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Old 07-30-2014, 03:27 PM   #586
WesleyDRZ400 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yeuop View Post
So what's new, Wesley?
I do believe you are now somewhere in central Asia
I just got back from a trip to Nordkapp and then Murmansk, St Petersburg and so on.
Yeuop good to hear you are back on the road, i am still around central Asia from time to time. Photos below of recent trips

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Originally Posted by Blader54 View Post
ADV to Wesley.......copy?
I copy Blader54, just been busy with travels and work but now i have a few days off to update this blog soon however for now here are some photos from recent trips in Kyrgyzstan a few weeks ago










































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Old 07-30-2014, 03:33 PM   #587
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Originally Posted by PropTP View Post
I was considering visiting a friend in Ukraine and my Google search led me to this thread. Read it all in one session. Made for a inspiring and riveting read! Thanks for posting!
Thanks, will carry on updating soon as been busy

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Originally Posted by 00-SEB-00 View Post
Ratte, Since your profile says that you live in Brussels, I assume you have BE nationality? If so, pm or mail me, I'll help you out with how and where for the visas.
I actually met Wes in Tajikistan when we were both there.
Ratte, Seb will be better for information rather than me as you are both BE nationals so his advice on visa ect ect is better than i can give

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Originally Posted by hunter151 View Post
Just finally caught up with this report after a few days. Wesley, thanks for putting this all out there - its truly an inspiration.

While I generally hold the belief that people are for the most part good - I am sure your luck with accommodation and friendliness is a mirror upon yourself and your personality. It is easy to tell from your stories that your positiveness and openness to new people and experiences pretty much carries you on this trip.

This is more than a ride report - this is a lesson on how to live a happy life! :
Thankyou Hunter
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:27 PM   #588
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Im so glad your back Wesley, (exhale) These latest photos are breathtaking, and of course it looks like you havent had any problems making yourself at home with the locals. Those Kirghiz seem like a real friendly lot.
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:31 AM   #589
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Fantastic pics Wes , say hello to Ali if you see him :, the rebuilt forks he did for us got us back to the Uk no problem.






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Old 07-31-2014, 06:12 AM   #590
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I take it the people in the photos eat a lot of horse meat? I don't see any signs of any other indigenous foods? I have been away myself and may not be up to speed on your report. What language do these people speak? Thanks.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:32 AM   #591
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Thanks for the shots from your latest! Looking forward to the resumption of your story....and some details about a rumored "big event"....but I understand the nature of your work and the impact it has on updating! Thanks again!
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:54 PM   #592
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First Day In Kazakhstan

The National Flag of Kazakhstan



So as mentioned i just entered Kazakhstan i was speaking to the two German chaps i just met on there big bikes.

Well we was heading in the same direction to the city of Atyrau.

Atyrau, known as Guryev until 1991, is a city in Kazakhstan, and the capital of Atyrau Province. It is located at the mouth of the Ural River, 2700 kilometers west of Almaty and 351 kilometers east of the Russian city of Astrakhan.


Like in Russian most non CIS citizens require to register but in Russia you have 7 days however in Kazakhstan you only have 5 days

I had some information i found on the internet about a hotel i could register my passport with in Atyrau as i was looking to get this out the way first and then focus on the ride to Kyrgyzstan.

One of the German guys asked about where i was planning to register and i told him i had some information on a place, he asked for GPS information of this registration office location so he could input into the navigation systems of "Air Force One" control panel


I explained using a GPS is not how i roll


However i did email this information to my self so he gave me his email address and i said when i arrive in Atyrau tonight i will email it across.

They then got ready to leave and i could see they wanted to push on and with bigger more powerful bikes they would probably be there in no time.

I hanged around talking to my new made Kazak friend who work this check point border crossing trying to learn a few Kazak words rather than Russian and soon after 1 hour or so i then rolled on out myself heading to Atyrau.

The road was pretty bad but i was in the riding zone again and just stood up on my foot pegs with my knees slightly bent not even adjusting my speed for the bad roads as the DRZ just soaked all the pot holes up with ease

After a hour or so i saw the two BMW bikes outside a small road side cafe as it must have been hard going i assume on such bikes due to the road condition but i did not want to stop and impose on there trip and needed to head to Atyrau as quick as i can as i was burning daylight.........


However i soon got distracted and saw my first camel so i had to stop!!!





Soon after stopping a old small white Lada saloon car pulled up next to me, a very old Kazak gentleman got out with a much younger boy and another man around my age at the wheel, this was first real contact with locals other than the workers at the boarder check point

The old man walked up to me with the younger boy, i think they owned the camels around and where checking on them and wanted to know what i was doing.

It soon become apparent i spoke neither Russian or Kazak and soon came the words i heard often "Kuda Kuda" i replied as always "Anglia Anglia"

I said "Prevet kok delar" he said "nyet Prevet Kok delar" but in a very polite way but also looking very confused

With hand gestures and basic words i knew in Russian i explained the country's i had crossed and the country's i was heading to.

The older gentleman then said "adien Kazakhstan" "adien Kazakhstan" i assumed asking if this is my first time in Kazakhstan in which i replied "Da"

He smiled and put his hand out to me and when i put my hand out to shake his hand he said "Salaam Alaikum" with a smile and whilst holding my hand he then said "Wa Alaikum Salaam" and the younger boy next to him was moving his head and smiling to me like i should copy so again the older gentleman said with a firm handshake and big smile "Salaam Alaikum" and nodding at me again and said again "Wa Alaikum Salaam" so i repeated "Wa Alaikum Salaam" in which he then tapped my shoulder with his other hand and moved it around in a proud manner as if he was officially welcoming me to Kazakhstan

They smiled and then walked back to there car and waved as they drove off.

I then headed back on my way to Atyrau but then got waved over by some young kids so i stopped as they was fishing so i wanted to see what they had caught



One of the kids liked my back up compass on my bike so i gave it to him


In return they wanted to give me a fish to take with me however i could not take it with me


So i made it to Atyrau very tired and with just in a couple of minutes of being in the city a car flashed me to pull over, the man got out and as he walked up to me i took my helmet off and he we shaked hands, his name was Serik

Serik said at first he though i was a tourist and when he got up close looking at me with my helmet on he said i looked like a Kazak due to my small eyes but when i took my helmet off he said from my nose down i have a euro face however from the top of my nose up i have a Kazak face

Anyway Serik took his time showing me all the hotels around, Atyrau is a oil town so most prices are high for hotels but Serik took me to a cheap but good hotel and spoke to the owners so i think he got me a better rate

Serik gave me his phone number and email info and said if i ever need anything more i am welcome to call him for any help and he could see i was super tired





So this was my first day in Kazakhstan and i was really starting to like it
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:21 PM   #593
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So the reason i think when i left Donbas region in East Ukriane and just entered Russia but decided to head to Georgia rather than head straight to Kazakhstan was due to the shear size of Kazakhstan, i know Russia is massive but i am not planning to cross Russia (Well not yet ) but to get to Krgystan i really have to cross a large part of Kazakhstan to get to Bishkek.



I read of other forums that Kazakhstan was a boring mostly flat country scenically and most people only really transit across it as quick as they can to get to other country's on motorbike trips and the roads are terrible and it is very hot maybe to hot.

Also i thought riding at night to make up time was out of the question due to the poor lighting of the DRZ, i also read that the year before another British rider had died on his motorbike trip as he hit an animal while he was riding.

I now had two options i could either take the smooth asphalt roads that are silky soft scattered with petrol stations and road side cafes which is the North East then South route

Atyrau, Aktobe, xpomtay, Kostanay, Astana to Bishkek route

Or i could take the broken road route which is South East roads stopping short of Aktobe and heading to Ember and the passing the Aralsk sea.

On the forums i read before hand people said fuel stations, hotels and road side cafes are few and far between with mainly just small dessert villages here and there on this route.

So the broken road route it would be, making the most of the comfort of my hotel i prepped my bags put my camera on charge and soon fell into a coma catching up on sleep still fully dressed laying on top of my bed

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Old 08-18-2014, 08:58 AM   #594
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Enjoying the report, thanks for posting it - safe travels, looking forward to the next installment!
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:36 PM   #595
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So i sleeped very well it would seem to well as the hotel reception woke me calling the room phone saying i was late by 1 hour checking out as now it was 10am the next morning...........

I soon checked out and stopped to fuel up, i decided to take extra fuel as to me from what i had read and had been told these areas are remote so i did not know what to expect.

Most of this failed the shake test


It is funny how when you speak to locals they always say to take this road or that road as it is better, or they say i should stay near city's rather than small villages.

I try to say i want to take the broken roads and would rather see the small villages, as someone who has been very lucky to travel a lot i to understand it is more interesting for me to go to the villages rather than the city's as most citys all over the world are mostly the same being strongly Western influenced with a fast pace in life and not much time

Well after i stocked up on fuel and drinks i made my way out but as always leaving a city with no GPS is a nightmare so i stopped to ask various people as i slowly made my way out Atyrau City.

After asking direction photos were also taken


But something very strange just to show how much of a small world it is happened. well i later found out happened

Since this trip ended i have joined a Russian/Ukraine motor bike forum (Google translate works well ) which is great to search for information or ask locals information, on this forum Maga who i meet in Ingushetia also posted up the link to this blog and one guy on this forum said he met me near the road whilst i was leaving Atyrau as i asked him for directions, he was in a car with his young child sat next to him.

I remember asking him but also up to this point in the blog never mentioned anything more than Georgia or where i went next.

So a total stranger i asked for directions randomly whilst leaving the Kazakhstan city of Atyrau whilst in his car is also a member of this Russian/Ukraine motorbike forum as he also owns a motorbike and it just so happens i randomly joined this forum he is also a member on...... maybe its a total coincidence or maybe its a glitch in the matrix



So now it was mid afternoon and i had found my way out of the city but the roads were getting bad and sometimes they would just stop and it was just sand, i got to an industrial building but the road just stopped and i was confused where to go.

Well then i heard a truck coming which passed me and just headed off randomly in the sand on no tracks, it then stopped and all i saw was a hand waving me to come closer so i did, the driver pointed at me and then his steering wheel i assumed he was telling me to follow him so i did.

After a few miles we got back onto some rough tracks in the middle of what looked like nowhere and then they stopped the truck and got out, well 3 people go out in all



We talked for awhile even though we could not understand each other, they were heading of making there own tracks in the sand in another direction but pointed to where i needed to go so we say are goodbyes and i headed off again after they left there mark



So i was on my way and found the road which was very bad as it was full of large pot holes but he Sputnik Explorer suspensions is great and handled it with ease.

As i was riding coming towards me i saw another biker, a guy who was from Barcelona in Spain and he is also a member of ADV Rider and has a blog about his trip on ADV Rider.

Here is the section of Rixelieu blog about our short meeting
http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...=882900&page=3

He was planning to visit Mongolia but on this section of road he smashed his rim on his Suzuki DL650 V-Strom and as this is tubeless it would not hold air so he had a bodge repair job carried out so he could make it back to Atyrau to assess his options for a more suitable repair or replacement







Rixelieu advised me it was better to ride on the sand in the tracks the trucks made adjacent to the pot holed road rather than on the road as there is a big chance i will damage my rim but he also said my bike should be ok as it is lighter and more an enduro type bike.

We then both parted and i carried on but a little nervous about getting a puncture as i have never had to fix one before or even changed a tire

It was amazing as far as you could see was total emptiness for miles and miles and then every now and then you would see the dust trails from large trucks making there way mostly on sand tracks in the desert sand who would sound there horn or wave as you or them passed

There is something great with feeling being alone in a foreign land










The road was ok for a few miles but then it got worse and even trying to avoid the pot holes i would still hit large ones and would hear the dinging sound of the rims as they smashed on the corner edge of the pot holes in which i would look down expecting a puncture however this never happened but i decided to take Rixelieu's advice and ride on the sand adjacent to the road just to be safe

It was the first time i had ever ride a motorbike on sand so i was in for a quick lesson, i fell off a few times but it was great fun and with riding on the sand i felt it was more easy to correct yourself when you feel the bike go from under you

I rode with my ipod music on as if i was on some desert race having a blast, it felt really amazing.

I started to enjoy riding fast offroad, well what seemed fast for me anyway








The thing is when you take these desert tracks there is a small hill adjacent to the road so once you commit to the sand tracks you cant get back on the road until you find a break in the adjacent hill banks which could sometimes be a few miles to get back onto the road

Also as i rode i would see another route next to me i would then follow which would go off totally in the wrong direction but once you commit you must either follow it on head back the way you came.

However in the distance there was power cables which also followed the road so as long as i could see them i felt ok, even if sometimes they just looked like sticks in the far distance


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Old 08-18-2014, 07:02 PM   #596
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So it started to get dark, with no hotels around and not wanting to wild camp as i had fully rested the night before in the hotel i decided i should do a night ride, whats the worse that could happen ?







I had a few friends to keep me company if needed

4




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Old 08-18-2014, 07:38 PM   #597
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Since leaving Tbilisi in Georgia and riding up to Russian and now crossing Kazakhstan i had no map as they never had none at any of the petrol stations i stopped at so i was just relying on asking locals for directions or just follow the lights

Like a moth to the flame i headed to the lights of the night



Also locals would help when asking directions and also good for rest breaks with random conversations which always helped me understand more Russian


On one stretch of road in the middle of nowhere i saw a man standing on the side of the road as if waiting for a ride, i asked if he needed a lift and he just got on the back and we rode together.

He was on the back for a good 100km so not sure what he was doing in the middle of nowhere but when passing a small village we got stopped by a lone police car at a cross roads, the gentleman on the back explained i did not speak Kazak/Russian and the policeman asked if i had rode all the way from England in which i replied yes and he started laughing and got on his radio waving his hand as if i should stay where i am

Soon another police car arrived and they all started laughing, i think they found it very funny that i was traveling from England and was giving a random guy i met in the remote Kazak desert a ride on my motorbike in the middle of the night, i could also see the funny side and soon they waved us goodbye and also took a photo of me and my passenger/ co pilot



I got a tap on my shoulder as we approached some small wooden house's and my passenger left but also asked if i wanted to rest at his house, i was still feeling great riding at night so thanked him for his offer but carried on however i did not get very far as tiredness soon came on and i needed somewhere to rest so i started searching for a place to sleep...........
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:56 PM   #598
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i had been riding for around 15 hours including all the stops and had now arrived at a town called Embi which is roughly 600km/380 miles from the city of Atyrau.

it was very early morning and still dark, i stopped at a petrol station on the edge of the Town but they was closed however i asked the nightshirt workers if i could sleep around the back of the petrol station and they smiled and agreed i could stay there and asked what time i would need to get up and kindly woke me in the morning

Simple camping


After packing up ready to roll the petrol station workers also left there mark on the Sputnik Explorer


So i left the small town of Ember early in the morning with the sun still rising




I soon found a road side cafe to eat at and headed back on the road again


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Old 08-18-2014, 08:46 PM   #599
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I would pass a few small desert villages


Then as i was riding i noticed 2 small children standing on the side of the road in a remote area so i stopped






In the distances i could see a car so assumed it must belong to there parents so i went to take a look

I think in the West we sometimes assume the worst like maybe this could be a trap to rob someone, maybe it is due to the news always reporting just the worse situations in life feeding us propaganda/bullsh@t 24/7 to justify actions or control measures we sometimes think the worst in life?

So i went to see if i could help as i had a few tools................

It was a rear flat tire and the pump they had was no good so we tried with my foot pump but this tire had more than one hole and i could feel the air pouring out as i pumped it up, they had a spare so we tried to change it

Hence the word tried


I passed a desert village but that was a good near hour back the way, i did not want to leave them like this and also they had run out of water.

I had water so i gave it to the children and also some to granddad who was resting on the back seat as the heat had got to much for him.



I decided it would be better if the kids father comes with me on the back of the Sputnik Explorer and we go to the village i passed as maybe we could get a impact driver or cutter to get the last bolt off , i knew i would be a few hours down but i feel once you make someone else's problem your problem you then have to help them out until it gets sorted





So i rode back to the village i passed with there father on the back

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Old 08-19-2014, 01:09 AM   #600
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BIG to you !!!!
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