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 08-02-2014, 01:09 AM   #46
Roam OP
If you want to
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: NoVA
Oddometer: 1,037
Day 27


Tana bru Norway - Sodankyla Finland


Started my day by planning my route into Finland and then executing it. Came across a little snag when I was about to turn off the E6 and noticed the sign said Murmansk. I double checked my map and it occurred to me that Rossija probably wasn't Norwegian for Finland. I was tempted to ride to the border and moon the guards but decided discretion was the better part of Valor.


So I made my way into Finland and all of a sudden the skies turned from grey to blue and I was on a wonderful twisty road. A-ha I thought, everyone was wrong about Finland being boring as well.


Then I made my way onto the E75. Pine trees, more pine trees, a lake, pine trees, reindeer, pine trees, pine trees, more reindeer, another lake, pine trees..... repeat ad nauseam. It's not in anyway unpleasant and certainly beats riding in New Jersey but it does get a bit repetitive. Also all the pretty service station girls have been replaced by grumpy old men. I've asked a few people what I should see in Finland and have gotten either blank stares in return or have been told to go to Sweden or Norway.


My GPS says it's 960 kilometers to Helsinki. I think tomorrow might be a long day.


a few more pictures : http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=1025









__________________
http://www.twowheelsgood.net




Roam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 01:57 AM   #47
Roam OP
If you want to
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: NoVA
Oddometer: 1,037
Day 28


Sodankyla Finland - Mankila Finland


It was a long day and this will be a long post.


Sometime in the middle of the night I was awakened by the sound of a horse pissing on my tent. Well that's what it sounded like anyways.
It rained off and on all through the night. From a light sprinkle to thinking the end times had come and it continued on into the morning. I lay in my tent and every time I thought the rain had slackened it just picked back up again. Finally I said to myself are you a man or a mouse (squeak-squeak where's my cheese) and went back to sleep. In my defense I was the first motorcyclist or bicyclist break camp that day. (In retrospect that was just a sign of poor judgement)


The skies were slate grey and pissing ran. The grumpy old men were still manning the gas stations, and I had a hell of a long way to go to get out of Finland. I rode about 100 miles through the rain before pulling in for some gas for the bike and some grub for myself (instant coffee and unfiltered cigarettes are only 2/3rds of a nutritious breakfast). Shortly afterward some Harley Davidsons show up and the riders had HOG Ireland patches on. So I cleverly deduced that they might be Irish and said "Hey are you guys from Ireland? My bike's from Ireland.". We exchanged the usual traveler chit-chat and they mentioned they were headed to the national Finland HOG rally. Well to my way of thinking a Moto Guzzi is kind of like an Italian Harley Davidson (even though Guzzi riders want to pop me in the nose every time I say that) so I figured I might as well as head down there as well. That way I would have something to see while I was in Finland.


(Actually a member of the advrider forum had contacted about meeting him in Helsinki and when I asked him about things to see in Finland he mentioned visiting a Winter War museum or stopping the the WRC rally that was occurring this weekend. Now WRC is about as cool as car racing gets but the only race I'm interested in is the MotoGP race in Brno)


So I set my GPS to point me to the town where the HOG rally was happening (which was in the general direction of Helsinki) and hit the road in the rain for another 150 miles or so as the rain got steadily worse and worse and even in my wildest fantasies I couldn't pretend that my riding gear was keeping me dry. I finally got fed up with it and said screw this and told my GPS to give me the fastest route to Helsinki which put me on a dirt road when the lightning and thunder started. At this point I was completely soaked and when I pulled into a gas station streams of water were running out of my gloves and jacket. Also the pumps refused to accept my credit cards or my water logged euros. I went in to the attached grocery store to exchange my water logged money for some dry money which the pumps also refused to take. At this time a car driver pulls up as it's pissing down rain and ask me how I like Finland? "Do you want an honest answer?" I asked as I wrung water out of my gloves. I convinced him to use his card to allow me to put some gas in my bike in exchange for my now soggy euro note.


I partially filled the tank and took shelter at the entrance of the attached grocery store where some Finnish good old boy ask me something in Finnish. "Sorry I don't speak Finnish" I said which just made him repeat himself more slowly and more loudly. "Sorry I still don't speak Finnish." I responded. Another refugee from the pissing rain started translating and we all agreed the weather sucked. I started asking about nearby hotels/motels/dog pounds when the good old boy spoke the only two words of English he knew "No Worries". We proceeded to grunt and grin at each other for about 20 minutes before it was suggested that I follow him as another local showed up in his 4x4. Sure why not I thought what's the worst that could happen.


So we proceeded down some dirt roads (in the pissing rain) through the Finnish farmland and scenes from 'Deliverence' are running through my head (if you hear banjo music run!) when we pull into some freaky junkyard looking place with a chopper out front and some dude who looks like he's strung out on heroine sitting on the porch. Perfect I thought, who wants to live forever. So I'm introduced to the apparently wasted dude on the porch who tells me he has a spare bedroom and would I like to stay. "Sure" I reply, it wasn't raining under the porch and I've never done heroine. It'll be an adventure.


Well as it turns out while Timo while a bit plastered and very eccentric wasn't a heroine addict and this wasn't the local Hells Angels club house. In fact Timo turned out to be an exceptionally gracious host and a pretty normal family man once you got past the first impressions. Timo is the kind of guy who nurses sick birds he finds in his fields back to health so taking care of a half drowned Yankee biker showing up out of the blue was just par for the course. As the evening wore on I learned that he had built his house with his own hands and done it almost entirely for free. It was a very nice house and it even had a 200 year old wood fired sauna in the back yard which was considered a bit of a holy place in the local town. As the evening wore on Marrkku who originally talked to me at the grocery store came and went as well as a few of the other locals and a lot of laughs were had as we all tried to make ourselves understood. Late in the evening Timo fired up the smoke sauna so I could experience a genuine old school finish Sauna and Timo's son Riku provided me with a home cooked meal.


The day started badly, got steadily worse, and ended wonderfully.


Thanks Timo, Riku, Marrku and the rest of you for your hospitality and camaraderie.


And they said Finland was boring.

More Pictues: http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=1047





__________________
http://www.twowheelsgood.net




Roam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 02:21 AM   #48
Roam OP
If you want to
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: NoVA
Oddometer: 1,037
Day 29


Mankila Finland Ė Talinn Estonia


Iím back, Iím back in the former USSR. (Actually Iím writing this from the ferry but Iíll be in the former USSR in an hour our so.)


Today was the opposite of yesterday with blue skies and sunshine. Various reports said that yesterdayís storms were the worst in years!


Timo cooked me up a huge English breakfast and Markku who had told me ďNo WorriesĒ the previous day showed up as well.


With a soul and body cleansed by the magical powers of the smoke sauna, I slowly gathered my mostly dry belongings and bid farewell to Timo.


Other than the fact that my GPS has started flaking out after yesterdayís rain this was an uneventful day. I arrived in Helsinki around 9 pm and rode around in circles for about an hour as my GPS refuses to stay on. I finally made it the ferry terminal where I met a scooter rider also heading to Talinn. He speaks German and Russian and I speak English and French. I think we have all the bases covered except for communicating with each other. None the less we managed to agree to share a room in a hostel in Talinn.


Iím really looking forward to seeing the former USSR in the morning.


More Pictures: http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=1077






__________________
http://www.twowheelsgood.net




Roam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 05:16 AM   #49
airhead_irl
Gnarly Adventurer
 
airhead_irl's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Southern Ireland (Irlande, Eire, Irland, Hibernia)
Oddometer: 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheatwhacker View Post
Great report.
It's nice to see the pics of the bike in far away places.
I'm getting a giggle out of seeing the Cork reg plate in far away places !
__________________
1973 BMW R60/5
1982 BMW R100
1991 BMW R100GS
1987 Moto Guzzi NTX 650
1980 Honda C90ZZ
airhead_irl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 08:06 AM   #50
OscarCharlie
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Texas
Oddometer: 55
You had me in stitches with your adventures in Finland. Very funny! Flat land, but an abundance of strong personalities, it seems ...

Now looking forward to your discoveries in the "former USSR"!
OscarCharlie is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 11:00 PM   #51
Roam OP
If you want to
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: NoVA
Oddometer: 1,037
Day 30


Tallinn Estonia


As Willy said with a bit difficulty "Today is a holiday from motorcycles".
Willy headed into town while I updated my blog and then I took a walk to admire the Soviet architecture and possibly find a replacement for my GPS. Honestly the Estonian girls shorts are so short that you hardly notice the large mostly grey and completely devoid of charm apartment buildings.


After locating a possible replacement for my GPS I took a bus to the town center to visit the Old Town of Tallinn but I missed my stop and ended up riding the bus to the end of it's line which was right by our Hostel. I thought that was pretty convenient. Should make it easy to get back anyway.


My next bus took me to the old town and I spent the day admiring Medieval Tallinn. It's quite impressive and definitely worth a visit.



On leaving Old Town I got back on the same numbered bus I took to get into town but soon realized it was going in the wrong direction. So I hopped off the bus tried to make heads or tails of the routing maps and got on another bus which I though was heading back to the neighborhood of the Hostel. No luck and I ended up riding that bus to the end of the line which is in an area off of the tourist maps. With the help of a young local I finally figured out which bus I needed and got back to the hostel. I wouldn't say it was fun exactly but I got to see a lot of Tallinn.


More Pictures: http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=1100





__________________
http://www.twowheelsgood.net




Roam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 11:11 PM   #52
Roam OP
If you want to
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: NoVA
Oddometer: 1,037
Day 31


Tallinn Estonia - Viljandi Estonia


This morning my GPS refused to turn on so I went an picked up a TomTom GPS at the store I found yesterday. When I hooked it up to my bike my UPS plug had stopped working so I now had two non functioning GPS units. Though I should be able to get the TomTom working as soon as I can charge the battery.


While I was in the old town of Talinn I asked the waitress at restaurant I ate at what I should see in Estonia. She mentioned the town of Viljandi and the south east region of the country as areas worth visiting. I bought a rather large map of the Baltic States and looking at the map Viljandi seemed quite a ways away. It wasn't. It's just a large map of a small country. This is actually for the best as I'm needing a new rear tire for the Guzzi and I can start looking for one tomorrow.


The town of Viljandi is very picturesque and is a cultural center of Estonia with outdoor theatres and museums and the ruins of an old castle built by the crusaders.


The route between Talinn and Viljandi is called the Green Way and is also very pleasant but nothing really remarkable enough to stop and take a picture of.


Tomorrow I'll concentrate on finding a tire for the bike and a barber. I'm starting to look a little shaggy.


More pictures: http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=1174







__________________
http://www.twowheelsgood.net




Roam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2014, 12:03 AM   #53
Ben Carufel
Boxer Addict
 
Ben Carufel's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 619
Loving the RR!
__________________
Ben Carufel
'11 BMW F800ST - '02 BMW R1150GSA - '72 BMW R60/5
Other bikes to appear above shortly, rest assured...
Ben Carufel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 07:54 AM   #54
Roam OP
If you want to
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: NoVA
Oddometer: 1,037
Day 32


Viljandi Estonia - Riga Latvia


I didn't find a tire in Viljandi so I started making my way towards Riga down some dirt roads through the pastorial Estonian countryside. I was really enjoying cruising down this deserted dirt road which I had all to myself when I saw the sign for the Latvian border. So I stgopped to take a picture and two tractor trailers come barrelling by raising huge clouds of dust. So much for having the road to myself.


The ride to Riga was uneventful and I found a coffee shop with wi-fi so I could locate a hotel/hostel and get the numbers of all the bike shops in town. I ended up picking the Keizarmezs Sport Hotel for all of 25 euros a night. About the same price I paid when camping in western europe.


This is a really strange hotel with basketball courts, racquet ball courts, and whole slew of other sporting activities which don't interest me in the slightest. I asked the recptionist how old the hotel was thinking it might be some sort of formet Soviet Youth camp or something but it turns out it's only 15 years old and used to be the training center for a professional "football" team. In addition to all the indoor sporting activities there are 3 soccer fields next to the property. More importantly there was also a salon attached so I'm no longer shaggy and I even got my freshly shorn scalp massaged (oooh tingly).


I called around to all the dealerships to locate a tire without luck so I checked on the Moto Guzzi Latvia site and called the dealer listed there. While they don't have a tire they can have one tomorrow so baby is gonna get a new shoe. They won't be able to get the tire until the afternoon so it looks like I'll be spending the whole day in Riga.


A few more pictures : http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=1179




__________________
http://www.twowheelsgood.net




Roam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 08:07 AM   #55
scfrank
I'm back - sort of.
 
scfrank's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Upstate SC
Oddometer: 7,581
Love your report.
__________________
"Have you guessed the riddle yet?" the Hatter said.

"No, I give it up." Alice replied. "What's the answer?"

"I haven't the slightest idea." Said the Hatter.

"Nor, I" said the March Hare.
scfrank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 08:10 AM   #56
nick949eldo
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Inverary, Ontario, Canada
Oddometer: 801
Enjoying it here too!

Nick
nick949eldo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 08:49 AM   #57
Roam OP
If you want to
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: NoVA
Oddometer: 1,037
Day 33


Riga Latvia


Since my appointment at the bike shop wasn't till 3pm I headed into town in the morning to see what there was to see. I though of doing a walking tour of Old Riga but sleeping in a sports hotel was about all the physical activity I was up for so I ended taking a little tourist bus/trolley thing around. It was OK but I'm kind of burned out on ancient Baltic history having been in Viljandi the day before and Old Town Tallinn the day before than and honestly Tallinn was more interesting but there did seem to be more Soviet era monuments in Riga. I think I was too concerned with getting baby a new pair of shoes to really enjoy my time downtown. If baby aint happy aint nobody happy.


I still had three hours to kill before thinking of heading to the bike shop so I found a cafe with some shade and spent some quality time with my buddy Steinbeck, dreaming of sailing the Spanish main (No matter where you go there you are).


It turns out the Guzzi service center in Riga is a Harley Davidson/Suzuki dealership. A strange combination but they did me right and I was able to pick up a 12v power source for my new GPS so I'm back in business and ready to ride!


I've got to 10 days till I want to be in Brno for the MotoGP so I don't think I'll be making it to the Ukraine.


More pictures: http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=1201







__________________
http://www.twowheelsgood.net




Roam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 09:28 AM   #58
Roam OP
If you want to
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: NoVA
Oddometer: 1,037
Day 34


Riga Latvia Ė Lomza Poland


So the previous evening I headed into old town Riga to try and find some Jazz clubs. The two clubs I found on the internet were closed (damn lying internet), so I ended up going to an Indian restaurant for dinner.
Today I woke up feeling that I was on the first day of a three day

hangover.



Riga is a nice enough town but donít eat the Indian food!


I made my way out of Latvia on some boring roads and across Lithuania on similarly boring roads. Things only got worse in Poland. Poland doesnít seem to have any highways as we would know them so normal roads are chock full of tractor trailers. Passing them is almost a Sissyphean task as it doesnít matter how many you pass there are always more in front of you. Having a headache and stomach cramps didnít help my mood.


I was going to try and make it all the way to Warsaw but my condition didnít improve as the day went on so I ended up stopping in Lomza where I had a very uncomfortable night.


In other news the Guzzi is honking merilly along happy as a clam (Oh clam s -Gurgle- got to go).






__________________
http://www.twowheelsgood.net




Roam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 02:44 PM   #59
Roam OP
If you want to
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: NoVA
Oddometer: 1,037
Day 35


Lomza Poland - Warsaw Poland


It was only a two hour ride to Warsaw where I ended up in the fanciest hotel of my trip so far. I figured if I was going to be miserable I might as well be comfortable in my misery.


I only took two pictures today. One of a meal I couldn't eat and the other was what I spent most of my conscious hours staring at. There is a silver lining though as I meant to mention the showers in Europe. Every country I've been in has these types of showers and I think they're quite clever. The allow you to adjust the height and direction of the shower head as well removing the whole shower handle thing. Never seen these in the states but maybe I don't get out enough.


__________________
http://www.twowheelsgood.net




Roam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 02:58 PM   #60
Roam OP
If you want to
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: NoVA
Oddometer: 1,037
Day 36


Warsaw Poland


Well I woke up feeling a little better than the previous day but sill not quite normal(ha) just to find gray rainy skies. Knowing how well my riding gear works at keeping me dry I decided that the capital of a country that gave us Copernicus and Chopin had to have more to offer then just a really nice view of a shower and decided to stay another day.


So I popped a couple pills from the local dispensary and checked out some tourist brochures to see what there was to see. Tourist attractions in Warsaw fall under three broad categories : Nazi Atrocities, Soviet Atrocities, stuff that isnít quite so depressing. The fist two categories far outnumber the third category. Nonetheless I chose from the third category and went to visit the small bit of Warsaw which wasnít destroyed by the Nazis or rebuilt by the Soviets.


Even if you arenít trying to visit the sites of various atrocities you canít but help from running across them as you walk from the city center to the whatís left of old Warsaw. There are plaques all over town listing the number of executed at a certain spot and I passed by the location of the southern wall of the Warsaw ghetto. This August is also the 70th anniversary of the disastrous Warsaw uprising so there are plenty of posters to add to the festive atmosphere.


Iím not sure why the Germans and Russians have such a hard-on for Poland. Probably has something to do with the Polish Cavalry fighting on the side of Freedom, Beauty, (etc) back on that fateful day in June of 1815. Oh well, itís just rivers of blood under the bridge of time at this point.


That being said the old part of Warsaw is pleasant and a Spanish tourist I spoke with said it was her favorite place in Poland even preferring it to Krakow which is usually considered the place to go when visiting Poland.


More pictues : http://www.twowheelsgood.net/europa2014/?p=1261









__________________
http://www.twowheelsgood.net




Roam 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 08:10 AM.


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