Author: Ilpo Juvander Created: 12/20/2011 10:33 AM RssIcon
Ilpo On The Road
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.


So I headed to ferry alone and got there just on time after riding some 100 m or so, ticket was 10 TL for the bike and me.

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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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


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… 


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...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/24/2012 11:13 PM
Got decent breakfast and on the way again. Plan for today was to stay out of toll roads, which I managed to do just nicely.

As temperature was already 23 degrees, I decided to leave Gore-Tex out from my jacket. On trousers I still kept them, just in case.

Just after I got to Poland, my GPS started guiding me into very small roads that were made of stones. Really a nice one to drive through forests.


After this it was just village after village, smaller and bigger, nothing much but driving 581 km to Warsaw. Almost a straight line from Berlin.


By Ilpo Juvander on 7/23/2012 11:22 PM
Today I stopped for a day here in Stuttgart to make customer visit.

In the morning while I was packing the bike receptionist came to watch and was commenting that it is good that it is not going to rain today and that summer has not been really a summer in Stuttgart. Too much rain and not warm enough. How familiar that sounded…

At 08:00 started working day and once that was finished I had an evening ride to next hotel – in Berlin.

635 km in 5 hours.

But what’s there to ride on these good roads, it is just sitting on the bike, not much else to do. Sometimes do a bit steering movements… not anything like on the previous days I had been riding on these small curvy roads!


By Ilpo Juvander on 7/22/2012 7:19 PM
Had a bit of a late morning, 08:00 breakfast (which was not that amazing, but then again, this is France…) and clock was almost 09:00 before I was on the road again.


By Ilpo Juvander on 7/21/2012 11:59 PM
My trip could not be described better than saying that ‘This is not an holiday, this is an Adventure’.

But all good things come to an end and from this day forward nothing special planned. Just driving towards home, day by day.

When I woke up this morning my whole body was telling that this driving must come to an end. Past few days have been quite rough and it is now payback time.

Yesterday my mind was not ready for driving, today it is the body. But when mind works, body must follow.

So breakfast as agreed 7:30 at the hotel, before that I went to see the bike and took out my Gore-Tex inner lining. It was freezing 10 degrees outside.


By Ilpo Juvander on 7/20/2012 11:05 PM
Woke up again at 06:00, packed and went to breakfast. There I noticed a group of people around my bike and went to see what they were up to.

They all were looking at the bike and wondering why it was so dirty and all, how old, where I have been etc. etc. Once I told that I had been in Merzouga, Morocco I could see amount of respect growing in their eyes.

It was no longer an issue that the bike was dirty, they understood why it was dirty. Then someone asked that was I driving offroad in there, with those tires I had (I have Anakee 2 tires right now) and when I said yes, amount of respect was growing even more…

Then I started looking at the bike as well and noticed that something was missing from it: two GSA original fog lamps were not there. I looked some of the photos I had on my phone and yes, they were not stolen last night in here, but day before either in Ceuta or on the ferry from Ceuta to Algeciras. I very much believe this happened on a ferry, at Ceuta I did look around the bike and...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/19/2012 11:03 PM
At the morning I was taking it easy. Although I woke up early again, plan was to take some ferry around noon. First trial to get some breakfast failed, restaurant was not yet open as it should have been, half an hour later doors were opened but not everything was put in place. Finally before 08:00 I got it.

Managed to do some work related stuff during the morning and packing all the stuff again, at 11:00 I was again ready for a ride.

Quick checkout from hotel and to see if bike is still there.

On my way out I noticed that there were once GSA from Belgium parked on the street which was not meant for vehicles and once I passed there was a man running after me and telling there had been police giving a parking ticket for it and he was offering that for me! Not my bike, not my ticket!

Was glad to find that bike was still there untouched where I left it late last night.


By Ilpo Juvander on 7/18/2012 11:10 PM
During the night I had set my next goal to drive to either close to the border between Morocco and Spain in Ceuta or into Ceuta. As I did not get any breakfast at the hotel, I had some extra time in the morning which I used to re-plan the route.

Originally I had thought to take the western route but now decided instead take the eastern route and drive the coastline road. Now I can say that this decision was really rewarding!

When leaving from Khenifra towards Fes I took some really nice small road through small mountains and forests, just east of N8. By the time I was near Ifrane I missed one part I had planned, Valley of Rocks as my paper map was not detailed enough and Open Street Map did not have all these roads market.


By Ilpo Juvander on 7/17/2012 11:36 PM
Merzouga was the turning point for me on this trip. One of the targets have now been achieved: Seeing the Big Sandbox, Sahara and driving in the desert! Mission accomplished.


Tried to get a quick breakfast at Kasbah le Touareg (yes, that was the name of the place), but all the staff were still sleeping at 07:00… Finally some 07:30 there was some movement and got something to eat. Took also two bottles of water to go so that I would not need to stop on first store to buy water.

At start of day it was already 38 degrees…

Driving back from Merzouga I took the alternative route by turning from Rissani to Alnif and from there road to Tinerhin. Up until Alnif driving through...
By Ilpo Juvander on 7/17/2012 12:18 AM
Finally managed to get breakfast at 7:30 in Hotel Perla in Fes. Hotel was quite nice, got a room with A/C, Wi-Fi worked well at the lobby, but not in the second floor. Hotel was near the train station and there was 24/7 guard watching my bike during the night. All was ok with the bike when I left.


My plan was to drive over to Midelt where I had looked up an hotel.

When I left Fes temperature was still fine, just 25 degrees, but it started climbing quite fast and soon it was already over 30.

Quite soon I managed to get out from main road and into smaller ones through villages and onto mountains.

By Ilpo Juvander on 7/15/2012 10:39 PM
Day started a bit earlier than originally planned. Could not really sleep during the night so 05:00 alarm went off and packing started. Anne had also already arrived back to Finland with the boys and I had to clear some bank matters before I could leave our apartment hotel Don Gustavo. This hotel was excellent choice for our case, two bedrooms, living room and small kitchen. We did not really cook anything more special but some soup and pasta, all evenings we ate anyhow out. Hotel was very clean and well maintained.

At 06:00 I was finally ready to leave and packed the bike.


By Ilpo Juvander on 7/15/2012 5:41 AM

This is an early start, trying to catch earlier ferry from Spain to Morocco. All dark still in here, just about to get all the stuff into the bike and start riding. Outside is still 25 degrees, better than yesterdays 39…

SPOT will follow as well where I will go.

By Ilpo Juvander on 7/14/2012 8:01 PM
Now it was time for the part with my family involved, swimming, sunbathing, sightseeing and relaxing. All the usual vacation stuff.

First couple of days were just pure seeing where we were. Walking around by the beach and city.


By Ilpo Juvander on 6/30/2012 11:32 PM
Early morning wakeup, packing, breakfast and on the road again. No special target for this day either except to get into hotel on time.

I decided to drive non-toll road A-7 as that looked to be quite fast anyhow.

During the drive only noticeable thing was around Valencia, forest fires were really blocking visibility. Smoke was everywhere.

It took 786 km in 9½ hours for me to get into hotel in Benalmadena where next two weeks would be spent.


Up on the higher road parts there was quite heavy wind, I needed to slow down a bit.

After couple of retries managed...