This is the travelblog of Cyril Ducau and Niccolo Manno on their adventure from London (Cyril), Munich (Niccolo) to Hong Kong on motorbikes.
It took us short of 3 months to do 20,000km on bikes, trains and planes. We crossed the following countries together:

Austria - Italy - Slovenia - Croatia - Serbia - Bulgaria - Turkey - Georgia - Azerbaijan - Turkmenistan - Uzbekistan - Kyrgyzstan - Kazakhstan - Russia - Mongolia - China - Hong Kong

On this site you will find some info on both of us, our bikes, some of our friendly helpers in Hong Kong and London and loads of pictures on our trip. 

Latest top picture

Latest top picture
Thanks for watching our blog - Enjoy as we did it!

Our path

Our path
Click picture to download Google Earth kmz file !

Sunday, March 30, 2008

All Good in Uzbekistan

Such a shame... that's when you see the most amazing things that internet access and therefore the update of the blog becomes very difficult. We (painfully) crossed the Caspian Sea, travelled across Turkmenistan and its desert and entered in Uzbekistan 2 days ago. After a trip up North to see what is left of the Aral Sea we are now heading towards the historic wonders of the Silk Road.

Hoping to post much more detailed stories in a day or two with full load of pictures.

Thanks for all your support !

Monday, March 24, 2008


We arrived safely in Baku yesterday night. Whilst it wasn't easy to find an hotel we are impressed by the city. The road from Seki to Baku was a beautiful small country road. We had it all, from the mountains, to high plateaus, to hills, sand dune like mountains and the sea. I was really amazed about the beauty of nature here.
Baku is a very well developed city on the Caspian Sea and it seems they have invested a lot of the petrodollars to rebuild the town entirely in its original state. The historical town is full of old restored palaces etc... They are constructing new buildings all around but they seem to respect the city style.
We have very little time as we need to prepare our ferry journey over the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan. We anticipate this to take the best part of 24h-48h and we need to prepare for food, drinks etc...
In Turkmenistan we aren't sure of finding an internet cafe, so it might take us 4 days to post something new.
I've updated the pictures on the album

Saturday, March 22, 2008

From Georgia to Azerbaijan

We left Tblisi this morning after a good breakfast at the lovely pension we stayed at - luckily, an Azeri couple was also staying there and they gave us a few tips on where to go in Azerbaijan.

The Gergia-Azerbaijan border crossing took some time and for some reason they issued us with a 3-day transit visa while we already had a tourist visa from their London embassy (and we had paid for it...). Don't ask us why; we were simply glad to be left in the country in the end.

We rode through the western part of the country on a fairly decent road and made good progresses despite gusting winds and threat of rain throughout the day. The first petrol stop was a bit of a struggle and it took us a good hour to change US$20 into local currency to fill my tank - we ended up going to the black market as all the banks were closed (Easter) and none of the ATMs was taking our cards.

People are very friendly so far and constently wave at us on the side of the road. Only (annoying) hic is that the police seems to make an habit of stopping us for no valid reason. happened twice today and so far no backsheesh but they were clearly asking for it...

Our impression of Azerbaijan is so far better than Georgia (eventhough we ended up having a very good stopover in Tbilisi). Well-developped country side, some sign of living industries, decent infrastrutures (you can the the petro-$ effect) and even a few wineyards - the ultimate sign of civilisation... (young plants only with concrete poles)

We are now staying in Seki, a historical town on the edge of the Causcasian mountain range. No much chance to discover the place yet but definitely looks nice. We plan to visit a few cultural sites tomorrow on our way to Baku before catching the overnight ferry to Turkmenistan. The ferry logistics is said to be a bit of a struggle... let's hope for the best !

(deserted roads on the way to the Azeri border)

(lunch break - communication was difficult !)

(young vines - clearly somebody said they wanted wine done in Azerbaijan)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Reconciliation with Georgia

Ok, ok, I might have been a bit harsh on Georgia yesterday and after spending a bit more time in Tblisi and seeing the nice churches of Mtskheta I have somehow changed my mind a bit.
I continue to believe that the Soviets have really destroyed or at least not given the necessary funds to keep the glorious Georgian past.
Recently though, Georgia has started to restore some of the older tourist attraction in the Tblisi area. In that area and Tblisi you actually start to feel the greatnes of the country again. Realising that 1/2 of the country's population lives in Tblisi, probably the reason why all the efforts have been done here.

Few people venture further out and my view on the countryside stays, a decaying place.

Today Azerbaijan!

In the Turkish Press


(Jerome: Le tour du monde en Lada Niva?)
(Aziz: saw at least 3 Humer H2 in Georgia - better than Senegal hein?)

Oh Georgia, what have the Soviets done to you?!

I have travelled to a lot of places in the world (inlcuding some still existing dictatorships such as Myanmar/Burma) and must say, I rarely saw so many run-down buildings as in Georgia. Coming after Turkey, I was expecting some development but I was completely wrong, it is a step back in time.
It feels like someone switched the time off for c.60 years and since then nothing has happened to anything in the country, be it roads, buildings, parks, anything.

Was I influenced by the weather (grey and sometimes rain), maybe, but still, I am sad as the houses actually look like they had a great moment of glory in their past, just that no-one cared or had the finances to restore them. A sad story really.

Before leaving the hotel in Batumi yesterday morning, I asked the receptionist which road to take and she told me, all towns in Georgia are historic...I don't think she ever travelled outside Georgia as we crossed the entire country and were only faced with desolate ruins of an ancient country.

Also, it is amazing to see that nearly all cars here are old cars from Germany! It is the dump of Germany and the country feels a bit like a dump. I thought of the story of a car:
Hi! I'm a Merc. My full name is Mercedes Benz 1986, 230E. My first owner was a German and he was so proud of me that he showed me off to everybody in town. I lived in the nice city of Stuttgart and travelled all along the Autobahn safely with my owner. After 100,000km my owner decided I was too old for him and he sadly sold me or exchanged me for a newer me...such a mistake, he didn't know I have a second life. I was sold and imported to Georgia where I am now enjoying my second life! I had 5 other owners now, I just received my 3 engine after just 450,000km and don't run on original parts anymore. I am a bit leaky and stink now BUT my owner is happy, I am a Merc and he still shows me off to everybody in town...and by the way I like his way of driving.

About the driving habits and the roads....we left the hotel and they said: take the motorway and you'll be in 4 hours in Tbilisi as the road we wanted to take would be closed because of snow. We quickly discovered that the motorway is a single lane, two-way street which would be categorised as a small country road in our countries BUT with plenty of trucks, potholes as big as a wheel, dogs chasing you barking, children playing football, cows crossing the road (I kid you not, see the picture below!) and people driving as if they were invincible and indeed at the speed of the Autobahn. Overtaking a car that is overtaking another one when a big truck comes at full speed in front of you, no problemo. If it doesn't fit, they just want to push you (the guy being overtaken) out of the road. Man I love my BMer with plenty of braking and Horse Power to be able to manage these guys...and please let's do all this in 1970 Ladas at 120km/h.

We are so impressed by the cars here that we decided to start a competition to the car in the worse condition during our trip...we already have 3 contenders but we unfortunately started the competition after we crossed a crashed Merc where the entire front part was destroyed and hanging out but the guy was still driving normally and the police didn't care...see the photo album CARS.

Ok, we managed to reach Mtshketa (10km outside of Tblisi) and there our view of Georgia changed a bit. It is the old capital and has some nice restored churches. We had to do 12km on a normal road (i.e. normal road here = worse track ever in our latitudes) and it took us 45mins in first gear and worrying that we would fall every meter, but the sight of an old monastery next to mountains was worth it. The interior of the Georgian churches are astonishing, judge for yourself

We then headed down to Tblisi and again, our view changed a bit. The city is bustling and there are some very nice buildings but amidst all these old charming crumbling sad.

About the people? Clearly they lack the Muslim kindness to travelers and the first reaction when you stop to ask your way, people escape and are afraid, so different to the usual crowd we would attract in Turkey. But we met some very nice guys, in particular in Mtshketa where we stayed last night.

About the economy? What do they do to earn their money?! Along all the road accross the country we only saw 2 old manufacturing sites. But these were GRAND soviet sites and SO BIG, unbelievable...but in a roting condition...and only 1 of the two seemed only agriculture? Dunno

I am sorry for all the Georgians who are reading this, but tell me where to go to see the beauty of your country and I will change my mind as for now my impression is it will not take you a few years, but a few decades to sort out the mess your country is in.


Pictures below and in the albums
(Bread making in Batumi)

(Steet in Batumi)
(Kutaisi, old soviet like particular interest)

(Our stop on the motorway)

(Cow crossing the motorway)


(Inside the main church in Mtskheta)

(Outside of Mtskheta)

(The road we took to get to the monastery outside Mtskheta)


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gule Gule Turkye!

Bye bye Turkey. We really loved riding and staying in Turkey.
Today we moved on and crossed into Georgia.

We are staying overnight in Batumi and will drive close to Tbilisi tomorrow.

We had a good drive in the morning leaving the Anatolian Plateau (and the town we stayed in Gumushane) and finally going lower than 1,000m of altitude. Before doing so, we had to cross a mountain range which was again full of great scenery.

We visited the monastery of Sumelas before lunch and moved on to Trabzon on the Black Sea for lunch. Sumelas was impressive, Trabzon less so in particular considering it was the St Tropez of Turkey in ancient time before the concrete development started and destroyed all.

After the break in Trabzon we headed for Batumi in Georgia. We arrived at the border quite late and I was a bit worried that it would close for the day but it seems it is a 24/7 border crossing.

We stayed there the usual 1-2hrs to show your passport, vehicle documents etc.... to the Turkish border and custom guards to make sure you really left! and then the same thing again to make sure....actually I don't know why. Anyhow, no problems with insurance or seems they don't really care there. The guys where generally quite positive when seeing the bikes and the usual questions are much the bike worth is (not from a customs point of view but more personal interest...will they ever have one!), where we are going etc...

I was quite relieved that it all went ok. I always have a bad feeling at the border...your docs are in order but you never know what they will find as excuse to get you to pay some weird tax or other thing and it is difficult to argue in a language you don't understand but most of the time they are really cool.

So we set foot in Georgia after a little while and headed for Batumi. It was all dark already and we were first a bit worried when entering all seemed so different than Turkey and so run down. We decided to stay in a good hotel where we were even able to park our bikes in the garage of the owner. Alongside our two bikes are a brand new black S-class Merc and a Hummer....don't ask but at least the bikes must be secure there.

We then had a stroll in town to eat something, easier said then done as all was closed as we forgot about the time difference but we actually realised that the city is full of charm and with daylight will be really nice. I call this the darkness syndrome...everything looks dodgy in the dark.

Both Cyril and I are doing great. Oh and I forgot, I am now officially Barbarossa!
More pictures in the Album.

Chopat, tu vas voir quand tu parles de va faire tres tres mal a ton mariage.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Having Fun ın North East Turkey - Heading Towards Georgia

Guys - here I am. I was too busy over the last few days chattıng on the phone wıth the Bear Sterns CEO to fınd out ıf we could do a lıttle Sovereıgn Weath Funds roadshow ın Central Asıa for hım. 'A lıttle glıtch' he saıd... Also Mıchael Z. ıs joınıng us on the trıp now ;-).

Joke apart - We had a very nice couple of days ın North East Turkey and ıt starts to feel very far from home and a lıttle more lıke a proper adventure - stıll good weather, amazıng and changıng landscapes, encounter wıth frıendly locals, some trıcky rıdıng ın the mud and even an assault attempt from Nıccolo ın the tent last nıght...

From Capadoccıa two days ago, we headed fırst East and then North towards the Black Sea after hearıng some reports from our London HQ that weather condıtıons would not let us go through the mountaın passes further East (temperature ın Erzurum reachıng 0 degree celsıus at best).

We are now reachıng faırly remote and untourısty areas and each of our stops ın vıllages create a lıttle event wıth everybody gather around to check the bıkes and fınd out what the f... we are doıng here. The hıghlıght was thıs mornıng when we stopped for breakfast, we ended up meetıng wıth the head of the polıce, got offered 3 free teas by town offıcıals and dıd 2 ıntervıews for the local newspaper.
We had our fırst nıght campıng yesterday - ın the mountaın near Zara at 1,700m hıgh wıth mıld temperature. It felt great apart - ıt sounds stupıd to say I know - that we kept beıng dısturbed by locals who came by to chat wıth us and offer accomodatıon... Turkısh people are truly ıncredıbly frıendly! Communıcatıon ıs quıte trıcky though sınce so far our vocabulary ıs stıll lımıted to 'thanks', 'tea', 'kebab', 'bye-bye', 'Chelsea FC'... One hınt when travelıng ın these remote areas: EVERYBODY knows Zınedıne Zıdane !
Tonıght we had our fırst lıttle rıdıng struggle on a 2,200m mountaın pass wıth the road coverd wıth mud and melted snow. The bıke wıth theır load very trıcky to handle and we had to rıde at very low spead. As ıt was gettıng late and the road was goıng steeper and steeper (and we were also a bıt unsure about the dırectıon...), we decıded to turn back and rıde around the mountaın - loosıng 1/2 day on our schedule as a result but should stıll reach the Georgıan border tomorrow afternoon.

Anyway - havıng a very good tıme. I wıll let Nıccolo had hıs thoughts
Let me fırst say that ıf there was truly an assault, I must admıt I don t remember a thı I was eıther truly sleepıng or you have such a wıshfull thınkıng.
Anyhow the good news ıs that both of us snore bıg tıme so noone can blame the other one for not sleepıng.
I love rıdıng ın Turkey but am really worrıed about the offroad rıdıng we wıll encounter ın the next destınatıons. The bıke feels very heavy and I am goıng to strıp down the amount of stuff I am takıng wıth me. I started wıth my offıce mobıle and access card whıch I have sent back to HK (183gr...come on ıts a start!). Why dıd ıt take me so long? Try to get a postman to understand you want to send somethıng to Hong Kong when the best he could come up wıth was Honduras (don t ask me how he knew that).
To add on the Turkısh people, they are really very frıendly and I am amazed about how many actually went to Europe or have relatıves there and ındeed speak some German or Englısh. Today ın Kelkıt we had such a crowd next to us for lunch that they started to pull us and we started to feel uncomfortable and left quıckly. Not that they were aggressıve but ıt was sımply too much.
Anyhow I am postıng now the updated pıctures on pıcasa.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Goreme today

Today we decıded not to move on and to stay ın Goreme (Cappadocıa) to vısıt the sıtes.
We had a lazy day, excellent weather, mınımal drıvıng and enjoyed a Turkısh bath to close the day...Man that was good!
Tomorrow we wıll head North East and try to get to Zara a small place before contınuıng for the Blacksea coast and Georgıa.
We are both doıng great and ın excellent mood.
We took tons of pıctures today but haven t got the cameras wıth us now, so more to come ın the next days.
Good nıght

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Central Turkey - Very nice day Nr.1

Ok, ok, my blog titles are crap, but thıs was a really great day today. The sun was shınıng the entıre day, the sky was a wonderful blue and no clouds on the horızon. It was cold though wıth the temperature beıng between 6 and 14 degrees celcıus. We both hope ıt stays that way sınce we were a bıt tıred of the perfect wındsurfıng weather or should I say wınd of the fırst week.

Anyhow, back to Central Turkey. We travelled 469km today and NO motorways, only smaller roads. It seems a lot and certaınly feels so, but belıeve me when I tell you ıt was breathtakıng!
We started the day from Sarkıkaraagac, the small place where we spent the nıght and went onto a tıny lıttle road where we dıd 120km ın 3hrs and probably encountered 12 other cars only. The pıctures below speak for themselves I hope. We stopped sooo many tımes to take pıctures...ın partıcular me who loves mountaıns. We spend most of our mornıng at c.1,100m. The mountaıns are at c.2,800m.

We then moved a bıt faster as we had to go to Cappadocıa (Goreme) where we are spendıng the nıght. The drıve from Beysehır to Konya was very nıce as well. We drove up to 1,600m hıgh and had many changıng landscapes from the lush greens of Lake Beysehır to the yellow desert lıke plaın (a 1,100m hıgh plaın) of Konya.

The plaın ended wıth the amazıng extınct volcano Hasan Dagı whıch culmınate at 3,300m. All the Turks we spoke to today were agaın extremely frıendly and helpful. Today was our turn to help back a poor lad wıth a broken down scooter.

We fınally arrıved ın Goreme before the sunset and found a lıttle hotel where our room ıs ın a cave (lıke ın the Byzantıne tımes)

No falls today and we are both tıred but ecstatıc about our day of rıdıng. Tomorrow we wıll vısıt Goreme and around before makıng a small drıve further East.

I ve updated the Turkısh photo album wıth some of today s pıctures (I luv Turkey and theır ınternet access everywhere).

Friday, March 14, 2008

Central Turkey - Nice day Nr.1

Hi all, today was a nıce day. Not for the weather at the begınnıng of the day but for the roads and sıghts. We fınally escaped the motorways and went onto smaller country roads. It was beautıful. The adventure started ın the mornıng wıth raın, snow, wınd, trucks etc...but soon became sunny but wındy.

We were stopped twıce by the polıce today. I thınk the fırst tıme because we drove a bıt too fast on the empty four laned road (whıch we took for a motorway) but as soon as he saw us, the polıceman was chattıng wıth us and tellıng us the rıght dırectıon. The second tıme, a polıceman wanted to check our papers...I dıd as ıf I dıdn t understand, whıch I dıdn t for a whıle but then I handed over my drıvıng lıcence and he was more than happy wıth ıt. He chatted wıth me wıth some broken German about our trıp and that was ıt. I lıke those cops.

The scenery was excellent and we drove 363km ın total. My odometre ıs now at 3033km sınce my start ın Munıch. We drove most of the tıme at approx. 1,000m, peaked at 1,600m wıth temperature of a mın of 0 degrees celcıus.

I fell 3x tımes today. Nothıng happened to me and only tıny damage to the bıke (a handguard ıs a bıt cracked and a box ıs a bıt bent). The fırst tıme was a very smooth sand/gravel, the second ın mud...I should soon get the proper tyres on the rıms and the thırd tıme because I was too stupıd and forgot to put the sıde stand before leanıng the bıke for a stop!

Cyrıl was doıng fıne and wıthout hım I couldn t have pıcked-up the bıke, ıt ıs now so damn heavy.

We arrıved now ın Saskıkaraagac, a small lıttle town ın the mıddle of nowhere wıth 1 OTEL and ıt even has free ınternet!

Turkey ıs beautıful and people here have contınuously been so nıce.

Tomorrow we wıll head for Goreme ın Cappadocıa.

(Fınally sun and beautıful landscapes)

More pıctures have been added to the photo album...sorry ıt took too long to add them to the blog dırectly for some weırd reason.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Left Istanbul for Central Turkey

(attractıng ınterest at the Turkısh border)

(fınally enterıng Turkey)

The ınternet connectıon of our hotel broke down the nıght of our arrıval and we have sınce then been completely tıed up organısıng the last 'professıonal' checks on the bıkes wıth the BMW and Honda dealers... and enjoyıng some of Istanbul tourıst hıghlıghts wıth Cyrıl´s parents.

A few hıke-ups but ıt got done and we are now back on the road ın Central Turkey headıng towards Goreme. We spent yesterday nıght goıng through all our bags to offload everythıng possıble - gaıned a bıt of space/weıght but have now to bear wıth a set of spare tyres each for the off-road portıon of the trıp - Contınental TKC80 for the specıalısts (not possıble to obtaın later on durıng the journey).

We are spendıng the nıght ın a small town called Bılecık about 300km south east of Istanbul. From what we have seen so far, there ıs lıttle cultural attractıon ın town but we already met wıth frıendly locals + the connectıon of the ınternet cafe ıs very good. A bıg thank you to Sahin, a fellow bıker we met on arrıval (under the raın), helped us fınd a hotel and even bought us tea.

(tea wıth Salin)
(playıng OK for money - the local domıno)

Ok, now let me add a bıt more meat to the above... Cyrıl struggled wıth the border wıth Turkey agaın because of hıs mıssıng green card. We are now offıcıally hatıng hıs ınsurance broker who dıdn t send the stuff over to Cyrıl. He had to pay another eur15 for 1month ınsurance ın Turkey and ıt cost us 1-2hrs at the border.

Before arrıvıng ın Istanbul we became frıend wıth theır motorbıke polıce. We parked at a petrol statıon and wıthın 1 sec they all came and shacked our hands and talked to us on bıkes, the trıp etc...

The 2 days ın Istanbul were excellent. We got the bıkes servıced, receıved our tyres and we got some well deserved REST! It was weırd to now offıcıally enter ASIA by crossıng the beautıful hangıng brıdge over the Bosphorus.

Tonıght Cyrıl had Fall Nr.2. Agaın nothıng to worry about, so famıly stay calm. Under the pourıng raın, lookıng for an hotel ın town, Cyrıl had to do a U-Turn ın a small uphıll road and lost control at EXTREMELY low speed and let the bıke fall. We had ımmedıately 4 or 5 Turks helpıng us put the bıkes back up.

Tomorrow Konya (or close to) ıf all goes accordıng to plan.

Another detaıl for the bıkers among you...we haven t yet fıgured out where to put the damm tyres. I put one on the back seat, and one hangıng down at the back, but ıt covered the exhaust a bıt, hence became very hot and ın turn melted the spare oıl cannıster. Any good ıdeas? Please don t say "on the rıms you ıdıot".

New albums and pıctures of Serbıa, Bulgarıa and Istanbul added.

Specıal Dedıcace pour Maddy de Cyrıl - 'Great memorıes watchıng the lıghthouse drınkıng tea - thought of you - X':

Monday, March 10, 2008

Istanbul - Made it Across Europe

A quick update while surfing the web for adresses & information ahead of a busy schedule in Istanbul tomorrow. Anybody knows the adress of the Honda dealer?

We arrived in Istanbul this afternoon after riding across Sebria and Bulgaria and just had a nice diner with my parents (sympa la retraite...). Finally had some nice weather on the way and we really enjoyed some of the scenery (especially the montains and monastries at the Serbian border). People were extremely friendly all across but a special mention for the police motorbike squad in Turkey that even asked us to take pictures with us.

We will post a more complete story tomorrow incuding some anecdots on border crossings, communist style hotels, petrol stations in Serbia, almost running out of petrol on the highways, Turkish trucks traveling across Europe...

(Nicco in the Serbian montains)

(Nicco's new ride in Sofia)

(new friends on the Turkish highways)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Special Dedicace

Pour l'equipe du Credit Agricole de Villenave d'Ornon: le Credit Agricole tellement fort meme a Belgrade en Serbie - merci bcp pour ma nouvelle carte ! J'attends une livraison speciale a Istanbul; la moustache du chef devrait aider au passage de frontiere.

Pour Chopator: On a pense a toi au McDo de Belgrade... et aussi au cours des derniers jours sous ces conditions meteo de m.... Tout ca pour etre la en Juin ! ;-)


Today we made it from Slavonski Brod to Nis. We rode more than 450km and we are exhausted. (Old fortress in Nis)

We had an excellent night in the small residence in Sl. Brod. We had 2 HUGE rooms. We had our first small problem at the border crossing with Serbia. I was ok with my paperwork but the border guard asked us to show the insurance documents and whilst Cyril is insured in Serbia, he didn't have a green card (he didn't know this was required) and hence was required to purchase one at the border. But the problem was quickly solved and we were back on the road for Belgrade.
(At the Serbian border)

The difference between Croatia and Serbia is amazing. Croatia is a well developed country with nice housing, cars, amazing fields etc.... and as soon as you cross the border, the cars are really bad, the houses run down, etc... AND for the first time you have the indications in cyrillic. The motorway in Serbia are empty (you pay a toll) and we were able to move fast.
Big news! We saw the SUN for the first time since we left! It feels so much better to be on the bikes now.

We arrived in Belgrade for lunch and sorry, went to McDonald' was really needed (Xav, on pensait a toi). We were a bit worried for the bikes and hence visited the city in turns so we didn't leave the bikes unattended. Belgrade is actually an ok city, has both the nice Germanic 18 and 19 century style and the good old Soviet style.

In the afternoon we drove to Nis where we are spending the night. Nis is the 2nd biggest city in Serbia and it feels tiny. I can guarantee we are currently the only foreigners! We are in an old Soviet style hotel in the middle of the city. It is so old that we fear the windows are going to fall-off if you touch them (they are actually taped!). We were able to park the bikes in the service entrance, hence safer than on the streets. Oh and Robert De Niro came to this hotel once...he seemed bloody young.
(Robert de Niro)

Tomorrow we will visit a 12 century Serbian monastery and then cross into Bulgaria and stop in Sofia before heading closer to Turkey.

I've updated the photo albums with pictures from Serbia

(Austrian embassy in Belgrade)

(Pour Manon)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Opatija - Sl Brod

As Cyril said, we were finally able to move ahead today. It took us 3 attemps to go to Zagreb, but we made it! I just would like to add, that the wind was still quite strong next to the coast and we climbed up to 900m in 1st gear and held up a long queue of cars and trucks. They all looked at us as if we would come from Mars. At the petrol station at the top of the mountain, we met Goran, a friendly Croatian that chatted with us for a while and couldn t believe we would do the trip we mentioned to him. Generally speaking most Croatians we spoke to were super friendly and all were able to help. We both had such a grea time here (hmm apart from the restaurant owner where Cyril got sick).

It felt so great to be driving again after being stuck on the Croatian coast for 2 days.

In Zagreb, Cyril and I had our first fall. NOBODY should worry. We were both at standstill, Cyril came to close my bike and a strap at Cyril s bike caught something at the back at mine and hence destabilised the bikes and we fell. We had a big laugh. Nothing happened to the bikes or us but this is Official Fall nr.1 (Maddy, how right you were about today).

Some other stats today: We had our coldest day (-3.5c), it was my wettest day (the bath was soooo great) and I drove my bike over its first 1000km with me! My odometer is at 1120km.

I have finally downloaded my pictures from my camera, hence sorry if they include many pictures from the start to now. I have also updated the photo albums (see links in the right column).

(Day 1 - Cyril covered in snow/ice)


(Cyril 10mins before being sick)

(Our hotel in Opatija)
(My bike in the mountains next to Rijeka)



(Special pour Manon)

(Special pour Manon nr.2)

(After our wet drive...finally at the hotel)


- Maddy, the head of our "London HQ", special technical and weather advisor, and because she is simply the best and has been so supportive over the last few months
- My family and friends for their understanding and moral support
- Robert Roe (alias Bob) from Motoselect Franham for preparing the bike with such good care
- Anastasia from thevisacompany for helping me deal with so much red tape
- Claudio von Planta for sharing his valuable experience on Long-way Round and Long-way Down and answering so many of our questions
- Ronnie, Emmanuel and Benjamin for their enthusiast support and precious advise
- The Techtransalp team for their excellent website and advertising our adventure

- clearly Manon as she has always been supportive of this trip even though this means 3 months without me
- My mother for not giving up on me, for receiving all the parcels at home in Austria and for not freaking out!
- Amy and Steve for pushing over several months to keep focus on the organisation
- Xavier, for trusting me to be in France in June and be his best man at his wedding
- Cyril, for posting our tracks on the blog
- Louis, for looking into getting Continental to sponsor us
- Romain, for getting us the Turkmen visas
- My friends for all telling me "DO IT"!
- Claudio von Planta, Sambor and Maciej for sharing their great experiences on their numerous motorbike trips
- Henry, Yau and Tan from BMW HK for their support with the bike, the preparation and the bike sale
- Yasser, Mark, Michael and Christoph from BMW Munich for their help with all the accessories and the last minute bike purchase
- Bertrand and Alice for your help with the tyres in Almaty