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By Ilpo Juvander on 2/16/2014 6:32 PM
For the past years I have been using my navigator as a MP3 player, but I have now listened so many times all of my MP3 songs that it was time for a new solution.

After searching I found my self looking into Google Music service and it’s offline capabilities. I will need to use this in offline mode in order to save data connection costs for trips outside of Finland.

Next was to find proper hardware for it with following:

minimum of 64GB free storage WLAN and bluetooth Android devices with proper amount of memory are hard to find and those which would have Android 4.2 or newer with support for sdxc memory card even harder. Android 4.2 is important to have as Google Music supports storing of it’s offline files into memory card in that version forward.

One option would have been Apple iPad, but would not want to carry extra cable for nothing with me just to charge it and also those devices are bigger as well.

I was trying to get MP3 files out from Google Music as well and...
By Ilpo Juvander on 11/21/2013 5:33 PM
One of these things that I needed to sort out as my transition from Windows to OS X laptop was the ability to plan my trips when on the move.

For that purpose I was originally planning to use good old Garmin MapSource under VMWare on my OS X, but I decided to give Garmin BaseCamp a fair try.

I had read that it now has capability of changing database location to some user defined path so first thing I did was that I switched this into path that was under my SkyDrive folder:

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By Ilpo Juvander on 7/23/2013 10:07 PM
Had again early morning, breakfast at 07:00 sharp. Had a bit issues to find the breakfast room, but eventually found it. It was just across the hallway and looked like an normal hotel room door like all the rest of them.

I was there first one to arrive, chose second alternative from the menu not knowing what it was as there were again these language issues. But I got some tea, two eggs, one slice of bread and some roll of something.

Couple of Russians arrived as well and they chose their own menu: some white stuff coupled with two beers! What a way to start a day…

But pretty soon after 08:00 I was on to road again and as it was raining a bit I put my rain suite on when leaving the hotel.

Plan for today was just to drive to Velikiye Luki to meet Harri who had been there already since yesterday and then continue rest of the trip back to Finland with him.

Did a fast transit, stopped only once to refuel...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/22/2013 10:26 PM
For this day there was not going to be anything special planned, just driving ahead to get back home.

I had some miscalculations for distances due to poor planning and seeing what type of roads I was going to be driving so for today I was going to miss my hotel that I had already booked. Some euros lost due to that… But next night I planned to be either in Kursk or in Orel, depending how fast I would get through from Ukraine – Russia border crossing.

So on the road again at 07:00 with no other breakfast but a bottle of water.

Road from Melitopol was in excellent condition and after 400 km and 4½ hours later I started approaching border. And I also started to see some clouds and just some 50 kilometers before the border I needed to put on rain suite as it started raining.

Rain stopped quite fast, but there were still some drops coming every now and then so I kept the rain suite on for...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/21/2013 10:06 PM
Tried to have breakfast at 07:00, but took a bit longer before they were ready with it. But eventually got that and it was the best one on this trip, had pretty much everything in it.

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By Ilpo Juvander on 7/20/2013 10:20 PM
This day started without a hotel organized breakfast, so needed to create my own.

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Good that I still have some of this with me. I have not managed to use all of them since in very few places there has been this water boiling system.

My plan was to drive kind of around Crimea and do some side routes on the way.

First one started right out from Kerch, which got me into some very nice country...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/19/2013 8:24 PM
Morning started without proper breakfast, just two cups of tap water, packing and ready to go.

And it was raining - again.

I had made some fine tuning for the route plans and decided to head west instead of north for now so that I could pass all the rains.

So rain suite on when leaving Pyatigorsk and on the road again.

Rain was so heavy during the first 100 kilometers that I could barely see the road. I was chose some truck that I drove behind and this proved to be quite a good way to drive. Trucks were not going too fast and I was seeing where the biggest water obstacles were and there was very rarely any cars getting between me and the truck.

But after driving in rain for 150 kilometers, sun was there again! I was so excited that I decided not to stop but instead just drove ahead and only after 250 kilometers made first stop to drink and get rid of rain suite. Temperature was at this point well over...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/18/2013 10:22 PM
Had to wait a bit to get breakfast, it should have started 07:00 but in practice they got it ready by 07:20… Got also a strange question when I went to eat: “Are you from Israel?”. Go figure where they got that idea, maybe there was somebody else from Israel and they mixed me to this person.

I was the only person getting the breakfast:

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Funny when coming towards north, even the bread starts to get darker:

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By Ilpo Juvander on 7/17/2013 10:22 PM
I woke up very very early at 04:00. Could not really sleep so I started planning for the next day.

As I was not feeling that good from all the driving I had yesterday, I was looking at other options. Original plan was to drive from through Georgia directly to Vladikavkaz in Russia, but with these roads and kilometers this was not looking to be an option.

Slowly the plan formulated so that I will start driving towards Georgia on the route to Vladikavkaz and just take the break for the night when I feel like it.

So around 07:00 I was again ready to go, packed bike and on the road again. No breakfast given in this hotel Baraka, had reserved some candy from local store last night to cover this.

Some pictures from my hotel room and around the hotel:

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By Ilpo Juvander on 7/16/2013 10:58 PM
I woke up again early and hoped to get breakfast as well in time, but no. It would be ready only at 08:00…

But instead of that I had a chance to see what was happening on the sky:

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By Ilpo Juvander on 7/15/2013 10:19 PM
Time to start moving again towards Finland. Well, towards Finland yes, but route is not going to be most direct one…

We started final packing just after 06:00, got Max & Alex up and breakfast 07:30 so we had good time to get last one in Sabah Pansiyon. Before that I had already packed pretty much everything to the bike and everything was ready.

Transport to the airport was waiting as agreed  08:15. I was following taxi to the airport and then continued on my own forward.

I had one special route part selected, some gravel roads over the near mountains, other than that all was going to be bigger or smaller paved roads.

On the way I noticed one other Turkish biker in front of me with Yamaha Tenere. When I went to refuel my GSA, this guy continued forward this road from Antalya to Alanya.

After refueling the my GSA I started heading to smaller and smaller roads which quite soon turned into these gravel roads which took me little over 1800 meter high mountain pass.

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By Ilpo Juvander on 7/1/2013 10:12 PM
Had really really lazy start for the day, just grabbed breakfast and waited news that my family had succeeded to get on the airplane in Helsinki and towards Istanbul where they would change to another flight to Antalya.

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By Ilpo Juvander on 6/30/2013 7:00 PM
This was a lazy start for the day although I woke up early and had breakfast as well.

Left hotel Pamukkale around 10:00 and started riding towards Antalya. Nothing special planned for this day except to get into Antalya early to see the place where we would spend the next two weeks.

Did not stop on the way, just rode through fastest route that my Zumo 660 was showing. And some three hours later I was in Antalya.

To find hotel was not that easy, Kaleici – Antalya’s Old Town – had really complex roads and took few trials to find the hotel. My GPS was totally lost when driving these tiny streets between houses, but eventually I did find the correct place, got my GSA parked and to the Ninova Pension.



Arriving into Ninova Pension in Antalya Old Town Kaleici.



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By Ilpo Juvander on 6/29/2013 10:20 PM
Day started early again, I woke up way before breakfast time and had everything packed and ready to be carried to bike before I got something to eat.

After having breakfast I quickly carried everything to the bike and paid hotel, we were set with Stefan to 08:00 ferry from Eceabat to Canakkale on Asia side of Turkey.

Stefan also showed up as agreed, but he has second thoughts on which route to take to Istanbul and he had decided not to take the ferry but instead drive there directly. So it was time for us to say good bye and hope to see again somewhere.

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So I headed to ferry alone...
By Ilpo Juvander on 6/28/2013 10:14 PM
This was they day to start transit towards Antalya, Turkey. Not much smaller roads planned as I decided to skip Macedonian gravels roads and try what happens on Turkey border. On 2011 we got speeding ticket which we were not able to pay at the time. So just in case, head to the border on Friday after noon, if there are any issues I could still take care of them in good time.

At first I thought that this was my whole breakfast in hotel Villa Diamond, Bitola.

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By Ilpo Juvander on 6/27/2013 10:11 PM
Had my doubts how this morning would go at the hotel when I got to the breakfast. Same guy was not working there in the morning with whom I agreed the hotel price and it looked like there was nobody else at the breakfast either, so again I was the only guest in the house…

But no worries, I got breakfast and when I was leaving got also to pay the room and dinner and price was agreed. I had even my water bag filled with really cold water from their tap in the bar. Excellent!

Next thing was to find fuel. First fuel station I went did not have any fuel, only coffee available. Next one had, but card was no-go, so needed to bargaining. Finally got the price agreed that I would get 25 liters with 30€ and I was ready to go.

Day started with 100km excellent curvy mountain road with newly done asphalt on it.

And then it started again. The Road.

In the very beginning I had my first occasion to take out my tools, right side mirror got loose again (last time this happened in Georgia 2011…)....
By Ilpo Juvander on 6/26/2013 10:10 PM
Got an early breakfast, packed bike and on the road again.

I headed through mountains again, really small nice paved road running through very green forest area. Yes, videos will follow soon…

It was about 80 km in two hours and I reached small border crossing Vermosh to Albania in the north. Border activities went smoothly, there was nobody else at the border when I arrived.

On Albania side road started as gravel road, but soon turned into paved one which was full of dust, sand and rocks. Needed to be extra careful while driving.

And this ended very soon as well and then started some really bad road which lasted some 60 km and it took almost three hours to ride this through. And this was the main road out from this area… Not much other traffic came across or needed to pass by.

After this I should have had my first special route, but beginning of it looked really too small for me to ride alone so after thinking two seconds I decided to skip it and go via bigger roads to next one.

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By Ilpo Juvander on 6/25/2013 9:05 PM
I woke up really early, 05:00 local time as my mind is still on Finnish time zone… And I figured this out when I went to pickup my bike from garage at 05:30 and wondering why everything is so quiet…

Anyhow, got breakfast right after 06:00 – a good one in this Hotel Elegance – and I was again ready for the road.

Checkout from the hotel tool longer than expected. Receptionist started asking where I was going and once she figured that out there was all the information from the route I was taking. I was glad that some of those roads that she mentioned was already on my plan, good to hear from someone local where to go!

But finally I was out from hotel and started driving towards Montenegro.

Did not take that long until it became obvious that this day was going to be an rainy one, so just after I got out from the city, rain gears on . Well, what can you do: When it rains, then you just drive in the rain.

Could be better.

Again I had some special routes selected and this took...
By Ilpo Juvander on 6/24/2013 9:59 PM
This was an early morning for me, weather forecast was promising some 39 degrees for this day so better to take it early in order to be able to drive at least some hours in better temperatures.

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Other bikers...
By Ilpo Juvander on 6/23/2013 10:40 PM
Early breakfast at this nice little hotel that I finally got into after the missed hotel that I had originally booked.

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By Ilpo Juvander on 6/22/2013 10:51 PM
I was leaving from Hotel Bratislava a bit later, my recovery operation from yesterdays drive was still on-going… but packing started quite early and I found my bike in same place & condition as I left it.

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By Ilpo Juvander on 6/21/2013 10:34 PM
I could barely sleep during the night as I was waiting already when to get On The Road again!

But morning came and I was carrying rest of the stuff into the bike while waiting Harri to arrive.

We took off 08:00 in the morning and headed towards Vaalimaa using almost direct route, except one detour at the end to see this last bits of Kuninkaantie between Hamina and Vaalimaa.

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At Vaalimaa border on Russian side we also witnessed a car crash: One Russian car jumped not once, twice but three times to another Russian car and then everything was totally...
By Ilpo Juvander on 6/19/2013 9:01 PM

All packing and preparations are now over, next is few hours of sleep and in the morning 08:00 is the start of this Adventure.

I will be having companion GSA rider to escort me for few hundred kilometers through Russian, but most of the journey it will be just me and my GSA.

Next entry from Kiev, Ukraine.

By Ilpo Juvander on 6/18/2013 9:52 PM
Almost managed to pack everything into bike, some small adjustments but pretty much all I was planning to take with me is going to fit.

Compared to last year, this time I need to take camping gears as well. There are couple of days when I'm in the areas where it would be really hard to find any hotel so I have now a backup.

Tomorrow I will still need to pack my so called hotel bag which has all the needed stuff for that purpose and also finalize rest of the smaller ones like snacks, video equipment etc.

First leg looks like this, some 1900...
By Ilpo Juvander on 6/16/2013 6:49 PM

As so many times before, I will be using SPOT for tracking and emergency device.

Public url to see where I am is this.

Link will be activated when I leave and is delayed by 24 hours.

By Ilpo Juvander on 5/22/2013 9:24 PM
As Google is shutting down its services, it was time to find an alternative way to exploreimage internet news.  Have been totally happy with this, been using it daily when commuting to work & back home via my mobile phone and at home using via browser on my laptop so I’m a bit sad that this comes to an end.

I was trying to find an good alternative for it, a one that would work on browser but was not really able to find one that would work the way I was used...
By Ilpo Juvander on 4/7/2013 6:15 PM

Nyt näitä muistelee lähinnä haikeana, mutta joskus vuonna 2000 ei ADSL vielä ollut mitenkään yleinen – ainakana meidän käytössä. Yhteysmuotona toimi lähinnä modeemi…

Mutta jakamalla hurjan 101 markan ADSL yhteyden hinnan naapureiden kesken tuli tästäkin suhteellisen edukasta.

4-7-2013 6-46-23 PM

Julkaistu Länsiväylä -lehdessä 23.8.2000

By Ilpo Juvander on 4/2/2013 7:40 PM
Took longer than usually to sort target for coming summer.

But as flights for my family have now been booked, I just have to sort out which route to take…

As I really hate flying and I try to void ferries as well, only real option is to take the eastern route option – again.

Currently thinking about driving through Russian to Ukraine, some 2000 km transit phase in two days or so.

Then explore some mountain area in the western part of Ukraine, then move quickly to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sarajevo. From there explore again mountains and smaller roads in Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia before final transit towards Antalya to meet my family for two weeks.

Route to Antalya is going to be some 6000 km.

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By Ilpo Juvander on 11/20/2012 8:36 AM

Helsingin Sanomat “uudisti” tänään sivunsa ja toi uhkaamansa maksumuurin uutisten lukuun. Nyt voi siis lukea maksutta viisi juttua maksutta! Periaatteessa.

Noh, mitenkäs tämä sitten kierretään? Näin helposti maksumuuri murenee.

By Ilpo Juvander on 7/26/2012 10:40 PM
This day was going to be a boring ride back to home, just another transit through Baltic countries.

Just before 8 o’clock I started driving towards Tallinn and the ferry to Finland.

After driving 672 km in 7 hours I finally arrived in Tallinn. I did just one stop for fuel on the way.

In Tallinn I was also doing some shopping, some drinks to bring back home:

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While waiting the ferry there were also quite many other bikers going to Finland as well.

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By Ilpo Juvander on 7/25/2012 10:32 PM
Day started with a breakfast, had all room for my self. I guess not too many guest in the hotel… 

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After breakfast I took it easy, plan was to start driving no earlier than 09:00 as I was not in a hurry. I would not make it today nor tomorrow early enough into Tallinn and into ferry to Helsinki, so just killing time.

I packed also Gore-Tex into bags as temperature was already 25 degrees at Warsaw and it was about to raise from there. Hopefully they stay there for the rest of the trip as well!

When I was just about to leave, I remembered...
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