31. JULY - 24. AUGUST 2015
When we have chosen what vehicle to use for our trip, scooters were a one and only choice. Few words about who we are:
Scooter enthusiast and organizator of a big "Wallachian scooter meeting".
We both bought these scooters for $800, which was a limit for the purchase. The scooter from hynek was bought from a customer of Scootland, who purchased a bigger one and its life was not easy. One year of duty in the service in Prague as a spare scooter for customers and then another year in Hynek's hands in Brno.
Scooter from Radek was bought for the purpose of this trip. The price was low, as we bought it in January. The testdrive was on ice and luckily without accident 🙂 Here is a first picture, with chef mechanic of Scootland Petr.
Because load capacity was not sufficient, guys in Scootland made us side racks. To them, we bought bags from a chinese market ($8 each) and we were ready for big loads. Compared to the last post, we added holders for canysters, now we can carry extra 10litres of fuel. On upper side of the rear box we also put a holder for sleeping bag and tent.
After watching of serveral documents from travellers going to Aral lake we saw that it would be quite problematic to go in sand with loaded scooter on the slim rear tire. The ability to fit on the offroad tires was one of the requirements, thats why we have chosen Honda SH. Tires fitting was tested in winter, before Radeks scooter was even bought.
We wanted same yellow colour (Scootland), but did not want to spend so much money and avoid classical way of repainting the whole scooter. Folie is not ideal, as the shape of scooter is quite complicated and we were not able to do this ourselves. Finally we went for PlastiDip, which is a sprayed rubber surface, which you can also remove easily. First paint looks not that good, but the second one was quite allright. The price for a repaint of whole Honda was around $60 each.
SERVICE CHECK BEFORE THE WAY
Both scooters have been carefully checked in Scootland. Honda of Radek was leaking oil under the valve cover ($25), both scooters needed to refill the front forks and change seals ($100) and the rest was just ordinary maintenance ($50 labour + material). This trip gives us excellent opportunity to test the products we sell in Scootland, so we fit in belt from RMS (Hynek) and Athena (Radek) to compare them after the trip. Because we wanted the best for our engines, we went for the BelRay 10W40
Z dalších dílů jsme použili následující:
On Radek's Honda, we changed the rear shocks and when I saw the difference, I ordered them as well. They came one day before our departure (uff), so in the end all good. Here is a short movie in Czech from the service.
Costs of conversion of stock Honda SH to the expedition one:
Everything on place and tested
DAY 1 - SLOVAKIA
We set out on a journey on friday 31.7.2015. First feelings are great, loaded scooter can still go between 100-110 on a straight road, which is fast and over expectations. We met with Radek in Roznov in MaiCafe, from where we started our trip officially.
After half hour, by the Slovakian border I've got several stings in my right hand, until I terminated the bee. Well, great start.
One hour later came another action, after going to a hole my iPhone went off the holder and fell on asphalt. We stopped and were running for this, 3 cars passed and the last went directly on the phone. Shouting, waving, he missed the phone for 5 centimeters. Uff..
DAY 2 - ROMANIA
Scooter camp in Hronec was great as alway and the next day the plan was to arrive to Cluj, Romania. We were accompanied by Rosta on BMW GS. When the temperature got up, Radeks scooter started to overheat. We broke the front mask to get the more air in and it seemed OK.
The way was boring, long straight roads, nothing to watch. We did at least a picture of the most boring bicycle road - 30kilometers straight 🙂
Rosta invited us for dinner and gave us a bottle of Slivovice (thanks!), then we split and went to Cluj to visit our couchsurfing hosts, with whom we sat and drinked. Scooters stayed on the street, but we were told that nobody will steal anything in Romania, Cluj is a very safe city. One of our hosts Pavel had a stylish moustache, so we decided to give him the bobcross T-shirt, as he is the only one who can wear this!
DAY 3 - ROMANIA, BULGARIA, ACCIDENT
We woke up after 7AM to set out sooner, as there was over 600 kilometers planned for this day, which is a lot on such a small scooter. Well, we had no idea what was waiting for us. After 2 hours of drive we are leaving highway, there is a nice long curve, that you can go through with a finger in your nose. Going 70km/h my scooter starts to slide aside, handlebars have no control. I was going without gloves and in flipflops, it was very hot. In a fraction of second I knew its bad and another fraction of second I was sliding on the asphalt behind my scooter. It just quickly came in my mind that I should slide on my shoulder where I have the motorcycle jacket. Then, after 15 meters both me and scooter stopped, so I lifted it up, checked myself and did not believe my own eyes - I have no single scratch on my hands and feets! My shoulder hurts, jacket is gone and trousers broken a bit, few scratches, damaged bag and holder. A good score for 70km/h. We picked everything up and went to petrol station to check everything again and Radek to smoke a cigarette.
Being lucky that our trip did not end before it started we continued. It was 30 degrees and Radeks Honda started to overheat again. The plan is to remove the Thermostat but it is impossible on the hot scooter. We have to slow down and go the loooong straight roads 65-75 kph. Does not seem like that, but compared to our standard speed 95 it is a big big difference. Then, we had to wait over 1 hour on border with Bulgaria and had the last part of 200kms to drive. After the whole day, to drive such distance 70 I thought we will never arrive. Tried to sit anyhow to shorten my time and that my ass does not hurt that much.
Finally we arrived after 9pm and what came was a reward for all the difficulties. We slept at Dean, who is a great person and had barbecue with him and his friends. We got our stomachs full and had fun until 2AM, when we went to bed.
Today is a relaxation day, we need to remove the thermostat and if we go on, it will be a short distance, around 100kms.
DAY 4 - BULGARIA, TURKEY, SHOTS FROM SHOTGUN
Today was a bit of relaxing day. We had breakfast-lunch at Deans place and took out the thermostat from Radek's scooter. Then we set out to the Turkish border with a plan to oversleep somewhere at the border. In the last city of Bulgaria we met a lovely boy and guys from Poland travelling on big bikes. We had some beer with them and decided to join for the night. This was brilliant, in the nature, behind the border with Turkey.
The guys were pretty cool, travelled a lot, so they told us some stories and gave several advices. Then came some local guy with a shotgun and started to shoot in the air for fun by the midnight 🙂
DAY 5 - ISTANBUL, SIMCARD
In the morning we are driving direction to Istanbul with the plan to buy a simcard first, to have a map and internet available. This proved to be almost impossible, as there are several troubles with simcards in Turkey, it has to be registered to the person, you cannot get them everywhere etc.. Finally, in the 5th shop we visited we were lucky to get one, althought it was activated the next day. Istanbul is huge, I mean really huge. You drive 50 kms through the city and you are still not in the centre. Acoomodation was nice (Rhythm hostel), but we had to find extra parking. In the evening was a short visit of the centre and we went to bed afterwards getting ready for the next day.
DAY 6 - GOING THROUGH TURKEY I.
In the morning we were supposed to leave istanbul. After 100kilometers it finally seemed that we left the city. Really huge.. During the day the scooter from Radek started to be again overheated. But why? Whole yesterday everything was totally fine. I touched the radiator and it was cold. Did again the procedure to get the air from the circuit, which worked, but we were not able to fill more fluid, as it was still pretty hot. Dinner was on the petrol station, same as the shower, which helped after 500kms and we started to look for a place to sleep. Right in the first village we saw a group of men, so Radek started his communication skills and we were given a place on the field next to the mosque.
Then they guided us through, where is a water, which was very nice. We sleep with a good feeling that nice people are everywhere.
DAY 7 - GOING THROUGH TURKEY II.
Mosque made us pretty scared in the morning 🙂 At 4:45 started to play the prayers very loud and we had no idea what is going on, jumping out from the bed. See the movie.
Then we could not sleep anyway, so we set out on a journey soon in the morning. Today was supposed to be long, optimistic version was 600kms, which we were successful to accomplish. Again, we have to cope with overheating and again after several hundreds of kilometers. Again getting the air out, which Radek used to practice his conversation skills in Turkish 🙂
From Radeks scooter starts to hear some knocking, still not that obvious but hearable. Let's hope the engine will make it until end, we are only in a third of our trip. Radek does not waste his time and look for a replacement bike. This model seems fine, he would not get bored by driving as it has speakers, unfortunately there is only one song on the playlist 😀
In the evening we are finally getting to Trabzon, where we booked some dirty ho(s)tel for 37 Euro, which is really horrible, very noisy and smells, but they let us to give the scooters inside. Mosque next door seems to be fine as we already got used to the prayers. Going to bed and tomorrow comes Georgia.
DAY 8 - GOING TO GEORGIA
In the morning we again get woke up from the mosque, but are not surprised anymore, so we slept further, got a breakfast and set on the way. The plan was to reach Georgia as soon as possible, so we took the last 150kms at once. On the border was everything fine, so after one hour we could go on to Georgia. The way from border around the coast is quite full of cars and traffic is dense and hard.
In Georgia you practically meet no motorcycles and it is no wonder. Driving a bike here is a russian roulette with your life. On the other hand, if you like an action style of driving, you will love it here. Everybody is a racer and goes full throttle, no matter if you drive a V8 Mercedes or old Ford Transit.
As soon as it was possible we went from the main road and the real relax started. Nice roads, animals around, lots of green.
In the first small city we stopped to eat and decided to change the oil for a denser one, as the Honda from Radek was knocking more and more and it was obvious that if no miracle happens we will soon have a serious problem. We bought the 15W40 oil and changed it in the local service. There were pieces of alluminium in the old oil, which was not a good sign at all.
We went on and stopped in a small village and asked for a place to oversleep in the tent. We do it like this so that the locals know about us and also sometimes happens that we get an invitation somewhere. We were told that we can sleep by the local school, there is a fence around and nobody cares, the school is closed during the summer break anyway. Just bought few beers in the market and go to park the bikes. Taking a rest come one local guy, then another, third, fourth and all are speaking to us. Within the next hour around 12 people are coming there and forth.
After a while comes also bottle of wine and vodka and we have to drink. Then, one of the men opens the school and takes us inside with offer to oversleep there. Great! Then, we dring again and when I see that Radek has already more then enough I am taking him away to sleep.
The school was frightening in the night, like from a horror movie. Many strange noises, shouting vampires or whichever animals and very very hot. Before asleep I go for a toilete and see one of the guys sitting on my scooter, so I say myself hopefully it will be OK. Before I finish my duty I see 5 guys taking the scooter on stairs and trying to push it through the door inside of the school. So I said them it is impossible because of the side racks. They took it again down and we went to bed with a smile.
The night was awful, I was several times awake from strange noises, every time going out of the room to check whether somebody is there. Radek snored on the couch and was happy. In the end a bit sad story about deportation of our host, if you can understand russian, you can hear how it is if somebody comes and takes you out from your home..
DAY 9 - KILLED ENGINE
In the morning we set out and after half hour the Honda from Radek lost the power and the engine was gone. What now? We were about 30km from the nearest city Kutaisi. Needed Internet, accomodation and started to sort out what the next steps will be. I went to the gas station to buy a towing rope, we took the scooters and went. Here is a movie from the drive:
On the suburbs of Kutaisi some guys in service let us to go on the internet, we found acoomodation which seemed fine for a very fair price with A/C, Internet and Parking, so we checked in and started to think about further steps. Our main concers were:
So, we wrote a message on facebook about what happened and started to get offers for help, which was so nice. Within 2 hours we found a friend of a friend who goes in 2 days by plane from Poland to Kutaisi and would take the engine with, if we pay the extra luggage.
George from Scootland took out the engine from scooter the same day, clened, measured the weight and we found out that it fits to the limit of 32kg, which is for the luggage for airplane. Hope starts to come. The same evening the engine was packed and ready to be shipped.
DAY 10 - TAKING REST
Today we relaxed actively, long sleep until 10 in the A/C room and then went to the airport to make sure that you can receive an engine in Georgia. We were said that there shouldn't be a problem at all, so hopefully it will be like that. On the way back we met a tuned Honda with a custom exhaust system and the driver even made a small show for us. See the movie:
In the evening we went for a beer to the city, it was very pleasant to sit next to the river. Very funny was a toilete in this restaurant 🙂
Then, walking through the city we were catched by some random guys sitting in the park, who immediately ran to buy a bottle of Vodka and chocolate to host us. We were drinking for friendship and Georgia 😀 Then we had to run away, otherwise we would end up drunken again 🙂
DAY 11 - ENGINE OUT
Today we again slept well and then started with taking out the engine. It went quite smooth and we even did not need any special tools, just had everything on hand. Everything was done in the garage of a guesthouse where we stay.
I took extra care so that we do not pour the antifreeze anywhere, puting it in a plastic bottle aside, to be able to use it again. Then, Radek goes, kicks in the bottle and all the antifreeze was on the floor 🙂 OK, then we will leave here a sign of us. We also found out that the belt from Radeks scooter is gone after 3,5tkm and the rear pulley is faulty. Luckily we have a replacement one with us. What is strange, that we checked everything before the start of our trip and it seemed ok. Looks like the Honda from Radek plays a strange game with us. But, we are ready, engine is out and waiting for a replacement one.
DAY 12 - ENGINE
Today came the "D" day and we woke up at 4AM to go to the airport to wait for our rescue. After arrival we waited for 45 minutes and started to be nervous already, because we still did not see them. Suddenly, they appeared and had a big blue suitcase! I cannot describe that luck, just look on the movie:
Happy and full of expectations we drove home to get a little more sleep and then we started to install the engine. You can watch another movie from the assembly:
Today afternoon we can already drive further, direction to Tbilisi, where we are going to meet our friend and tomorrow we go on direction Russian border. Now, we can only thank again to everybody who helped us. Without you, our trip would be now over. We really do appreciate that very much!
After sleep in Gori and a nice evening spent with owners of the Guest House we set out to see the Stallin museum, which was 10 minutes from our stay. So, we visited it and were wondering how such a cruel person who ordered to kill millions of people has his own museum, which presents him like a successful politician. The house where he was born still stands, well it is a small house where his family was renting one room. All houses around has been destroyed to make space for the museum and only this one stands in the middle. We also looked inside of a train wagon, which he used for travelling. It even had air condition, in 1950s..
From there we continued to Tbilisi to meet our big inspiration, a traveller whom we both admire. His name is Stefano Medvedich, an Italian who travelled through Africa on his Vespa PX125 and now he was on the way back from Siberia. Our paths have crossed in Tbilisi, where he was fixing his broken engine. The meeting was short, due to the lack of time, but very nice and friendly.
We set out shortly after 7AM, as we count with a delay on borders and want to make as many kilometers as possible from Chechnia, about which we haven't heard anything good. On the borders it was suprisingly smooth, nobody asked for money. We only had to wait long, but finally came to the window. The forms in azbuka made us lost in papers, fortunately we were saved by a very kind police woman, who could speak few words Czech. Thanks!
Full of expectations we came into Russia, but never drove too long. One police control after another, really every appr. 15 Kilometers we were stopped, checked and asked from where we are, where do we go etc. Radek saved the situation with his patience and communication skills and gave them several presents, which made the checks much faster.
We also found the truth about Russian roads. Practically, you cannot rely on Google Maps, because a difference between an asphalt and mud is non – everything looks same on the map – as a road. We also had our first critical moment on the way. Going on asphalt, then stones, then dust. According to navigation are we on the main road so we go on.
Suddenly appears a big dog on the side, so we decided to go on and accelerate. He ran behind us, but our Hondas were luckilly faster. Slowly we are moving forth and then we see in a distance another two big wild dogs, that are barking on us. It was obvious, that we will not make it. What should we do now? We can't go back, as there is already one angry dog which knows about us. We can't go forward, as we maybe would not manage to go around the dogs, also the terrain was unknown, so it could happen that you fall down or cannot go fast enough to lose the dogs and risk a bite in a leg. Finally we got an idea to go around them across the field next to the road, behind trees. The problem was that at the end of the field we were hardly able to get the scooter out of the dust, both of us had to carry first one scooter and then another. All this on direct sun in 37 degrees. But, we made it! OK, let's go on. The road was changing better and worse, finally we are coming totally exhausted into Neftekumsk city, where we take a hotel Druzba and go to bed.
We thought that all the bad luck was taken yesterday and that we will move significantly and do over 500kms. On Google maps, the road looked beautiful, only straight. What came exceeded the worst expectations we could have. We both agreed, that on such a bad road nobody from us every drove. After 40 kilometers on stones we thought it cannot be worse. Well, it could and definitely was. From stones it became dust-sand and later only sand. We did not count with anything like this, so were left to fight with the circumstances on the road tires. It was crazy. We could not and did not want to go back, which would mean extra several hundreds of kilometers and one day back, so we went forth, but it was really hell. Following movie shows how tough was this drive..
Our hapiness after we found the stones again was huge. Now, after all the sand it was like driving in heaven. Overally had this hell part (dust, stones, sand) 86kilometers and we spent over 3 hours to go through. Then came again asphalt and we were only hoping that it will remain like this. Unfortunately, according to locals the way we had in navigation was not possible to go on scooters, but we can take another one, which is 80kilometers longer with 30kilometers on stones. OK, let's go. Fortunately good people are helping us on our way and even now the locals in Lada Samara told us to follow them and from all of the horrible ways they led us through the less horrible one and also saved us from another 3 wild dogs, that ran to the Lada and then did not manage to run after us. Uff, thanks thanks thanks! We gave them several gifts and took some pictures.
Then saw a group of 4 people on small moped-motorbikes Honda Innova 125 going around. It were Germans going from Mongolia.
We exchanged some tips and contacts and went to the Astrachan city, where we were accomodated via Couchsurfing in a lovely natural place and we were really lucky to have a place to rest. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
We woke up quite soon and went around one hour to the Kazachian borders, where everything went smooth on both sides. In Kazachstan it is necessary to buy an insurance, which is definitely not cheap. 10 days for our small scooters cost 30 USD and we had to negotiate quite long as the first price was 50. Exchange is also funny, with women with sunglasses, where you don't see in their faces 🙂
The, we go on on a road full of holes to the Atyrau city, where we wanted to decide which way to take. Original plan was to take the A-27 road, which is the shorter one. But after consulting with truck drivers and some locals it was clear that this road is managable but very hard. Imagination of another 1400 kilometers spent on such roads looked like a nightmare, also with the previous day experience. Finally we decided to take the longer route which goes through the north of the country and is 400 kilometers longer, which killed our plan to be on the Aral lake in 2 days, now we still have 1800kilometers to drive. So, we started and made the first 150kms right on the first evening and then found a place for a sleep next to the road and made it with the owner. We took out the mosquito net and went inside. In the morning we woke up with 30 mosquites inside, as the entry hole opened in the night and everybody was invited to come in and take a bite..
I would summerize this day: We did 700 kilometers with 2 junctions, which we did not miss 🙂 Otherwise pretty boring, but we need as many kilometers as possible.
We had a bit of fun with the Police, which stopped us and said that my light was off. I said it is next to impossible, as I did not touch on the switch from Russia and the Police officer said they have it on video. So, I asked to see the video. In the meantime he stopped a car from Netherlands, got in his car, came back and said his colleague unfortunately already deleted the video 🙂 So, we could go.
The beautiful thing on driving in Kazakhstan are the wild birds around. The feeling when a big Eagle lands next to you and then flies above your head while you drive a scooter is unforgettable.
In the evening we acomodated us in a restaurant, which had directly from the pub 2 doors, one to the room where the owners family lived and another one was for us.
Shower was outside and we were happy to use it. In the night Radek woke up with a strong pain in his stomach and it looked quite bad. Fortunately after taking pills it got better and we could go on in the morning.
Today 500kilometers straight away, otherwise very boring. We are so lucky with the weather, there are clouds and temperature does not exceed 30 degrees, which is great and our big fear from the sun and high temperatures has not come true. Sometimes, we have to slow down because of the camels next to the street.
Again, we had fun with Police, they stoped us asking for “kluč.” Later we realized this is the key number 14, which we provided and they gave it to a guy, who was stopped with sume junk car and was fixing their police SsangYong. Then, they asked for some little presents, so we gave them stickers and keyrings. When the work was done, one of them told us they will give us a present too. Then, he took off his reflection vest and gave it to us. What a surprise!
On the way we have a strong wind against us and today is really extreme. In the worst place we go full throttle not more then 65kph, so the way goes slowly..
In the evening, there are only last 200kilometers left to Aralsk! We stop at the lonely restaurant in the middle of nowhere where the owner lets us oversleep on the floor in the typical Kazachian jurta. People here are excellent, all the time horning, wavig and speaking to us. Really nice.
Full of expectations we arrive after last 3 hours to Aralsk, it is around noon and we go to the city to look around and ask, where we can find the ships. It does not take long as the people are here very friendly to tourists and they take us to the former harbour. There is one last ship that was left here to remind the past of the city.
We ask for other ships, those on the former shore and were told that all of them are already gone, disassembled for steel. No! We drove here for almost 3 weeks and now found nothing? There is basically nearly nothing left after the lake, only few old cranes, but no old factories for fishes, nothing.
Aralsk is basically city like many others in Kazakhstan. We found accomodation in hotel Aral, which does not only look old from outside, but from inside as well. Shower is one for the floor and internet is included, but does not work.
I still don't want to give up my desire to see something more, got a SIMcard and found info about small village which is around 60kms from Aralsk, where should be last 3 ship wrecks. However, the information is several years old, but I at least want to give it a try. We change tires for the offroad ones, as there is a lot of sand around and with asphalt tires it is no chance.
We are amazed from how good the tires work and can go basically anywhere we wish. The first test drive is on the former shore around Aralsk city and looking on what remained from the ships here after they had been dismantled for stell.
I found info about agency that organizes trips around and wrote them email. After few minutes I got a reply with a phone number to a guy who speaks english. He confirmed that there are 3 remained ships still there and goes there tomorrow with tourists and we can drive behind his jeep, if we want to.
I am so happy how everything works. We go for a short walk through the city and meet a nice guy who takes us to Saslik where locals go and it was really the best barbeque meat we have ever eaten. In the evening I struggled with Internet connection, that stopped working even on my cellphone, but we anyway go to bed looking so much forward to tomorrow.
Today comes the "D" Day, when we should see the wrecks. Meeting is at 8 in front of the hotel. Around half past seven we want to get out of the room, but it is impossible. The lock is blocked and we cannot open the doors. Finally Radek got an idea to use the stell holder for canister, he had with and we put the doors a bit aside with it and got outside. Uff..
The guy comes at 8, as agreed and we go. The evening before we spoke about that he could drive slowly with the tourists. Well, it was the opposite way, he drove like crazy through the sand and it was nearly impossible to catch him. After a kilometer Radek gave it up with a fear of crash, luckily there was one place left in the car. I felt good and really wished to come there on my scooter and take the pictures with it, so let's go on. The way was really hard, but possible on the new tires. It jumped on the bumps quite a lot. After an hour we finally got to the place. There are remains of the ships, still in the desert, so the hapiness was really huge! Following movie is in Czech where I speak about my dream came true and you can see the sparks of hapiness in my eyes.
We made some more pictures and left totally satisfied, as the target of our trip was reached and we saw what we wanted to see. I also remembered that for terrain is better to blow off the tires a bit and did it. What happend I still cannot believe. The scooter became totally calm on bumps and now I can really fly on the sand roads. Before I hardly could catch the jeep and now I am able to overtake it anytime and have to wait for it. The way back was so full of driving pleasure that i will remember this for a long long time. We also stopped at the water where Radek put his legs in. So, we really saw everything - former shore, wrecks and water.
Around noon we came back to the city, took our things and set out on a way back. We inform about train to Moscow, but we would have to wait 1,5 days with an unsure result, so we decide to go back on scooters, on the offroad tires, which we will try to drive as long as possible, as our road tires are on 15% of rubber and would not make the way home. It is a bit noisy, but still possible to drive. In the evening we arrive in the same jurta as on the way there and take an offer to overnight again. On the way we tried several truck drivers to save us the boring way, but still with no result.
We wake up soon and set out. It is obvious that we will not make the whole Kazakhstan today, but will try to do as many kilometers as possible. Unfortunately the engine on my Honda knocks louder and louder and it sounds quite similar to the sound of Radek's engine before it died in Georgia. But, it runs still...
Basically the whole day we just drove, with stops for fuel, which we need more often, as on the offroad tires the consumption raised for one liter and for the full tank we can make only around 140km. One nice picture of Radek, when he took off his helmet and had a Prodigy-style haircut.
I also looked forward that on the way back the strong wind will push us. Like in the murphys laws, the wind turned and we drove back against it as well. What was just great is weather, it was fantastic. There are clouds and temperatures are around 20-25 degrees, which makes the journey quite pleasant.
On the petrol station we meet extremely loaded Daewoo Nexia, full car of stuff, fridge on the roof and a huge trailer full of things. The guys were from Uzbekistan and transport things from Russia. They only take use things, as there are no import taxes. 1 kilogram costs 150 Rubles (something around 2 USD) One way is 8 thousand kilometers (4 there and 4 back). Guys were really nice and we had a nice chat and did few pictures with the car and our scooters.
Noc byla fajn a s moskytierou to tentokrát klaplo, komárů tu bylo požehnaně.
In the evening we look for the place to sleep and find a Cafe next to the road, where the owner lets us sleep outside under the roof. There is no electricity and no water. To be polite, we at least order dinner, as she wants nothing for the night. Radek shows, that we want chicken meat and jumps there around showing a hen and we also say Net baranina to avoid the sheep meat, which we are already full of. The woman looks like she understands what we need to say and with a big surprise, after 10 minutes we get 2 plates of sheep. What was worse, the meat was already expired and stinked. What now? I suggested to leave it on the table, but Radek said it is unpolite and pretended to eat with an empty fork. Finally he said he will finish the meal outside with a cigarette and threw it away :))
We are around 4 hours from Russian border, so lets go. We decided to take the shorter route, which is destroyed and in a bad condition. However, we still have offroad tires on. Now, it shows how good was the decision to leave them. Again, lowered the pressure, the scooters got softer and we flew over the worst roads you can imagine. It is nearly unbelievable what difference the higher profile of tires and low pressure makes.
Over 1000kms we also keep asking the truck drivers to take us, but had no luck yet, they are going other direction, have full trucks etc. On the russian border I speak with a guy in Transit, but he is full as well. Then, there war 2 turkish trucks, but the drivers could not speak nor english, german, russian. Luckily, the guy from Transit spoke Turkish, so he explained them what we need and they said they would do it and we should wait behind the borders.
The border check was no problem, russian officers even communicate in english with us, which is very surprising and everybody is extremely pleasant. Behind the borders we wait for truck and are quite nervous, as we both wish this to work, because the knocking gets louder and we are in fear for the second engine. Once you enter Russia with a scooter, you have to leave it as well. If the engine dies, there are 2 possibilities, to burn it or to say it was stolen, in both cases it means a lot of paperwork and delay. And, there are also all the things we carry left.
After an hour, the trucks are coming and we give the money together. They want $300 from each of us, which is quite expensive, but on the other hand we will cross the whole Russia and from Ukraine we can sort out the transport of the scooter, if it dies. We dont have more like $250 each, so making the price a bit lower, loading scooters and gooo!!! Yeah! So much luck again. In the next 2 days we will rest and then only finish the trip via Ukraine and Poland to Czech. It is again unbelieavable how much luck do we have on our journey.
Radek tied his scooter wrong and it fell after some time and the windshield was broken, but never mind. Road is terrible, asphalt destryed and the trucks are not able to go more as 30kph. The guys are good drivers and drive long until night, in the same evening we did over 300kilometers. Night was spent in the trailer, where after a long time I can finally add some more pictures and info on Facebook and blog.
We are fine, there was a shower available in the motel same as a dinner. Tomorrow evening we will be at Ukranian borders.
We spent the whole day driving in the trucks. The drivers did a breakfast and lunch on the parking lot, so we had our trip with the meals included 🙂
In the evening we are comming to the Russian-Ukranian borders and leave the cars on the petrol station. It is already dark outside. Drivers tell us the motel is around 5 kilometers and borders 15 kilometers. We went to find the motel, but there wasn't anything like that, came back to the petrol station and the guy told us there is no motel around. Then, we asked wheter there would be some place to sleep in the tent and he showed us a place behind the petrol station, where we could overnight. It was stylish, with decorations..
Our hapiness from saving us 2-3 days of drive on the terrible russian road was huge. Now, there is only Ukraine and home, and even if the engine dies there will be a way how to get the scooter to Czech.
Today is Ukraine ahead. Everything OK on the borders, only one officer asked for some $ for coffe, so we gave him something like $1. Everything was with a smile and I think even if we would not give anything, we would pass smoothly.
Ukraine was beautiful, nice roads, great services, food and drink for good prices, people are nice. Behind the borders we inflated the tires and took a pictures on a beautiful Dnepr bike, with which Radek fell immediately in love.
Today, we did over 700kms, crossed Kiev and took a picture of stylish decoration in a restaurant.
Accomodation was found at a motel next to the street, in renovated rooms for hard to believe price $9 for both of us, including parking of scooters behind the gate. We took a dinner and looked forward that if everything runs well we can reach the homes by tomorrow evening, there is only last 650kms left.
We thought the last day we will only fly home with a great drive, but it was not that good. No enerty left, no hapiness from driving itself and just going through endless Poland and thinking to be finally at home. At the borders our friend joined us with BMW GS and lead us home, which was useful, as the charger from my phone stopped working and we had no navigation. In front of Roznov also another friend joined us on his scooter and then, we finally arrived in Roznov pod Radhostem in MaiCafe, where we had delicious coffee and some sweets and friends were waiting there to welcome us.
We would like to thank all of our fans and friends for support on facebook and personally as well. Finally, everything worked and even my scooter despite knocking engine drove back without any single service. Radek won a small beer, so I will pass it to him when we see us next time.
Some summary of the trip will follow after few days, when we enjoy being at home. Once again big thanks to all of you for a great support.