London! :)

We left Mechernich heading for the Calais ferry and got 50mtrs before I was pulled by a police motocyclist for no number plate, it had snapped off on the Kolyma in Siberia then completley lost between the border of Mongolia and Russia. This was the first time we were pulled for it, I had a couple of previous times been asked where it was when we had been stopped for papers checks but that was all. Nice weather again today as we run through Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and France to the ferry port. We were meeting some friends in the evening for a curry in Essex then off for a few beers. Arrived at the Ibis west Thurrock and a welcoming party was waiting for us, my Mrs, Kev’s brother and his daugher and grandson and a few friends so a few quick beers before shower and curry. Mr and Mrs Nomad biker and JackoUk came along for the curry along with another 10 or so friends.
After we got chucked out of the curry house 6 of us headed for Basvegas in Basildon for more drink, the rest is history!

What an adventure, can’t wait for the next one! 🙂

Distance travelled 618kms
Total Distance travelled 16576kms

Mechernich, Germany

A bit worse for wear this morning after we went to Marco’s Bistro last night, What a great funny guy! we were not expecting it to be such a good night but anyone passing through this area should give him a look in! Great food, great prices and a good old laugh.
First thing today was to get Ned’s new rectifier before going on to friends of Kev and Mide in Mechernich Kommern near Cologne, all motorway stuff again today unfortunately but needs must!
We arrived in Mechernich just before dark and sat eating and drinking until we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer, another great night though! Hienrich and Svenja are lovely people and made us feel most welcome.

Hienrich and Svenja

Hienrich and Svenja

Distance travelled 558kms
Total Distance travelled 15958kms

Thurnau, Germany

Left Prague hoping to get to Wurzburg but unfortunately Ned’s bike broke down in the middle of a rain storm, the rectifier was gone so Gary and Kev went off to find a replacement new battery and/or some distilled water. The first attempt they only managed the water and an address of a Honda dealer 20 miles away in the wrong direction, as the day was drawing in and it was looking like rain again we decided that myself and Mide would ride on to find a place to stay and send the info back. Shortly after we departed the rain started, it was seriously heavy and what with it being dark we pulled off the main road into a small town called Thurnau to see if we could find a place to stay. As luck would have it we found a hotel that had closed for the season but the people agreed to open up for us,  gps marks were sent to the boys before I showered and put some dry cloths on. About an hour later they turned up very wet with Ned riding between Garry and Kev due to not being able to use his lights! they managed to get a new battery but no rectifier so Ned had to ride his bike with no lights in the dark through the worst rain so far.
After the boys had a shower and warm up we headed out for food and found a little gem of a place called Schleicher’s Bistro, when Marco (the owner) was explaining the menu he said ‘’I have chicken titties’’ Which started us all laughing and also a night to remember. Marco was a great guy and would have kept serving us as long as we wanted to stay but by 2am we were done.

Distance travelled 283kms
Total Distance travelled 15400kms

Prague

Left Brno after 5 or 6 breakfasts each from the ‘all you can eat buffet’, heading for Prague via the church of bones in Kutna Hora, we chose the quiet roads which again brought us through some beautiful countryside and charming little villages. It was a great spin to the church of bones and a very interesting place to see, after a walk around the erie church we had lunch in a little cafe in the sun.

http://www.outsideprague.com/kutna_hora/bone_church.html

Kutna Hora Church.

Kutna Hora Church.

We left the church and headed for Prague where we had our showers then headed out for a walk round the town which ended in another Irish pub for a few pints of Guinness.

The boys in Prague.

The boys in Prague.

Kev and Ned getting their feet cleaned in Prague.

Kev and Ned getting their feet cleaned in Prague.

Distance travelled 264kms
Total Distance travelled 15117kms

Brno

We left Bardejov on the 77 heading for the High Tatras and Spisska Bela mountain ranges then the 67 across the mountains and down to the E50 which was a lovely route with great twisty roads and beautiful views. Our destination was Brno and we arrived around 6pm showered and had a walk around the city centre.
We stayed in a 4 star hotel in the middle of the city and with no secure parking so we had to park the bikes up tight to the lobby which looked nice outside this posh hotel. The next day they tried charging us €50 for parking on the pavement with no security! We got them down to €30 but still a bit of a liberty.

Brno Hotel.

Brno Hotel.

Distance travelled 487kms
Total Distance travelled 14853kms

2nd day in Bardejov, Slovakia

Day off the bikes today which is just as well, had to do some maintenance on the bikes changing my rear tyre for the one I bought in Novosibirsk (it’s only a 120 but will do for the rest of the ride home, Garry managed to change it after 2 hours of attempts!). Kev had to do an oil change along with Ned, all done in the front car park of the hotel (hope they didn’t mind the mess 🙂 ).

Working on bikes outside hotel in Bardejov.

Working on bikes outside hotel in Bardejov.

Garry removing Mark's rear tyre.

Garry removing Mark’s rear tyre.

After the bike repairs we headed out to another friend of Gary’s where once again there was a massive spread of food and Slivovica for those that wanted it but we gave that a miss. left there about 5 and popped into Lubo’s brother for a cup of tea and again more food put up in front of us!. Back to the hotel and off for a beer with Gary and Ned, then maybe back to the nightclub 🙂 .

Distance travelled 52kms
Total Distance travelled 14366kms

Bardejov, Slovakia

Big hangover this morning due to a night with the brothers grim, ended up in a club until god knows what time. Only consolation was I left before them and they have much bigger hangovers than I have.
Plan for today was to cross into Poland (back in the EU) and ride down to Bardejov in Slovakia to meet some of Gary’s friends there for a party.
The border crossing today was the busiest yet with a mile long queue, luckily we were able to shoot down the outside to the front but still took us 2 hours to get through! Kev had a few issues with his documents not matching the year of registration as his bike had been re-registered, we had been through countless other customs and nobody had ever noticed but eventually we got through the last customs border on the journey 🙂 .
The fuel price has been rising the further west we have travelled, in eastern Siberia we were paying just over 50p ltr, Ukraine was around 90p ltr and now we have crossed into Poland it’s about the same as home. Before we used to fill up both bikes to the brim now for the same price it’s less than one!
Polish and Slovakian roads were great and Gary knew a beautiful route to Bardejov where we were staying in the centre. After a shower and freshen up Gary’s friend Lubo sent a taxi to collect and deliver us to his house where they had laid on a massive spread of food and of course lots of alcohol. One particular spirit was called slivovica which is Slovakian, there were 2 types, the normal strength and the blow your head off strength! So after a skin full we all went to the local bar for more food and drink, after that it was to a nightclub near the hotel….

Lubo's house party

Lubo’s house party

Bar near Lubo's house

Bar near Lubo’s house

Ned getting friendly with a local in Slovakia!

Ned getting friendly with a local in Slovakia!

Gary arm wrestling local in Slovakia

Gary arm wrestling local in Slovakia

Distance travelled 293kms
Total Distance travelled 14314kms

L’viv

It was a beautiful sunny hot day when we left the hotel but just as we reach the outskirts of the city the heavens opened up and we were soaked to the skin within minutes, visibility was so bad we had to stop in a café until the worst passed. It rained most of the day, at one stage we were riding towards the sunshine and then the road veered off under the black clouds again 🙁 .

Kiev hotel owner and Kev,

Kiev hotel owner and Kev,

Kiev cafe raining

Kiev cafe raining

Road to L'viv monument.

Road to L’viv monument.

We arrived in L’viv at 7pm in the dry and road around the city looking for the hotel that Gary had booked us in, it’s a lovely medievil old city still with some old cobble streets. As we pulled up outside Gary, Ned and Mide (Kev’s better half) were waiting with champagne and a kiss and cuddle (unfortunately I had to make do with Gary 🙁 ). Bikes parked around the back and 3 large vodka’s later we were getting showered up and off out for a bite to eat and more booze!.

Ned, Gary, and Mark in L'viv bar.

Ned, Gary, and Mark in L’viv bar.

Distance travelled 574kms
Total Distance travelled 14021kms

Kiev

This was our last day in Russia as we crossed the border on the M3 / E101, bit sad as Russia has been fantastic and the people were brilliant. It was a long day today with many kms covered, not very comfortable on the 690 but we have a deadline to hit meeting up with the Irish tomorrow in L’viv.

The weather was lovely and sunny as we started off to Kiev, all started well until the first petrol station we stopped in was being refurbished which shouldn’t have been a problem until the next 3 were also being refurbished or closedown. Eventually Kev ran out but as I have a safari tank holds 5 more ltrs we split that and thankfully the next petrol station although closed for lunch was open! After another hour of so we stopped for lunch in another roadside café and again had a good laugh with the girls while we were trying to decipher the menu. Then back on the road and nearing the Ukrainian boader we came across a war memorial, so stopped for some photo’s.

Petrol Station Mascot.

Petrol Station Mascot.

War Memorial Statues.

War Memorial Statues.

War Memorial Tanks.

War Memorial Tanks.

Got to the Russian border and we were the only ones there again so straight through without to much of a problem, the Ukraine border was a different kettle of fish with the first official asking for a present of $10 for coffee before he gave us the paper we needed. I stood there telling him why would I have $ when I’m english but he didn’t understand or didn’t want to understand, he even drew out 2 coffee cups = $10 (this man really wanted some money! 🙂 ). So after 10 minutes of explaining to him we didn’t have any $ I gave him a few rubles I had left in my pocket, no more than a couple of pounds worth.  So it went on with the next 2 asking for money as well but we told them their colleagues cleaned us out and eventually we got through. This experience left us wondering what problems we’d have with the police if customs are so blatantly corrupt.

Out of customs and a long ride to get to Kiev, time was ticking by, it started to get dark, and we were getting low on fuel and had no Ukrainian money. Just as we were entering Kiev we pulled over at a roadside motel / bar to ask if there was an ATM and fuel station nearby. Luckly the guy spoke good english and there was a supermarket which had an ATM and fuel pumps just across the road, he also had a couple of rooms free for the evening. Sorted bikes parked, money acquired, rooms rented, showered and down to the bar for some beers and food 🙂 .

Hotel room in Kiev.

Hotel room in Kiev.

Distance travelled 748kms
Total Distance travelled 13447kms

Voronezh

Not much to report today, good roads just mile munching to the next city Voronezh. Since leaving Mongolia we have just been clocking up the kms, this is when you need a GSA1200! My arse is in tatters from the 690 saddle, it has to be the most uncomfortable seat know to mankind! I will be investing in a new saddle for my next trip…

Distance travelled 521kms
Total Distance travelled 12699kms