Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why Ukaraine? …because this is our first motorbike adventure beyond the borders and we want to be a special one.


The route: Tg.Mures-Reghin-Bistrita-Pasul Tihuta-M-tii Bargaului-Vatra Dornei-Vatra Moldovitei-Moldovita-Radauti-Siret-Cernauti-Hotin-Kamienec Podolskii

Participants: Me & Szidi (Dragstar 650), Zsák & Mendy (Virago 535) Pali & Sogi (Virago 535) Levi & Agi (GsXF 600)

Total km : 800 - 900

Day I

Friday, 02.05.2008 13:30 we gather in front of our blocks (Some of us worked until 1 pm) ,we put the baggage on the bikes when the party starts ,I say party because when we are ready to go a heavy rain starts. This is a good begining, I hope this will end soon, as the rain didn’t stop we start our ride. Arrived in Reghin full of mud, looked like we did 500 km but really it was 30, fill up the bikes and put some clothes on .
Next stop in Bistrita where the rain stops for 5 minutes,

Of course when we start the ignition, our friend the rain continues following us, we begin to have enough of this weather and when reach Tihuta Pass surprise : ROAD WORK (if I remember correctly I think it was about 20-30 km).

This is the worst road I ever seen before, we chose this road because of the gorgeous landscape but the main occupation at this time is to not fall off and to not leave behind the engine in some hole, you can imagine that the max speed is 30 km/h. After several attempts to fall off, taillights and bulldozers we get to see asphalt with many railway crossings in the mountains and chill came over me.

It's good to be alive!

We are having a high-tea at a gas station near Vatra Dornei, After the break we are quickly heading to Sucevita because it is growing dark, at 9 pm we reach Sucevita.Embarked ready for camping with tents, sleeping bags ... but a few degrees + the rain ruins our plan . After about half an hour of trying to fiund an accommodation in different hostels, pensions finnaly we find a good pension with restaurant. 80 RON / room with 2 beds (just perfect for 4 people ), acceptable conditions with shared bathroom . The first thing after I get rid of wet clothes is to grab a bottle of szilvapalinka (plum brandy)and some wine ... after two hours of talking "in a glass case" serenity and peace.

Day 2

In the morning I am looking outside the window, hopeing to say that shattered, but no it
is like the end of the world is coming, the clothes didn’t dry so we are in the same condition: WET. Full tank in Radauti at a local gas station and head to meet with a group of motorcyclists from Radauti who have the same destination :Ukraine. Unfortunately they were canceled because of the bad weather. Nothing is lost for this party as one of them (Bogdan) offers to help us. Bogdan is waiting us with 8 cup of hot coffee (exactly what we need) and a lot of important information about crossing the customs because there is a big birocracy going on.

A photo with Bogdan

He helps us to exchange Ron in Eur because in Ukraine we can exchange Eur with Hryvnia (national currency in UA), with money problem solved, we approach the customs. On the Romanian side no problem but on the ukrainean side is much more complicated, we follow the instructions as Bogdan explained, but we miss the first check point, oupsss. After a few documents checks we are allowed to pass, so we are in Ukraine, cool now it’s time to exchange and some photos.

The road to Chernovtsy is pretty good, wide roads with several suspected car with tinted windows and with 4-5 person in it. First impression about Ukraine: poor country with a lot of wrecked car from the communist era,we see some BMW and Mercedes of course with black tinted windows. The people is looking at us like they never have seen motorbikes .
In Chernovtsy an Audi 100 stops in the middle of the road in front of us, two young guys gets out of the car and start to asks Levi about some euro, I think we have a problem, but no finally we understood that they are asking about the price of the bike, they want to buy the bike. We get lost in Chernovtsy because the GPS is useless , so you can imagine that we can’t read the cyrillic writing system, we try to get some information in English but with no results, finally we meet a Romanian truck driver and he shows us the right way. We leave Chernovtsy behind and I remind you that is still raining and we are rideing at almost top speed to Khotyn, a little locality with a beautiful castle, we can only admire for a short period of time and unfortunately we never got to Komenec-Podolski because we are freezing. We make some pictures at the castle with our helmets on, have one hot chocolate, buy some souvenirs and after about 40 minutes we are on the road to Romania.

On the way back the police stops us but fortunately only to admire the bikes, they ask Levi to do a wheelie of course he refuses, you never know what’s on their mind. At the customs they ask us about drugs, we laugh and say yes and then a funny officer says to his buddy that we are bikers and we are doing traffic with gold not drugs and lets us to enter in Romania. After this event I heard that one guy on an airport in Ukraine was asked about the baggage content and he made a joke that is a bomb ,he was detained by authorities 2 months, so no more jokes at the customs. In Radauti we stop to say hello to Bogdan, it is a good thing because I run out of gas and again Bogdan helps us with the fuel issue. We return to the same pension ,we have a good dinner ,drink some beer when we are informed that we have a visitor, it is Bogdan a very pleasant surprise.

Day 3

Morning,10 am, rain, good mood and ready to goooooooooo.

Sucevita monastery

After 15-20 km the rain stops, finally we can admire the landscape, great curves , twisty road...

...then suddenly I hear a car horn in front of me, I am looking forward and I see a sliding horse on the road and the GSXF wrecked. Levi stands up and after a few seconds Agi too, huh thanks God they are ok, we help them to get to the roadside. A few little injuries on both of them but nothing serious, the bike is wrecked,oil is leaking.

So what caused this? It was the car, who sounded the horn and the horse was on the roadside and it was not supervised, the horse got frightened and jumped in front of Levi., the maniac with the car didn’t even stop. Meanwhile we wait for the police, we found the guy who supposed to supervise the horses. After the police arrivs we try to “assemble” the bike so he can ride to the police station and wait for a wan to pick them up. After thestatements at Vatra Moldovitei police station we say goodbye to Levi and Agi and continue our way back home. On the way back we manage to take some photos in Bargaului mountains,and before Tihuta pass guess what, the rain starts "beating" us again.

We are not angry anymore, we raise our flip-ups and begin to sing, it is more like a hell of a noise.

Finally we arrived safely home and this was our 2.5 day motorbike experience, probably it had been better without the RAIN.

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