this year at that time.

Happy New Year to all!

Zelengora shouldn't be a problem by that time. There is only one road going over the mountain and altitude is not that high.

Sedlo pass on Durmitor (the one that all bikers take :) ) can easily be blocked by snow drifts even in late June (as it was in 2013). Even thou that road is shortest route connecting several villages it's not maintained during winter. In some sections snow drifts form on northern slopes and high altitude so it takes a loooong time for it to melt away
__________________
http://www.balkanadvtours.com
Gliga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2014, 05:23 AM   #217
ADV67
Alsace rider
 
ADV67's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: France
Oddometer: 111
Thank you for your reply Gliga!
I guess we will just enter Durmitor early June and see what we find, if too much snow on the high trails we'll go back and plan an alternative route around.



@PhilinFrance: why not ride together? Will send you a PM.
__________________
950SER '08 - XT1200Z '12- XLV750R '86 - XR600R ' 90 - XR350R '86 - DRZ400 '06 - Grizzly 700 '07
ADV67 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2014, 08:03 AM   #218
PHILinFRANCE
Beastly Adventurer
 
PHILinFRANCE's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: S W France my little bit of paradise
Oddometer: 1,119
Replied to the PM and would love to meet up , i intend to camp as much as possible but do like a hotel ever so often
__________________
I,M HERE FOR A GOOD TIME NOT ALONG TIME
PHILinFRANCE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2014, 09:57 AM   #219
Gliga OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Gliga's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Serbia
Oddometer: 118
Camping is the way to go Nothing compares to a night spent under clear skies, far far away from any crowds (or any other people in most cases). And camping is mostly free as there are only few proper campsites. Hotels are never located in most beautiful areas so they are a compromise.
__________________
http://www.balkanadvtours.com
Gliga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2014, 12:24 PM   #220
PHILinFRANCE
Beastly Adventurer
 
PHILinFRANCE's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: S W France my little bit of paradise
Oddometer: 1,119
Hope so, i've packed my anti wolf and bear spray
__________________
I,M HERE FOR A GOOD TIME NOT ALONG TIME
PHILinFRANCE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2014, 12:27 PM   #221
Gliga OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Gliga's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Serbia
Oddometer: 118
DAY NINE, continued

After just couple of kilometers it's time for another break. Veliki Buk waterfall. Place is beautiful, there are several restaurants in a complex around the falls. And it's CROWDED. By this time I'm spoiled by spending so much time in nature all by my self and crowds just seem wrong. So I just take some pictures and move on.




Next up there was a tunnel/ mine entrance right by the road. Gates are open, there are no guards or any other people and I'm tempted to go inside and have a look. Common sense prevailed n the end so I stayed out :)






And that marks end of my loop trough/over Kucaj mountains (started day before on a group ride). Expectations were high and they were exceeded, easily. This area is, officially, largest unpopulated part of Serbia. It was supposed to be complete wilderness but I never got that impression. There were more signs of human activities here (logging, hunting...) than in most other places. There are numerous locations for camping (no organised campsites), roads are good enough even for riding two up...

In Sladaja village it time to leave pavement once again and head across Beljanica mountain. Before start of the trip I knew nothing about this place. Only reason I got here is because it was an off-road shortcut connecting two places. Road is a mix of old cobblestone and gravel. At first it winds trough some shrubs, without a single tree, as if whole forest burned in recent years and is now slowly recovering. But, as road climbs up forest slowly returns with its glory. It's an old beech forest with almost zero low/ground vegetation. It looks so inviting for a walk...




In one moment I came across herd of horses. Most of them are grazing by the side of the road but there are few standing across the road. Engine noise scares them so they begin to run. When one horse run. whole herd does the same. There is no place for them to move so they run on the road. Somehow I found myself riding right in a middle of the herd. It was really a special moment and it lasted for a minute or two before leading horses found a place to get of road. No photos, sorry...

Before turnoff toward the summit there is a large plateau with a dead end road going across. It's an idyllic place, with perfect grass and covered with fir trees. It's early but this looks like great place to spend a night. Having no food and almost no water means I have to move on, at least to reach nearest town...




















Gentle uphill road winds trough dense forest. Then, suddenly forest stops and you find yourself on another large plateau covered with very young fir forest. Views from the top reach far away thanks to clear air. It's windy and sort of chilly. By this time I was beaten so it's time for a nap. Old foundations served as a bed. Warm concrete, hidden from the wind... I'm out for next 30 minutes And once again I'm pissed of that I have no food or at least water to camp here. I know this is last good opportunity to do so...










It's time to move on. Soon after leaving the summit it is time to get of the mountain. Road leading down follows eastern slope. Forest is dense and dark, sun is getting close to horizon. Whole place stopped looking inviting within just few minutes. Down in a valley road becomes even better. I approach place marked as "Waterfall" on my GPS so it's time for a break. There is an old, trashed and ruined, mountain hut on a meadow. I can't hear or see any sign of waterfall so I press on. Sun is to low to spend time looking for something that might not exist :)




After time spent in cold, dark forest sight of meadow bathing in golden sunlight was very welcoming. I just have to stop and soak it in. I noticed a huge dog running toward me before I got off the bike. Now, I'm not afraid of dogs, but difference between playful, curious one and faithful guard dog which wants you out of there is very obvious to me. This one was from that other group :) He quit the chase after a while, never had a chance to catch me :) Photos below were shot on some other sun bathing meadow...






Getting close to civilization, Zagubica town. It doesn't look promising. First up is garbage dump, then badly covered old landfill, then a graveyard and then some rundown restaurant with trash everywhere. Restaurant is located at source of Mlava river, there are some shady characters around so I don't even get off the bike... That place is supposedly very pretty, might be that I arrived after some festivities...




Fuel and food stop, finally. There is no more off-road riding today so it's good time to get tire pressure back up. Air compressor at fuel station is faulty and pressure gauge is not working. I managed to fill up front tire but only succeeded in deflating the rear one. Oh well...

Just as I was ready to go police officer decided it would be a great idea to check my papers. Since by this time I was in a real hurry (no idea where to camp, sun almost down...) it took forever to write all my data down. And apparently it is possible to read large KAWASAKI decal on side of my bike as SUZUKI It took some time to clear that up :)

I'm on my way again, riding toward Majdanpek town. Road is fun and twisty, climbing up and down over some hills. On one "pass" there are several roads branching from the main one, nice meadow hidden from the road by some trees. In a rare moment of clear thinking I decide it's time to stop here. If I go back down into the valley it will be difficult to find another place, Danube is way to far to reach before nightfall so it's smart thing to do.

As I got off the bike all I wanted was to eat and set up camp. One look to the rear of the bike proved that eating might be difficult as my food fell off the bike. Felt like an idiot... I mean, I was hungry for most of the day, I missed several spectacular camping spots because I wanted to buy food and now it's gone... Last resource was walking back to the main road, hoping that it fell off as I got off road. Eureka, there it was, bread lying on the ground, covered with dirt Oh, what a joy!!!






Tent is up, water for tea is boiling (great opportunity to use remainder of plants I picked up few days ago), dinner (sandwiches) ready. Stars are slowly filling the sky and soon they are all up there. Lying on sharply cut wheat straws, staring at skies, I can't think of anything that would improve this moment. What makes it even more special is knowing that only day or two later views of stars would be replaced by blank ceiling back home...








168 kilometers covered that day in five hours of riding. 120km were off road which is most I covered in a day on this tour.
__________________
http://www.balkanadvtours.com
Gliga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2014, 04:20 PM   #222
PHILinFRANCE
Beastly Adventurer
 
PHILinFRANCE's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: S W France my little bit of paradise
Oddometer: 1,119
great
__________________
I,M HERE FOR A GOOD TIME NOT ALONG TIME
PHILinFRANCE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2014, 05:19 PM   #223
Cal
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Calgary
Oddometer: 796
Gliga
Thanks for the great report!! Now that I have bought a bike in Europe I hope to ride the areas you are riding in. Bike is in Spain right now and I have 10 weeks to ride this spring then store the bike and do the eastern countries the next year.
Cheers
Cal is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2014, 12:28 PM   #224
Gliga OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Gliga's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Serbia
Oddometer: 118
Day ten

Chilly wind greats me in the morning. I get up just as the sun shines above tree branches.









Dirty little bike...






All that gravel riding took some toll on tires


Road toward Majdanpek town is in bad shape (at least for someone not riding DS bike) but fun and twisty. I head near collision with a dog. Luckily for him at he decided to attack me from the side, not head on, so he got missed by very small margin. Absolutely no time to react in any way, it happened so quick.










Approaching Majdanpek there are some huge piles of dirt/gravel. OK, I know there is a massive mine (copper) here but it's impossible that rubble piles are that big? Well, it is possible. Size of open pit mine catches me by surprise. It's just so deep and wide. I can see those dumper trucks at the bottom, looking more like ants than anything else. And I know how big they are up close...






Majdanpek is a small town, built on a hill side.




Road between Majdanpek and Donji Milanovac winds trough a forest. There is almost no traffic and it's a pleasure to ride. For some reason I just can't get into riding groove. Several times I end up on wrong side of the road in a middle of corner (not that I was trying to ride fast or aggressive). Each time that happens one thought goes trough my mind: "GAME OVER, pleas insert another coin to continue." By the way, decision to stop and camp at that pass last night proved to be a great one. I saw no place that looked inviting during first couple hours of today's ride...

After some time I started expecting Danube river to come into sight. Few times I took some side roads hoping to get a nice view but that didn't happen (first road turned ugly very quickly and I wasn't up for that, second one dead ended as soon as it begun).






Danube, Djerdap gorge... I live in flat part of Serbia, Danube there is a wide, slow river. It's very strange for me to see river so big squeezed between mountains. This part of Danube is artificial lake nowadays. Wind from this morning really got stronger once I got down to the river. It's a very common wind, blowing from Karpatian mountains trough Danube gorge and into Panonian plane. I meet numerous groups of cyclist, most of them following river downstream with a head on wind. Now, I know how much difference even a light breeze makes when you're riding a bicycle (let a lone a fully loaded one) and this was far far, far from light breeze. Riding 40 km/h I could still feel wind on my back... Total respect for those guys and girls! I also saw couple going downstream in a canoe...










Prehistoric archaeological site at Lepenski Vir gives me good opportunity to stretch my legs. Whole complex looks nice, there are also some authentic ethno houses and restaurant. Among busload of German senior tourists I stand out as oddity.








Next up, Golubac fortress. A must stop place! I climb to every possible spot. Danube is at its widest just a little upstream, more than 5 kilometers wide...












I met a Romanian couple on a BMW Dakar, returning from their trip along Serbian side of Danube. And then I shot some more photos










And more...














Road gets progressively more boring after fortress. Corners disappear and landscape slowly turns into planes. In Golubac town it's time for a breakfast (first meal of a day is breakfast, doesn't matter if you eat it at 1PM :) ) Few kilometers after Golubac I leave main road and follow river banks toward Veliko Gradiste. Time for a fuel stop and to check tire pressure. "Compressor is working, there's no need to ask that..." Well, it works if you need to deflate tires...
Visit to tire repair shop finally gave me proper inflation.








Srebrno jezero lake formed by blocking one of Danube's meanders and it's now popular destination. I pass by without stopping.






I reach the barge going across Danube in Ram village. It should take me straight to the edge of Deliblatska Pescara, large sandy area where I plan to spend the night. Time table says that next crossing is in two hours which is a long wait. Just to be sure I ask around and it turns out that barge is not operating today due to strong winds... And just like that my adventure is over. It would take few hours to get across river by roads and I don't feel like that's interesting option... So that means it's time to go home...









But first, there is old fortress in Ram. It would be stupid not to visit while there.










Approaching Kostolac I go by another large, very large mine. There are rich coal deposits here, close to the surface. I never planned to go this way so I know nothing about the area. At some point I see a sign, pointing to Roman ruins, Viminacium. Signs lead me into power plant complex but not further, from the road I can see the sight but not the way to get there. Pissed off I just turned around... Power plant is huge, just compare size of that tower crane (and you know these are always tall) with all other buildings and chimney...






From Kostolac reality catches back up with me. Suddenly there is heavy traffic, people are nervous and most of them are driving like idiots. I sure didn't miss any of that crap in last 10 days.

Pozarevac, Smederevo, Kovin, Pancevo and then numerous villages roll by. After crossing the Danube in Smederevo I'm reminded why I don't like riding in plains: it's flat, it's boring, there are no turns, fields stink from fertilizers... There is no joy in ride like that, it is time to switch to auto pilot for the remainder of the day. I get mixed feelings as I get closer to home. I'm not happy to see this trip over but than again, being on the road wasn't fun as it should be any more... I was worn out. I would have to find a compromise for next trips, include a day off every now and then, away from the bike, find some company, something like that... I'm home as the sun sets
__________________
http://www.balkanadvtours.com
Gliga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2014, 12:56 PM   #225
blacktiger
Tigers R great.
 
blacktiger's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: St.Leonards on Sea, England.
Oddometer: 3,600
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gliga View Post
I'm home as the sun sets
A fitting end to a great ride. Thanks for sharing. I must get out to see all that one day.
__________________
2002 black Tiger955i, 72000 miles and counting.
2012 black Tiger800XC, 40000 miles and counting.
blacktiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 04:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014