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Thread: Greece is the word..

  1. #145
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    Just wanted to add my 2p of thanks for the thread, enjoying the read

  2. #146
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    I’ve just caught up on this and can I just say that even though I’ve been hopelessly drunk and lost in foreign cities I’ve never, repeat never, been so bad that I’ve checked into a second hotel and found the one with my gear the next day. Unless there was a woman involved

    Top quality touring

  3. #147
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    Cheers!

    Unfortunately booze was the only mistress. Must try harder

  4. #148
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    If I had all the money I’d spend it on drink, spend it on drink...

    Good morning. And we’re out at sea. There’s the two of us, occupying a four berth cabin and it has enough space with an en suite shower and toilet. Comfortable enough.



    A free hat, courtesy of those ever so nice people at Drujba.



    We’re on a full board basis, so three meals a day, only expenses being the demon drink.

    Breakfast is fine and served by cheery galley folk who, to me anyway, ever so nicely insist you have as much as is humanly possible. I manage to get away with something modest.



    We have lunch, and it seems the ferry folk have quickly assembled into three groups.

    Group A) A collection of a dozen or so staggeringly pissed Georgian Lorry drivers. They were spied late on departure ‘getting on it’. I could vaguely hear them singing from the cabin in the small hours.

    Group B) Us. A group of two wheeled travellers from the European continent.

    Group C) Actually not a group, one guy on his own, who wants to talk to no one it would seem. I don’t think he’s a Georgian guy but I suspect no one will ever find out.

    So in our new group we also meet Manu. Manu is a German lady who has been cycling around the ‘Stans, and has been away a year now and is now making her way back to her home in Leipzig. She makes us two look like weekend trippers. Like Rob, a systems chap from Slovakia, she’s really rather good company and has some excellent tales to tell. Rob has also been out further East, and has opted to take the ferry route back as his Honda isn’t in the best of health.

    What to do on the black sea for three days.



    What indeed, eh. Catch a few rays.



    Basically, eat, rest drink, repeat.

    Also you can watch a Georgian lorry driver stumble through the door exiting to the deck with a full beer glass, scoring a Krypton Factor of ‘one’, cue then a wobble to the left, a wobble to the right (flat calm sea) before he hits the deck with a satisfying ‘thwack’. I could perhaps describe it as someone’s dad trying to do the worm, top half hitting the deck hard and legs flying up afterwards In the process, he smashes his glass, sending bits everywhere. He is then rescued by another couple of suitably wobbly but ever so slightly less pissed other random Georgian Lorry drivers.

    One of the galley staff soon appears in another guise, this time clad in overalls, and begins the clear up in aisle one. He doesn’t seem at all surprised at events and steps over the Georgian lorry driver rescue party with a certain nonchalance.

    He sees me and waves Hi, gives a shrug and a smile, and carries on.

    The ferry is pretty empty, god alone knows quite how it would be if it was packed with these guys.

    Dolphin spotting.



    Lager spotting.



    I am glad for en-suite facilities.



    The food is actually pretty basic and hardy shipboard fayre but it is quite tasty.

    We quickly establish a routine, meeting for three meals, chatting about places, things, this and that. The Georgian lorry drivers meet, eat, have a sing song (wish I hadn’t have lost the video) and then retire to the video lounge to get a more pissed.

    We organise ‘Tuesday night cocktail club’, where we’ll bring our assembled grog to pre-dinner cocktails and basically get wankered.

    The evening is soon upon us, and we enjoy ‘cocktails’ by sunset. Some of the Georgian cha-chi spirit is served, with tropical Fanta to take the edge off.

    Three quarters of the cocktail club.



    Already a bit tiddly.



    The evening is hilarious, if not a little blurry. Young Robert takes a bit of encouragement, for his body is a temple and kept generally in much better order than ours. He soon gets well into the swing of things and here he is setting the pace for group ‘B’. The Georgian Lorry drivers team features in background.



    Dinner.



    ‘Cha-chi’. Note, this is not mineral water.



    Sunset on the Black Sea.



    More Lager.



    Fun times

  5. #149
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    I like the fancy sausages

  6. #150
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    Well, as luck would have it whilst fiddling around on my phone I came across this cinematic masterpiece, showing Group A in all of their splendour




  7. #151
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    Hillarious

    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto View Post
    Well, as luck would have it whilst fiddling around on my phone I came across this cinematic masterpiece, showing Group A in all of their splendour



    Bloody hillarious - You should have joined them

  8. #152
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    I go out on Tuesday night..
    ..and I come home on Wednesday morning.


    We’d spent some of the final day planning routes and swapping advice on points of interest. We’re armed with some great info



    What a great few days we’d had. Both of us had thought that stuck on a boat would be incredibly dull, but bored and trapped we most certainly were not.


  9. #153
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    So long, and thanks for all the Fishport

    I’m woken very early, at about 5.30am by my phone going bonkers. Three days of nothing, followed by lots of messages coming in, o2 welcomes you to Bulgaria, this and that, and with European data roaming set back to on there’s a now usual dose of rubbish from Whatsapp.



    Bulgaria comes into view. We’re still a way from land but I head to deck to watch us work our way in.

    Following breakfast we’re manoeuvring into Fishport.



    Scenic Burgos from the dockside.



    Everyone’s got a signal.



    Getting off the ferry is a bureaucratic affair (ooh the surprise). We eventually can go from the deck passenger compound down to the bikes and get ready. We take the cue from the assorted Georgian lorry drivers who, though looking slightly better hardly look in the best of shape and take the walk along and then down precarious steep stairs down to the vehicle deck. We’re by the ramp and saddle up ready but can’t go. We’re left peering out of the back of the ship waiting for twenty minutes or so, until a man with a walkie talkie says to go. Manu on her bicycle goes first. Farewell Manu. Her aim today is to get as far out of town as possible.



    It must be only fifty yards from the ferry to the check point. Her bike and panniers are gone through by customs, after her carefully loading it on to her bicycle, they’re straight off again.
    Good grief, this will be fun.

    Rob the Slovakian chap is the next one in the queue and gets similar treatment. I have lashed up all of my stuff perfectly, so it’s typical that then I have to go back and unpack it. When I say unpack it, what I mean is unleash all of the bungees, unroll the Ortleib bags for the guard to say OK before he’s actually looked in them. Similarly, the same treatment is with the pannier bags. He wasn’t interested in my Georgian plum sauce or cha-chi. Hey ho. Anyhow we’re off! A couple of checkpoints later, passports, V5’s, we think we’re home free, but that’s just too good to be true. We’re directed by the toothless gentlemen at the exit barrier to an office close by, whereby it is the Passport and V5 shuffle all over again. We’re shut out of the air conditioned office unceremoniously whilst they do their thing.

    Ten minutes or so later we’re given a piece of pink paper, which we hand to the toothless bloke ten yards away and then, thankfully, we’re into the Burgos morning Rush. All is fine, soon we’re wafting along wide boulevards at good pace and out of town.

    Rob has also left us, he’s making his way down into Bulgaria and then along to Macedonia and Greece in a reverse pretty much of how we made our way to Turkey not so long ago.

    It takes us a while to get going. Garmin seems to be sending us the wrong way. So we do that dance of taking lefts and rights, u-turning, leaving a main road only to rejoin in a few kilometres up the road. For anyone who has been there, you’ll know what I mean.

    We have quite a sunny day and things are going alright. It feels quite nice to be back on the bike. One thing here, in all of the years I’ve been riding, I’ve never been stung on a wasp. That includes riding with an open flip for many, many a mile, naughty me.
    As you gather, that is cure for me to get stung by a wasp on the neck. Thwack, ping, crap.

    We stop for petrol and bite spray.



    The going is unremarkable but gets better as we head North West. We continue to keep getting ‘Garmined’, the GPS taking us strange ways, but we work through it.

    A short time later I get stung on the other side of the neck. Crap.

    We continue.

    An hour or so later I get stung up the sleeve by a wasp. Crap again. This is no longer funny. More bite spray.



    I get stung no less than three times. And my tooth is starting to hurt. And I have a couple of mouth ulcers, too. Peachy. And I forgot to put on my sunscreen this afternoon. Great.

    We work our way up to the Danube and the Romanian border.

    After establishing there really are no bridges in this part of the world, we eventually find a place to catch a ferry across the river. It looks like we’re pretty lucky. They don’t seem to run particularly often, information is pretty sparse, but care of some careful dodging round HGVs we’re onto a ferry in about twenty minutes or so. It was peculiar, they were still shunting HGVs around on the ferry well after it had started crossing the river.



    Crossing the mighty Danube.



    7 Euro for both of us, with a 4 Euro surcharge on the Romania side, for whatever that was for. But the woman in the booth had lovely teeth which and happy enough to display them with a nice smile. Just thought I’d mention.
    I got a salute from the border guard on the Romanian side before we set off.

    We’re free to move North then.

    Our ride takes us to our destination of Craiova some 120 or so miles further on.

    ***

    ROMANIA

    All speed limits are in miles per hour*
    *Nobody takes any notice of any kind of speed limit

    ***


    The motoring standard is pretty poor in Bulgaria, but we’re down a couple of places in the motoring league now. You’ve got to be wary. More of that later.

    We reach Craiova at around 5pm. We look at our favourite app and decide to go look at a place before booking. It seems OK so Brian is in to investigate and I park up and unload. Despite the place looking fine, Brian returns and says there’s no Aircon, so has said no. I put stuff back on the bike and we head across town to our next choice. I’m stung, burned, got dental pain and now have a bit of a headache. I’m feeling a little worn down.

    As we get off the bikes I realise- I’ve left my tankbag outside the other hotel, on a chair by the entrance. And I haven’t been concentrating and can’t remember the way back. Ah, this would not be good. Brian luckily has his wits, so we whizz back to the hotel to find it thankfully untouched and on the chair where I left it. That would have been particularly bad if it had been lost. V5 and all that, laptop, all manner of stuff. I’m hopping mad at myself and really relieved. Some good luck today.

    We return back at our new hotel at more of a sedentary pace. It really is a nice hotel, despite lack of parking. The bikes are shuffled into a tiny space opposite outside a church.

    The Hotel Prestige, Craiova. Recommended



    We take a walk. We discover Romania’s craft beer scene.



    Wasp stings, dental pain, mouth ulcers. If I look like I’m over it today that’s probably about right.



    We have a great pizza..



    ..another nice beer hits the spot..



    ..and then hit the hay.

  10. #154
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    can i say that last post

    but the post about the leave one hotel and arrive at another lost pissed and no clue

    ROFLCOPTERSAUSAGE

  11. #155
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    Nice report! Thank you for sharing!

  12. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milifte95 View Post
    Nice report! Thank you for sharing!
    It ain't over yet

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"Its about being a grown up hooligan - and if that means a dark visor, remus open pipe and a bit of speeding out of town then all well and good" Kaister 2005

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