Sunday, September 7, 2014

Corfu Road Trip 2014 - Day 5

Today after probably the best breakfast that we had so far, we finally could enjoy the roads without any rain! Finally! It was just about 100km to port in Igoumenitsa where we took a ferry to Corfu (it took about 2 hours).
Satisfaction for those rainy days and bad roads
So lets enjoy it
Greek beauty
Good asphalt, nice curves... finaly we can enjoy it
Another photo of another member of the group
Igoumenitsa port in Greece
Buying tickets for us to Corfu (about 20 Euros each motorcycle with driver)
Welcome aboard
Leaving the port
Corfu isle

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Corfu Road Trip 2014 - Day 4

After delicious breakfast we packed all our stuff and left our hotel (Hotel Blini) on Shköder lake in Albania.
Hotel Blini in Shköder - Albania
We continued to Albanian capital city Tirane. Unfortunately maps for GPS were very bad. At least for TomTom. Well at least the main roads and Tirane was done pretty good. The main problem in Albania is that you usually don't have any direction signs, not even the town signs (when you enter the town, you have no idea where you are). We got about 60 km somewhere else. The local people told us that we should come back or continue about 30km on a road without asphalt and then continue on our original route. Well... it was worse than we expected:
"Road" in Albania
Rocky road full of gravel (sizes ranges from small apples to big oranges), not much space for two vehicles - well one is sometimes enough.

The same "road" after another 300 meters
Josef had some problem when he tried to change the trail. Unfortunately he dropped the bike (fortunately without any damages). 

Josef has some troubles
Support team is here to save the day :-)
We helped him and after few minutes we got about 500 meters further. We stopped there - since the road enabled us to do that. We tried to recover ourselves little bit after that dropping of the bike. And we were thinking about comming back since we just reached about 3% of this road and we already dropped a bike and it cost us a lot of energy. Whats more - the rain started again.
It is starting to rain - after 1km out of another 30km (of this road)
This picture was taken about 30seconds after the above one. So really heavy rain that turned the road into muddy and slippery nightmare. We were really glad when we were back under the hill - unfortunatelly completely wet since we were not able to dress the rain suits on on time.

Nightmare in Albanian mountains
It got even worse in another Albanian mountains - even though there was asphalt (huge holes, disappearing road, landslips...) even havier rain started. The road changed into a river (really about 20cm of water with wooden sticks, plastic bottles...), the water ran pretty fast so we stopped at one gas station for about one hour till the rain was acceptable - but still heavy... we continued about 180km to Greece - in complete darkness of the night and GS doesn't have good headlights :/
Albanian / Greek border
Finally we passed the Greek border and continued about 60 km to Ioannina and our luxury and perfect hotel Filokalia. We reached our destination at 11:00 PM local time. It was really nice change since we came completely wet - we imediately took hot shower, changed into dry clothes and the receptionist ordered us some local food for us that we had in dining room together with some good Greek wine. We went to bed at 2 AM. 
Our perfect hotel Filokalia in Ioannina - Greece

Friday, September 5, 2014

Corfu Road Trip 2014 - Day 3

We left Travnik at 8:10 but just few minutes after we left we dressed our rain suits - since it started to rain again. We continued through Sarajevo to borders with Monte Negro:
Main road that took us to border with Monte Negro
Border bridge (river below is the border) - entering Monte Negro
After passing the borders the landscape is really beautiful, deep valleys in rock, rivers, small reservoirs, dams... 
Lot of beautiful tunnels in the rock along Piva river
Huge dam structure on Piva "lake"
Guys with the bikes on the dam (I am taking the picture)
And when we enjoyed those beautiful places - it got even better - National park Durmitor is probably one of the most beautiful places that I have visited. I am placing just two photos but I wanted to stop there every 500 meters and take another photo there and there... It was really beautiful - small hills on the top of tableland smoothly changing into rock mountains... The weather was not the best but it didn't matter in that moment:
Durmitor national park - Monte Negro - one of the most beautiful places I have visited
Another beauty in Durmitor park - unfortunately the cloud covered the peak
Just few minutes after leaving Durmitor national park - the rain started again and it did not change till we got closer to the national border to Albania:

The weather got better when we approached the Albania border

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Corfu Road Trip 2014 - Day 2

After a good breakfast (including eggs, bacon, salami etc...) we pack all our stuff, pay for the hotel and go to our motorbikes for another day on the roads. It is cloudy but without rain. We are passing the borders (to Croatia) and we stop there to have a coffe but what is more important to dress into our rain suits. Yes - it is raining.

My father taking his rain suit from his topcase
Most of the day is still rainy.
Rain - not very pleasant weather on motorbike
After passing through Croatia we entered Bosnia and Herzegovina - still rainy. But sometimes the rain even stoped which was a nice change. 

Damaged sidewalk on road somewhere in Bosnian mountains along Vrbas river
Vrbas river (picture from the same place as the damaged road photo)
In the afternoon - around 18:30 we reached our destination in town - Travnik. We again took all our stuff into the hotel (that was already booked by me) and went after the shower etc. to city center for a dinner, beer and some wine maybe.
Nice restaurant next to mountain stream in Travnik
There was one restaurant just about 100 meters from our hotel. There was an outdoor grill and it smelled delicious so we decided to have a dinner there. After ordering the meal we asked for beers - unfortunately no beer, wine... no alcohol at all was served in this restaurant - since it was muslim restaurant :-) So after the dinner we decided to leave and to find some other restaurant where we could enjoy some local wine. Well it took us some time (we passed lot of pubs but people had there just coke, coffee etc...) but in the end we found one which was about 1 km distant and we tried also their wine (after 15 min waiting for waiter to find bottle screw).

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Corfu Road Trip 2014 - Day 1

This year me (25), my father (58) and two other guys: Josef (69) and Pavel (69) - decided that we could try little bit more adventurous road trip - to Greek isle of Corfu. We met at 6 AM at local petrol station in my hometown in Czech Republic. The weather seemed that it could rain in every minute. 

Morning meeting at petrol station
The weather was quite cold and fogy but still not that bad so the journey went pretty OK. We crossed the border to Austria, we enjoyed few km of much better asphalt and continued directly to Hungary.
Entering Hungary
Our today destination was Balaton lake. Well known vacation destination during communism era. We had a nice hotel booked there - Villa Plattensee. So we arrived at 14:30 and went to our prepared rooms.
Balaton lake in Hungary (not much visible)
Our accommodation in Hungary (5 minutes walk from Balaton lake)
In the afternoon (after unpacking our stuff, shower etc.) we went for a short walk to Balaton lake (which was about 5 min distant) and afterwards for dinner. The restaurant was 15 minutes away. We enjoyed local fish from the lake and also Hungary wine. After some time heavy rain started and we asked the waitress if she could order a taxi for us. She said that there is no taxi so we persuaded her to take us to our hotel by herself. She agreed but she had car just for driver and one more passenger - so she enjoyed the lift to the hotel four times :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Front fork "bridge" restoration

My lower bridge on the front fork of my BMW R1150GS got ugly so I decided to restore it. The problems are just esthetically - but since I like to have everything in best condition possible I took the advantage of changing the tyres to remove the front wheel (and have good access to the bridge) and restore the bridge.
The problem is with the paint job - after some time the gravel and other particles from the road are attacking the surface of the bridge and it creates micro cracks in it. The moisture gets between the paint and the metal and it helps to split these two materials - usually in form of "blisters" that can be easily removed (unfortunately) with paint. I have tried to temporary stop the degradation process by some silver paint before I do the final paint job (that was few months ago - you can notice it in the first picture).
All the stuff around the bridge were removed
First of all I had to remove the wheel, front brake calipers and fender to have a good access.
Then I removed the original paint and blisters with emery paper. Afterwards I used the masking tape and foil to cover and protect whole bike - I felt like Dexter :).
Everything wrapped and prepared
After degreasing the surfacing I started with filler base color that was afterwards brushed slightly with emery paper - about twice with recommended pauses. Then again degreased and finally painted with silver metallic paint.
Silver metallic paint already sprayed on the damaged places
After the silver metallic paint I used about 5-6 layers of matte lack that should be stiff enough to protect the paint job. So here is the final picture where everything is finished:
Final paint job on the front fork bridge

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer roadtrip 2014 - Berchtesgaden riding

We stayed in Auerwirt gasthof for four nights and we did three trips and journey back home. First of the trips was to well known Krimml waterfalls in Austria (the same trip as last year) - we did a route that was about 370km long and we enjoyed every single meter of it. I actually did not take that many pictures and focused more on riding this year - I am sorry for that my blog readers :-)
Krimml waterfalls
Café under the waterfalls
 Next trip was to also pretty know Nockalmstrasse also in Austria.
Milestone of Roman Empire in Austria - accidently found next to the road
On the highest point of Nockalmstrasse
The same place
Also the same place few meters away
And the last trip was pretty short because of high probability of heavy rain falls - so we did just about 200km around Austrian lakes (Attersee, Mondsee and Hallstater see). When we have got back the rain started in few minutes...
Gutters were not able to handle the heavy rain

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Back in Berchtesgaden (Germany) - Summer Roadtrip 2014

We decided to repeat our last year road trip to Oberau (near Berchtesgaden), Germany. It is great place for alpine road trips since it is pretty close to famous alpine roads. Ideal for 3-4 day road trip. Few photos are following (sorry for the picture quality of some photos - they were taken with cell phone)

Wonderful view from Auewirt Beergarden
(Hitler's Eagle Nest is located on the top of the mountain on the right)
Morning relax after the breakfast (and planning of the trip)
Getting ready for the ride
Group of perfectly restored tractors
The Bavarian cuisine was also delicious. Unfortunately I was not able to finish my "Schweine haxe" since it was such a huge portion for just one person:
Big portion of "Schweine Haxe" that I was not able to finish :-)