Blog

Author: Ilpo Juvander Created: 12/20/2011 10:33 AM RssIcon
Ilpo On The Road
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/26/2011 10:36 PM
Easy day ahead as I was already in St. Petersburg, some 412 km from home!

Last night had been really hot, hotel did not have any air-conditioning and I had to sleep window open to get some sort of cooling.

Had good breakfast, no hurry anywhere and started packing again.

002

004

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/26/2011 1:36 AM
Day started early again, could not really sleep that long. Had to still wait until 08:00 to get breakfast in the nearby cafeteria.

Morning had started with rain so after breakfast needed to get some gore-tex under my trousers and jacket. It was pretty cold as well so CoolMax underwear changed to warming one. Welcome to north!

IMG_2646

IMG_2645

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/25/2011 1:18 AM
Early wake up again and to the breakfast. Once I was packing the bike I started paying closer attention to what was parked next to it.

IMG_2637

IMG_2638

It turned out that there was a group of policemen from Hungary going into this Police Stellar Run held in...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/24/2011 1:25 AM
Days are starting to look alike… wakeup early, breakfast (if any), packing and engine started for a new day.

Breakfast was excellent on this Bucharest hotel, first time after leaving Belek to get eggs & bacon as well.

IMG_2630

IMG_2631

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/23/2011 8:53 AM
Day started early again, quick packing and as I was totally full from yesterdays late dinner, no breakfast at the hotel.

When checking out there started this man at the reception mumbling something and once I got paid, he started dragging me out to the bike and with the bike forward.

Then it hit me: They had been during the night watching the bike that it was so dirty, that it needed a wash! There was other man outside washing cars so he took me there with the bike and immediately he started getting the insects out (there was plenty of those from last evenings ride!).

Bike did not come totally clean, but better as all the mud went pretty much away so now it is better looking when coming back to Europe.

After wash, refuel and 1L of juice down the throat as breakfast.

IMG_2628

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/22/2011 12:15 AM
This would be the day that I would enter Abkhazia!

Could not sleep well, room was all too hot and no cooling on it. It had a fan, but did not really work and yes, I did try that.

07:00 I had bike packed again and started driving towards Ingus River Abkhazian border crossing.

On the way stopped on one mini market to buy more water as I still had some Georgian money and continued.

Georgian side of the border, no issues either. They did a bit wonder what am I again doing in there, but no real issues with it.

Abkhazian side, language border was there again. Same man that yesterday denied access looked at me and the papers and pointed at me and Sukhumi direction and then he pointed the bike and crossed his hands. Couple of these made it quite clear that I could enter, but bike not!

Very interesting.

As it was very early, I just gave up and decided to go back to wait for 1½ so that Abkhazian Foreign Ministry opens so that I can give them a call and ask what this now is.

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/21/2011 12:53 AM
Finally got to sleep, no noise coming from neighbors and air-conditioning was making sure that temperature was ok whole night.

Yesterday I was a bit wondering about this Yevlakh or Azerbaijan way of drinking beer: together with beer they took cheese, some sort of smoked cheese, quite salty but good. Had a hard time to keep beer level to two only…

So, wakeup again 6:30 local time, breakfast at 07:00 and then starts packing again and bike started ~7:40.

Note where the bike was parked for the night! Those were the ones they were using last evening…

IMG_2608

During the night I had made decision not to go to Baku, although...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/20/2011 1:33 AM
Night was quite restless on this B&B in Dilizhan, there were lots of people still up until 1 am and noise was accordingly… Could not sleep and next driving day was already running through my head. It seems to be an issue now to get into sleeping mode from driving mode, no way to get speed stopped on me!

At 6:30 alarm went off and I started packing and carrying stuff to the bike. I also noticed that it was raining quite heavily and thought I take rain gears and put them on when leaving.

Breakfast was all ok, some sausage, fried egg, bread & usual stuff.

During breakfast it looked like rain had stopped, I decided to put rain gears still on, just in case.

Well, did not take long after I left when sun was shining again from blue sky, so first stop was just after few kilometers.

IMG_2589

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/19/2011 6:36 AM

Jee, it is raining! Start of Todays journey in hour or so once I get breakfast which was agreed 7...

19.7.2011 4:36:37


By Ilpo Juvander on 7/18/2011 10:38 PM
This day started with alarm ringing at 6:00. Yesterday evening I was way too tired so started writing yesterday blog post in the morning…

At 7:00 everything was packed and I was about to do checkout from the hotel. Had to wake up the receptionist, he was coming for the payment in his panties… I believe I was the only guest in the hotel… I guess no breakfast for this morning as cook was not there…

Got paid and started packing the bike when it started raining. While I took the rain gear out and was about the receptionist came as well and started dragging me straight to the kitchen. He offered me tea with lots of honey and break also served together with honey! Ok, got breakfast after all… While eating all this, rain had stopped so packed rain gear in again and left the hotel.

When driving out from Akhalkalaki I looked at gas station that they had Visa and MasterCard logos on them. Drove into one of them and started asking how about getting tank full with Visa, but answer was not with my Visa!...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/18/2011 7:01 PM

After hard day riding some 500 km arrived at Dilizhan and got to hotel - which does not have Wi-fi...

18.7.2011 17:01:46


By Ilpo Juvander on 7/18/2011 1:19 AM
Day started at 6:00 – or actually a bit earlier as could not sleep that well… still yesterdays driving was still a bit too high in my mind… Quick breakfast, getting bikes out from garage to the front of the hotel, packing and everything was ready again.

IMG_2547

IMG_2548

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/17/2011 2:09 PM

Now in Georgia, visa works for fuel in here!

17.7.2011 12:09:34


This is biker heaven, roads are excellent and the views! Time to enjoy!

17.7.2011 13:10:08


Last 50 and coming 50 km have been real adventure riding! And have not used much other than first and second gear ...

17.7.2011 15:01:01


By Ilpo Juvander on 7/17/2011 1:49 AM
Day started early, alarm went off at 5:30 am. Quick packing and engine was running 6:20 am and long way towards Black Sea was ahead.

IMG_2536

IMG_2537

IMG_2538

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/16/2011 2:19 PM

Todays first leg 513km in 5.5 hours non stop. Minimum of 468 km to go. Stopped to water me and refuel the bike. Driving is good!

16.7.2011 12:19:33


By Ilpo Juvander on 7/15/2011 8:04 PM
Very quiet times, relaxing, some shopping, taking sun etc. etc.

2012

2013

2015

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/11/2011 11:15 PM
These days have been just relaxing, taking sun, eating and some sightseeing.

On our first evening we also saw as evening program Moscow Kids Circus (Video from other site), this performance was just outstanding!

025

039

049

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/2/2011 8:16 PM
This day was going to be a short one. Just from hotel to the Antalya Airport which was some 10 km away.

We had some issue on the hotel as they insisted on us to pay some extra for the breakfast, which should have been already included in the room rate. But as our waitresses were totally unaware of the language called English, we did not get far on figuring out what that was. Anyhow, it was only 7 TL so not too much and we decided to pay that.

Did some walk after breakfast to find a car washing place nearby, which we found, but as it was early Saturday morning, it was still closed.

Finally during packing our bikes we got an idea on paying our speeding ticked at the airport so we headed a bit earlier towards airport.

001

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/2/2011 9:20 AM
Day started as planned in Mugla, breakfast at 07:00 and bikes were running again at 08:00. For this day we had planned a small detour through old road via cost line to Antalya, that would bring us some 100 km more driving, but also better scenes than faster and shorter new road.

We did not stop too much, once to refuel and couple of times to take some pictures.

DSCN0039

IMG_2315

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/1/2011 8:36 AM
This morning we had already asked when the breakfast was going to be and originally it was set to begin by 8:30, but for us it was agreed to be 8:00 so that we can get on our way.

So after breakfast packing the bikes and off we went at 9:00.

First stop was to take some pictures:

IMG_2297

IMG_2298

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 6/30/2011 9:05 PM

Now in Mugla, one day from Antalya. Got a very nice hotel here called Hotel Petek

30.6.2011 19:05:47


By Ilpo Juvander on 6/30/2011 9:20 AM
Day started a bit slowly, we already woke up around 6 am, but realized that there was nobody in the hotel reception to cash or give us breakfast… So we waited… At 7:30 there was a lady coming in, made us breakfast (we seemed to be only guest at the time…) and we also managed to pay the hotel room.

So around 8:45 am we were On The Road again towards Turkey.

We crossed Turkish border after driving two hours and 200 km, border crossing was quite easy, just few cars on Turkish side and this time Greece border was neither on strike…

IMG_2262

IMG_2263IMG_2264

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 6/29/2011 2:23 PM

Catched ferry just minute before it left, so in 30 minutes we will be in Asia side

29.6.2011 12:23:38


By Ilpo Juvander on 6/29/2011 12:32 AM
We started early, I was up just after 6 am. Went to breakfast right after it started and on the way initiated the hotel room payment process. This was really a process which took like ½ hour during which we had our breakfast… But finally we got hotel paid and started packing our bikes.

While packing our bikes there was funny familiar language asking about us, there was one Finnish man working in Pristina for few weeks and staying on same hotel as us. What a small world!

We started engines before scheduled take-off time at 7:30 am so well on time.

Some small traffic to get out of the city, but once we got to the main road everything cleared out to be just fine.

Small journey from Pristina to the border of Kosovo and Macedonia, just some 65 kilometers which took almost an hour.

Border was very simple to pass, just few cars in the queue and off we went.

IMG_2240

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 6/28/2011 2:42 PM

Strike on greece border and we are stuck here...

28.6.2011 12:42:56


GSA refuel after 623 km driving: 34.62 litres

28.6.2011 14:43:59


By Ilpo Juvander on 6/28/2011 1:13 AM
This day was our day off from road. We decided to stay in Pristina, Kosovo and spend day just walking in the city and relaxing.

Some pictures from Pristina.

Our parking in front of the hotel:

IMG_2221

IMG_2222

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 6/27/2011 1:51 PM

Enjoying day in pristina,kosovo. Continuing tomorrow towards macedonia. Today just relaxing!

27.6.2011 11:51:32


By Ilpo Juvander on 6/26/2011 11:31 PM
This was our second transit day, a short one from Budapest to Pristina, Kosovo. Planned driving was 700 km.

We started just after 9 am from Budapest, headed to the highway and drove directly to Serbian border. Border crossing was fairly simple, briefly looked our passports, did not check bikes papers at all.

On Serbian side road was quite good, most of the parts toll road which we took to speed transit. Toll was usually just few euros.

Near Belgrad we had small detour via airport because of small orienteering issue, road signs were all covered with bushes and we turned just one crossing too early. Zumo quickly started recalculating new route, but we decided to add our own flavor into that as well…

image

...
By Ilpo Juvander on 6/26/2011 11:32 AM
I have been using booking.com for years for hotel reservations and in general have been quite happy with selection of hotels and prices.

But – and here is the catch: Just last knight I realized that reservations made by booking.com are not really confirmed reservations!

They just send your reservation request via mail/fax/phone or what ever and there is no guarantee that you have a reservation when you come to the hotel. If hotel is full, reservations made by booking.com have no priority and all others will be served before you.

I had reserved our hotel in Budapest some 2½ months in advance and when we showed up at the hotel last evening, receptionist told that hotel is fully booked and we did not get any room from that hotel! Instead we had to find another one from other hotel.

Lucky for we had motorbikes to travel, so no did not need a taxi or any other transportation for this purpose.

Have to think now twice if I use booking.com in the future to reserve hotel rooms or not.

By Ilpo Juvander on 6/26/2011 2:57 AM
Today was the starting of our Caucasus 2011 Tour.

We left from Helsinki to Tallinn with last ferry and plan was to start driving right after we get to Tallinn direct route to Budapest.

And that’s what we did!

Once we got to Tallinn, it was already raining. I had put my gore-tex liner under my jacket and trousers already on the ferry, but decided to put also rain suite on before we started fuelling our bikes for the planned SS1000 ride.

Once bikes were fuelled, paper work for the ride done (we got our witnesses from two Italian girls already on the ferry) we started the ride.

We were following exact route with same fuel stops as I had done on the way to Rota 2009, so no big surprises waiting.

Only thing that messed things was the weather. It rained all night, stopped once we got to Poland, but started again later on in the evening. So we were really wet!

Ride itself went just fine, we were two hours early in Budapest, which is not really ok for basic SS1000 ride…...
By Ilpo Juvander on 6/21/2011 11:17 AM

We have SPOT device to follow where we are. Public link for this data is http://maps.google.com/maps?q=http://www.juvander.fi/Ilpo/SPOT/default.aspx?q=Caucasus2011.

Link will be active from the time we leave on Friday.