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Old 07-10-2014, 08:30 AM   #301
blacktiger
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Originally Posted by young1 View Post
I am currently in Bari, ferry leaves at 8.00pm and arrives in Greece at 6.30 am, hope for a smooth sailing!
Careful in Greece as the roads can be very slick when wet. They're covered in a layer of fine dust which turns to slime when wet.
Apart from that I think you'll like Greece as there's always a mountain in view so the scenery is great. I thought the most scenic area was in the hills just south of Patra.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:40 PM   #302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacktiger View Post
Careful in Greece as the roads can be very slick when wet. They're covered in a layer of fine dust which turns to slime when wet.
Apart from that I think you'll like Greece as there's always a mountain in view so the scenery is great. I thought the most scenic area was in the hills just south of Patra.

Now don't you go putting the hex on the weather!

Thanks for the tip blacktiger :-)

Rob if you are reading this, the ferry left on time and I received your text. See you in the morning.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:12 PM   #303
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Now don't you go putting the hex on the weather!
Hope not. Greece is lovely in the sunshine. e.g.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:26 PM   #304
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Heya Mike and Leanne

Big catch up with wifi here in La Paz, you guys have covered some neat territory and the Ducati Factory, we went there too, loved the bikes and history, we also did the Guzzi museum loved Italy full stop!!!

And Stelvio, would love to be let loose on super moto ... it snowed the day we went over.

Re your water/oil problem I bet it will be your waterpump seal gone south, it is an easy fix with a new pump kit which has two bearings, shaft, seals and impeller so the KT shop should be able to knock it out quickly, job won't be more that 3 hours for interests sake .....so you know.

Keep up the good work mate really enjoying the read ... a life saver for us in Bolivia, death road tomorrow then out we go

Love to you both

Andi & Ellen
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:44 AM   #305
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Hope not. Greece is lovely in the sunshine. e.g.
Welcome to our beautifull country...... enjoy your time and the view
P.M. me sshould you need any assistance while in Greece. I'm in Athens
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:55 AM   #306
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Before I start today's update I want to first introduce you to Danil from Parkway Bikers Rock'n'Roll Cafe in Bari.

I stopped there yesterday afternoon, before I needed to be at the ferry, for a coffee and to use the wifi.

What a fantastic guy, through his limited English he wanted to know where I was from, where I was going, wanted to see this blog etc. Then refused payment for the coffee and came out to see me off.

A genuine good guy.

Thank you Danil


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Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:08 AM   #307
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Welcome to our beautifull country...... enjoy your time and the view
P.M. me sshould you need any assistance while in Greece. I'm in Athens
Thank you for the kind offer DoctorAbo :-)
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:01 PM   #308
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Friday? It must be Greece

It was a nice calm crossing of the Adriatic (9.5 hours departing at 8.00 pm) my seat was nice and comfy, dull lights, my neighbour snored and some poor kid had a bad cough. So I got 3 hours of "quality" sleep lol.

I met Rob as planned, he came over from Corfu, in Igoumenitsa (Greece), he on the marvellous KTM 1190 R (for you non bikers his bike is the replacement / upgrade for my bike)



First stop was Dodonna, the site of the Oracle. What I found fascinating is that the archeologists are still excavating the site, they actually unearthed something while we were standing there, here they are digging (woman on the right is the head archeologist who showed us around)



Leanne I know how you love Roman amphitheatres (private joke from a trip to Turkey where we saw lots of them) well you missed this one, it is a Greek theatre that is still being uncovered



From there to Meteora, this is a place that I have wanted to visit since seeing it in James Bonds "Live and Let Die". Those are monasteries on top of the sheer cliffs



In the past the only way for the monks to get up was by ropes being lowered to them



On the way out we stopped at a small village to use the spring, a great way to cool down!



Rob checked out the local produce that was for sale and bought some. He was "quietly" approached by one of the sellers with an unlabelled bottle, of an innocently clear fluid, that just happened to be village brewed Ouzo! Now I have quite liked Ouzo in the past (quiet Claire Byrne) and as I sit here we are sipping it (so I need to finish this fast while I still make sense). Here are some of the other potions for sale



Over the road was a cool little cafe where we had lunch. A group of three (BMW) Greek bikers came in who were on day one of a twenty day trip to Spain and back, so we caught up with them. This is Costas



Here they are heading off (BMWs behind the KTMs obviously...)



We had a great lunch, the Souvlaki was to die for (yes mum I did eat it!)



Now what was going to be a 40 minute lunch stop turned out to be over 2 hours. The team who own the cafe were outstanding. Travel to me is about meeting and getting to know the locals, the afternoon turned out to be one out of the box. What a neat group of locks, they came and sat with us, looked at my NZ photos, gave (yes gave) us coffee and dessert.

The cafe is in Trigona, heading towards Meteora the spring is on the left. If you are heading that was please stop and support them, they only purchased the business a month ago.

What with Danil last night (see previous post) I have been very lucky to meet four really nice people.

Here they are (and the ouzo is affecting us and we can't remember the names except for Natasa on the left)

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Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:02 PM   #309
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Leanne made it home safely, thank you Phil and Dawn for picking her up at the airport.

To Albania today :-)
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Old 07-12-2014, 02:51 AM   #310
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Originally Posted by young1 View Post
Leanne made it home safely, thank you Phil and Dawn for picking her up at the airport.

To Albania today :-)
It was great to see Leanne again after 2 months, we had a chat at the cafe at the airport then headed home in some heavy " Naki sunshine "
She's coming to our place for a coffee tomorrow to see the progress.
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:51 AM   #311
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It was great to see Leanne again after 2 months, we had a chat at the cafe at the airport then headed home in some heavy " Naki sunshine "
She's coming to our place for a coffee tomorrow to see the progress.
Thank you so much :-)

Can't beat that Naki "sunshine"

Mike
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:41 PM   #312
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Perama (Greece) to Lake Butrinti (Albania)

A long day we arrived at the hotel around 8.30 pm. I must be getting acclimatised as I thought it was a cooler today and then saw a sign saying 28c.

For the last few weeks in Europe I have been able to read the place names but not able to pronounce most of them. Greece is different, how do you say these (or find them on a map)?



Our hotel in Perama was very close to the Perama caves so we went there first thing. Wow the caves are amazing, the caverns were enormous, our two storey house would fit into some of them. I have never seen so many stalactites and stalagmites. The pictures don't do the caves justice.



We then rode into the Zagoria National Park and stopped in Monodendri to visit the world famous Vikos Gorge. A sign at the entrance says it is the deepest canyon in the world.



We enjoyed the mountain roads and switch backs so much that we did most of them twice (that happens when you head the wrong way!). The little villages were nice.





We then headed to Albania. It was strange as the road to the border was smooth, wide and fast, almost as if to say to people coming from Albania "look at us and how good our roads are.

There was a line at the border, so we rode to the front only to find that the internet was down and they could not process anyone. While waiting we did the customs thing, watched people argue with the immigration people etc.



Due to Kiwi charm and charisma (yeah right!) when the system did come up an hour later we were one of the first processed

Then we got to the Albanian border and were through very quickly



It is amazing the differences between each side of the border. The road deteriorated very quickly. It narrowed, had patches of gravel washed onto it, pot holes, one hidden speed hump (my ABS does work) wandering stock etc. This road was like the Paekakariki Hill Rd in Wellington but much longer.



A stand off with a donkey, he didn't move at all as we went past.



Then we came to the Lake Butrint cable ferry. How awesome is this!





Rob just about to very nearly drop his bike, the trouble with high bikes and uneven wooden planks!



Our hotel is about 200 metres up the road from the ferry.
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.H Jackson Brown
Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014

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Old 07-13-2014, 04:02 AM   #313
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The hotel we are staying at is right next to the world heritage site of Butrint, just a 3 minute walk. In case anyone else wants to stay here, and visit the Archaeological site, both Mike and I recommend it as "biker friendly" and good accommodation and food. We are back at the Hotel again at noon, decided to have lunch before setting off to Girocaster.

The cable ferry at the Butrint estuary is the shortest route for anyone driving from Greece. If you are approaching from the north of Albania, then head for Serande and there is a land route from Serande to Butrint.

Hotel Livia
Butrint
Albania
www.hotel-livia.com
email: info@hotel-livia.com
+355 8912040
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:09 AM   #314
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Butrint

We have spent the morning looking at the historic site of Butrint. Now sitting in the shade back at the hotel with a red bull and ice, going to have lunch and then plan the route to Gjirokastra.

Well as some of you know I need to find a job when I get home. Well I thought I saw an opportunity here this morning. As they say "if the hat fits, wear it". Obviously I failed with this position!



Butrint has a wonderful historic site where work is still being done to unearth it. Rob is very interested in ancient history so he made a wonderful guide. The site faces a battle with the water table, as you can see by the water in front of the theatre here.



The Baptistry, the fine gravel is put down to protect the mosaic floor (from getting wet and drying out each time it rains etc)



Fishing port Butrint



The road we came in on last night (and will possibly leave on soon) the cable ferry is just hidden by the trees on the right.

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.H Jackson Brown
Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014

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Old 07-13-2014, 12:58 PM   #315
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Butrint to Gjirokaster

We left Butrint after lunch and it was only approx 70 minutes ride.

I had a sit on Rob's bike, he has a higher seat on it so it is very high, hard to manoeuvre around the hotel yard. "Honey does my butt look big on this?"



The road out of Butrint. Albania on the left, Corfu (Greece) on the right and an Italy to Greece ferry going past.



We rode past Serande, some nice beaches there.



We rode through two checkpoints, they have them here similar to Morocco. The second checkpoint the police were fully armed with rifles. We soon arrived in Gjirokaster. The roads are paved with very slippery pavers and the town is on the side of a steep hill. It would be VERY interesting riding back down on the loaded bike after a shower of rain.





The owners of the Bed and Breakfast we are staying in (Vita and Haxhi). It was great talking to them about the changes they have seen in their country from being aligned with the Soviets, then the Chinese and then fully open to the world.



Overlooking the town is an old castle, remarkably preserved. Inside is a display of many artillery pieces from world wars.







Fantastic views of the town from the top





Tomorrow I ride to Berat and Rob heads home.
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.H Jackson Brown
Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014

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