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Little comfort for you both but Anne & I went on an organised bike tour the first year we were together, 10 countries in 14 days, and it rained for 13 of them!
Anne has always wanted to go to the Caribbean and we were invited to a wedding in St. Lucia (not on bikes!). It rained every day (not all day!) for the 10 days we were there.
Try to keep a positive attitude
 

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OVALTEENY !!!
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Austin / Anne - our Pyrenees tripo this year did not have the same weather as we had last year - it too rained and snowed for the 8 days we were there anything above 800mtrs had snow - even Madrid had 18cm snow - 139 road closures. Higher up the snow blocked many of the passes. But it did not stop us having a great time sliding and hooning around every day
 

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Austin; let me ammend that, I rhink I spoke too soon....
It's peeing it down :rolleyes:


Ah, the infamous very bad playing piper strikes again :D
Looks like your having a good time Phil, sorry couldn't hook up, daughter's 18th birthday bash :blob2:
Had a chat with him, seems a nice chap.
No worries John - there was a mutiny re the Applecross run......
We arranged to meet Rick in Kyleakin for breakfast (very nice :thumbup:) & the boys decided they'd prefer to have a guided tour of Skye - led by Rick :) :thumbup:

Dean still wanted to do the pass so we left Skye well gone 6 & arrived in F Augustus just in time for last orders (after a good soaking!)


Sorry Austin, thread hijack over :rolleyes: )


I truly hope the weather picks up
 

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Austin - obviously i spoke too soon as well and am now getting my just desserts as it's chucking it down with no sense of relief!! Already gone through one set of "waterproofs" (my arse they are) and will have to sort out another lot before I go out again......and I have to go out again!
Hope your weather is improving.
Ian
 

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2 bikes = twice as happy
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Discussion Starter #67
A better day today. Cloud cover varying from about 10% to 80% with the promise of clear skies later on. So, as it was dry we set off for a little explore of the area on the bikes and came across a toll road through a national park with the promise of bears, eagles and other major wildlife if the sign was to be believed. The park ranger wouldn't let us through though as the road higher up was covered in snow and ice. "not good for Moto" he said. The beach it is then.

We are moving on tomorrow to Plitvice lakes then north and east aiming for Hungary, then the Tatra mountains in Slovakia, & Poland. After that it's a run across Germsny for the ferry.

It's good here. :).

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2 bikes = twice as happy
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Discussion Starter #68
Plitvice lakes. Very nice. Another wet day though but beginning to clear up now. Staying at the Eco-Etno lodge just south of the main lakes access area. About a dozen German bikers followed us in and I think there's another Brit couple about. They will be the first other Brit bikers we have seen since we got off the ferry. We will do the tourist thing tomorrow am then head in the general
Direction of Hungary until we are fed up and find somewhere to stop.

Camera doesn't do justice to the view
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A HUGE area of floods. It went on for miles like this.
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Loads of bike's in the Plitvice area and I reckon 90% of them are BMW GSs of one vintage or another.


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Discussion Starter #69
Just a quick word on the Roads in Croatia. In the wet they are horrid: they seem to love doing minor repairs with mastic, with the result that are loads of squiggly lengths of super slippy mastic all mixed up with each other. In places there was more mastic than Tarmac. It's impossible to pick a clear line through corners. The white lines and road markings seem to be made of Teflon too. The guy at the hotel we left this morning was really worried about us riding in the rain in the mountains. I understand why now.


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Just a quick word on the Roads in Croatia. In the wet they are horrid: they seem to love doing minor repairs with mastic, with the result that are loads of squiggly lengths of super slippy mastic all mixed up with each other. In places there was more mastic than Tarmac. It's impossible to pick a clear line through corners. The white lines and road markings seem to be made of Teflon too. The guy at the hotel we left this morning was really worried about us riding in the rain in the mountains. I understand why now.


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Sounds just like Greek roads :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #71
Another quick update. Now in Transylvania, Romania.

The last update was from Plitvice Lakes national park in Croatia. We did the tourist thing and I have to say it is an absolutely stunning place. Anne left the camera on top of the luggage on her bike so only photos with the phone - the camera was still there when got back 4 hours later in a busy tourists car park. We actually had a sunny dry morning for the walk round the lakes but rain later.

Lakes & Falls
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We left Plotvice at lunch aiming to ride for 3-4 hours in a general north and east direction. Just as it started raining (thunderstorm) we chanced on a little B&b by the side of the road - all free range home bred produce, including cherry brandy on the table for breakfast!! Excellent even if we did have to venture out in the storm for dinner later.

Two hours after breakfast the next day and in pouring rain, fog and after steamy forests we crossed into Hungary and at last dry roads. We pulled into a restaurant with a packed car park and ate in splendid style and vast volume for about £8: goulash soup, pork escalope (breaded and suffed with cheese&bacon) with rice & chips & salad, an iced bun thing and tea. All brilliantly well done and unbelievable value. Later we dropped into motel that was, well, a motel.

Today we started heading for Budapest after visiting Szeged but as we were within 20 miles of Romania and it was sunnier to the south we stopped at the side of the road for a quick conflab and decided Romania it is. And here we are in Deva. I have just eaten Tripe soup!!!

The most striking thing about Hungary and Romania are the buildings: fabulous ornate older buildings mixed with austere communist era housing blocks.
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Rain in Romania (did I say it rained today as well - two heavy thunderstorms)
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Beer is cheap - about 80p a half litre bottle. Petrol about £1.10 a litre. Roads busy, very busy and Romanians beat the Italians for crazy driving. 5 minute can ride into town tonight was £1.20



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It's a refreshingly lovely thread to be following.

Brightens things up on the XRV site fo' sho' :) ( some folks here should follow your lead and get some travel therapy :rolleyes: )

A Proppa' holiday ! Keep it coming :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
 

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2 bikes = twice as happy
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I am liking Romania a lot!!:D Tripe soup included.

Today we went to look at the very old and traditional castle Corvin dating back to the 13th Century. Very Dracula. Pics later as they on my phone.

Then we took the indirect route to Turda (just coz I found the name amusing). Anyway we we went through some of the Transylvanian mountains into very remote areas. The roads are fecking awful, potholes linked by small bits of rough tarmac or worse rough concrete extensively patched up with super slippy mastic. We had to stand for long periods it was that rough - a bit like green laning except with crazy Romanians blasting past you in everything from Dacias to Audi Q7s and Iveco trucks. Speeds were 30mph or less for most of the day and we did less than 100miles for the day. The first rain of the day coincided with a stop for lunch so we sat in a lay by eating crisps, cheese, and fruit under umbrellas to the obvious amusement of the passing Romanians many of whom nearly crashed rubber necking the eccentric Brit bikers under umbrellas.

As the next thunderstorm threatened (it was very appropriate thunderstorms in Transylvania) a restaurant came into view just as the heavens opened. The proprietor (Danny Devito look-alike) ushered us in suggesting we park the bikes under his car port. As we sipped a coffee watching the rain he waved the evening menu under our noses and as it was also a guest house we decided to stay. He knew exactly what he was doing when he suggested we parked our bikes. The room is basic and fine and only 104Lei B&B (about £21 for us both). I had to nip into Turda for more cash, and I can only say the place lives up to its english name. From the bit I saw its a sh!t hole - run down, crummy, dirty, and (its not often) I felt unsafe.

Anyway the Danny Devito is brilliant. No english but we are managing fine - dinner ordered and done along with several freebies "traditionale Romanie", local wine and beer, and sketched maps and directions to the local sights. He is keen is Danny and should do well, even though he thinks we are German and keeps trying german words on us. There's a Salt Mine here that's apparently well worth a visit, so thats tomorrow morning sorted. Then I think a bit further North towards the Carpathian mountains before a return to Hungary, but this is turning into a trip of random outcomes and all the better for it so we will see.

If anyone is thinking about coming to Romania, stop thinking and JFDI.
 

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2 bikes = twice as happy
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Discussion Starter #74
Pics from today

Corbin castle
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Transylvania landscape (over 2500ft)
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Another funny name and a soviet relic ( the arch over the road)
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These haystacks are all over the place and a bit spooky as from a distance they look like something that might come alive on Dr Who
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That is the kind of haystack that Benny Hill might chase a buxom young wench around.


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I take it back about Turda, once I got into the town proper it was a nice leafy town with parks & squares, shops, cafes, and some nice old buildings (along with the huge blocks of flats). I came through a very run down area of abandoned factories and flats.

Anyway, we went to a salt mine, and luckily they let us out. This salt mine was a surreal experience. Touted as a museum it started as that with a 500metre walk into the depths in a narrow tunnel with a few exhibits and information about the salt mines as we went then BOOM a MASSIVE chamber where the main extraction had happened. It was about 20 storeys deep and 200metres x 100metres but at the bottom was a children's fun area - big wheel, bowling, crazy golf, snooker, slides, and other stuff along with an orchestra pit and most surreal of all a boating lake with weird wooden/light sculptures. (pics later). All this deep underground and with dozens of excited kids that I never saw arrive or leave. Next to the play area was a clinic where they did salt based medical treatments although we never found out what. Prescription only apparently.

Later in the day we came across a village fete and got invited in. It was the usual village fete stuff - beer tent, BBQ, stalls selling junk, doughnuts, kids in fancy dress, some games but dominating it was some very loud folk simging/dancing
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We stopped in Zadare in the hotel royal and very nice it is too. We ate in a pizzeria where they offered [email protected] on the menu :). We didn't try it.
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And yesterday was the first dry in 3 weeks (apart from a few spits & spots at the fete). We even managed to sit outside to eat, another first for weeks.


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Austin, apparently the army have been called out in the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria to deal with rivers breaking their banks and causing floods, so watch yourself if you are heading that way.


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Great adventure Austin - there will be a fair few conversations around the dinner table after this one.
As Whealie says - watch out for the weather!
Ian
 

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Discussion Starter #79
Austin, apparently the army have been called out in the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria to deal with rivers breaking their banks and causing floods, so watch yourself if you are heading that way.


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oh bugger:(. We are now headed back west and will be crossing Czech Republic and germany in the next few days. Hopefully it will have passed over by then, but we have had more or less continuous rain for the past 36hours in NW Romania. We checked into a smart hotel with a "wellness centre" and have spent the last two hours getting wet in the style of our choosing in a jacuzzi, sauna and swimming pool. Lovely. :D

More story and pics shortly (just going for dinner) - the last two days have been good.
 

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Ok update time.....

Now in Erding just north of Munich. We abandoned our plan to go to Slovakia and Poland on account of the weather but more because of the severe flooding in those areas. Worst in 500 years apparently. We decided it was foolish to go into what is becoming a disaster zone. Plus it's a mountainous area and so far when we have been in the mountains all we have seen is fog and streaming wet roads. Had enough of that.

So I reprogrammed the Sat Nav To allow motorways, bought vignettes for Hungary and Austria and spent 2 long wet days getting here - and it's warm and sunny hurrah.

A few lines about Romania. It's brill: different enough to feel like a real adventure. In fact when we up in the North right on the Ukraine border it had that wild frontier feel to it and a bit edgy. Great stuff.

The roads are mostly dire: poorly repaired surfaces and I reckon every lorry in the country pours diesel on every corner. The roads are bad enough in the dry and need real care in the rain. We did about 100 Kms in the Mamures mountains on steep twisty roads with dozens of hairpin bends that were all streaming wet. V slow going and frankly scary at times.

The country is also huge contrasts: bustling, busy, wealthy cities / poor traditional rural areas. It is just stunning to ride through. It's also very vey cheap - the last place we stayed was £20 for two DB&B in a lovely house not far from the " happy cemetery".

That's all for now. Fun in the giant water park they have here in Erding for tomorrow.


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